We got pretty excited about the new words added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary recently, so it's only fair that we muster the same enthusiasm for the terms Oxford has unveiled in their quarterly update of new words and meanings. These new words are ... interesting. Note that Oxford Dictionaries are, like the Oxford English Dictionary ("the definitive record of the English language"), part of the Oxford University Press, but Oxford Dictionaries Online is the "fun," or "modern" branch of the venerable institution. In June, by comparison, the OED introduced a bunch of new word entries that are a bit more serious than what's below. Apatosaurus, not brahs.
Whether you like these new words or not, however, according to the Oxford Dictionaries blog, you can't "vote them off the island" (are we still doing that?) because, they explain, "here at Oxford Dictionaries we use language research to describe, rather than prescribe, language usage." Essentially, they're saying, you made these words happen. They're just reporting what they see.
So, what are they? Here are the sentences they provide to kick things off:
Let’s set the scene. Your OH has left his brahs and decided it’s date night, and although he isn’t exactly ripped he’s made an effort with his new soul patch (lolz!) and he makes a hella delicious dirty martini.
Actually, yes, it does. They explain that they've gleaned the words on the list from contemporary culture (hot yoga, hosepipe ban, and e-cigarette), technology and social media (ethical hacker, tweeps, video chat, lifecasting, and hat tip), and, apparently, from the broader world of surfers and bros and James Bond and people with soul patches in 2012.
In comparison, the words added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate edition—bucket list, f-bomb, gastropub, sexting, and earworm—sound positively old-fashioned, stuff your Internet-savvy grandma might say.
More from the ridic, lolz-y list, as provided on the Oxford Dictionaries blog:
vote someone/thing off the island
Say what you will, the Oxford Dictionary peeps are fully prepared for these new words to generate controversy. Per their blog,
Debate about how many times ‘ha’ should be added to the exclamation mwahahaha – another new addition, representing ‘laughter, esp. manic or cackling laughter such as that uttered by a villainous character in a cartoon or comic strip’ – is likely to rage amongst the tweeps.
Rage on, tweeps. Rage on.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.