Today Oxford Dictionaries announces the latest update to its free online dictionary of English at OxfordDictionaries.com. Reflecting research into current language usage trends, new entries include adorbs, binge-watch, cray, humblebrag, listicle, neckbeard, SMH, side boob, vape, and YOLO.
Use of the word binge-watch has shown a steady increase over the past two years, with notable spikes in usage recorded around the Netflix releases of House of Cards, Season Two in February 2014 and Orange is The New Black, Season Two in June 2014. According to Oxford’s language monitoring programme, the use of binge-watch increased fourfold in February 2014 and tripled in June 2014, based on its average use over the last two years.
Changes in our media consumption habits also see hate-watch, listicle, live-tweet, second screen, sentiment analysis, cord cutting, and hyperconnected added to OxfordDictionaries.com in this update. Technology more broadly continues to have a strong influence on the English language, and is reflected in new entries including acquihire, clickbait, Deep Web, dox, fast follower, geocache, in silico, octocopter, responsive, smartwatch, and tech-savvy.
Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Connor Martin comments: “One of the advantages of our unique language monitoring programme is that it enables us to explore how English language evolves differently across the world. Naturally, many words are used in similar frequencies in the UK and US, for instance the informal additions amazeballs and neckbeard. However, some new slang and informal words catch on much more quickly in a particular variety of English—for instance, in our monitoring sample, side boob is more than 10 times more common in the UK than in the US (although this is due in part to its frequent use in the British media), whereas adorbs is used about 4 times more often in the US as in the UK.”
The Oxford Corpus reveals an approximate tenfold increase in usage of the terms vape and e-cig in the last two years, as electronic devices which enable people to inhale smokeless nicotine vapour have become increasingly widespread. E-cigarette, added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2012, has seen an even sharper rise in usage. However, despite the fact that e-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, the word vaping dates to 1983, when it was used to describe a hypothetical smoking device being considered at the time.
Other additions related to current health affairs include vax, anti-vax, and anti-vaxxer, pharmacovigilance, 5:2 diet, Paleo diet, and hippotherapy.
Other informal or slang terms added to OxfordDictionaries.com today include Bank of Mum and Dad, bro hug, cray, hench, hot mess, humblebrag, mansplain, side-eye, and spit take. The abbreviation cray (‘crazy’), seems to have arisen initially in the reduplicated form cray cray in the early 2000s, but it was popularized in its single-syllable form when used by Kanye West in the hook to a track from his collaboration album with Jay Z.
Several initialisms and abbreviations also make their Oxford Dictionaries debut, including SMH (‘shake my head’), WDYT (‘what do you think?’), FML (‘f— my life’), YOLO (‘you only live once’), ICYMI (‘in case you missed it’).
New words, senses, and phrases are added to OxfordDictionaries.com once editors have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English. Each month, Oxford Dictionaries collects examples of around 150 million words in use from sources around the world, and adds these to the Oxford Corpus. The editors use this database to track and verify new and emerging word trends. Each year, more than 1,000 additions are made to OxfordDictionaries.com in updates which are published quarterly.
What’s the difference between OxfordDictionaries.com and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)?
The new entries mentioned above have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com, not the OED.
The English language dictionary content on OxfordDictionaries.com focuses on current English and includes modern meanings of words and associated usage examples.
The OED, on the other hand, is a historical dictionary and forms a record of all the core words and meanings in English over more than 1,000 years, from Old English to the present day, including many obsolete and historical terms.
About OxfordDictionaries.com: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/about-odo
Full dictionary entries for each of the words mentioned above can be found on OxfordDictionaries.com. Brief definitions for some of the new entries can be found below:
- acquihire, n.: buying out a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff…
- adorbs, adj.: (informal) arousing great delight; cute or adorable
- air punch, n.: thrusting one’s clenched fist up into the air, typically as a gesture of triumph…
- amazeballs, adj.: (informal) very impressive, enjoyable, or attractive
- anti-vax, adj.: (US informal) opposed to vaccination
- Bank of Mum and Dad, phr.: (Brit. informal) a person’s parents regarded as source of financial assistance
- bare, adv.: (Brit. informal) very; really (used as an intensifier)
- bedroom tax, n.: (in the UK) informal name for a measure introduced in the Welfare Reform Act 2012…
- binge-watch, v.: (informal) watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession…
- bro hug, n.: (US informal) friendly embrace between two men
- clickbait, n.: (informal) (on the Internet) content…whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page
- cord cutting, n.: (informal) practice of cancelling a pay television subscription or landline phone connection in favour of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service
- cotch, v.: (Brit. informal) spend time relaxing; stay or sleep somewhere on a temporary basis
- cray, adj. (also cray cray): (US informal) crazy
- Deep Web, n.: the part of the World Wide Web that is not discoverable by means of standard search engines…
- doncha, contraction: (informal) don’t you
- douchebaggery, n.: (N. Amer. informal) obnoxious or contemptible behaviour
- dox, v.: (informal) search for and publish private data about (an individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent
- e-cig, n.: (informal) another term for electronic cigarette
- false widow, n.: a spider resembling the black widow, some species of which are moderately poisonous to humans
- fandom, n.: the fans of a particular person, team, series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture
- fast follower, n.: a company that quickly imitates the innovations of its competitors
- 5:2 diet, n.: a diet that involves eating normally for five days out of a seven-day period and greatly restricting the amount of food eaten on the other two days
- FML, abbrev.: (vulgar slang) f— my life! (used to express dismay at a frustrating personal situation)
- geocache, n.: an item…that has been hidden at a location whose coordinates have been posted on the Internet…
- hate-watch, v.: (informal) watch (a television programme) for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticizing it
- hench, adj.: (Brit. informal) (of a man) strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles
- hippotherapy, n.: horse riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment…
- hot mess, n.: (US informal) a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered
- hot mic, n.: (informal) a microphone that is turned on, in particular one that broadcasts a spoken remark that was intended to be private
- humblebrag, n. & v.: (informal) (make) an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to somethingof which one is proud
- hyperconnected, adj.: characterized by the widespread or habitual use of devices that have Internet connectivity
- ICYMI, abbrev.: (informal) in case you missed it
- in silico, adj. & adv.: (of scientific experiments) conducted or produced by means of computer modelling or simulation
- listicle, n.: an Internet article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list
- live-tweet, v.: post comments about (an event) on Twitter while the event is taking place
- mansplain, v.: (informal) (of a man) explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing
- mud run, n.: an event in which participants negotiate a course consisting of obstacles filled or covered with mud
- neckbeard, n.: (informal) growth of hair on a man’s neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming…
- octocopter, n.: an unmanned helicopter having eight rotors
- olinguito, n.: a small nocturnal tree-dwelling mammal living in cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador…
- Paleo diet, n: a diet based on the type of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans…
- pharmacovigilance, n.: the practice of monitoring effects of medical drugs after they have been licensed for use
- responsive, adj.: denoting a website whose page design changes automatically according to the size of screen on which it is viewed
- second screen, n.: a mobile device used while watching television, especially to access supplementary content or applications
- sentiment analysis, n.: the process of computationally identifying and categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text
- side boob, n.: (informal) the side part of a woman’s breast, as exposed by a revealing item of clothing
- side-eye, n.: (informal , chiefly US): a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt
- smartwatch, n.: a mobile device with a touchscreen display, worn on the wrist
- SMH, abbrev.: (informal) shaking (or shake) my head (used to express disapproval, exasperation, etc.)…
- spit take, n.: (informal) (especially as a comic technique) an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising
- subtweet, n.: (informal) (on Twitter) a post that refers to a particular user without directly mentioning them, typically as a form of furtive mockery or criticism
- tech-savvy, n.: (informal) well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology
- time-poor, adj.: spending much of one’s time working or occupied…
- throw shade, phr.: (US informal) publicly criticize or express contempt for someone
- vape, v.: inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device
- WDYT, abbrev.: (informal) what do you think?
- YOLO, abbrev.: (informal) you only live once (expressing the view that one should make the most of the present moment)…
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