By Leah Asmelash, CNN

Adding a word to the dictionary has long been a sign of mainstream legitimacy. And in the latest batch added to, the online dictionary has included multiple African American Vernacular English words such as “finna” and “chile,” among other words and phrases related to race and identity.

The latest update includes 450 brand-new entries, 7,600 updated entries, and 94 new definitions on existing entries — with a focus on race and identity, and Covid-19’s effect on culture.

As society continues to reckon with racism, language is affected, said John Kelly, managing editor at, in a statement on Thursday.

“We have added such terms as BIPOCCritical Race Theory, and overpolice, which have risen to the top of the national discourse on social justice,” Kelly said. “Another significant decision was to remove the noun slave when referring to people, instead using the adjective enslaved or referring to the institution of slavery. This is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we represent people on with due dignity and humanity.”




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