It’s often said that William Shakespeare created over 1700 words. But it appears that Jebediah Springfield from The Simpsons is one step closer to reaching Shakespeare’s mark.
Merriam-Webster dictionary announced that it is adding the word “embiggen” to their list of words. The official definition for “embiggen” is to “make bigger or more expansive.”
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) March 5, 2018
Embiggen was first used in the 1996 episode “Lisa the Iconoclast” on The Simpsons. “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man,” is the Springfield town motto, and Lisa investigates the word. When Mrs. Krabappel says she’d never heard the word “embiggen” before moving to Springfield, Miss Hoover replies, “I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.” Embiggen was apparently the creation of Simpsons writer Dan Greaney.
— Oren ➰ (@OrenCJenkins) March 5, 2018
The word has actually taken on a new meaning in recent years, as writers for the Ms. Marvel comic book character have classified one of the hero’s powers as being able to “embiggen” herself. So Marvel fans also have reason to celebrate.
Perhaps in 500 years kids will study The Simpsons the same way we study Shakespeare.