8 New English Words Recently Added to Dictionary You Must Know

Language doesn't just stand still, it's constantly evolving with new English words creeping into the mainstream. From Gen Z slang like "rizz" and "situationship" to tech jargon such as "prompt" the latest dictionary entries reflect a wonderful journey of English language learning.

8 New English Words Recently Added to Dictionary You Must Know

I was listening to a podcast about my passion subject when a host said, "Yeah, everyone has to have Finsta." At first, I brushed it off, but they kept bringing this word up, and I assumed it was a new app or a communication platform. A little Googling made me realize Finsta means having a secret or incognito Instagram account.

One thing I absolutely love about the English language is that it's never boring! New English words and phrases are popping up monthly, and the language keeps evolving.

An English dictionary isn't a book I enthusiastically grab, but this time, I decided to research some new English words, their meanings, and their alternatives from old English to help you (and myself) understand English vocabulary better.

social media like sign in neon lights

New English Words Influenced by Social Media

For this article, I decided to categorize new English words by influence and their source. First on the list of our English dictionary are words that come from social media trends and platforms and are generally associated with Gen Z.

These words are:

  • Rizz
  • Girl Dinner
  • Situationship
  • Beige Flag

Rizz: romantic appeal or charm.

Merriam-Webster dictionary describes rizz as a romantic appeal or charm that, ultimately, everyone has. Oxford English Dictionary even named the word rizz as the word of the year.

So what does it mean, and where does it come from?

You might've seen a TikTok or an Instagram reel mentioning this word. Rizz is short for "charisma" (I'm sure you can hear the similarity), and it's teen slang used to describe someone who can be witty, come up with charming pick-up lines, or do something considered extremely attractive.

Girl Dinner: a meal typically consisting of snacks, side dishes, and small portions of (often randomly assembled) foods.

However, the girl dinner is neither a meal nor a snack. It's something else!

The term initially referred to a snack plate or a go-to lunch that would be filled yet small in portion. From there, the trend evolved; girl dinner can be anything delicious, even if it doesn't make sense. It can be an exciting book, a person, an object, and more - whatever a girl wants.

So, for example, girl dinner can be a plate of baby carrots with a high-protein dip, but it can also be a handsome character from a fantasy book.

Situationship: a romantic relationship between two people who do not yet consider themselves a couple but who have more than a friendship.

Cambridge English Dictionary describes situationship as a casual romantic relationship between two people. Reddit users call it "the sweetest, warmest, most inviting trap you'll ever get caught in."

Situationships are a product of modern dating, and many people spend months in them, sometimes hopelessly waiting for their partner to commit to them. Others describe them as casual relationships where two people kill time until they find something better.

Beige Flag: a behavior your partner exhibits that is kind of strange but doesn't cross the weirdness territory.

So, you know how we talk about red flags and green flags when it comes to dating and relationships? Red flags are those sketchy things that make you go, "Yikes, I should run!" while green flags are the qualities you're looking for in a partner. Well, the "beige flag" is kind of in between—it's not an obvious deal-breaker, but it's also not necessarily a good thing.

It's one of those gray-area situations where you can't immediately tell if it's a red or green flag. Maybe they have a habit or quirk that could be cute or could be really annoying down the line. Or maybe there's some lifestyle difference that you're not sure if you can work around or not. Basically, a beige flag makes you go, "Hmmm, I need to think about this one a bit more."

futuristic AI robots building constructions

New English Words Influenced by Technological Advancements

English vocabulary is a vast source of random words that is constantly growing. That's what I love about languages—they never stop evolving. One element that influences language is technological advancement.

Recently, we've seen a rise in AI and new professions. These new English words, influenced by tech development, can help you understand native speakers better, watch content without confusion, and even communicate better with your remote teams at work.

New English words influenced by tech advancements are:

  • Prompt
  • Greedflation

Prompt: An instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates.

The word prompt was featured in Oxford Word of the Year in 2023, alongside rizz and situationship. Basically, a prompt is like a little nudge or cue that gets you going in the right direction. It's the starting point or prompt that kickstarts your brain into action.

When it comes to AI, a prompt is the input text or instructions a human provides to an AI system to generate a desired output.

Greedflation: a rise in prices, rents, or other costs that is not due to genuine market forces or economic factors but rather is directly and intentionally caused by corporations, executives, property owners, etc.

Greedflation is a specific phenomenon that, believe it or not, comes from the dictionary of Gen Z. Yes, the same people who came up with the word rizz. According to research, Generation Z will face higher costs and lower financial success than older generations. Members of this generation are highly self-aware about economic, environmental, and mental health-related subjects and describe issues in their fashion - thus, a new English word that even AI models might not recognize.

a subway sign saying why not

New English Words That Are Just Entertaining

And finally, we can explore some new English words just added to dictionaries—the kind of modern lingo that would probably have your grandparents scratching their heads and going, "Huh? The kids are making up words again!"

These new English words are:

  • Porch Pirate
  • Tiny House

Porch pirate: someone who steals packages delivered and left on a residence's porch or front doorstep.

So, a porch pirate refers to someone who goes around neighborhoods stealing packages right off people's front porches or doorsteps after they've been delivered.

It's become such a common problem with all our online shopping nowadays. You order something, and it gets dropped off at your house, but then some opportunistic thief comes along and snatches the package before you can grab it yourself.

The name "porch pirate" is a cheeky way of describing their bold actions—trespassing onto someone's property to steal away their packages and parcels.

Tiny house: a small house.

This is my favorite new English word since it is exactly what I sound like. However, it's more than that!

The tiny house trend has been a fascinating new phenomenon in recent years. And the name really says it all—we're talking about extremely small, compact houses that promote sustainable living.

You've probably seen some of the adorable tiny house photos and video tours on sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

From artsy tiny house villages to road-trippin' tiny homes on wheels, it's an emerging trend and philosophy that challenges assumptions about how little space we truly need. Tiny houses spark conversations around sustainable living, financial freedom, and rejecting materialism and clutter.

person sitting on the bed, learning new English words and taking notes

Add These New English Words to Your English Dictionary

Language is constantly evolving to keep pace with our ever-changing world. Each year, dictionary editors examine emerging words and terms that have become universal enough to be officially added to the English dictionary.
While some new English words may initially sound odd or confusing, their acceptance into dictionaries signals that they've been universally absorbed.

My advice is to keep up with the pace of the development of the English language and add new strategies to your learning journey. Start watching movies to learn new English words, practice English-based conversations, scroll social media, and more.