Before the apparent word “embiggen” made its way into Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary this week, it was featured on “The Simpsons” — where the word was seemingly created 22 years ago.
Embiggen, a transitive verb, means to make something bigger or more expansive.
The word made its first appearance in 1996, according to Merriam-Webster. A “Simpsons” episode that premiered in February of that year, titled “Lisa the Iconoclast,” featured a scene in which a man announces the iconic town of Springfield’s new motto.
“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man,” the character said. “Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield,” another character added.
The word — to be used in an “informal” and “humorous” way, according to the dictionary is just one of 850 words Webster added to its signature book this year.