A word from 'The Simpsons' is added to the dictionary

Image Tim Boyle  Getty

Image Tim Boyle Getty

Merriam-Webster just added 850 new words to the dictionary, so you put on a pot of coffee and I'll start making the flashcards.

As of now, the phrase "too-on-the-nose" has yet to be included.

As I am nearly certain you are already aware, "embiggen" is (well, until now I guess) not a real word, and was introduced in episode 16, season 6 of The Simpsons, in quoted text from Springfield's founder, Jebediah Springfield.

Though Lisa was sceptical of the word's existence following a screening of the Troy McClure-starring Young Jebediah Springfield short film - it's a perfectly cromulent word, Lisa - "embiggen" now takes pride of place as a completely legitimate transitive verb. Upon hearing this, Mrs. Krabappel questions the validity of the word, which prompts her co-worker Ms. Hoover to defend "embiggens" by concocting her own fictitious word.

Outside of our favourite geek entertainment, embiggen actually predates "Lisa the Iconoclast" by quite a few years because it had been independently coined by TV writer Dan Greaney in 1996 and used in CA Ward's Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc. from 1884 - in both cases the word referred to the enlarging of an object. There's also one perfectly cromulent word that was added.

Here's what really steams my hams.

None of these words exist, however, in Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary.

The Merriam-Webster Twitter account confirmed the news on Monday.

Hmm. I can't help but feel as though I heard that somewhere before.

Defined as "to make bigger or more expansive", many comic book readers likely recognize the term as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel's battlecry, used primarily when she uses her shape-changing powers to grow her fists.

At least Dictionary.com knows what's up.

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