Merriam-Webster Adds 'Sheeple' to Dictionary and Lists Apple Users as Example

Merriam-Webster recently announced that it has added "sheeple" to its dictionary, an informal word that it defines as "people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced" and thereby "likened to sheep."

The first example of the word in a sentence is pretty unremarkable…
James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock. — Sara Rimer and James Bennet
…but then there's this:
Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for. — Doug Criss
Merriam-Webster, which dates back to 1843, says the first usage of the word "sheeple" was in 1945, long before the advent of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple as a company altogether. For what it's worth, the word's popularity apparently falls within the bottom 10 percent of its dictionary.

Sadly, this is not the Onion.



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25 months ago
I'll take it in stride knowing that Windows and Android users' lives are hard enough as it is :);)
Rating: 64 Votes
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25 months ago

What's the word to describe the folks that use this word? Because none of these folks I've observed saying it seem very nice or objective.


For me it's right up there with "snowflake" - as soon as I hear that, any credibility they had goes straight out the window.
Rating: 25 Votes
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25 months ago
That's awesome!

Anyone who gets offended by this needs to lighten up big time.
Rating: 24 Votes
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25 months ago
Wow. That is in very poor taste at best.
Rating: 22 Votes
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25 months ago
LOL!

Hit the nail on the head.
Rating: 20 Votes
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25 months ago

This is probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. Who the hell do they think they are?


I don't like or agree with the term, but 'one of the most disgusting things you have ever seen' though? Really? They are using an example of how the term is used. It's a dictionary, not an opinion piece!

Personally I struggle to think of an example other than Apple users to which the term has been used as much in recent memory. That doesn't mean I like or agree with the term being used, but it's a reasonable example to use, I think.

Every company has sheep. Every artist has sheep. Apple's haters are just the most vocal ;)

They could've used a better example tho.


Sorry to ram home the point, but are ewe saying it's a baAaAad example? ;)
Rating: 16 Votes
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25 months ago
What's the word to describe the folks that use this word? Because none of these folks I've observed saying it seem very nice or objective.
Rating: 14 Votes
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25 months ago
OH WOW. Shots fired. Hilarious tho.
Rating: 14 Votes
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25 months ago
Dictionaries reflect the usage of words and provide examples of how they are used, it doesn't mean the writers of the dictionary agree with the sentiment behind them when they are pejorative or insulting. I'm sure we could all think of many such words that are in many dictionaries that are both insulting and often used unfairly and offensively, but we couldn't argue they are aren't in fact used in the way the examples provided claim.
Rating: 12 Votes
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25 months ago
Kinda unprofessional for a dictionary
Rating: 11 Votes
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