28 Aug 2015

Manspreading and Grexit become bona fide words

12:07 pm on 28 August 2015

The act of "manspreading", or sitting with legs wide apart on public transport, is among 1,000 new words to enter the online Oxford dictionary.

Women crowded by 'Manspreading' on a New York Subway.

Women crowded by 'Manspreading' on a New York Subway. Photo: Flickr / WNYC New York Public Radio

OxfordDictionaries.com issues quarterly updates on current definitions of English words.

Other new entries include Grexit, Brexit, hangry, beer and wine o'clock and NBD - meaning "no big deal".

Oxford Dictionaries said the addition of multiple slang words showed "creative" use of language.

New words and phrases are added to the website once editors have enough independent evidence to be confident of their widespread currency in English.

However, they do not gain an entry into the Oxford English Dictionary unless there is a demonstration of continued historical use.

According to Oxford Dictionary's language monitoring service, hangry has seen its usage increase since 2012, with a spike in April 2014 connected to an American study about low glucose levels making people cross.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford Dictionaries, said the addition of multiple slang words did not represent a dumbing down of English.

She said: "There's always been new slang words. I just think we are more aware of them because of the ways in which we consume and live our lives now.

"We are bombarded with more and more avenues where those sort of words are used and we just think that there are more of them. I don't necessarily think that's the case."

New online dictionary entries

  • Bants - short for banter
  • NBD - abbreviation of no big deal
  • Hangry - adjective used to show feelings of anger or irritability as a result of hunger
  • Grexit and Brexit - the potential departure of the UK and Greece from the EU
  • Awesomesauce - to describe something as excellent
  • Weak sauce - anything of a poor or disappointing standard
  • Bruh - describing a male friend
  • Pocket dial - to accidentally call someone while your phone is in a pocket
  • Mkay - the informal pronunciation of OK

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