October 1st, 2013 .

Buzzworthy words

Max Morden

The Oxford Dictionary refers to itself as the world’s most trusted dictionary. I have a copy of the 10th edition, which came out in 2001. I use it a lot – not only to get meanings, but also to find other ways of saying things.

I love dictionaries because they are living entities, always evolving as new words and expressions find their way into the language. I’ve always imagined the lexicographers at the Oxford Dictionary, a serious and solemn lot, sitting around a big table deciding which new words to accept as part of our common vocabulary.

I don’t use online dictionaries as much, but I like to check them out. I was quite excited to see a list of some of the new words recently added to the Oxford Online Dictionary. Squee!

I’m not kidding. Squee is a word, and it made the cut. It’s defined as an exclamation “used to express great delight or excitement.” The example given was:  Got a photo with him and he signed my book. Squee!

Another new word is srsly. Those who text a lot can probably guess what this means. It’s short for seriously, as in “it is a srsly cool bike.”

Another word just added is omnishambles, which won the  Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2012. It’s defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.” The lexicographers – who I think must all be in their early 20s – picked omnishambles because it was a word “everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way.”

Other words chosen were buzzworthy, babymoon, cake pop, dappy, selfie, and twerk. Don’t know what twerk means? Srsly – look it up!


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