NEWS
10/26/2018 14:54 EDT | Updated 10/26/2018 14:57 EDT

Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler Tool Shows You Words That Came Into Print The Year You Were Born

A fascinating look at slang, technology, pop-culture, and gender identity.

jammyphotouk via Getty Images

Aren't words wonderful?

We use them to tell tales, express our feelings, and record history.

But what happens when we look at the history of words — specifically, at what point certain words first appeared in the English lexicon?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary has introduced an online tool called Time Traveler that allows anyone to search words and phrases that first appeared in writing or print the year they were born.

It's a fascinating look at the evolution of the Internet, biomedicine, gender identity, ridiculous pop-culture references, and slang. It also gives us some surprising insights.

For instance, "text messaging" was first seen in print in 1982, one year before "cell phone." And the word "meh" didn't make a print appearance until 1992.

You weren't calling your closest friend your "bestie" until at least 1991, the same year that "gift card" and "soul patch" appeared.

Some of the entries will just make you feel old AF — "loonie" first came into our vernacular in 1987, and we've been talking about "baristas", "e-mail", and "turducken" since 1982.

For those born between 1981 and 2000, check out some of the words that first appeared in print the year you came into existence:

1981

Ableism, app, autocorrect, bashful bladder, fist pump, French manicure, ghetto blaster, high-definition, infomercial, phone sex, poutine, screen saver, snowboard, technobabble, warm fuzzies, weekend warrior, woo-hoo

1982

AIDS, alt-rock, barista, boy toy, break dancing, concealed carry, couch potato, cyberspace, designated driver, e-mail, face-plant, gaydar, G-spot, microbrewery, text messaging, turducken

1983

Bacterial vaginosis, brewpub, cell phone, dumpster diving, exfoliant, information superhighway, newb, onesie, ringtone, spell-check, stressed-out, yup

1984

Bi-curious, blush wine, date-rape, glass ceiling, horndog, phone tag, spin doctor, sriracha, sucky, wack, yuppify

1985

24-7, anime, attachment parenting, boy band, caller ID, ciabatta, clean tech, crack house, elephant in the room, N-word, sexual predator, step aerobics, Sucralose, Vietnamese potbellied pig

1986

Bungee jump, chat room, crackhead, cringe, deets, HIV, outercourse, portobello, shock jock, sippy cup, slimeball, SUV

1987

Acid-washed, beer goggles, emoticon, FAQ, GIF, loonie, macchiato, paintball, potty-mouthed, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, steampunk, technopreneur, virtual reality

1988

Boomerang child, brick-and-mortar, channel surfing, crop circle, emo, f-bomb, gangsta, JPEG, mad cow disease, mosh pit, road rage, unibrow

1989

Air quotes, beatdown, caffeinated, cyberporn, eco-friendly, gangsta rap, Generation X, helicopter parent, intersectionality, latte, nanobot, puggle, right-click, scrunchie, viral marketing

1990

Big-box, farro, geek out, hoodie, Internet service provider, left-click, McMansion, props, shout-out, spam, tighty-whities, World Wide Web

1991

3-D printer, bestie, brain freeze, carjacking, cybersex, gift card, heteronormative, mixtape, pescatarian, soul patch, time suck, voluntourism

More from HuffPost Canada:

1992

Arm candy, augmented reality, auto-complete, buzzkill, Frankenfood, home page, HTML, man cave, meh, photoshop, Taliban, URL, weak sauce, zip-tie

1993

Body camera, booty call, DVD, e-commerce, fashionista, game changer, microdermabrasion, robocall, webmaster, web page, website

1994

Alt-pop, Botox, cisgender, cyberterrorism, dot-com, metrosexual, MP3, pole dancing, roofie, spoiler alert, upcycle, webcam, welp, wifebeater

1995

Anti-globalization, anti-spam, cap-and-trade, click-through, date-rape drug, genderqueer, macaron, regift, USB, webcast, wiki

1996

Cloud computing, cyberattack, face-palm, fist bump, kiteboarding, phishing, senior moment, smartphone

1997

Amber Alert, auto-tune, emoji, freegan, friend with benefits, judge, smackdown, weblog

1998

Cyberbullying, flexitarian, micro green, open-source, social networking, webinar

1999

Bling, blog, blogger, blogosphere, carbon footprint, chillax, clickbait, snark, texting, vape

2000

Bokeh, crunk, geocaching, google, speed dating, sudoku, walk back

Born outside of 1981-2000? Check out the "Time Traveler" feature here, and the criteria it uses here.

Also on HuffPost Canada: