This word from 'The Simpsons' is now in the Merriam-Webster dictionary

Jebediah Springfield lives on

This word from 'The Simpsons' is now in the Merriam-Webster dictionary
Stars Insider

07/03/18 | StarsInsider

TV The Simpsons

The Merriam-Webster dictionary added 850 new words to the index, one of which was made-up on 'The Simpsons.' The word is "embiggens" and means to make bigger or more expansive.

In the episode 'Lisa the Iconoclast,' the students of the town are playing a video that details the story of the town's founder, Jebediah Springfield. In the film, Springfield says a phrase that is later immortalized on the town's statue of him: "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."

When the children are shown this video, they all applaud and cheer, while their teacher Edna Krabappel says, "Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield." To which a fellow teacher, Miss Hoover responds, "I don't know why it's a perfectly cromulent word."

While the dictionary does not mention 'The Simpsons' or Jebediah Springfield by name, in the official listing, the dictionary notes first usage of the word was in 1996, which is when "Lisa the Iconoclast" aired.

There you have it, Merriam-Webster decided to embiggen the dictionary with this cartoon-inspired word.


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