Papa Johns Is Begging For Shaqflation To Be In The Dictionary

It's been a big year for inflation. According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, was still hovering around 8% in September, where it's been since February. While inflation peaked at 9.1% in June, it's still no laughing matter (per The Economics Daily). In fact, inflation has been so much on people's minds this year that it's influenced the words inducted into the dictionary (via Fortune).

The year's new words always reflect where we're at culturally, like when "bootylicious" was inducted into Merriam-Webster in the early 2000s, shortly after the Destiny's Child hit of the same name and in a time when the word had become commonplace (via Seventeen). This year, we're not celebrating dorsal beauty, we're counting our dollars, or wondering where they went. This year's inductees include econ terms like "supply chain" and "shrinkflation," as well as everyday wallet-watching terms like "side hustle." And Papa John's has one more for the books, but this one has a slightly more positive spin.

Shaqflation: less of a bummer than shrinkflation

Papa John's has another suggestion for the 370 official 2022 inductees into Merriam-Webster. According to Merriam-Webster, shrinkflation means "the practice of reducing a product's amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price." Papa John's Shaqflation is basically the opposite. In a tweet, the company defined the new word as a noun, meaning "While others are giving you less, Papa John's is giving you more cheese and more pepperoni."

Understandably, you're probably wondering if this new word intentionally references the Shaquille O'Neal, and if so, what's the deal with Papa John's and Shaq? Why do things like Shaq-a-roni pizza exist? You may be surprised to learn that the four-time NBA champion is actually a member of Papa John's Board of Directors (per Papa John's). In fact, the NBA Hall of Famer is also a restaurateur behind nine Atlanta-area Papa John's locations, so if you pop into a Papa John's in the ATL, there's a good chance you might actually just be buying your pizza from Shaq.