A Fake ‘Simpsons’ Word Has Embiggened the Real Dictionary
As often as The Simpsons predicts reality, America’s favorite family can sometimes make their own. Such is the case with a perfectly cromulent new addition to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, dating all the way back to a 1996 Simpsons episode.
Merriam-Webster announced a grand-total of 850 new words and phrases it would officially recognize, adding that each had “taken its own path in its own time to become part of our language.” Among the new entries is the word “embiggen,” which Simpsons fans may recognize from the motto of Jebediah Springfield, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” Merriam-Webster acknowledged the reference, but went for a more literal visual aid with a GIF of the size-changing Ms. Marvel:
All the same, The Simpsons most memorably used “embiggen” in Season 7’s “Lisa the Iconoclast,” as teachers Ms. Krabappel and Hoover questioned its usage in a film about Jebediah Springfield. Perhaps more memorably, Hoover replies “It’s a perfectly cromulent word,” though Merriam-Webster has yet to officially recognize “cromulent.” It was right there, guys.
The Simpsons has contributed a variety of words and phrases to pop culture over the years, including “meh,” “craptacular” and more, but making the actual dictionary remains quite a feat. More and more it seems like a Simpsons world, and we’re just living in it.
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