‘Finna’ and ‘Chile’ Now Add To Dictionary To Keep Up With The Times As Language Shifts & Diversity Grows

Dictionary.com is finna hit different, chile!! A recent update to the reference website has added hundreds of new legitimate entries, including the words “finna” and “chile” to the dictionary.  Although these words have been utilized in the daily lives of many African-Americans and in numerous Black households, it’s finally getting official dictionary treatment. 

Originating from the AAVE, also known as African American Vernacular English, Dictionary.com chose to include the ever-popular words due to growing diversity.  Language continues to shift and change over time, and managing editor for Dictionary.com, John Kelly, reflected that by adding 450 new words and changing/updating around 7500 entries. 

“We have added such terms as BIPOC, Critical Race Theory, and overpolice, which have risen to the top of the national discourse on social justice,” Kelly said. “Another significant decision was to remove the noun slave when referring to people, instead using the adjective enslaved or referring to the institution of slavery. This is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we represent people on Dictionary.com with due dignity and humanity.” 

The AAVE is described, as told by The Grio, is “a designation used by linguists to describe a North American dialect of English used by some Black people. Like older names for this dialect, the full term is usually used only once or twice to introduce it in writing or speech; thereafter the abbreviation (AAVE) is used, with the result that the abbreviation is far more common than the expanded form, especially in the fields of linguistics, sociolinguistics, and sociology.” 

According to Dictionary.com, chile is defined as “A phonetic spelling of child, representing dialectal speech of the Southern United States or African American Vernacular English.”  The word finna is also described as, “A phonetic spelling representing the African American Vernacular English variant of fixing to, a phrase commonly used in Southern U.S. dialects to mark the immediate future while indicating preparation or planning already in progress.” 

Other terms have been entered into the dictionary that pertains to Covid-19 as well as culture.  Words like “doomscrolling” made it, defined as “The practice of obsessively checking online news for updates, especially on social media feeds, with the expectation that the news will be bad.”  Superspreader is also now entered, defined as “A person who spreads a contagious disease more easily and widely than the average infected person.” 

Popular software application “Zoom” is now a dictionary.com resident as it is now defined on the website.   

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