The OED is updated four times a year – providing insight into how English language is changing
New entries including c**ted, beatboxer, Old Etonian and bestie have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as part of the new words list for March 2014.
Updates to the OED have been taking place quarterly since 2000, and are designed to offer an authoritative catalogue for the changing lexicon of modern times.
Perhaps the message to take away is that people are getting more creative when insulting one another – a whole range of derivatives of the four-letter Middle English swear word “c***” have been added this year, including c**ted, c**ting, c**tish and c**ty*, all adjectives.
Other entries might be seen as reflecting the current political landscape – the term Old Etonian has been added as a noun and adjective, after David Cameron came in for criticism for the “ridiculous” number of fellow former Eton College classmates in his inner circle of advisers.
Some new words have come to greater prominence as a result of extraordinary personal achievements – scissor-kick (verb) has now been added to the OED, perhaps in honour of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 2012 goal of the year against England.
The term Old Etonian, denoting someone who studied at Eton College (pictured), has been added as a noun and adjective for the first timeMany of this year’s new entries can trace their origins to American English, from crap shoot and honky-tonker to the more bizarre wackadoodle.
Katherine Connor Martin, the OED’s head of US dictionaries, wrote a series of notes to accompany the March 2014 list and explain some of the more bizarre imports.
She wrote: “Wackadoo and wackadoodle are elaborations of wacky, wack, or wacko, used to refer to people regarded as eccentric. The silliness of the words themselves contributes to their mildly contemptuous effect.
“Similar-sounding nonsense words were used as refrains in popular songs like Doo Wacka Doo in the early 20th century, but it isn’t certain that these directly impacted the later development ofwackadoo and wackadoodle, which didn’t become common until the end of the century.”
As with many previous years, the new list includes a number of words incorporated into the language from the melting pot of playground and teenage slang. While the last update saw the addition of the words twerk and selfie, this year bestie, chugger and the verb to toilet-paper feature.
More of March 2014 entries list with new definitions:
bathroom break (n.): a short period of time within the duration of an activity (often of a prescribed or limited duration) taken to use the toilet.
beatboxer (n.): a performer who uses (amplified) vocal effects to imitate the sounds and rhythms of hip-hop music.
bestie (n.): a person’s best friend; a very close friend.
bookaholic (n.): a habitual and prolific reader; a compulsive book buyer.
crap shoot (n.): a situation or undertaking regarded as uncertain, risky, or unpredictable.
c**tish (adj., coarse slang): nasty, highly unpleasant; extremely annoying.
dead white male (n.): a dead Caucasian male writer, philosopher, etc., whose pre-eminence is challenged as disproportionate to his cultural significance, and attributed to a historical bias towards his gender and ethnic group.
DIYer (n.): A person who engages in do-it-yourself activities; an amateur (in construction, repair, etc.).
do-over (n.): an instance or chance of doing something for a second or further time, after an unsuccessful or unsatisfactory first attempt.
honky-tonker (n.): a person who owns, works in, or frequents a cheap, sleazy bar or nightclub, typically one where country music is played.
scissor-kick (v): to perform a kick which involve a scissor-like motion of the legs, as in swimming or soccer.
wackadoodle (adj.): crazy, mad; eccentric