New words in the Oxford English Dictionary
A few weeks back, over 1000 new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary. These included colloquial terms such as YOLO (You only live once, duh!), moobs (man-boobs, no less), ‘Merica (America, when denoting stereotypes), clickvitism (using social media to promote a cause…ahem Global Citizen) and wait for it….. Fuhgeddaboudit (yes, you read that right!).
What most people didn’t know was that even regional Asian words like Mamak (Indian Muslim community), Aiyoh, Aiyah (South Indian terms meaning disappointment and joy), and Ah Beng (used in Singapore and Malaysia to denote loud unsophisticated Chinese people) were also added.
How do they pick words?
So the group of experts at Oxford receive words submitted by users globally, to be included in the dictionary. However, they only include those that are used in common parlance. They have people reading newspapers, books, and novels to see how often a book is being used by the general public. If enough evidence is available to support the popularity of a word, it is included in the dictionary.
This made me think. There must be millions of words that have been submitted to the team at some point or the other but never got included. What happened to those? Interestingly, these words are written on a 6″x 4″ card and safely stored in a storeroom of words at the Oxford University Press.
Words I loved
Here are some of the words that are not yet in the dictionary but stored in the vault of rejected words. Some of them are so interesting, I thought you absolutely must know them!
A tune so catchy, it gets stuck in your mind
A call-center worker
Surfing the internet while at work (guilty as charged)
Someone who is nerdy but hides it from people to appear normal (can’t stop laughing)
Removing cake batter from the sides of the bowl, using a spatula
A look that can kill (angry spouse, eh?)
A conversation that is worthless/without substance
Someone who harasses people online (“Will you do fraandship with me?” :P)
To fumble for a coin or key or something small in your bag/pocket (something I’m always doing)
Mark left on wood by a glass of liquid
Let’s use them here on! Who knows? They might get used enough to be added to the dictionary 😉
The inspiration for this blog post is here.
Did you know?
Anything that goes in the Oxford dictionary never comes out. So even if people stop using a particular word, it will remain in the dictionary if it is once included.
What words would you like to see in the dictionary? Tel me in the comments section below 🙂
If you liked this post, you might consider reading the post below –
18 Foreign words you absolutely must know!