The centenary edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, published this month, contains some 400 new additions and modifications to existing words in an effort to accommodate (read: keep up desperately with) the constant changes bestowed (read: inflicted) on the English language by the Internet and social media.
Among the 240,000 words and definitions covered in the 12th edition of the tome are a variety of technical and informal phrases selected from a database of over 2 billion drawn from websites that cement their ubiquitous status. Highlights include:
cyberbullying: n. the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
denialist: n. a person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence.
domestic goddess: n. informal a woman with exceptional domestic skills, especially cookery.
jeggings: pl. n. tight-fitting stretch trousers for women, styled to resemble a pair of denim jeans.
mankini: n. (pl. mankinis) a brief one-piece bathing garment for men, with a T-back.
retweet: v. (on the social networking service Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user). n. a reposted or forwarded message on Twitter.
sexting: n. informal the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.
slow food: n. food that is carefully produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions.
upcycle: v. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.
woot: exclam. informal (especially in electronic communication) used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph.
Sadly, the inclusion of these vital neologisms comes with the loss of linguistic gems such as brabble ‘paltry noisy quarrel’ and growlery ‘place to growl in, private room, den’. In a post on the Oxford University Press‘ blog, Angus Stevenson, editor of the latest edition, stated that the editors of the first edition, brothers Henry and Frank Fowler, would ‘admit colloquial, facetious, slang, and vulgar expressions with freedom, merely attaching a cautionary label.’
In other words, woot with caution.
Via OUP Blog