In addition to elevating “surreal” in 2016 to word of the year, the dictionary company on Tuesday added about 1,000 new words and new definitions to existing listings on its website, Merriam-webster.com. Among 17 of the latest disclosed by the company are: “arancini,” those stuffed, breaded and fried Italian rice balls, “conlang,” meaning an invented language like Klingon, “microaggression,” a flash-point favorite on some college campuses, and … “fast fashion.”
This is the first time the company has freshened up website listings since 2014, when it added entries to a new paper edition of its collegiate book and online at the same time. “Some of these we’ve been watching for many years and some of these are very new words,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large.
According to the dictionary, fast fashion is an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. For many shoppers, Primark has an irresistible offer: trendy clothes at astonishingly low prices. The result is a new and even faster kind of fast fashion, which encourages consumers to buy heaps of items, discard them after a few wears and then come back for another batch of new outfits.
As noted by the Associated Press, it’s that thing when manufacturers can quickly bring fashion to market at relatively inexpensive prices, such as the wares sold by H&M, Zara, Topshop and others. Fashion designers have embraced the idea of moving looks quickly into stores straight from runways, as opposed to showing collections ahead of their designated seasons.
The sleuths at Merriam-Webster, which is based in Springfield, Massachusetts, found a reference as early as 1977, in a Pittsburgh newspaper referring to a line of moderately priced shoes for women.