The catch phrase, made famous by Oprah Winfrey an “aha moment” has been added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. The phrase is to signify a sudden shot of clarity.
It is one of 100 new words or phrases added to the publication for its annual update. The first reference of “aha moment” dates to 1939 in a book of psychology. Its use was sporadic until the ’90s, when Winfrey began using it on her daytime talk show.
In 2009, Oprah and Mutual of Omaha had a legal battle over Mutual of Omaha’s use of the phrase. Oprah claimed the aha moment was her catchphrase and she had the rights to it. The case was settled out of court in 2009.
Other terms added this year: F-bomb, earworms (songs you can’t get out of your head) and flexitarian (one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish), craft beer, e-reader, game changer, a new definition for “gassed” as slang for drained of energy, gastropub, geocaching, shovel-ready (a construction site ready for work) and tipping point.