Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

"Embiggen" is now in the dictionary, though "chazzwazzer" is still left out

Image: The Simpsons (Fox)

Ever since about 1996, grammatical sticklers are fought against the runaway freight train-esque popularity of “embiggen”—a perfectly cromulent word made famous by The Simpsons that was technically not a real word. Finally, though, Merriam-Webster has seen fit to add “embiggen” to its online dictionary, officially classifying it as an “informal” or “humorous” word meaning “to make bigger or more expansive.” The page doesn’t mention The Simpsons beyond noting that the word’s first known use was in 1996, but true nerds know that the word doesn’t come from embiggening images on a web page or whatever.

Sadly, “embiggen” seems to be one of the few—if not only—Simpsons words included in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. The site unfortunately doesn’t have pages for other useful terms like “craptacular,” “car hole,” “kwyjibo,” “steamed ham,” “chazzwazzer,” “Homer” (as in “to pull a Homer”), or even “cromulent.” The legitimization of “embiggen” is an important milestone for Simpsons fans, but we still have a long way to go.

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