New words added to OxfordDictionaries.com today include lolcat, duck face, and digital footprint
1,000 new entries added in largest ever quarterly update
4 December 2014, Oxford, UK: Today Oxford Dictionaries announces the largest ever quarterly update to OxfordDictionaries.com, with 1,000 new entries added to the free online dictionary of English. Join us as we explore the latest words which have made their way into common usage and on to OxfordDictionaries.com.
If you regularly find yourself using lolcat expressions and would like to expand the vocabulary in your digital footprint, this latest quarterly update to the dictionary is mahoosive. Oxford Dictionaries editors have been eating al desko as they developed 1,000 new entries, with one editor reporting that they felt well jel at another’s xlnt definitions of duck face, man crush, and five-second rule.
Gaming terminology added to OxfordDictionaries.com today includes respawn and permadeath. Several abbreviations also make their Oxford Dictionaries debut, including IDC (I don’t care), PMSL (p–ing myself laughing), WTAF (what the actual f–), WRT (with reference to), and MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra, pronounced like ‘mammal’).
Popular culture aside, the lexicon of finance and business remains a major influence on English, and this is reflected in new entries including algorithmic trading (automated Stock Exchange trading by computers); challenger bank (a relatively small retail bank competing with long-established national banks); crony capitalism (an economic system characterized by close relationships between business leaders and government officials); economic man (a hypothetical person who behaves in exact accordance with their rational self-interest), flash crash (a rapid decline in value on the Stock Exchange); misery index (an informal measure of an economy generated by adding together its rates of inflation and unemployment); network marketing (another term for pyramid selling); and tech wreck (a collapse in the price of shares in high-tech industries).
An appetite for international cuisine sees English absorb words from other languages. New entries reflect the popularity of Italian and Hispanic food in particular: arancini (stuffed balls of rice), cappellacci (stuffed hat-shaped pasta), carne asada (Mexican marinated beef typically served in strips or as a filling), chile con queso – or simply queso (Tex-Mex sauce of melted cheese seasoned with chilli peppers), guanciale (a type of Italian cured pork), parm (an informal US term for a dish served with Parmesan cheese), and trofie (twisted pasta traditionally eaten with pesto) have all been borrowed into English recently.
Oxford Dictionaries editors have also undertaken a special project as part of this update, seeing OxfordDictionaries.com further its coverage of Australian English terms, including the ant’s pants (an outstandingly good person or thing), silvertail (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations), shiny bum (a bureaucrat or office worker), and sticker licker (an official who issues parking fines).
Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, comments: “One of the benefits of our unique language monitoring programme is that it enables us to track in detail how English language evolves over relatively short periods of time. For instance, in this age of the selfie perhaps it’s no surprise that average monthly usage of the term duck face is 35% higher in 2014 than it was last year.”
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. Updates to OxfordDictionaries.com are published quarterly.
Notes for Editors
Definitions for each of the words mentioned above can be found on OxfordDictionaries.com.
Oxford Dictionaries editors are available for interviews.
Media enquiries: blog.oxforddictionaries.com/contact-us
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 term.
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:
- al desko, adv. & adj.: while working at one’s desk in an office (with reference to the consumption of food or meals)
- algorithmic trading, n.: automated Stock Exchange trading by computers which are programmed to take certain actions in response to varying market data
- arancini, pl. n.: an Italian dish consisting of small balls of rice stuffed with a savoury filling, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried
- cappellacci, pl. n.: pieces of pasta stuffed with a filling of pumpkin (or other squash) and cheese and folded so as to resemble a hat
- carne asada, n.: (in Mexican cooking) beef that has been marinated and grilled, typically served sliced in thin strips as a main course or as a filling in tacos, burritos, etc.
- challenger bank, n.: (Brit.) a relatively small retail bank set up with the intention of competing for business with large, long-established national banks
- chile con queso, n.: (in Tex-Mex cookery) a thick sauce of melted cheese seasoned with chilli peppers, typically served warm as a dip for tortilla chips
- cool beans, exclam.: used to express approval or delight
- crony capitalism, n.: (derogatory) an economic system characterized by close, mutually advantageous relationships between business leaders and government officials
- digital footprint, n.: the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity
- duck face, n.: (informal) an exaggerated pouting expression in which the lips are thrust outwards, typically made by a person posing for a photograph
- economic man, n.: a hypothetical person who behaves in exact accordance with their rational self-interest
- five-second rule, n.: (humorous) a notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds
- flash crash, n.: (Stock Exchange, informal) an extremely rapid decline in the price of one or more commodities or securities, typically one caused by automated trading
- fone, n.: (informal) a phone
- fresh-air fiend, n.: (Brit. informal) a person who is very keen on outdoor activities and (when indoors) on ventilated rooms
- guanciale, n.: a type of Italian cured pork made from the cheeks of a pig
- hawt, adj.: (chiefly US) informal spelling of ‘hot’
- IDC, abbrev.: (informal) I don’t care
- ish, n.: (US informal) used as a euphemism for ‘sh–t’
- jel, adj.: (informal, chiefly Brit.) jealous
- lolcat, n.: (on the Internet) a photograph of a cat accompanied by a humorous caption written typically in a misspelled and grammatically incorrect version of English
- mahoosive, adj.: (Brit. informal) exceptionally big; huge
- MAMIL, n.: (Brit. informal) acronym: middle-aged man in Lycra. A middle-aged man who is a very keen road cyclist, typically one who rides an expensive bike and wears the type of clothing associated with professional cyclists
- man crush, n.: (informal) an intense and typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one man for another; a man who is the object of another’s intense liking or admiration
- Marmite, n.2: used in reference to something that tends to arouse strongly positive or negative reactions rather than indifference
- misery index, n.: an informal measure of the state of an economy generated by adding together its rate of inflation and its rate of unemployment
- network marketing, n.: another term for ‘pyramid selling’
- Obamacare, n.: (in the US) an informal term for a federal law intended to improve access to health insurance for US citizens. The official name of the law is the Affordable Care Act or (in full) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- permadeath, n.: (in video games) a situation in which a character cannot reappear after having been killed
- PMSL, abbrev.: (vulgar slang, chiefly Brit.) p–ing myself laughing (used to express great amusement)
- respawn, v.: (of a character in a video game) reappear after having been killed
- Secret Santa, n.: an arrangement by which a group of friends or colleagues exchange Christmas presents anonymously, each member of the group being assigned another member for whom to provide a small gift, typically costing no more than a set amount
- shabby chic, n.: a style of interior decoration that uses furniture and soft furnishings that are or appear to be pleasingly old and slightly worn
- shiny bum, n.: (Austral./NZ derogatory) a bureaucrat or office worker
- silvertail, n.: (Austral. informal) a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations
- simples, exclam.: (Brit. informal) used to convey that something is very straightforward
- sticker licker, : (Austral. informal) an official who issues parking fines
- tech wreck, n.: (informal) a collapse in the price of shares in high-tech industries
- the ant’s pants, : (Austral. informal) an outstandingly good person or thing
- tiki-taka, n.: (Soccer) a style of play involving highly accurate short passing and an emphasis on retaining possession of the ball
- tomoz, adv.: (Brit. informal) tomorrow
- trofie, pl. n.: pasta in the form of short irregularly twisted pieces with pointed ends, traditionally eaten with pesto
- WRT, abbrev.: with reference to
- WTAF, abbrev.: (vulgar slang) what the actual f–
- xlnt, adj.: (informal) excellent