'Sexting' among new words in dictionary

New York - Popular phrases such as "man cave", "bucket list" and "game changer" are among the new entries in the 2012 update of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, according to a list released by the company on Tuesday.

"Sexting" - the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone - and "f-bomb" - the printable euphemism for a four-letter curse word - also made the list.

Merriam-Webster said the list offers a revealing look at US culture and the colourful language English speakers adopt to describe it.

The term "underwater" reflects the familiar struggles of homeowners who owe more on their mortgage loan than their properties are worth, while the lighter "aha moment" gives a nod to media mogul Oprah Winfrey's signature phrase describing a flash of sudden realisation.

"Some of the new words this year provide colourful images," Merriam-Webster Editor at Large Peter Sokolowski said in a statement. "They show that English-speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them."

A sampling of the new words announced on Tuesday includes:

1. aha moment

2. bucket list

3. cloud computing

4. copernicium

5. earworm

6. energy drink

7. f-bomb

8. game changer

9. gassed

10. gastropub

11. man cave

12. mash-up

13. sexting

14. systemic risk

15. underwater

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