Time traveler: when did new words appear?

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

So many words were first used in 1960 that it seems more practical if we just list the highlights (to see all the words that were new in 1960 or for any year, click on the heading for that year, and you'll be taken to Time Traveler's listing). It was a year of electricity (for both powering things in your home and on the dance floor), new hairstyles, and more types of dogs bred with a poodle.

  • AAA battery
  • AC/DC
  • Arugula
  • Catsuit
  • Cockapoo
  • Dial-up
  • Dufus (also spelled “doofus”)
  • Discotheque
  • Dreadlocks
  • Junk food
  • Mod
  • Wait-list

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

1961 brought us more batteries and a term for the busiest shopping day of the year.

  • AA battery
  • Affirmative Action
  • Black Friday
  • Down Syndrome
  • Object code
  • Paparazzo

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

This was the year that the first touch-tone phones were introduced to customers and the fancy office where the president works got a name.

  • CPU
  • Oval Office
  • Speed Reading
  • Tumble Dry
  • Touch-Tone
  • T-ball

These photos of kids playing games without technology might bring us all back to a simpler time.

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

In 1963, the word 'disco' was coined to describe the music played in discotheques.

  • Disco
  • Hip-huggers
  • Mind-expanding
  • Space walk
  • Source code

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

We use a lot of these words coined in 1964 on the daily.

  • Gun control
  • High tech
  • Identity theft
  • Pantsuit (or pants suit)
  • Sucker punch
  • Worst-case
  • ZIP code

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The first use of hippie in a 1960's counter cultural/flower child sense was in a series of articles on Haight-Ashbury that began running in the San Francisco Examiner in September 1965. The word “grunge”—referring to the type of music—also came to be this year.

  • Bogart
  • Empty-nest syndrome
  • Grunge
  • Hippie
  • Hypertext
  • Xerox

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Big hairstyles got their name in 1966. The annoying red bumps that occasionally pop up on your face were also given a name.

  • Afro
  • Head Shop
  • Hedge Fund
  • Miranda
  • Multitasking
  • Zit

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Don't worry, you're not a dork if you do aerobics. But, in 1967, people did have another way to ridicule nerds.

  • Aerobics
  • Dork
  • Firmware
  • Flower child
  • Estrogen replacement therapy

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

A few technology terms were coined in 1968. You should also really know these social media slang terms by now.

  • Alt key
  • Band-aid
  • Cellulite
  • Home screen
  • Local Area Network
  • Radicchio
  • Word processor
  • Yippie

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear?Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

No, a word for a chilly bird wasn't coined this year. Cold duck actually refers to a beverage consisting of a blend of sparkling burgundy and champagne

  • Cold duck
  • Delete key
  • Kazillion
  • Limousine liberal
  • Video vérité

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The term “beeper” was coined in 1970, but people under the age of 20, today, don't know what a beeper even is. In fact, it's one of the many things 2000s kids will never understand.

  • Beeper
  • Comfort food
  • Control freak
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Herstory
  • Labradoodle
  • Love handles

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Turns out, 1973 was a year of being body-conscious. Bikini wax, anti-cellulite, and underwire bras all became words this year.

  • Affluenza
  • Anti-cellulite
  • Bikini wax
  • Soccer mom
  • Underwire
  • Weight room

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The term “Internet” was coined this year. The dictionary defines it as “an electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world.”

  • Alternative music
  • Acquaintance rape
  • Clicker
  • Computerphobe
  • Heimlich maneuver
  • Internet
  • Telecommute

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

These are the most searched words ever, according to dictionary.com.

  • Alternative rock
  • CT scanner
  • Date rape
  • Direct broadcast satellite
  • Fluoxetine

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

It seems 1976 was a year of strange new terms. If you're wondering what a Fern bar is, it's a slang word for an upscale bar that attracts singles.

  • Digital camera
  • Fern bar
  • Legionnaires' disease
  • Mesclun
  • Skeevy
See also:  How to multiply numbers quickly using the distributive property

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

It's weird to think that there was a time when people didn't use the word text message. Here are the things you should never do over text message.

  • Bad cholesterol
  • Gazillion
  • MRI
  • Text message
  • Upload

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

A year of syndromes and sunscreen.

  • Control-key
  • Information technology
  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Most of these terms are pretty self-explanatory. Except for Yuppie, which basically means young (Y) urban (U) professional.

  • Air guitar
  • Chill out
  • Hip-hop
  • Retronym
  • Usenet
  • Yuppie 

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

From the looks of it, 1982 was a year of newly discovered diseases and dance moves.

  • AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
  • Bias crime
  • Break dancing
  • Domain name
  • MRI
  • Screen saver

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The term liposuction was coined in 1983, but it's changed a lot since then. Here's how liposuction has evolved since it first burst onto the cosmetic surgery scene.

  • Beta test
  • Greenmail
  • Hip-hopper
  • Liposuction
  • Newsgroup
  • Sertraline

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

A few very important terms came to be this year. Laptop, search engine, and the forever iconic moonwalk.

  • AIDS-related complex
  • Date-rape
  • DSL (digital subscriber line)
  • Hate crime
  • Laptop
  • Moonwalk
  • Phreaking
  • Search engine

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock


Can you remember your favorite boy band from the 80s? The Jackson 5, Menudo, New Edition, New Kids on the Block?

  • AZT
  • Boy band
  • IP address
  • N-word
  • Step aerobics

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

In 1986, popularity was brought to the term Ozone hole. British scientists had discovered a recurring springtime hole in this ozone layer, specifically, above Antarctica.

  • Chat room
  • Glasnost
  • HIV
  • Ozone hole
  • Portobello

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The term emoticon was coined in 1987, but they didn't look quite as advanced as they do today. At the time they were referring to symbols such as 🙂 and :/.

  • Acid-washed
  • ADHD
  • Beer goggles
  • Emoticon
  • In-line skate
  • Thirtysomething

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Who knew there was a term for moms who plan to have kids and still work? Just make sure you never say these things to a working mom.

  • Brick-and-mortar
  • Defrag
  • E-book
  • Emo
  • Mommy track

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

A lot of Internet terms were coined this year: Internet Service Provider, World Wide Web, and the dreaded spam emails.

  • Internet Service Provider
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • McMansion
  • Spam
  • World Wide Web

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Even though the term 3-D printer was coined in 1991, we're still figuring out everything that it can be used for today. Here's how it's being used to create human body parts.

  • 3-D Printer
  • Brainfreeze
  • Heteronormative
  • Mixtape
  • SIMcard

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Just one year after the first 3-D printers were sold, the term had already been verbed.

  • 3-D printing
  • BRCA
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • PDA (Personal Digest Assistant)
  • Taliban

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Some funny terms were coined this year: booty call—and some serious ones: e-commerce.

  • Booty call
  • Click-through
  • E-commerce
  • Game changer
  • Robocall

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

The term cisgender means relating to a person who identifies with the gender he or she had at birth, is arguably a retronym for people who are heterosexual and traditionally gendered.

  • Cisgender
  • Dot-com
  • Metrosexual
  • Pole-dancing
  • Roofie

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Another term was coined about sexual orientation, genderqueer. It's used as an umbrella term to describe anyone who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions and identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

  • Click-through
  • Date-rape drug
  • Genderqueer
  • Instant messaging
  • Stalkerazo
See also:  Is german chocolate cake from germany?

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Even though the terms face-palm and fist bump were coined in the 90s, they're still pretty relevant today.

  • Cloud computing
  • Face-palm
  • Fist bump
  • Senior moment
  • Smartphone
  • Spoiler alert

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

In 1997, the emoticons got an update and the new and improved ones were called emojis. Here are some of the best emoji hacks you didn't realize you needed.

  • Emoji
  • Freegan
  • Friend with benefits
  • Phishing
  • Weblog

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Social networking came to light in 1998, but so did cyberbullying.

  • Cyberbullying
  • DVR
  • Flexitarian
  • Social networking
  • Webinar

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, shutterstock

Ever since the term was coined in 1999, blogs have blown up. Anyone can make one, just make sure your headlines aren't clickbait. (See what we did there?)

  • Bling
  • Blog
  • Carbon footprint
  • Chillax
  • Clickbait
  • Snark

Time Traveler Shows You the Year Words First Appeared in Print

Merriam-Webster, the folks who have been helping to defining words since 1828, have a new tool that’s informative and fun. Time Traveler can show you the year when words first appeared in print.

This addictive site shows you year by year how words enter the English language and how they can disappear from usage. Some words live on in our language while some, even recent words, may be completely unfamiliar to you.

Scroll through the years on Time Traveler to discover the year a word was first used in print. I bet you’ll be surprised at how recently, and how far back, some words first appeared.

Some years have one lone word while other years are chock full of additions to our vocabulary.

You can view each year to see which words were first introduced into written language. Click or tap on a word to read its definition and see how the word may be used in a sentence.

Guess when these words first appeared in print, then check out Time Traveler to find out if you’re correct or, if not, how many years you were off:

  • sudoku
  • TiVo

Time Traveler tool tells you which words first appeared in print the year you were born

Merriam-Webster shared its website's new “Time Traveler” feature on Thursday, and it's honestly super fun.

The Time Traveler section of the site allows users to see which words first appeared in print the year they were born. 

SEE ALSO: 13 of the absolute best and worst brand trolls in recent history

All you need to do is simply plug in the year you were born and voila! You'll have access to a size-able number of words introduced that year. 

It takes seconds to do and you'll be amused by the array of new and familiar words that populate. In 1991 crowd-surf, 3D-printer and Arnold Palmer were first appeared. In 2001, bromance, cornhole, and twerking were added. Who knew!?

And people have been having the most hilarious reactions to the new feature, as indicated by the responses to Merriam-Webster's tweet:

For me in 1964, it's 'barf bag' Couldn't be more proud.

— (((Mike Glenn))) (@mrglenn) October 25, 2018

I'm old enough that “Mitochondrial DNA” is in my birth year. ????????????

— Glenn Berry (@CaptCalamitous) October 25, 2018

Sleazeball, stonewashed, boombox and aerobicize. Oh the 80s…

— Sarah Sickles Coward (@InimitableMissS) October 25, 2018

And, among them is this absolute gem of a response:

Why not check it out?

Now, You Can Find Out Which Words Debuted In Your Year Of Birth

One of the joys of language is the way it's constantly evolving. Take the word “queer”: once a synonym for “weird” or “unusual”, it became a slur aimed at gay people in the late-19th century, before recently being reclaimed by the LGBTQ community as an empowering and flexible way to describe identity.

See also:  The origin of the orc

So, just as Gemma Collins is a massive fan of the dictionary, so are we. And the new “time traveler” tool launched this week by online dictionary Merriam-Webster is honestly a lot of fun. It's really simple to use: you just select your year of birth, then Merriam-Webster tells you which words first appeared in print during that year.

A search for 1987, for example, reveals that words debuting that year included “boy band”, “cringey”, “tankini”, “deets” and “thirtysomething” – the latter will feel all too real to anyone born in that year, because they've all said goodbye to their twenties pretty recently.

But back in 1983, people were already being introduced to words including “guac”, “onesie”, “piehole” and “bae”– yes, “bae” has been a thing for 35 years now.

However, it wasn't until 1993 that words including “website”, “woo-woo”, “PDA”, “cybersex” and “heteronormative” first appeared in print.

Oh, and though it's presumably existed since public transport was invented, Merriam Webster's tool confirms that the word “manspreading” didn't appear in print until 2014.

This is fun! Search your birth year to see what words were added to the dictionary


Word nerds, rejoice: Merriam-Webster just added more than 1,000 new words to the dictionary. Here are a few of our favorites.

When it's not throwing shade on Twitter about the garbled, confusing language the president tweets, the online Merriam-Webster dictionary is offering a new and nostalgic tool that lets users forget whatever “covfefe” was.

On Aug. 14, the online dictionary debuted its new Time Traveler feature that lets you search for the year a word was first recorded.

“We built Time Traveler because we ourselves could spend hours exploring this data, and we thought it would be fascinating for everyone else, too,” said Lisa Schneider, chief digital officer and publisher for Merriam-Webster.

Dictionary entries on the site already list the earliest recorded use of each word in the English language. Now users can also see what other words entered the lexicon in a particular timeframe.

For instance, when The Arizona Republicanbegan printing in 1890, the words “newsworthy,” “motorboat,” “psychotic,” “snapshot” and “uncensored” got their first entries in the nearly 190-year-old reference book.

bakery: 1758microchip: 1969tomato: 1604emoji: 1997

Find a word's first known use with Time Traveler! https://t.co/0Y8CkO8rR3pic.twitter.com/KT60HY5IWq

— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) August 14, 2017

More than 100 years later, in 1994, “metrosexual” and “pole dancing” were added, along with definitions for “MP3,” “Web page” and “cyberterrorism.” Also that year, “wifebeater,” “roofie” and “supersize” made their debuts.

So did an entry all “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts appreciate: “spoiler alert.”

“It's entertaining to see what words were first used the year you were born, or the year you graduated college, and it's especially interesting to discover a word that has been around for centuries longer than (or is much newer than!) you might expect,” Schneider said. “We're thrilled to extend this new feature to our users, and invite them to explore along with us.”

  • The dictionary added a forewarning that each first-known date is subject to “frequent (but not instant) updating” as new evidence is discovered.
  • In February, the dictionary announced the addition of more than 1,000 new words and phrases to its records including “throwing shade,” “microaggression” and “first world problem.”

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