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Cat and rabbit

Grab your bezzie and get ready for deets of the ODO November 2012 update!

If you’re as twitterpated by dictionaries as we are, you’ll want to be the first to hear about some of the words going into Oxford Dictionaries Online this quarter. Whatever they may be, they certainly aren’t hacky – and you might even find them useful in some situations, for example. . .

With the boyf making cocktails in the other room, this is about as good as it gets, until you realize you’ve run out of ingredients for brandy Alexanders. Better bimble down to the shop before you get too stressy, and make sure not to lollygag or you’ll miss the dance-off. That would be a disaster! (Or, as your more pragmatic bezzie might say: First World problems. . .)

Contemporary culture remains a major influence on the English language: other new words include forumite and nappy valley.

Two other important influences on the English language are technology and finance. There are a number of words in this update that reflect technological innovation and advancement, including 4G, big data, and LTE. Meanwhile, on the finance side, words such as payday lender, payday loan, and debt trap have become more prevalent recently as a result of the economic downturn experienced in some parts of the world.

Our November 2012 update also sees a number of terms relating to food and drink: kalua pig, imu, crab cake, and brandy Alexander have all been added to Oxford Dictionaries this month.

How do we choose which new words to add to the dictionary?

Using the Oxford English Corpus, our lexicographers here at Oxford Dictionaries are continually monitoring and researching how language is evolving. By analysing the corpus and using special software, we can see words in context and find out how new words and senses are emerging. When we have evidence of a new term being used in a variety of different sources (not just by one writer) it becomes a candidate for inclusion in one of our dictionaries. For every new dictionary or online update we assess all the most recent terms that have emerged and select those which we judge to be the most significant or important and those which we think are likely to stand the test of time.

Here is a selection of new words from the November 2012 quarterly update:

First World problem
Godwin’s law
kalua pig

Our favourite entries from our August 2012 new words competition

Inspired by last quarter’s update, we asked our readers to devise a 50-word short story featuring at least five of the newly added words. We received over 200 stories, and it was difficult to choose just one winner, but after much deliberation we awarded an iPod touch to the author of this one:

We also really enjoyed these entries:

Are you inspired by this quarter’s words? How many could you fit into a coherent sentence? Share your best efforts with us in the comments box below.

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.