25 Jun 2015

Twitterati make it into Oxford Dictionary

5:43 pm on 25 June 2015

The Twitterati just got something new to tweet about; They, along with nearly 500 other words, have just made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Oxford Dictionary new words

Photo: RNZ

The venerable volume now officially defines Twitterati as, "Users of the social networking service Twitter collectively, typically referring to the group of prolific contributors or those who have high numbers of followers."

Other words that made the dictionary's latest update include twerk - the dance move that Miley Cyrus brought to mainstream consciousness - and meh - the much-used interjection that expresses indifference.

E-cigarettes, ecotown and FLOTUS - the acronym invented to shorten the First Lady of the United States's title - also made the cut.

As well as ushering in hundreds of new words, the Oxford English Dictionary has included more than 900 newly revised words in its update.

It has also added 2400 new senses for existing words, so lipstick is no longer just make-up but also a way of describing the treble 20 on a dartboard.

While the dictionary may deal with English, many of the newly-added words are borrowed from other languages.

English-speaking Canadians use the French word depanneur for convenience store and the Oxford English Dictionary has decided it is in common enough use to be added to the English language.

The same goes for mahala, a word English-speaking South Africans have adopted as their own to use in place of gratis.

The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published in parts between 1884 and 1928