Merriam-Webster to Finally Acknowledge "Selfie" and "Steampunk"

While books are dying and humans' vocabularies are reportedly shrinking, Merriam-Webster is at it again with their annually updated list of additions to next year's dictionary. "Selfie," "freegan," and "steampunk" made the list, as well as a handful of entertaining others.

Merriam-Webster will add 150 new words to the forthcoming updated dictionary, which they shared in a press release. Not surprisingly, technology features in a large chunk of the list.

These new additions to America's best-selling dictionary reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking, once done mostly in person.

A few of this year's selections for the 2014 edition, along with what M-W proposes are the years they were first used and their definitions, are here. Let's learn.

dubstep (n., 2002): a type of electronic dance music having prominent bass lines and syncopated drum patterns

catfish (n., new sense): a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes

fangirl (n., 1934): a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something

freegan (n., 2006): an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources

selfie (n., 2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera esp. for posting on social networks

steampunk (n., 1987): science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology

tweep (n., 2008): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets

unfriend (v., 2003): to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person's social networking Web site

Yooper (n., 1977): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname

[Image via AP]