Selfie stick, concern troll, and bae: new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com
Hey bae, Oxford Dictionaries are adding some easy-breezy words and senses in this month’s update. Don’t be a concern troll or creeper, and step away from that kill switch; we think you can self-soothe with these mad exciting words which are anything but lamestream. Anyhoo, no harm, no foul, read on to discover more and upvote us, from selfie stick to brain fade.
Social media and technology
The world of social media and technology continue to advance apace, and these changes bring new vocabulary with them. The word selfie was crowned Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in 2013, thanks largely to its use in social media, and it is now joined in OxfordDictionaries.com by selfie stick. This device – ‘a rod on which a camera or smartphone may be mounted, enabling the person holding it to take a photograph of themselves from a wider angle’ – has grown hugely in popularity (and, in some corners, unpopularity), as has the term designating it, which is accordingly added to the dictionary.
The rise of social media also brings with it a rise in a certain sort of troll. The sense of troll referring to ‘a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post’ is already in OxfordDictionaries.com; it is now joined by the specific variety concern troll: ‘a person who disingenuously expresses concern about an issue with the intention of undermining or derailing genuine discussion’. Meanwhile, in the business world, there is the patent troll: ‘a company that obtains the rights to one or more patents in order to profit by means of licensing or litigation, rather than by producing its own goods or services’.
The noun mainstream (‘the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional’), and the equivalent adjective mainstream, will probably be long-familiar words. Now the informal, derogatory term lamestream is also included in the dictionary: it is a blend of lame (with the sense ‘uninspiring and dull’) and mainstream, and is ‘used to refer contemptuously to the mainstream media’ as both a noun and an adjective.
Other new words in the spheres of social media, technology, and science include in-app, kill switch, downvote, upvote, revenge porn, cyberwarrior, cybertheft, fintech, cyclogenesis, organoid, telehealth, and weather bomb.
Slang and topical
Some terms have grown in popularity because of recent events or topical discussions. In the recent British General Election, much news coverage was devoted to the right-wing political party UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party). Although the party only secured one seat, there was enough discussion to popularize the informal noun Ukipper (or UKIPper) for ‘a member or supporter of UKIP’.
The run up to the election also saw notable uses of another new entry: brain fade, ‘a temporary inability to concentrate or think clearly’. Prime Minister David Cameron blamed brain fade when he accidentally announced his footballing allegiance to West Ham United rather than Aston Villa, while Green party leader Natalie Bennett said brain fade was responsible for a radio interview that she confessed was ‘very bad’.
Bae was on the shortlist for 2014’s Word of the Year, and is now in OxfordDictionaries.com. Bae is used as an informal term of endearment for one’s romantic partner, especially among young people in North America. It originated as an abbreviation of baby or babe (and probably not an acronym of ‘before anyone else’, though this has been suggested), and has proliferated through use on social media and in hip-hop and R&B lyrics.
Some of our recently-added online bilingual dictionaries have also updated this month, with over 900 new entries being added to Oxford Dictionaries Portuguese and Oxford Dictionaries Arabic.