See Which Words Were Introduced the Year You Were Born
And test your knowledge with this quiz.
We all remember referencing Merriam-Webster during our grade-school days, and now the beloved dictionary is back with a brand new tool that lets you revisit those years—and then some.
Time Traveler, a new feature on Merriam-Webster.com, lets users see when words were first introduced, from 2010 to as far back as 1500. Before 1500, they group the words by century. And words introduced before the 12th century have separate listings.
The tool has prompted curiosity with users about their own milestone years, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and more. For example, when Real Simple was first published in 2000, “google, “sudoku,” “TiVo,” and “speed dating” were also making their big debuts.
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Though some of these words may seem older (or newer) than you originally anticipated, according to Merriam-Webster, the date used in the tool is the “first known use,” or when the term first appeared in writing or print, which can be years after they’ve been circulating in conversation.
Word lovers can also test their knowledge with a quiz to identify which of two words originated first, with an option to time yourself as you answer. With pairings like Batman vs. Superman and snarky vs. sarcastic, the questions are tricky enough to stump even the most well-read people. Once you test your knowledge, you can compare your scores with others in your age group and try your hand at other vocabulary quizzes.