May 16, 2022

Nearly 700 Words, Senses, and Phrases Included in Oxford English Dictionary For the First Time (March 2022 Quarterly Update)

From the OED Blog:

This update contains nearly 700 words, senses, and phrases which have been researched, defined, and included in OED for the first time, from absolute threshold to ydraw. Absolute threshold, the level or point at which a stimulus—such as sound, touch, or smell—reaches sufficient intensity to become consciously perceptible, is a loan translation of a German phrase, first used in English in 1892. Ydraw is a verb obsolete since the fifteenth century and first recorded in Old English with reference to the sweeping of the hem of a garment.

More recent linguistic developments covered in this update include burner phone, an inexpensive prepaid mobile phone, especially one used for a short time and then destroyed or discarded to protect the owner’s anonymity, first recorded in a 1996 song by rapper Kingpin Skinny Pimp, and the shortened burner in the same sense, first seen from 2002.

Anti-vaccine also makes its first appearance in OED among the new anti– additions, and elsewhere in the range the influence of the pandemic (which made vax Oxford Languages word of the year in 2021) is detectable in new entries forvaccinology and vaccinologist. The noun vaxis recorded in the graphical abbreviation vacc. from 1944, and as vax from 1983, while vax as a verb makes its appearance in 2006 (though the adjective vaxxed was first used a couple of years earlier).


A new phrase entry in shoulder examines the use of to stand on the shoulders of giants to refer to the process of building on the discoveries and achievements of great predecessors, first recorded in the early seventeenth century in a variation on the proverb a dwarf (or child) standing on the shoulders of a giant sees farther than the giant, itself based on a twelfth-century Latin phrase attributed to Bernard of Chartres.

Read the Complete Post (about 1380 words)

Direct to Complete New Word List (March 2022)

More Posts From the OED Blog re: March 2022 Update:

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.