What's a 'zaddy'? Dictionary.com has added its definition

·2 min read
Dictionary.com has added
Dictionary.com has added "zaddy" — personified by actor Christopher Meloni — to its entries. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Trying to keep your zaddies straight from your silver foxes and straight-up snacks? Don't know what any of this means? Dictionary.com is here to help.

With its latest round of revisions — which last year included updated entries related to race, LGBTQ identity and mental health concerns — the online vocabulary resource is adding several new slang terms, from asshat ("a foolish, annoying, or contemptible person; asshole") to shitshow ("a person or thing that is a total mess, failure or disaster").

Ready to brush up on your babe lingo? Consider snack — "a sexy and physically attractive person; hottie" — or, for a more mature, typically male-presenting crush, zaddy, "an attractive man who is also stylish, charming and self-confident." Exhibit A: Law & Order: Organized Crime star Christopher Meloni, who recently posed in a crop for Interview magazine while musing on his own zaddy-ness: "I've been called that a lot, and who am I to argue with it? Sure, I'm a zaddy."

That's not to be confused with a silver fox, whom Dictionary.com now describes as "an attractive older person with gray or silver hair, especially a man." Think George Clooney, or Richard Gere. 

Should you score a date with any of these characters, you might let out a yeet, or "an exclamation of enthusiasm, approval, triumph, pleasure, joy, etc." Rejected? Oof — "an exclamation used to sympathize with someone else’s pain or dismay, or to express one’s own" — would be the operative word. 

While modern slang comprise many of the entries, the new updates also include new entires and revised definitions for terms related to technology (5G, deplatforming); COVID-19 (long-hauler) and culture (DEI, cultural appropriation). 

“The latest update to our dictionary continues to mirror the world around us,” John Kelly, managing editor of Dictionary.com, says in a statement. “Our addition of long COVID, for instance, shows the long-lasting impact of the pandemic; our addition of DEI and minoritize reveals our ongoing grappling with racism and racial justice. 5G, content warning, domestic terrorism — it’s a complicated and challenging society we live in, and language changes to help us grapple with it."

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