March 8, 2021

Oxford English Dictionary Adds New Words, Intialisms and Revises 1900 Entries

First, three new intialisms have added to the OED:

+ OMG

+ LOL

+ FYI

+ WAG (an acronym)

Wag [WAG n./4] is notable for the extremely fast journey from its introduction to the language to its use as usual English vocabulary. In 2002, the Sunday Telegraph reported that the staff at the England footballers’ pre-World Cup training camp referred to the players’ partners collectively as ‘Wags’, from the initial letters of ‘wives and girlfriends’. The term then remained relatively dormant, except for a small and brief revival around the time of Euro 2004, before the 2006 World Cup in Germany saw an explosion of usage, as the women, including Victoria Beckham and Colleen McLoughlin (now Colleen Rooney), had a high profile of their own, and were a visible element (especially to the media) of the England team’s presence in their base, Baden-Baden. Debates raged in the newspapers about whether the women’s presence was ‘distracting’ the footballers, alongside an equal fascination with what they were buying and wearing.

The commentary by Graeme Diamond from the OED is terrific.

Next, here are few of the words and phrases that were part of the March 2011 update:

doughnut hole
flat white
happy camper
la-la land
muffin top (OED does mention it’s use in an episode of Seinfeld)

Finally, you’ve got to love this new entry:

…the OED now acknowledges the ten- (or three-, five- etc.) second rule [second n.1 Additions (b)], which allows for the eating of a delicious morsel that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of time.

The complete set of just added word along with commentary about many of them can be accessed on the latest OED update page. List of words from previous updates are also available.

You can go direct to the complete list of new words here.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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