Manspreading and other new words just added to the dictionary
Every few months or so, the Oxford University Press picks out a new group of words to add to the dictionary. In the past, their selections have reflected the changing nature of the English language with terms like “selfie,” “twerk,” and “vape” making the cut. The words chosen for this quarterly update are no different. Check out some of the new slang words that have been officially inducted into our vocabularies.
1) Manspreading (n.): the practice whereby a man, especially one traveling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats
You know when you step onto a crowded train car in the middle of summer and you have an hour-long commute ahead of you and you walk towards an empty seat only to have it be snatched away by the leg of some guy who has inadvertently decided to practice a new yoga move by stretching his legs out across three or four different seats? That’s manspreading, and by calling out the phenomenon, we can finally start taking strides towards thwarting this national phenomenon.
2) Butt dial (v.): to inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s rear trouser pocket
It’s funny how “butt dial” is finally making its way into the dictionary, even though nobody has genuinely “butt dialed” anyone for years. With all of this touch screen technology, it’s becoming harder and harder to blame accidental calls on mis-pressed buttons. I mean, how do you sit on the “call” button when there is no button to sit on?
3) Hangry (adj.): bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger
I like to think that I was personally responsible for the popularity of this word but maybe that’s just me being optimistic. Hangry, the portmanteau of hungry and angry that we all know so well, was added to Oxford’s list, presumably so concerned friends and family members can properly diagnose their loved ones when they inexplicably start lashing out in public.
4) Meeple (n.): a small figure used as a playing piece in certain board games, having a stylized human form
Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, look inside, where’s all the…meeple? This nonsense word refers to the wooden, human-shaped pawns used for many board games. Why they were given a name that sounds like some long-forgotten Pokemon, I’ll never know.
5) Snackable (adj.): (of online content) designed to be read, viewed, or otherwise engaged with briefly and easily
Maybe I’m just hangry but I feel like “snackable” should also be applied to, you know, food. There are foods that are appropriate for snacking: pretzels, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. And then there are foods that are not “snackable”: lasagna, trifles, rotisserie chicken. Just my thoughts.
6) Wine o’clock (n.): an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine
So basically, any time of day. The addition of this and “beer o’clock” to the dictionary means that my idea for a clock that just features different pictures of booze every hour instead of numbers can finally come to fruition.
7) MacGyver (v.): make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand
You know you’ve made it in the world when your name becomes an actual verb. To MacGyver something means to create a tool out of thin air, one that will help you survive whatever situation you’re in. For those of you that are too young to know who MacGyver is: think Bear Grylls mixed with Chuck Norris. (I realize I am one of those young people but I have done extensive Googling on MacGyver in the past five minutes, so I think it’s safe to call myself an expert.)
8) Cat café (n.): a café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises
I can’t say I’ve ever gone to heaven, but when I went to a cat café last year, I think I came pretty close. These establishments have been popping up around the world, bringing joy to cat lovers everywhere. Think about it. What could be better than sipping tea on a Saturday afternoon with your favorite book? Sipping tea on a Saturday afternoon with your favorite book and surrounded by adorable felines.
9) Bruh (n.): a male friend (often used as a form of address)
Hear that? That’s the sound of lax bros rejoicing. What started out as a joking play on “bro” has become this generation’s “dude.” I’m expecting a remake of “Dude, Where’s My Car” any day now. I’m sure Ashton Kutcher would be love to be involved in “Bruh, Where’s My Car?”
10) Awesomesauce (adj.): extremely good; excellent
And you thought you never had to deal with middle school slang again… Oxford University Press added this term, along with “weak sauce.” Next up: eccentricsauce, chillsauce, and adorkablesauce.
Find more Oxford words here.
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