When the Oxford English Dictionary announced the release of this year's edition of its authoritative compilation of the language, Carl Franzen at AOL News noticed that there was a conspicuously large number of new, slangy words being added to the vernacular by the venerable dictionary's editors. Words that would commonly be found in, say, Aaron Peckham's widely-read Urban Dictionary, an online collection of 21st century words and terms like "beer me" and "Cubicle Coma." In a side-to-side comparison, Franzen finds that the two dictionaries aren't as different as they appear on first glance. Here are a few choice comparisons from his list:
Oxford: n. informal a close but nonsexual relationship between two men. – ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of brother and romance.
Urban: Describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.
Oxford: n. a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing: a man hater | he's not a hater of modern music. informal a negative or critical person: she found it difficult to cope with the haters.
Urban: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesnt really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock somelse [sic] down a notch.
Oxford: n. a permit that allows a country or organization to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions and that can be traded if the full allowance is not used.
Urban: A SCHEME by the rich to continue their polluting guilt free, while the poor will have to make sacrifices for the environment so the rich can continue to pollute.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.