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And you can look it up…

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Thanks to all who sent me the link for the word “Fanboy” entering the Merriam-Webster dictionary along with other useful terms like “edamame” and “webinar”. The word is cited all the way back to 1919, doubtless in some kind of “He’s totally a fanboy for Baroness Orczy!” kind of way.

However, Gia Manry was incensed at the lack of inclusion for the distaff term “Fangirl” but was quickly told by lexicographers that it was too soon, too soon:

I did a quick check of our citational database, which house upwards of 17 million citations of words in context, and we only have a handful of citations for “fangirl.” I’m afraid that without more citational backing (and a longer usage history), it’s currently not eligible for entry.

BUT…see comments thread!

  1. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually ok with this at this point. I was going to try to explain why, but realized there’s no real way to do it without overgeneralizing in some potentially offensive way–so I’ll just say that given M-W’s reasoning, I don’t think it’s sexist to exclude fangirl for the time being.

  2. The Oxford English Dictionary added “fanboy” and “fangirl” to the listing under “fan”.

    And how soon before the use of “zombie” as a mindless fanatic gets added as well?

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