Our fave new word additions to the Oxford English Dictionary
Everyone’s favorite book just got a little bit longer. We’re talking, of course, about the Oxford English Dictionary, the world’s oldest anthology of words. In its recent quarterly update, the famous tome added over 500(!!) words. Some of them were to be expected – vape (last year’s “word of the year” winner), twerk, sexting, FLOTUS – but others, we hadn’t even heard of before, which makes us wonder if there’s a secret society of word nerds out there churning out new material without our knowledge. (If any of the members are reading this, please direct us to where we can apply.)
While we can’t recount all 500 of the newly official words here, we do have a few faves that deserve a brief moment in the sun. Here are some of our fave new words on the OED list:
Carnap (v.): to steal a car
Let me just say, I’m irrationally disappointed that this was not like “catnap” but for cars. This term from the Philippines, one of the handful of international terms introduced in this year’s word roundup, refers to the stealing of a car, similar to the more popular term “carjack.” The thought of a parking lot filled with automobiles stuffed into car-sized sleeping bags is far more peaceful than real carnapping, but whatever. I don’t make the rules.
Twitterati (n.): users of the social networking service Twitter collectively, typically referring to the group of prolific contributors or those who have high numbers of followers
Modeled on the Illuminati, the old, highly-influential secret society from the 18th century, the Twitterati includes Twitter users with a high number of followers who, at the touch of a button, could start a trending topic or initiate a third world war or something. Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Grumpy Cat are all prime examples.
Guerrilla knitting (n.): the act of knitting over inanimate objects in public
Considered a new type of graffiti, “guerrilla knitting” (also known by some as “yarn bombing”) involves finding random things in public like guard rails, toilets, fire hydrants, particularly sluggish snails, and knitting over them. It’s street art for old souls.
Fratty (adj.): of or relating to a college fraternity; typical or characteristic of such a fraternity or its members, especially with reference to rowdy behavior
Here’s another word to add to our brocabulary. Fratty is an adjective used to describe the stereotypical frat boy behavior that we all know and despise, like wearing backward hats and saying “yeah man” on repeat.
Stagette (n.): a party given for a woman about to be married
I’m a fan of Canadian slang (as I’m sure most of you know) and this word is a gem. While the term originated in the U.S. to refer to a woman who would attend a party solo, stagette adopted a new meaning in Canada: a bachelorette party. I’ve never been a huge supporter of the word “stag” but “stagette” adds a certain elegance to it that I think I can get behind.
Freegan (n.): a person who eats discarded food, typically collected from the refuse of shops or restaurants, for ethical or ecological reasons
In the foodie food chain, there are four levels: omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and now, freegan. Freegans are out to save the world. They’re the kind of people who periodically turn the shower off and on to conserve water and make smoothies out of whatever leftovers are in the fridge to avoid being wasteful, even if that means mixing cherries with lasagna and about-to-be-expired milk. They also are known to dumpster dive, and use the food we’ve chucked to make beautiful meals. There’s something pretty honorable about that freegan life.
Masshole (n.): a mean Massachusetts driver
As a resident of Massachusetts, I feel like it would be sacrilegious to not celebrate the inclusion of this word in the OED. All of the bumper-riding, arm-flailing, horn-honking Mass drivers out there have worked so hard for this. I’m so proud.
Voluntourism (n.): tourism in which travelers spend time doing voluntary work
Why volunteer in Antarctica when you could be walking along the beach and helping people AT THE SAME TIME. That’s the philosophy behind voluntourism and why it was just inducted into the OED this year.
Cisgender (adj.): designating a person whose sense of personal identity corresponds to the sex and gender assigned to him or her at birth
This entry is long overdue. Our society cannot discuss issues of sexuality if we do not have the proper terms. Cisgender’s entry into the OED is a step in the right direction.
[Featured image via iStock. Other images via Facebook.]