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Adding 'f-bomb' to dictionary makes for an 'aha moment'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary adds 15 new definitions
  • Among the racier entries are "f-bomb" and "sexting"
  • Oprah's signature phrase, "aha moment," enters the lexicon
  • Additions largely reflect the worlds of science and finance

(CNN) -- So, we can't really give you the full definition of one of the newest additions to the dictionary.

Not that one is needed. Everyone knows what an "f-bomb" is.

But if you need to look up what it means, you can now in the 2012 update of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, which describes the word as a "lighthearted and printable euphemism."

It was one of 15 new listings announced Tuesday.

Among them are "bucket list" (popularized by the eponymous movie), "gassed" (a slang word meaning drained of energy), and Oprah Winfrey's signature phrase, "aha moment" (a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension).

"Some of the new words this year provide colorful images," said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster editor-at-large.

"Terms like 'man cave,' 'underwater' (when used to describe mortgages), 'earworm' and 'bucket list' paint vivid pictures in your mind," he said. "They show that English speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them."

The freshly added vocabulary also reflects a defining event of our time -- the global financial crisis:

"Systemic risk" (the risk that the failure of one financial institution could cause other interconnected institutions to fail and harm the economy as a whole).

And "underwater"(having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth).

Then there are this year's technology additions:

"Cloud computing" (the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet).

And "sexting" (the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone). That one sounds racier than f-bomb. Remember Anthony Weiner, whose sexting scandal cost him his congressional seat?

Here are the other added words:

-- copernicium

-- energy drink

-- game changer

-- gastropub

-- mash-up

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