‘Petrichor’ Just Became One Of Hundreds Of New Words Added To Dictionary.com

first_imgDictionary.com announced that it added over three-hundred new words to its dictionary a few days ago, with the terms ranging in meaning from stochastic terrorism to 420. Alongside new words such as bitchface, sext, cat café, and man bun is the word petrichor, a delightful term for Phish fans as well as the general public, particularly those who have been antsy trying to figure out what to call the smell of rain.Dictionary.com defines petrichor as “a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.” It’s is a relatively new word, created in the 1960’s by Australian scientists who developed it to describe the scent of rain in the air, which we now know is caused by “an oil that’s released from the earth into the air before rain begins to fall.”  Dictionary.com does not take the job of adding new words to their dictionary lightly; rather, the online dictionary employs various methods of research to ensure each word they add is worthy of the honor. One way is to look at new words that are used regularly over a number of different text sources, which is how Black Lives Matters made the list. The dictionary also uses users search data to identify words that are frequently looked up but that do not lead to a dictionary entry. In the case of petrichor, the lexicographers at dictionary.com added the word because many people wrote in requesting its definition be added.So while Dictionary.com cites that petrichor was added to its dictionary primarily because of written requests by users, we like to believe that Phish’s “Petrichor” off Big Boat might have had something to do with it. The song opens with the lyrics, And the rain came down and washed it all away, so clearly Phish was in on the word’s definition before Dictionary.com was. Following this past year’s New Year’s gag, an extravagant rain-themed choreographed Broadway dance to “Petrichor” with simulated rain eventually turning to “raining cats and dogs,” we have an inkling suspicion that us phans helped petrichor earn its dictionary spot, either by looking it up or from it being mentioned frequently following New Year’s across the web.For those who need a refresher, you can check out pro-shot footage of Phish’s 2016 New Year’s Eve gag below, courtesy of the band.[Cover photo: Jeremy Scott]last_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *