Did you know the word 'vape' actually came into existence in 1999? Most people started hearing about it in 2016 when all the 'cool kids' brought it back.
Now with Merriam-Websters new 'Time Traveler' feature, you can go back in time to find out what words were added in which year. You can even scroll back to the year of your birth and find out what words were added then!
For example, the term 'cyber-cafe' was added in the same year that cyber-cafes came into existence: 1994. And with it, came accompanying terms like 'webcam' 'cyber-citizen' 'cyber-terrorism' 'spyware' and.. 'welp'!
Merriam-Webster itself has existed since 1828, and the new feature lets you know about when was a word first used in print? You can enter a date on the page to see the words first recorded in that year.
Netizens took advantage of this feature and started sharing words that were added in their birth year, and the results seemed funnier than you'd expect.
omfg my twitter birth year mirriam webster it is so appropriate tbh pic.twitter.com/sBS626JV2g — darth™ (@darth) October 25, 2018
Someone born in 2007 is old enough to tweet and read. Yikes — Brian Rodman (@briantweeet) October 25, 2018
I had wheel — pmw resister nyc ️ (@pmwnyc) October 25, 2018
Oh that’s a good one. I had utility token. Industrial revolution here i come! — pmw resister nyc ️ (@pmwnyc) October 25, 2018
alternative medicine, beer pong, blaxploitation, eco-conscious, feel-good, Ultimate Frisbee...oh yes, I was definitely born in the '70s. — Sabrina Corlette (@SabrinaCorlette) October 25, 2018
Hey , we’re um.. good with *squints then slides on glasses* .. "flow cytometry” — Novella. (Sí. Como la telenovela española) (@mzvxb) October 25, 2018
1951: 3-D, après-ski, audiophile, birth control pill, brass collar Democrat, cable television, carbon dating, cargo pants, church key, coffee break, double whammy, fast-food, flame out, genetic engineering, hash browns, Hotel, launching pad, magnetic disk, manga, Murphy's Law ... — Leroy Macduff (@odinbc) October 25, 2018
LSD! BLT! Antimatter! Bayesian! Zip gun! Tank top! Tape-record, sticky wicket, and space shuttle! I'll take it. — Ellis Weiner (@EllisWeiner) October 25, 2018
this explains so much pic.twitter.com/UPKTs3bc4Z — Mike Skellington (@Michael__Benson) October 25, 2018
Ah yes, I am the year of both “latte” and “cyberporn,” sounds right — Shane (@shaneferro) October 25, 2018
I find it hard to believe that no one wrote about poo before 1960! — squaremary (@squaremary) October 25, 2018
dumpster diving, lap dancing, seasonal affective disorder https://t.co/FNNeCSC1xN — Tejal Rao (@tejalrao) October 25, 2018
1981 – "buffalo wing" () and a metric ton of tech terms: ➡️ app ➡️ autocorrect ➡️ cable modem ➡️ disk image ➡️ dongle ➡️ graphical user interface ➡️ high definition ➡️ object-oriented programming ➡️ screen saver ➡️ spellchecker ➡️ submenu ➡️ sysop ➡️ technobabble ➡️ uninstall https://t.co/r9Uh5UILTO — T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) October 25, 2018
beta test, CD-ROM, cell phone, cyberpunk, high-def, information superhighway, mouse pad, point-and-click, preinstall, ringtone, screenshot, spell-check, toolbar. i was born into the future. https://t.co/q0SRIyw3ZW — zoe kazan (@zoeinthecities) October 25, 2018
pretty amazing cultural and medico-cultural retrospective: (“advance directive” first appeared in print the year i was born... plus “major depression,” “female genital mutilation” and “antiretroviral”) #hpm #medtwitter https://t.co/2dV2l57U3g — Lucy Kalanithi (@rocketgirlmd) October 25, 2018
Buzz cut Camp shirt Pig out They got me covered. https://t.co/OuSYOGMYFS — Clayton Hickman (@claytonhickman) October 25, 2018
The words that were put in the MW dictionary the year of my birth are strangely relevant to me pic.twitter.com/yXIqGFAxn8 — Kyle Steely (@modalexii) October 25, 2018
Male pattern baldness Meth Yeast infection https://t.co/B8B2mgVLeg — Thomas Schnauz (@TomSchnauz) October 25, 2018
Chat room, crack baby, craft beer, deets, HIV, junk email, McJob, megaplex, outercourse, ozone hole, shock jock, slimeball, SUV, wow I was born into an era of garbage https://t.co/cIiHln2FLE — Jessie Char (@jessiechar) October 25, 2018
“Drum machine.” “White Zinfandel.” “Pooper-scooper.” Coincidentally these are also the launch codes https://t.co/jMpMT0Vs8J — Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 25, 2018
And if you're confused about why the number of words added keeps decreasing in the more recent times, Webster has an answer for you.
There are very few new words in the past 5 or so years compared to the '80s and '90s. Did the rules for inclusion change? — Brandon Hardin (@bhhardin) October 25, 2018
It's more indicative of how long it takes for words to meet the inclusion criteria. A decade or two from now, those years will likely be filled out a lot more. — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 25, 2018
You can access the web page directly here, and find out what words were added the year you were born.