The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) revealed Wednesday (Aug. 28) that it has added a host of new terms to its online lexicon this week, including “twerking,” which made headlines this week after Miley Cyrus’ outrageous performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
“By last year, [twerk] had generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list, and by this spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English. There are many theories about the origin of the word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,” says Katherine Connor Martin, from Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO).
Other additions include “selfie,” to taking a picture of oneself; “squee,” to exclaim great delight; and “jorts,” denim jean shorts.
Connor Martin adds that the online version of the OED adds about 1000 new entries each year.
Here’s a partial list of the new words and the ODO’s definitions.
• apols, pl. n. (informal): apologies.
• A/W, abbrev.: autumn/winter (denoting or relating to fashion designed for the autumn and winter seasons of a particular year). (See also S/S)
• babymoon, n. (informal): a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born; a period of time following the birth of a baby during which the new parents can focus on establishing a bond with their child.
• balayage, n.: a technique for highlighting hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.
• bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
• blondie, n.: a small square of dense, pale-coloured cake, typically of a butterscotch or vanilla flavour.
• buzzworthy, adj. (informal): likely to arouse the interest and attention of the public, either by media coverage or word of mouth.
• BYOD, n.: abbreviation of ‘bring your own device’: the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes.
• cakepop, n.: a small round piece of cake coated with icing or chocolate and fixed on the end of a stick so as to resemble a lollipop.
• chandelier earring, n.: a long, elaborate dangling earring, typically consisting of various tiers of gemstones, crystals, beads, etc.
• click and collect, n.: a shopping facility whereby a customer can buy or order goods from a store’s website and collect them from a local branch.
• dappy, adj. (informal): silly, disorganized, or lacking concentration.
• derp, exclam. & n. (informal): (used as a substitute for) speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action.
• digital detox, n.: a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
• double denim, n.: a style of dress in which a denim jacket or shirt is worn with a pair of jeans or a denim skirt, often regarded as a breach of fashion etiquette.
• emoji, n: a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
• fauxhawk, n: a hairstyle in which a section of hair running from the front to the back of the head stands erect, intended to resemble a Mohican haircut (in which the sides of the head are shaved).
• FIL, n.: a person’s father-in-law (see also MIL, BIL, SIL).
• flatform, n.: a flat shoe with a high, thick sole.
• FOMO, n.: fear of missing out: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
• food baby, n.: a protruding stomach caused by eating a large quantity of food and supposedly resembling that of a woman in the early stages of pregnancy.
• geek chic, n.: the dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable.
• girl crush, n. (informal): an intense and typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one woman or girl for another.
• grats, pl. n. (informal): congratulations.
• guac, n.: guacamole.
• hackerspace, n.: a place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
• Internet of things, n.: a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
• jorts, pl. n.: denim shorts.
• LDR, n.: a long-distance relationship.
• me time, n. (informal): time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
• MOOC, n.: a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.
• omnishambles, n. (informal): a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.
• pear cider, n.: an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of pears.
• phablet, n.: a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.
• pixie cut, n.: a woman’s short hairstyle in which the hair is cropped in layers, typically so as to create a slightly tousled effect.
• selfie, n. (informal): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
• space tourism, n.: the practice of travelling into space for recreational purposes.
• squee, exclam. & v. & n. (informal): (used to express) great delight or excitement.
• srsly, adv. (informal): short for ‘seriously’.
• street food, n.: prepared or cooked food sold by vendors in a street or other public location for immediate
• TL;DR, abbrev.: ‘too long didn’t read’: used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post.
• twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
• unlike, v.: withdraw one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked).
• vom, v. & n. (informal): (be) sick; vomit.