6 of the best (or worst) words added to the dictionary recently

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6 of the best (or worst) words added to the dictionary recently

Hangry, dad bod, yolo – do these terms sound like a foreign language to you? Do you use them in everyday conversation? Or does your blood boil every time you hear them?

However you feel about neologisms, they are an integral part of any dialect – if a language can’t or won’t grow, it’s likely to be replaced by one that can adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Not convinced? Think about it this way – imagine you were transported back in time to 1950 and you’ve just bought a new car. You need to get cover for it and you know that the quickest way to do that would be to get insurance quotes online. Imagine trying to explain to someone during that time what the word ‘online’ means – it would be a totally foreign concept to them. But because English has adapted to its environment, almost everyone today would know what you’re talking about.

And English doesn’t show any sign of slowing down –roughly 1000 words are added each year.[1]

Love them or hate them, neologisms are here to stay, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the words that have been added to www.oxforddictionaries.com in the last few years, and what they mean:

1. Selfie

“A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”

What do you do when you’ve put your toes into the sea for the first time on a much-needed holiday? Or after you’ve had your first ride on your new motorcycle (after you’ve taken out bike insurance, of course)? How about when you meet up with a long-lost friend?

You probably take a selfie.

If you’re not the type to take selfies, that doesn’t mean you can get away from them. You’ll see them filling up your newsfeed on just about every social media platform, or your friends will insist you join in on their selfies.  

2. Fomo

This is an abbreviation of ‘fear of missing out’. Oxford defines it as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”

Have you ever been stuck at home with the flu while your friends are posting selfies on Instagram, and it makes you feel even worse? Then you’ve had fomo.

3. Wine o’clock

“An appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine.”

There is also ‘beer o’clock’, and these terms are humorous ways of saying that you think it’s a suitable time to start drinking. Coincidently, this time often coincides with Friday afternoons after work.

4. Rage-quit

“Angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game.”

If you’re a millennial, you’ve probably had your fair share of rage-quits, whether they began on your Nintendo Entertainment System playing Super Mario Bros or continue today with FIFA 16.

If you’re not familiar with these games, you might still be acquainted with similar behaviour that occurs during most Monopoly games.

5. Cat café

“A cafe or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises.”

Yes, cat cafés are so popular that the term has been added to the dictionary. The first one ever established was in Taipei, Taiwan all the way back in 1998, and was called Cat Flower Garden.[2] It’s still around today, but is now known as Café & Cats 1998.[3] Since then, the trend has spread across the world, including other parts of Asia, Europe, and the United States.

6. Shootie

“A woman’s ankle-high bootlike shoe.”

Fashion is ever-changing, and so should the words we use to describe it. Sure, you could say ‘ankle boot’ but why would you when ‘shootie’ is so much more fun.

Some might say our online insurance quotes platform is on fleek, but we think the best way to describe it is – it’s easy and effortless to use and understand. Whether you need Car, Household, Buildings or Bike Insurance, you can get cover anywhere, anytime with Dialdirect.

 

Other references:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/08/new-words-update-manspreading-mic-drop/



[1] https://atkinsbookshelf.wordpress.com/tag/how-many-words-enter-the-english-language-each-year/

[2] http://mentalfloss.com/article/56592/brief-history-cat-cafe

[3] https://www.lonelyplanet.com/taiwan/taipei/travel-tips-and-articles/the-purrrfect-cuppa-taipeis-best-cat-cafes

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