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Notable new words coined the year you were born

  • 1990: Lithium-ion battery, McMansion

    Other notable words: chyron, geek out, hoodie, malware, shout-out, tighty-whities

    Coined in the 1980s and added to the dictionary in 1990, McMansion caught on in the late 1990s to describe the phenomenon of home-size growth to an average of more than 2,000 square feet in 1990. Large-scale manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries began in the early 1990s for phones, laptops and other devices.

  • 1991: Chemo brain, SIM card

    Other notable words: bestie, carjacking, crowd-surf, gift card, pescatarian, residential college

    Research on chemo brain, or cognitive changes with chemotherapy, didn't appear until the 1990s. A German company made the first SIM cards, which stands for subscriber identity module, and sold the first batch in 1991.

  • 1992: Buzzkill, pdf

    Other notable words: hypertext transfer protocol, infinity pool, man cave, photoshop, smack talk, zip tie

    Being negative in a positive situation became known as buzzkill in 1992. First announced at a computer expo trade show, the first version of a pdf, formerly known as Camelot, appeared in 1992.

  • 1993: Booty call, fashionista

    Other notable words: digital video disc, e-commerce, microdermabrasion, robocall, web page, universal resource locator

    Attributed to an album released by Dazzey Duks in 1993, booty call first referenced an unflattering sexual relationship. Stephen Fried coined the word ‘fashionista’ in his 1993 book, "Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia."

  • 1994: Botox, Universal Serial Bus

    Other notable words: cybercafé, dot-com, phytoplasma, pole dancing, spoiler alert, spyware

    By 1994, 17 million patients had been treated with Botox. The first Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology began development this year.

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  • 1995: Anglosphere, webcast

    Other notable words: cap-and-trade, instant messaging, refinance, shovel-ready, subprime, regift

    Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson coined the term "anglosphere" in his 1995 book, "The Diamond Age." The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was one of the first events to be webcast live.

  • 1996: Gastropub, smartphone

    Other notable words: cloud computing, cyberattack, face-palm, fist bump, phishing, pick-six,

    The first reference to gastropubs came in Great Britain in a 1996Evening Standard” headline. Nokia and Hewlett-Packard developed some of the first smartphones in 1996.

  • 1997: Amber Alert, budtender

    Other notable words: emoji, friend with benefits, judgy, m-commerce, smackdown, weblog

    Named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old murdered in Texas in 1996, Amber Alerts are now distributed via most versions of electronic communication. First used in 1997, a budtender oversees the sale of legal cannabis.

  • 1998: Arctic oscillation, webinar

    Other notable words: cyberbullying, dark energy, DVR, open source, pikeminnow, social networking

    Discussed in a 1998 paper by David W.J. Thompson and John M. Wallace, arctic oscillation dealt with wintertime high-pressure systems. Eric Korb registered the term webinar in 1998 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  • 1999: Blog, clickbait

    Other notable words: carbon footprint, chillax, dashcam, metabolomics, snark, vape

    Coined in 1998, weblog was shortened to blog, renamed by programmer Peter Merholz in 1999. Clickbait, first used in 1999, became part of the new digital vocabulary.

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