Word Up: Geocaching Added To Dictionary

Good news, geocachers … No longer will you record a DNF when looking up your favourite word in the dictionary.

Today, Merriam-Webster announced the newest terms to be added to its mainstream Collegiate Dictionary, with geocaching debuting alongside phrases such as sexting, flexitarian, mash-up, obesogenic, energy drink and life coach.

Each year the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company picks about 100 additions with which to update the print edition of its 114-year-old dictionary, gathering evidence of their usage over several years in everything from media to beer bottle labels and boxes of frozen food.

From those additions, Merriam-Webster then picks its top 25 newcomers, of which geocaching is one. Also on the 2012 list, according to company president John Morse, are: Oprah’s ‘aha moment’, bucket list, craft beer, copernicium, the Stephen King-inspired earworm for a song you can’t get out of your head, e-reader, game changer, a new definition for “gassed” as slang for drained of energy, F-bomb, gastropub, man cave, shovel-ready (a construction site ready for work) and tipping point.

Merriam-Webster says the new 21st-century terms offer a revealing look at American culture and the phrases English speakers adopt to describe it. “Some of the new words this year provide colourful images,” editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said in a statement online. “Terms like ‘man cave,’ ‘underwater’ (when used to describe mortgages), ‘earworm,’ and ‘bucket list’ paint vivid pictures in your mind. They show that English-speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them.”

According to the company, geocaching is a noun hailing from the year 2000 which denotes “a game in which players are given the geographical co-ordinates of a cache of items which they search for with a GPS device”.

*How would you define geocaching? And what other geo-terms would you like to see incorporated into mainstream dictionaries? Tell us below …


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  1. GSV

    cache of items

    Well, that does cut out a lot of the small/micro geolog containers around here! 😉

    1. Cumbyrocks

      Amen to that!!!

  2. Patty Cox Durre on Facebook

    It only took how many years and found caches to get there?

  3. Julie Becker on Facebook

    I seriously was just thinking that the other day.

  4. Darren Osborne

    It seems ‘Down Under’ has beaten the US on this one. The Macquarie Dictionary added geocaching back in 2005 (see: http://www.ausheritage.com.au/quote-detail/edd2922e-04bf-4d28-ba86-ac0853780aaa).

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