Today it was announced that one hundred new words and expressions were being added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, including “infinity pool” (first found in an English-speaking publication in 1992), “kiteboarding” (1996), which is not a new form of torture but a water sport, and a personal favorite, “wing nut” (circa 1900), which is slang for a radical person.
But the word on the list that caught my eye was “pescatarian” (1993), defined as a vegetarian who will eat fish. A secondary definition would be a pesky dinner guest with irritating food preferences, like my cousin Jack, who occasionally drops by unexpectedly, usually at dinner time. On one such visit, he announced, just as I was slathering a little more marinade on the briskly grilling spare ribs, that he was a pescatarian. Luckily I had some edamame on hand (this is also a new M.-W. word this year, dating back to 1951) as well as some potato salad, which Jack ate with relish. (I mean, with “relish” defined as that green stuff you put on hot dogs, not “relish” defined as zeal.)
I think Mr. and Mrs. M.-W. have their work cut out for them, as people seem to be getting pickier about what they eat. For example, what are they going to call a person who only eats steak, like my electrician? A carnetarian? (Maybe you’d just call him a guy who needs Lipitor.) What if someone’s a vegetarian who eats chicken? A poultrararian? An ornotharian? (A bore?) What about my friend Lyn’s son who only eats white toast, or Annie’s dad who eats nothing but avocadoes and eggs? (Actually, I think he’s covered: think “wing nut.”)
We can all look forward to seeing what food preferences will be covered in next year’s new word list. Meanwhile, here’s a recipe for salmon, just in case Jack (or some other pesky pescatarian), drops by for dinner. It’s so incredibly easy, you can make it and still have time to go kiteboarding in your infinity pool.
Six pieces of salmon fillet
Tamari soy sauce
Put the fillets in a pan, skin side down. Schmear them with Tamari. Broil for fifteen minutes, until cooked through and crispy on top.
(If Jack is with you for dinner, serve with relish. Right, the green stuff.)