Recently, Merriam-Webster added 640 new words to its dictionary including two entries for the Eminem-inspired term “stan,” which denotes both an obsessive fan and the act of being in an extremely devoted fandom. This isn’t the first time words with origins in pop culture and music have been added to dictionaries, and it most certainly won’t be the last with phrases from lyrics continuing to find their way into our contemporary vernacular on- and off-line.
To commemorate the addition of “stan” in the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English dictionaries, here are five more words with origins in pop music that can be found in dictionaries today.
Popularized by the 2001 Destiny’s Child single “Bootylicious,” the word became so widely used that the Oxford English Dictionary decided to include it in a 2004 update to mean “sexually attractive esp. of a woman.”
Originating from Jamaican slang, the term took off after rapper B.G released the single “Bling Bling” in 1999. Since then, it’s been used and reused by numerous other artists as a celebration of conspicuous consumption and an ostentatious display of wealth.
Did the cringe-worthy image of Miley Cyrus dancing in latex with teddy bears just come to mind? “Twerk” has been around since the late 1980s in the New Orleans bounce music scene but only reached mainstream viral status after Cyrus’ MTV VMA performance in 2013. Nicki Minaj’s 2014 music video for “Anaconda” further affixed the term in teens’ minds around the world, making the booty-popping term a pop culture staple and securing a formal spot for it in dictionaries in 2015.
This acronym was absolutely everywhere back in the day (Zac Efron even got it tattooed on his hand), thanks to the 2011 Drake song “The Motto” that made #YOLO one of the most recognizable (and perhaps annoying) hashtags ever. YOLO was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016 “to express the view that one should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future.”
Who can forget “rain drop, drop top?” Not even Merriam-Webster could ignore the Internet phenomenon that was “Bad and Boujee,” as the dictionary included “bougie” as new entry in a 2018 update. The word is considered a variant of “bourgeois” and is defined as “marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability.” Now that’s bougie.