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Slactivism, dadrock, and bibimbap: ODO quarterly update November 2011

This year’s momentous events have had an impact on the new additions to our online dictionary. Arab Spring, describing the series of anti-government uprisings in various countries in North Africa and the Middle East, is now included, as well as phone hacking, the scandal which caused a storm in the UK that reverberated all the way across the Atlantic. And environmental concerns continue to create new words and phrases from carbon debt and eco-activist to precycling and solar farm.

Now, at the risk of making your belly rumble with hunger, there have also been some tasty-sounding treats added to the dictionary such as affogato, doughnut hole, bibimbap, and red velvet cake. Food also features in a metaphorical sense with brain candy, popular entertainment that is not intellectually stimulating, and barbecue stopper, a topic of conversation that is very interesting or controversial.

Both e- and cyber- prefixes continue to be very productive, producing a plethora of new words from e-bike to cybersphere, as well as the more sinister cyberthreat and cybercrook. Other technological words which have also made their Oxford dictionary debut are linkbait, bloggy, flame war, and spammy (the junk email kind rather than the canned meat kind).

Various pastimes and activities are also represented in the new additions, with traceur (a person who takes part in parkour), wild swimming, and cage diving all featuring. Or perhaps you are more of a mathlete? Whatever your hobby choice, why not relax after a long and tiring day with a fish pedicure, or sit back and listen to your favourite guilty pleasure, dadrock. Or perhaps you prefer to spend your evenings taking part in some slacktivism or crowdfunding to raise money for your latest venture: let’s hope your friends and colleagues have deep pockets.