Tag: new words

The word Latinx is being considered for a future Oxford Dictionaries update.

Latinx and Mx: the X factor

X. It marks the spot. It means ten, or a kiss. It stands for an unknown or variable quantity, or a mysterious person. It crosses out something we don’t want, or, as on a ballot, it indicates something that we do. X is used to denote a generation, an adult rating, a special talent, a […]

Read more »
The word burkini has entered widespread use this year.

Taking a dip into the language of swimming

The British summer may be shaping up to be something of a damp squib so far, but that hasn’t stopped a new swimwear term making it into the dictionary in 2016. Thanks to its push by leading British retailers Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser, the word burkini has entered widespread use this year, […]

Read more »
Phubbing refers to the practice of ignoring one's companion or companions in order to pay attention to one's phone or other mobile device.

How ‘phub’ made me eat my words

In the 2004 film Mean Girls, high school queen bee Regina George famously chastises one of her minions for using a slang term she has invented (fetch, meaning ‘cool’): Gretchen: That is so fetch! Regina: Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It’s not going to happen! One of the reasons this scene resonates is […]

Read more »
Add oil is an expression that has gained a lot of currency in Hong Kong in the last few years.

OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of ‘shroff’ and ‘add oil’?

Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English. Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, […]

Read more »
dumpster fire

Out of the hot mess and into the dumpster fire?

If there’s one thing that can be said for the times we live in, it’s that it has been an unusually fruitful era when it comes to words to refer to a catastrophe. The first decade of the twenty-first century brought phrases like epic fail and hot mess to prominence, and now here in the […]

Read more »
Otter cafe

LOYO, Obamacar, and otter café: new words in OxfordDictionaries.com

The most recent update to OxfordDictionaries.com sees a host of new words added from the worlds of politics, popular culture, and social media. You can see ten highlights from the update below. In each case, clicking on the word will take you through to the word’s new dictionary entry, where you can see full definitions, example sentences, and […]

Read more »
Donald Trump speaks at the First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua, NH, on April 18, 2015

Political profanity and crude creativity on the US Election campaign trail

As the snow starts to melt over here on the East Coast of the US following ‘Snowzilla’, thoughts are turning (and in the case of journalists, turned long ago) to the start of the primary season, when votes are cast to choose each party’s presidential nominee. It’s a complicated and sometimes very long process, beginning […]

Read more »
new chemical elements names

How do new elements get named?

It is highly unusual for words to become the subject of avid discussion—and even of consideration by lexicographers—before they have even been coined! This is the curious situation at present in the world of science, where the announcement of four new chemical elements has created something of a stir. They can now take a permanent […]

Read more »

Tweets