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New words added to Oxford Dictionaries, from food coma to shvitz

Our latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries Online has seen a selection of new words, definitions, and senses added to the dictionary. The words originate in a range of spheres from food (branzino, cranachan) and music (beat-match) to astronomy (protoplanet) and, unsurprisingly, technology (lock screen, headcam), and include a variety of different word forms, from compound nouns (alpine touring) to initialisms (PED) and abbreviations (NorCal).

Here is a selection of some of the new words and senses from this quarter’s update:

cyberespionage

Cyberespionage is ‘the use of computer networks to gain illicit access to confidential information, typically that held by a government or other organization’. The alternative term ‘cyberspying’ has also been added to Oxford Dictionaries in this update. Although these words may be making their Oxford Dictionaries Online debut, the cyber- prefix (which is a back-formation of cybernetics) is, of course, not a new phenomenon. There are already a wide range of cyber- terms in the dictionary including: cyberchondriac, cybermall, cyberpet, and cybersquatting.

death stare

Also known as a ‘death glare’, this noun describes a ‘hostile or contemptuous look directed at a particular person’. According to the example sentence, taken from the Oxford English Corpus, some death stares can still be effective even if the starer is wearing sunglasses: ‘Bruce gave her a death stare that was even detectable through his sunglasses’. Take heed.

food coma

The informal noun, particularly useful around the holiday season, describes ‘a state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food’. It may well be accompanied by a food baby.

shvitz

Shvitz, or schvitz, is an informal noun denoting a sauna or a steam bath. Primarily used in the United States, it derives from Yiddish and probably has its ultimate origins in the German word Schwitze, which literally means ‘place where a person sweats’. It’s also used as a verb, meaning ‘to sweat’: it was one of those godawful days with a billion percent humidity and everybody was schvitzing.

pilcrow

Not a type of bird, as might perhaps be expected, a pilcrow is in fact ‘a symbol (¶) used to mark a new paragraph or section of text’. It originated in late Middle English and is thought to be a variant of paragraph.

New senses added to Oxford Dictionaries include:

gin someone / something up

The entry for gin2 in Oxford Dictionaries has now gained the phrasal verb: gin someone up, an expression used mainly in American English and meaning: ‘arouse or intensify strong feelings in someone’. This is accompanied by gin something up, which means: ‘generate or increase something, especially by dubious or dishonest means’.

below the line

A new sense of below the line has also entered the dictionary in reference to the section at the end of an online article or blog post in which readers can post comments. If you have any comments about the addition of this sense, or any of our new senses or words, please leave your comments below the line.

 

 

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