You may be “unbothered” by the rash of new words sweeping America, but just keeping up with the meaning, let alone the etymology, of words like boolin, baeless and on fleek is exhausting. Amirite or what? Quartz explains why it’s happening so fast:
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Words spread like weeds—seemingly at random but actually governed by invisible forces. Look away for too long, and suddenly new ones are emerging from who knows where.
The uncertain and gradual growth of words makes it nearly impossible to pinpoint where they started or how they caught on. But that is starting to change, as linguists draw on a wealth of data about word usage from social media services like Twitter.
Jack Grieve, a forensic linguist at Aston University in Birmingham, England, has been examining a dataset of nearly 9 billion tweeted words to identify the new American vocabulary. In a forthcoming study, he looked for words that were rarely used on Twitter in late 2013 but became common throughout 2014.