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‘Basic’ Has Just Been Added to the Dictionary

Do all of your Instagram photos feature selfies of you and your friends giving your best duck faces? Are you obsessed with all things pumpkin spiced? Is a good portion of your vocabulary abbreviated? If you answered ‘yes’ to all three of these questions, then we have news for you: 

The word ‘basic’ and the women it’s been used to describe have both been getting a pretty bad rap lately. But the good news for all you who literally can’t even is that your basic nature may have just been validated. Along with a slew of other ridiculous words that have managed to wiggle their way into our vocabulary, an updated definition of ‘basic’ has just been added to Dictionary.com. Aside from the standard definition of the word, the updated definition now includes the following:

a. (especially of a female) characterized by predictable or unoriginal style, interests, or behavior:

Those basic girls who follow trends.

b. (of things) boringly predictable or unoriginal:

His lyrics are just so basic.

“We noticed that these new senses are being used exclusively as slang in casual contexts,” Jane Solomon, Dictionary.com’s lexicographer, told the Huffington Post. “These particular senses of basic started out as African-American slang. In this context, the adjective was originally used as a way to call someone out (usually a woman) on immature or obtuse behavior. As the term achieved widespread usage, people began to use it in reference to material displays (drinking pumpkin spice lattes, wearing Uggs, caring about brand names) that they believed to be indicative of shallow behavior.”

The site added and modified over 1,000 words in their latest update on Wednesday. Other words added include brogrammer (a male computer programmer who is characterized as a bro), revenge porn (sexually suggestive images of someone, typically a former romantic partner, that are posted online without the person’s consent), and ship (to take an interest in a romantic relationship between fictional characters or famous people). You can find the full list of new words on the site’s blog. Maybe, if we’re lucky, someone will finally add the word ‘yasss’ to dictionary as well. In due time. 

Danielle is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and minoring in Sociology. You can usually find her dividing her time between being Campus Correspondent of Her Campus UGA, binge-watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and daydreaming about being one of Beyonce's backup dancers. If you want to know more about Danielle, you can follow her on Instagram (@danielleknecole_) or Twitter (@DanielleKnecole).
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