‘Catfishes’ Fake Their Identities, But They’re Really in the Dictionary

by Chelsey Kupferman, Viacom

Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, "Catfish: The TV Show"  Season One

Catfish: The TV Show is the critically acclaimed docu-series known for catapulting the term “catfishing” into everyday conversation. Now to further cement the phenomenon and term into popular vernacular, Merriam-Webster, America’s best known keeper of words has officially added “catfish” to the dictionary.

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, “catfish” was coined to describe the act of meeting someone online, who is not who they say they are. Catfishes can fake name, gender, sexuality, appearance, socioeconomic status and much more. Here’s its “official” meaning, as defined by Merriam-Webster:

catfish (n., new sense): a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes

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