Posted by: Jack Henry | May 21, 2020

Editor’s Corner: New, Old, and Fading Words

Happy Thursday, friends!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some words that have evolved to have different meanings than the ones they started with. Today, by popular demand, I have something similar for you. provided three interesting lists of English words:

  • New words
  • Old words that have added a new meaning
  • Words that are fading in usage

I don’t think there are any real surprises here. But it’s exciting to be aware of changes like these as they are happening. It makes me feel like I’m helping to shape the English language by being conscious of the words I do and don’t use.

New Word (part of speech, approx. first use)


bucket list (n., 2005–10) a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying
unfriend (v., 2005–10) to remove a person from one’s list of friends or contacts on social media
hashtag (n., 2005–10) a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a social-media message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and prompt a search for it
selfie (n., 2000–05) a photograph taken with a mobile device by a person who is also in the photograph, especially for posting on social media
blogger (n., 1995–2000) one who writes about topics, experiences, observations, or opinions, etc., on the Internet
Old Word (part of speech, approx. first use)

Added Meaning

mouse (n., before 900) a hand-held device moved about on a flat surface to direct the cursor on a computer screen
browse (v., 1400–50) to search for and read content on the Internet
cookie (n., 1695–1705) a message or a segment of data containing information about a user, sent by a web server to a browser and sent back to the server each time the browser requests a web page
stream (v., 13th century) to transfer digital data in a continuous stream, esp. for immediate processing or playback
tweet (n.,1768) a post made on the Twitter online message service
Fading Word (part of speech, approx. first use)


gal (n., 1785–95) young woman
slacks (n., 1815–25) trousers for casual wear
groovy (adj., 1937) hip, trendy; marvelous, excellent
court (v., 1125–75) to seek the affections of someone to establish a committed relationship
go steady (v., 1900) to date someone exclusively
jalopy (n., 1928) beat-up used vehicle

Next week, I’ll share some information about how words get included in the dictionary. Enjoy your day!

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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