Merriam-Webster started September on a strong note with more than 840 new words, which is pretty drastic in comparison to the dictionary’s mere 250 word addition this time last year. That’s when “froyo,” “sriracha,” “California roll,” “bibimbap,” “word salad,” “choux pastry,” “Saigon cinnamon,” and “cross contamination” were legitimized.
The newest batch of food-related terms features abbreviations for avocado (avo), guacamole (guac), zucchini (zuke), and margarita (marg). Boozehounds can get excited about “hophead,” too. Apparently this was first a slang term for a drug addict, but it now means “a beer enthusiast,” who would likely be excited about a “flight,” or selection of alcoholic drinks such as wines, beers, or whiskeys for tasting!
Some mash-ups also made the cut, including zoodle (zucchini plus noodle), mocktail (mock plus cocktail), and hangry (hungry plus angry). “Food bank,” a nonprofit organization that collects donated food for people in need, is also now officially recognized by Merriam-Webster. So is “iftar,” the meal taken by Muslims at sundown to break the daily fast during Ramadan; “gochujang,” a Korean chili paste; “mise en place,” the French term used in restaurants for the positioning of ingredients in the kitchen before cooking; “red bush tea,” or rooibos; “cocquito,” a Puerto Rican Christmastime drink made with rum, milk, coconut, and spices; “quaffable,” which means easy and enjoyable to drink; “dragon fruit,” or pitaya; and “wagyu,” Japanese cattle valued for their marbled meat.
Do you know how to pronounce wagyu? Many people say “wag-goo,” but it’s actually “wag-you.” How embarrassing! Don’t get red in the face next time you come across a complex item on the menu. Stay sharp with these 30 food words you’re probably pronouncing wrong.