Lovers of avocado toast can rejoice. The word “avo” — for avocado — is now listed at merriam-webster.com. An example of avo being used in a sentence: “Personally, I love avocado, and if you time it just right so your avo is perfectly ripe, the flavor you know and love is going to shine through.”
Merriam-Webster just announced that it has added more than 840 words to its online dictionary. And more than a dozen are food-related — including specific foods, informal spellings, descriptions and situations.
Among the new words: marg (margarita) and gochujang, a spicy Korean chili paste.
It was perhaps a surprise that the dictionary is just now adding mise en place. This is a term chefs use regularly, and the concept is probably one the first things taught in culinary school. Mise en place means having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go (in place) before you begin cooking.
“As lexicographers, we are constantly tracking the ever expanding lexicon, only defining the words that have demonstrated the kind of widespread, sustained and meaningful use that shows they’ve become fully established members of the language,” Emily Brewster, associate editor at Merriam-Webster, said in a prepared statement. “Meanwhile, the language continues to do what it’s been doing for as long as it’s existed: grow and adapt to meet the needs of the people who use it.”
Here’s a taste of new food words that have been added and their definitions from merriam-webster.com and the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Aquafaba: The leftover liquid after beans are cooked in water.
Avo: An avocado.
Coquito: “A Puerto Rican beverage that is typically made with rum, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, coconut cream and often additional spices and that is traditionally consumed during the Christmas season.”
Dragon fruit: “A large usually oval to oblong fruit of any of several erect, sprawling, or vining cacti … that has leathery skin with prominent scaly spikes and juicy flesh.” Its skin is pink or red, and the flesh has lots of tiny black seeds.
Flight: “A selection of alcoholic drinks (such as wines, beers, or whiskeys) for tasting as a group.”
Food bank: “Usually nonprofit organization that collects donated food and distributes it to people in need.”
Gochujang: “A spicy paste used in Korean cuisine that is made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice and fermented soybeans.” Gochujang began gaining popularity several years ago. It’s often thought as being similar to Sriracha.
Guac: Short for guacamole. It’s just cool to say, “I’m making guac today.”
Hangry: Angry with an “h” means you’re irritable or angry because you’re hungry.
Hophead: “Beer enthusiast.”
Iftar: “A meal taken by Muslims at sundown to break the daily fast during Ramadan.”
Marg: The informal word for margarita.
Mise en place: “A culinary process in which ingredients are prepared and organized (as in a restaurant kitchen) before cooking.”
Mocktail: “A usually iced drink made with any of various ingredients (such as juice, herbs and soda water) but without alcohol: a nonalcoholic cocktail.”
Quaffable: “Of a beverage. Easy and enjoyable to drink.”
Red bush tea: Another term for rooibos tea. “The dried leaves and young stems of the rooibos bush used especially in making herbal tea.”
Wagyu: “Any of four strains of a breed of black or red Japanese cattle valued for their highly marbled meat.”
Zoodle: “A long, thin strip of zucchini that resembles a string or narrow ribbon of pasta.”
Zuke: Short for the ubiquitous summer green squash known as zucchini.