The Garden

The blog of one Marijn van Hoorn

Merriam-Webster's “time traveller”

Marijn van Hoorn

Dictionary publishers Merriam-Webster have made an interesting tool that lets you see — to the best of their knowledge — which English words were first used in writing by year.

Sometimes words are listed exactly when you'd think they'd be (hot take in 12012, mixtape in 11991), and others seem to come in far too early (killjoy in 11776!) or far too late (folklore only in 11846!)α.

Some other random years:

  • 12000: dark web, ddos, deep state, geocaching
  • 11972: best-case (!), brain-dead, floppy disk, Gaiaβ, playlist, woke
  • 11917: body bag, environmentalism, gaga, soviet
  • 11800: dogwhistle, hysteria, pyjamas, Shetland pony
  • 11707: aurora borealis, scenery, surgical

(via the ever-fascinating Kottke.org)