‘Nepo Baby’ Among 500 New Words Added to the Dictionary

“Nepo baby” ain’t going away anytime soon.

The controversial term for a successful celebrity with at least one famous parent has been added to the dictionary (officially, its definition is “a celebrity with a parent who is also famous, especially one whose industry connections are perceived as essential to their success”). The term was popularized by a New York cover story last December, and has since resulted in a fair amount of debate. Just this week, actress Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan, said was asked about the term while promoting their new movie Wildcat, “I had moments of insecurity about it while we were shooting the movie. But the internet doesn’t have a lot of nuances. My dad has been a massive teacher for me, and we want to work together.”

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While Lily-Rose Depp has suggested the label is sexist, saying, “I just hear it a lot more about women, and I don’t think that it’s a coincidence,” and self-declared “OG Nepo Baby” Jamie Lee Curtis has said, “The current conversation about nepo babies is just designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt” (but then later embraced the term).

“Nepo Baby” was one of 500 new entries added to Dictionary.com for the fall of 2023. Some were familiar and technological, such as “generative AI,” “chatbot” and “algo.”

Some terms were from the sex and gender space, such as polysexual (adj. noting or relating to a person who is sexually attracted to people of various genders, but not necessarily to people of all genders) and autosexual (adj. noting or relating to a person who primarily feels sexual attraction to and desire for themselves).

Others are from the area of health and wellness, like biohacking (n. strategic biological experimentation, especially upon oneself), decision fatigue (n. mental and emotional exhaustion resulting from excessive or relentless decision-making) and intermittent fasting (n. making yourself miserable for extended periods of time — OK, kidding, but not really).

There were also a couple weird ones, such as shower orange (n. an orange that is peeled and eaten under a steamy shower, the purported benefit being that the steam enhances the orange’s citrusy fragrance and creates a soothing experience for the person who is showering).

Other notably entries include the rather handy blursday (n. a day not easily distinguished from other days, or the phenomenon of days running together), pessimize (v. the opposite of optimize; to make less good, efficient, fast, functional), sonder (n. the feeling one has on realizing that every other individual one sees has a life as full and real as one’s own, in which they are the central character and others, including oneself, have secondary or insignificant roles), and agelast (n. a person who never laughs — for example, some have said Donald Trump is a real-world example).

Anyway, hopefully this story has cheered your blursday and distracted you from your workplace decision fatigue and made you less of an agelast, and, if not, perhaps you should indulge in a refreshing shower orange.

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