'Banh mi' among new words added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary

By Dang Khoa   September 9, 2022 | 05:13 am PT
'Banh mi' among new words added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary
A woman stuffs a banh mi with fresh ingredients. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Vinh
Merriam-Webster has added more than 370 new words to its dictionary this month, including the world-famous Vietnamese sandwich banh mi.

Merriam-Webster, the leading U.S. language provider, announced earlier this week that it has added 370 new words and definitions to its official dictionary in the month of September.

Banh mi is among a list of food-related words that were added, along with eight others like "pumpkin spice" and "oat milk."

"A usually spicy sandwich in Vietnamese cuisine consisting of a split baguette filled typically with meat (such as pork or chicken) and pickled vegetables (such as carrot and daikon) and garnished with cilantro and often cucumbers," according to the publisher’s website.

"Supply chain," "metaverse" and "cringe" are among the new words included in the September update.

While some of the words have been around for quite some time, Peter Sokolowski, an editor at large for Merriam-Webster, points out that people aren't always exposed to new words at the same time.

"Banh mi might seem so familiar to you, and there will be people who will be saying that you’d have to have been living under a rock not to know what it is, but there will be others who might encounter it for the first time on our list," he told The Washington Post.

Merriam-Webster stated on its website that it uses three criteria - frequent use, widespread use, and meaningful use - when picking words to add to the list.

It said when a lot of people use a word in the same way for a long enough time, it may be added to the dictionary. Its dictionary editors spend a few hours each day reading books, newspapers, electronic publications and more in search of new words.

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