Something is very amazing and exciting about the days when new words are added to the English language by OED, and this year more than 600 words, phrases and senses have been added to the common parlance. From chana to zyzzyva and from post-truth to hygge, there are quite a lot of new words!
The unofficial custodian of English language has rolled out its latest online update to add a clutch of ‘new’ terms, some dating back to the 16th century while majority of them are grabbed from other languages. The beauty of English is that it is flexible, it adapts so easily and probably that is the reason for being globally accepted. And it is that magical time of year again when the Oxford English Dictionary goes through revisions and adds words that have made it into mainstream culture.
Since 2016 has been a globally turbulent year, the OED update for this year includes some cultural as well as politically inspired words like ‘woke’ and ‘post-truth’. I said ‘politically inspired’ because the original meaning of woke is to awaken after sleep but the word now has a political meaning after being taken up by the Black Lives Matter movement. Other words like ‘Brexit’ too have made it to the Dictionary, finally.
For all the tennis lovers out there, 50 new terms relating to tennis, such as “forced error”, “chip and charge” and “career slam” have been added and are now an official part of OED. Indians too bling over it as “Chana dal” has made it as an English lexicon; also, doenjang, a paste made from fermented soy beans used in Korean cookery is added too. Drinkable word – ‘gin daisy’ which is basically some kind of citrus cocktail is now known in the kitchen of OED.
The good-old word Thing is defined as: “a genuine or established phenomenon or practice. Typically, somewhat depreciative, often in questions conveying surprise or incredulity.”. So the word thing is now totally a thing, get it? And for the last significant addition – Oxford Dictionary has got a new ‘last word’ – Zyzzyva, which is a tropical weevil native to South American which is usually found on or near palm trees. So there you go, that the interesting part for this year’s addition in OED.