‘Pinkwashing’ and ‘queerbaiting’ among new LGBTQ+ words added to dictionary

An open dictionary of LGBTQ+ terms and their meanings with a Pride rainbow shining from the pages

Words such as pinkwashing, queerbaiting and abrosexual are among 313 entries added to dictionary.com in its winter 2023 update.

The online dictionary released the update on Tuesday (28 February), adding the entries as well as revising more than a thousand definitions of existing words. 

Among entire categories covering “identity” and “sex, gender and relationships” were the words, abrosexual (meaning sexual fluidity), multisexual, and folx (a variation of “folks”). 

The latest update follows the introduction of aromantic and demisexual in 2022.

Perhaps the most-used new entry for the LGBTQ+ community is the term queerbaiting, which usually relates to a movie or TV show teasing queer content while not actually delivering – in other words, baiting its queer audience.

Use of term has been criticised in recent months, with some suggesting that celebrities who are not open about their sexuality are “queerbaiting” fans. Heartstopper actor Kit Connor said he felt forced to come out as bisexual in 2022 due to accusations of queerbaiting.

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And of course, some people have raged against these new additions, calling the dictionary update “brainwashing” and “woke”.

The term “woke”, which has been used for years to describe people who are socially conscious and aware of unfairness – particularly politically – has also been given an update, this time to include the way it is used disparagingly against the left-wing.

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Dictionary.com added that the definition was updated because the word’s negative usage “in many contexts has overtaken the positive sense”. 

Along with several important and inclusive LGBTQ+ terms to enter the dictionary this year, a few sillier entries made the cut, including petfluencer” (an online influencer famous for their pet), and “cakeage” (a play on “corkage”, to describe a restaurant that charges a fee to serve cake brought in from outside). 

Other new additions include rage farming, trauma dumping, Latine, nearlywed, talmbout, self-coup, and many more.

“Language is changing no matter what. We can’t stop that natural, organic evolution of words,” John Kelly, the senior director of editorial at dictionary.com, told Mashable.

He added that the new terms “are simply reflecting how culture is changing”. 

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