The English language is constantly changing. New products are invented, new situations arise, and new ways come about that people interact with their world. The English language morphs to accommodate these new situations. However, not every new word is included into the Merriam-Webster or Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, very few words are actually added to these dictionaries each year out of the thousands of new words that are invented. This is because dictionaries are widely used and all-encompassing. Words that are included must be so prevalent in the language—and the culture—that most people recognize and use them.  

Because of this, words that are added to the dictionary each year are very indicative of the recent history and cultural changes. Below I have listed financial words that have been included since the Recession. These new entries can be found in the newest version of either the Merriam-Webster Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary.

  1. staycation, n.: a vacation spent at home or nearby
  2. couch surfing, n.: the practice of spending the night on other people’s couches in lieu of permanent housing.
  3. state-run, adj.: operated or managed by the government of a country
  4. toxic debt, n.: debt which has a high risk of default
  5. deleveraging, n.: the process or practice of reducing the level of one’s debt by rapidly selling one’s assets
  6. overleveraged, adj.: (of a company) having taken on too much debt
  7. quantitative easing, n.: the introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank
  8. exit strategy, n.: a pre-planned means of extricating oneself from a situation

Many of the new words include topics we’ve covered:

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Comments to 8 New Financial Words Added to the Dictionary Since the Recession

  1. How interesting! I was wondering about the word staycation the other day and how much we have been hearing it with summer approaching. Good to know it is an official word now!


  2. What a fun and interesting post. Most of the words are bad news like “state run” and “overleveraged. I have a feeling we are going to wish we never heard of the disasterous policy “quantitative easing”.

    Ken Faulkenberry

  3. Just curious if we’ll be using those words in 50 years.


  4. Seems like these words have been around for a longer time than the current recession.

    John kopchik

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