“What’s the deal with your go to chill while being covid?” : the new words of the “Petit Robert”

The famous dictionary welcomes a slew of new terms that tell the era in their own way.

As surely as the leaves of the chestnut tree fall in autumn, the Little Robert sees his welcome new terms in the same season. So many words which are legitimized by the anointing of the dictionary and which, each year, recount the era in their own way. What does the 2023 vintage teach us? Unsurprisingly, digital is increasingly infiltrating our lives. So here comes the “cyberespionage” in the dictionary, which we did not wait for the outbreak of the war in Ukraine to use, but also the “instagrammer” or the “NFT”, from the English “Non Fungible Token”, of which the Robert indicates that it is a “cryptographic certificate associated with a digital object (image, video, music, etc.) whose authenticity and traceability are guaranteed by the blockchain”. Failing to understand all the implications, here is at least a definition.

Slang spoken in Ivory Coast

Still in the cyber department, here comes the “grazer”, which has nothing to do with sheep but designates a scammer on the Internet, of those who explain to you by email that they have received a heavy inheritance but that they need your credit card number to access it. The World Africa notes that it is an expression of African origin, popularized in particular by the Ivorian series Brouter.com, broadcast for several years on TV5 Monde. And that this is not the only contribution of the African continent to the pages of the Robert. Two decades after entering popular language, the “go”, “young girl” in the Nouchi language, a slang spoken in the Ivory Coast, now has the right of citizenship in the dictionary. Example : “I have no go and my go has no guy”, as the Gambi rapper. From Africa also comes the “babtou”, which is only the verlan of the “toubab” entered in 2014 in the Robert and which designates a “white”, and its well-known pejorative declension: the “fragile babtou”.

By willingly integrating words from the street, the Robert remain true to the spirit ofAlain Rey, his lexicographer disappeared two years ago. This friend of the living language of youth and working classes would surely have welcomed the integration of “bails”: “business, ill-defined project”, which we find in the famous expression “what are the bails?”. The dictionary also welcomes “chiller”, from the English verb to chilldefined as “have a good time doing nothing” or “embarrassment”: “feeling of embarrassment, of uneasiness experienced in an embarrassing situation”, whose great difference from “embarrassment” is not really perceived.

Social topics

And then there are these words which we would have done well without but which the news imposes. This is the case with the adjective “covid”: “who has Covid”, which this year joins the “Covid long” and “swab” that appeared in the 2022 vintage. But also this word which, unfortunately, is predicted to have a much longer lifespan: “eco-anxiety”, this term which refers to anxiety about climate change. A few social issues, finally, with “glottophobia”this “discrimination based on certain linguistic traits, in particular accents” or even the verb “to degender”, which the Robert defined as the action ofe “eliminate any distinction based on gender to promote diversity and equality”. And “wokism”, this “current of thought of American origin which denounces injustice and discrimination; movement, woke thought» brandished at all costs by right-wing polemicists.

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“What’s the deal with your go to chill while being covid?” : the new words of the “Petit Robert”

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