Merriam-Webster Adds ‘Chai Latte,’ ‘Double-Dip’ and ‘Dulce de Leche’ to 2019 Dictionary

Wait, chai latte wasn’t a thing before?
merriam webster
monticello / shutterstock

Merriam-Webster has added more than 640 new words to the 2019 dictionary, many of which describe food and drink. Previous years saw additions including “froyo,” “sriracha,” “marg,” “guac” and “zoodle.” The latest batch welcomes newcomers “chai latte,” “double-dip” and “dulce de leche.”

You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong

If you consider yourself a foodie (aren’t we all?), you probably already know what these words mean. A chai latte is spiced tea with steamed milk. To double-dip is to commit the faux pas of dunking your chip in a shared dipping sauce after you’ve already bitten it (a term popularized by the sitcom “Seinfeld”). Dulce de leche is sweet caramelized milk that’s often drizzled over sundaes or used to flavor ice cream, cake and other treats.

Other newly legitimized words and terms include “bay-rum tree,” a West Indian tree closely related to the allspice tree. It’s the source of aromatic oil used in bay rum. Then there’s “Benedict,” which all brunch enthusiasts should know, considering eggs Benedict is a deliciously runny poached egg gift from the gods.

eggs benedict

cookedphotos /

Eggs Benedict.

Bhut jolokia” is another name for the small, yet super-hot “ghost pepper,” a “cheesemonger” is a merchant who specializes in cheese, a “cow parsnip” is an herb in the carrot family, a “giant cow parsnip” is a larger variation of the regular version, a “go-cup” is a plastic or paper cup used to take beverages home from restaurants, “java” is synonymous with coffee and “mofongo” is a Puerto Rican dish featuring fried green plantains mashed with garlic, salt and olive oil paired with meat.


Pinot” refers to wine made from pinot grapes (like pinot grigio or pinot noir), an “Americano” is espresso diluted with hot water and “Campari” is the red aperitif on the shelf behind every bar. “Steak” can now be used for beef as well as thick slices of foods including cauliflower, portobello mushrooms or tofu. You can find some of these dishes on the menu at some of America’s best vegan restaurants.