Home News Merriam-Webster Adds ‘Goetta’ to Its Dictionary, Making Hungry Cincinnatians Very Happy, in...

Merriam-Webster Adds ‘Goetta’ to Its Dictionary, Making Hungry Cincinnatians Very Happy, in Cincinnati News


Goetta is officially in the dictionary. Long may it reign.Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Here at CityBeat, we chew up words and then spit them out at you to read. Based on some of Merriam-Webster‘s newest dictionary entries, it seems we’re in good company.

As one of the largest dictionaries in the world, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary periodically adds words to its considerable archives, updating as definitions change or something becomes part of the zeitgeist. In its recently announced October updates, Merriam-Webster has added a term that Cincinnati is all too familiar with: “Goetta.”

The German dish appears on menus all around Greater Cincinnati, is a fixture during Oktoberfest events and even has its own festival, so locals can rejoice that the keeper of American-English language finally has deemed Goetta — with a capital G — to be archive-worthy.

Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines Goetta:

Goetta : meat (such as pork) mixed with oats, onions, and spices and fried in the form of a patty.

And here is the history and etymology of the term:

borrowed from a western Low German word, as Westphalian (west Münsterland) Götte, Gotte “groats, hulled grain with part of the bran removed, hulled oats,” going back to Middle Low German görte, metathesized form of grütte “groats,” going back to Germanic *grutjō-

In a blog post, Merriam-Webster says that it added 455 words and phrases in October. Many reflect the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, such as “long COVID” and “super-spreader,” while others showcase our obsession with online culture and politics, such as “whataboutism” and “FTW” (for the win). Hell, MW has even added “dad bod.”

Goetta isn’t the dictionary’s only new food term; Merriam-Webster also added “fluffernutter,” “horchata,” “chicharron,” “air fryer” and “ghost kitchen.”

See all of Merriam-Webster‘s new words for October.

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