Do you have a career or a McJob?

Dictionary adds new term for dead-end, low-paying job
||Last Updated: 11/20/2003


he Merriam-Webster dictionary has a new word to describe a low-paying, dead-end occupation: McJob.

The 11th edition of

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

defines a “McJob” as “a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement.”

Fast-food giant McDonald’s is not impressed with the definition. Jim Cantalupo called it a “slap in the face” to the 12 million people who work in the restaurant industry in the U.S. and wants Merriam-Webster to put something more flattering in the dictionary.

But the publisher of the dictionary is standing by the McJob definition. It said the term has been in use for more than 17 years with that definition in a variety of publications, including the

New York Times


Rolling Stone


“Words qualify for inclusion in the dictionary because they are widely and commonly used in a broad range of carefully edited sources,” Arthur Bicknell of Merriam-Webster told the

Associated Press.


Oxford English Dictionary

also contains a similar definition of McJob. Its definition cites a 1986

Washington Post

article, which states a McJob is “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector."

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