Drunk Texts, Squad Goals, and Brewer’s Droop: an Oxford Dictionaries update
Oxford Dictionaries publishes an update of new entries today (#squadgoals), so let’s celebrate with a chest bump. This is truly a Kodak moment, so maybe it’s time to take a video selfie, and you’d better not untag yourself! Though it might not be the stuff of fitspo, you can still make room for this on your image board. Get yourself comfortable, check above you for drop bears, and grab yourself a cup of pour-over—it’s better than drinking the haterade! We’re very excited to share with you the Oxford Dictionaries’ funtastic list of new words.
A feast of food words
The culinary world always serves up a feast of new terminology, and the latest spread is no disappointment. The new menu ranges from the healthy—such as superfruit, a term used to refer to fruits considered to be particularly beneficial—to the markedly less healthy—such as shoestring fries, also known as shoestring potatoes, which are French fries sliced extremely thinly. If you order the Cuban sandwich frita (from the feminine of Spanish frito meaning ‘fried’), you’ll find a handful of these fries in addition to seasoned pork and beef. Should you require something a little more vegan, perhaps you’ll be tempted by aquafaba, a substitute for egg whites used in vegan cooking, with a name that translates from Latin to ‘water-bean’. This name is a reference to the substance’s origins as the water in which chickpeas, or other pulses, have been cooked.
Our lexicographical plates are loaded with foods from across the globe. There’s the Japanese takoyaki—made with chopped octopus formed into balls and cooked in batter—and tonkatsu sauce—a sweet and savoury sauce typically served with breaded pork. The Thai pad kee mao may also be known by its Anglicized name of drunken noodles; this spicy stir-fry consists of vegetables with meat, fish, or tofu served with rice noodles. There are many explanations for the origin of this name. Some believe that it’s a reference to the supposed drunkenness of the chef, leading to ingredients haphazardly chosen and thrown together; others think that it’s a reference to the eater’s drunkenness, either because the meal is a popular choice at the end of a night out, or because its spiciness leads you to drink alongside it until you end up drunk.
Hopping continents, we’ve also added to our dictionary ras-el-hanout, a spice mix used in North African cooking. Its name is derived from the Arabic raʾs al-ḥānūt, which means ‘top of the shop’, indicating that the spices chosen—sometimes up to thirty spices, typically including cumin, coriander seeds, chilli, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom—are the best the shopkeeper has available.
You can see why we need the rule of never defining food before lunch; it can truly whet the appetite.
With certain foods (such as courgettes) becoming less available in the UK due to poor crops, the environment has been on everyone’s mind here, though likely it weighs heavier on the minds of climate refugees—this term refers to those forced to leave their home due to the effects of climate change rendering it unsafe or uninhabitable.
If you’re not a climate denier, this might mean you are hoping to do your bit to conserve energy in the form of negawatts, or reduce waste by freecycling usable goods that you no longer want. Here’s some help deciphering that sentence: a climate denier is a person who is sceptical about whether man-made climate change is occurring; a negawatt is a unit of energy saved due to conservation efforts; and if you freecycle something, you give it away for free rather than selling it or throwing it away.
Sports and fitness
While some goals seek to improve matters on a global scale, there are others that are more individual. If you’re looking for a new way to keep fit, perhaps you’ll want to take up one of the sports newly added to our Oxford Dictionaries.
One of the latest water sports that’s defined by our online dictionary is flyboarding, in which a person travels through the air—in an act that looks suspiciously like flying—using a board propelled by jets of water. Granted, the flyboard is attached to a jet ski, but this is a good-sized step closer to the forms of transport I’ve always expected the 21st century to offer us.
Thrill-seekers on the hunt for a way of levelling up their commute might choose to skitch: this word is a blend of skate or ski and hitch, and refers to the activity of ‘hitching’ onto a motor vehicle while riding a bike, skateboard, etc. so as to travel at greater speeds, not always giving the driver any warning of your intentions. Possibly not the safest way to get from A to B…
More in line with traditional exercise is HIIT (or high-intensity interval training), in which you alternate between extremely demanding physical activity and short periods of recovery. For fans of team sports, you might get fit enough to be a member of a bracket-buster, ‘a low-ranking team that unexpectedly defeats a high-ranking team’. This term is normally used in reference to the NCAA college basketball tournament and consequently is much more common in US English.
If you’re anything like me, you need a bit of incentive to work up to any exercise. Perhaps this can be where fitspiration—often shortened to fitspo—comes in: this blend of fit and inspiration is used to refer to any person or thing that motivates you to improve your fitness.
Booze, ‘fests’, and put-downs
Of course, not all recreation is aimed at getting fitter: good old alcohol is still inspiring new terminology. Too much to drink may have always carried the risk of brewer’s droop, but nowadays there is a new danger to be wary of: the ubiquity of mobile phones leads some of us to drunk-dial or drunk-text unsuspecting victims from our phones’ address books. To drunk-dial someone is to make a phone call to them while drunk, and typically those phone calls are embarrassing in nature. To drunk-text someone is largely the same, except that you’re left with written evidence that you can use to remind you what you revealed in your inebriated state—in vino veritas, as they say.
For the recipient of a drunk dial or drunk text, this has the potential to range from amusing to annoying to wildly offensive, and that’s nothing to say of the trouble for the sender. Be the originator of one too many, and you could find yourself uninvited from Friendsgiving. It might be safer to stay in and become a cat lady, though if all of the women invited choose this option, then the lads might inadvertently end up at a sausage party, also known as a sausage fest—an event in which the majority of participants are male.
Should the thought of a sausage fest hold little appeal, fear not, there are plenty of other –fests from which to choose. The more techy-minded amongst you might fancy popping along to a hackfest, an event dedicated to sharing information about computer programming. Make sure you’ve understood the invite though, because hackfest can also refer to a period of frenzied violence. In this sense, it differs little from another newly added –fest word: gorefest, ‘a film, book, or video game involving a great deal of violence or bloodshed’.
Perhaps it would be safer to stick to having a lovefest; the affection or appreciation associated with this word might be considered excessive, but at least it’s violence-free!
For those of you who think a lovefest sounds worse than a gorefest, you’ll be pleased to know that we continue to see high levels of creativity used when describing something (or someone) you’re less than fond of: rather than merely crap, you might refer to something you dislike as craptacular or craptastic to really get the point across. The blend of crap with positive words like spectacular and fantastic generally implies ironic humour on the part of the speaker rather than a serious attempt at offence. Another new take on an old term making its ways into our dictionary is biatch: the spelling represents an exaggerated—particularly American—pronunciation of bitch, and carries much the same meaning. Like bitch, biatch can be used as a term of address, and can even connote affection, but exercise with caution as this is very much not the only use. If the object of your disdain is particularly dreadful, rather than throwing insults you might simply wish that what you’ve seen could be unseen.
Be careful with spreading the haterade, though—a blend of the word hater and the name of the sports drink Gatorade used to refer to ‘excessive criticism’—if you are particularly cruel, you might get accused of being a shamer.