New Words for the Dictionary
The English language is always evolving. There was a time when words like email, x-ray, and d’oh were nowhere to be found in the dictionary. Today, we add a few more new words to the tome.
The bookworms behind the Oxford Dictionary of English recently released a list of 2,000 or so new words that will be added to their next edition. Some of the new words include staycation, social media, and the groan-inducing chillax.
The list sparked massive interest on the Web and, we can safely assume, a lot of questions from folks who don’t know a staycation from a vacation, or a bromance from a romance. (FYI: A staycation is like a vacation, but you stay at home and save money. And a bromance is a “close but non-sexual relationship between two men.”)
Perhaps the most high-profile word to be added to the dictionary this year is vuvuzela. For those who slept through the World Cup, a vuvuzela is the one-note plastic horn that creates a horrendously annoying sound. That’s our definition. The official one, via the Oxford Dictionary of English, is a bit more balanced: “A long plastic instrument, in the shape of a trumpet, which makes a very loud noise when you blow it and is popular with football fans in South Africa.”
Some other popular additions include frenemy (“a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry”), cheeseball (“lacking taste, style or originality”), and wardrobe malfunction (“an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position.”)
Frankly, we’re amazed it took so long for that last term to make it into the dictionary. Thanks to Janet Jackson, Paris Hilton, and other Hollywood stars, it’s been part of the public discourse for years.