Editors added more than 1,000 new words to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) this month, bringing words like gender-fluid, YOLO and ‘Merica to the world’s most authoritative English dictionary.
The new batch includes several less-than-tasteful words. Biatch has been formally recognized, a word that appeared in hip hop artist Too Short’s lyrics in 1986, Jonathan Dent, OED senior editor, notes.
The dictionary added several entries for words related to the activity of butt-fucking, which is both a verb and several different nouns (butt-fucker, butt-fuck).
Jagoff and focking made it into the dictionary as alternate spellings of familiar phrases. Moobs, a contraction of man-boobs, will forever be recorded as a word humans use.
The word clickbait also made it into the authoritative compendium of the English language, defined as “[internet] content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.” Freemium, clicktivism and clickjacking also have enough cultural significance to warrant an entry.
Plenty of more tame words made it into the dictionary. Many of the new words pay homage to children’s book author Roald Dahl, whose creativity in making up new words finally paid off. New words Splendiferous, frightsome, scrumdiddlyumptious and gremlins all trace back to Dahl’s popular fiction writing.
Sports fans should be pleased that bracketology now has its own entry, described as, “the activity of predicting the participating teams in a tournament (typically the NCAA basketball tournament) and the winners of the competition’s stages, as depicted in a diagram representing the sequence of matches.”
Editors at Oxford University in England, which publishes the OED, only add words of historical significance to the official dictionary. YOLO and clickbait were added to the Oxford Dictionary Online two years ago, but editors found that each word had finally reached “a level of general currency where it is unselfconsciously used with the expectation of being understood” to be included in the official dictionary.
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