Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

My BFF just told me “TTYL” is in the dictionary. LMAO.

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

New words, senses, and phrases have been added to the

New Oxford American Dictionary!

Now, I’m not going to list every addition, but here’s a sampling I think you’ll all find interesting.

New Words


BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

big media n. [treated as sing. or pl.] the main means of mass communication (i.e., television, radio, and the press), as opposed to blogs or other personal websites.

bromance n. informal a close but nonsexual relationship between two men.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of brother and romance.

carbon credit n. a permit that allows a country or organization to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions and that can be traded if the full allowance is not used.

carbon offsetting n. the counteracting of carbon dioxide emissions with an equivalent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

cloud computing n. the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

credit crunch n. a sudden sharp reduction in the availability of money or credit from banks and other lenders: the beleaguered company has become the latest victim of the credit crunch.

defriend v. another term for unfriend.

eggcorn n. a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one that sounds very similar or identical (e.g., tow the line instead of toe the line).
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: with reference to a misinterpretation of acorn.

exit strategy n. a preplanned means of extricating oneself from a situation that is likely to become difficult or unpleasant.

gal pal n. informal a female friend.

green audit n. an assessment of a business in terms of its impact on the environment.

green-collar adj. denoting or relating to employment concerned with products and services designed to improve the quality of the environment: green-collar jobs.
– ORIGIN on the pattern of white-collar and blue-collar.

hashtag n. (on social networking websites such as Twitter) a hash or pound sign (#) used to identify a particular keyword or phrase in a posting.

hater n. a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing: a man hater | he’s not a hater of modern music.
informal a negative or critical person: she found it difficult to cope with the haters.

hockey mom n. informal a mother who devotes a great deal of time and effort to supporting her children’s participation in ice hockey.

homeshoring n. the practice of transferring employment that was previously carried out in a company’s office or factory to employees’ homes.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: on the pattern of offshoring.

homesourcing n. another term for homeshoring.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: on the pattern of outsourcing (see outsource).

hypermiling n. the practice of making adjustments to a vehicle or using driving techniques that will maximize the vehicle’s fuel economy.
– DERIVATIVES hypermiler n.

Interweb n. humorous the Internet.

LBD n. (pl. LBDs) informal little black dress: you can’t go wrong with an LBD for premières or parties.
– ORIGIN abbreviation.

lipstick lesbian n. informal a lesbian who favors a glamorous, traditionally feminine style.

LMAO abbr. vulgar slang laughing my ass off.

megachurch n. a church with an unusually large congregation, typically one preaching a conservative or evangelical form of Christianity.

parkour (also parcour) n. the activity or sport of running through an area, typically in an urban environment, using acrobatic techniques to negotiate obstacles.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: French, alteration of parcours ‘route, course.’

paywall n. (on a website) an arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to the site.

quantitative easing n. Finance the introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank.

social media n. [treated as sing. or pl.] websites and applications used for social networking.

social networking n. the use of dedicated websites and applications to communicate informally with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself.

staycation n. informal a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of stay1 and vacation.

steampunk n. a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

tag cloud n. a visual depiction of the word content of a website, or of user-generated tags attached to online content, typically using color and font size to represent the prominence or frequency of the words or tags depicted.

tramp stamp n. informal a tattoo on a woman’s lower back.

truthiness n. informal the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.
– ORIGIN early 19th cent. (in the sense ‘truthfulness’): coined in the modern sense by US humorist Stephen Colbert (1964–).

TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.

vuvuzela n. S. African a long horn blown by fans at soccer matches.
– ORIGIN perhaps from Zulu.

wardrobe malfunction n. informal, humorous an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as a result of an article of clothing slipping out of position.

waterboarding n. an interrogation technique simulating the experience of drowning, in which a person is strapped, face up, to a board that slopes downward at the head, while large quantities of water are poured over the face into the breathing passages.

webisode n. an episode, esp. from a television series, or short promotional film made for viewing online.
– ORIGIN 1990s: blend of Web and episode.

zombie bank n. informal a financial institution that is insolvent but that continues to operate through government support.

New Phrases


be all that informal be very attractive or good: he thinks he’s all that—yeah, God’s gift.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.

like herding cats informal used to refer to a difficult or impossible task, typically an attempt to organize a group of people: controlling the members of this expedition is like herding cats.

cop to accept or admit to: there are a lot of people who don’t cop to their past.

what’s not to like? informal used as a rhetorical expression of approval or satisfaction: cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and mountain views—what’s not to like?

share a moment informal experience a joint sensation of heightened emotion: Alan and Barbara shared a moment yesterday after the memorial service.

talk the talk informal speak fluently or convincingly about something or in a way intended to please or impress others: we may not look like true rock jocks yet, but we talk the talk.

Old Words, New Senses


arc (in a novel, play, or movie) the development or resolution of the narrative or principal theme.

channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.

cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

flyover informal, derogatory denoting central regions of the US regarded as less significant than the East or West coasts:  the flyover states.

friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.

heart like very much; love: I totally heart this song.

made man a man who has been formally inducted as a full member of the Mafia.

meme an image, video, phrase, etc., that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

nimrod informal an inept person.

own informal utterly defeat or humiliate: yeah right, she totally owned you, man.

pimp informal make (something) more showy or impressive.

poke (on the social networking site Facebook) attract the attention of (another member of the site) by using the ‘poke’ facility.

riff perform a monologue or spoken improvisation on a particular subject: he also riffs on racism and the economy.

rock informal wear (a garment) or affect (an attitude or style), esp. in a confident or flamboyant way: she was rocking a clingy little leopard-skin number.

short Stock Exchange sell (stocks or other securities or commodities) in advance of acquiring them, with the aim of making a profit when the price falls.

soften (of a market, currency, or commodity) fall in value: the share price has softened recently.

straightedge (esp. among fans of hardcore punk music) having an ascetic or abstinent lifestyle: he’s so straightedge that he won’t even take Tylenol when he has a headache.

tweet
– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.

viral an image, video, advertisement, etc., that is circulated rapidly on the Internet: the rise of virals in online marketing.

Recent Comments

  1. [...] See the rest of the additions at Oxford University Press's blog. [...]

  2. [...] American Dictionary has added a slew of 21st Century terms to the new edition, and the OUP blog has listed many of them. Interestingly enough, a host of text messaging abbreviations have entered the new [...]

  3. Jesse Kay

    I just blogged about this on my site whichenglish.com. Not sure that I agree with some of these – but then, people are bound to say that.

    Was quite surprised that the likes of Credit Crunch and a few others are classed as “new”. Surely they could just be entered without fanfare?

    J

  4. Stephen

    Could “parcour” have originated as a backformation of “par course”?

  5. [...] celebrate (yeah, right) the fact that The New Oxford American Dictionary has just added the phrase ‘tramp-stamp’ to its lexicon, here’s a hurriedly [...]

  6. [...] forever.For the second time this week, friendship has made the news (see the first report here). The Oxford English Dictionary announced on its blog yesterday that the acronym "BFF" has been added as an official noun and lists [...]

  7. Russell Cross

    Sigh! Now I have to part with more money to add this new edition to my collection. Please assure me that the complete 20+ volume OED is not on the horizon ;)

  8. [...] venerable Oxford American Dictionary has added a ginormous (adj., not included) list of words inspired by the interweb (noun, [...]

  9. [...] Via: Oxford University Press [...]

  10. [...] I’m just so damned busy puzzling over the complete list of additions at the Oxford University Press blog that I’d prefer to keep writing for Techyum, which doesn’t have deadlines. I mean, [...]

  11. Karl Marx

    TTGTB (Time to Go to Bed) is unfortunately missing?!

  12. Joan Stewart

    Maybe it’s just me, but I hate on the word heart, when used as a replacement for the word love.

    Also, several of these phrases—like “share a moment” and “like herding cats”—have been around for so long that it’s difficult to believe they’re considered “new.”

  13. Fyfedawg

    Wow this is a really interesting list! I could only think of a few, but there are tons of examples here! Most of them I havent even heard of. Are these actually in the oxford dictionary?
    My post about these words is at http://fyfeblawg.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/repurposedwords/
    I guess ‘flight’ ‘text’ and ‘google’ have already been given new meanings long ago, since they arent in this list

  14. Ellen Geiger

    Wither (sic) the English language…

  15. [...] you have an opinion on Oxford Dictionaries addition of these terms? (more additions are available here) If so, please post a comment [...]

  16. Dana Wilde

    Hi Joan,

    I love this post. Whether we like it or not, slang and acronyms are here to stay. I try to embrace the changes. I think it’s wonderful language is so organic and fluid.

    . . . and besides . . . I don’t think most of us really miss using “thee” and “thou”. :)

    Thanks for the article!

  17. [...] and meanings have been added to the New Oxford American Dictionary in its first update since 2005. The Oxford University Press blog has a list of some of the new words, many of which seem to have been lifted from a teenage [...]

  18. [...] week, Oxford University Press published a blog post listing some of the new words that will be included in the next revision of their renowned dictionary. As always, there are some [...]

  19. [...] list of words and phrases that will be in vogue to throw around in your everyday speech click here.  In case you’re wondering, I’m still working on “groovy” and “outta [...]

  20. The Cryptojournalist

    As far as pretend words, I greatly enjoy nearlyisms. When someone nearly says a phrase. Gah, I hate those clothes-minded people!

  21. [...] on September 20, 2010 by tavelle| Leave a comment Here’s a random sampling taken from the OUPblog Very amusing stuff this [...]

  22. Links: Big Tex 2010 Edition

    [...] New words, senses and phrases added to New Oxford American Dictionary: A handful of the newbies: BFF, bromance, cloud computing, hashtag, LMAO, social media, social networking, staycation, steampunk, tag cloud and TTYL. [...]

  23. Britta Hejdenberg

    Very interesting. For all of us who do not have English (British or American)as our first language and who are using the net a lot…this gives us something to think about. We also need to let words/expressions etc melt into our own first languages. A language is alive and moving in various directions. It is so interesting to see what we pick up/translate/assimilate/blend from other languages. Interesting also to see what kind of mixtures/assimilations will survive in our own languages and how.

  24. [...] http://blog.oup.com/2010/09/noad3/ ▶ No Responses /* 0) { jQuery('#comments').show('', change_location()); [...]

  25. | New Beginnings ABE

    [...] New words and phrases have been added to the [...]

  26. [...] you believe the word “bromance” has now made it into the accepted lexicon through its addition to the New Oxford American Dictionary? I, for one, could not be more tickled.  Imagine: men now have their own word that captures our [...]

  27. [...] “hockey mom” or a “soccer mom”? The New Oxford Dictionary has added a whole wack of new words to the dictionary this year, and while I can’t muster a tonne of enthusiasm that [...]

  28. [...] – Truthiness. This word has gone from being a quick throw away word to being listed in the New Oxford American Dictionary with Colbert explicitly credited as the one bringing the word into the [...]

  29. Truthiness «

    [...] years later, truthiness has proved to be no bushlips. It has even entered the latest edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary, published earlier this year, with Colbert explicitly credited in the etymology. In an e-mail, [...]

  30. Lorne.Lorne

    The NOAD might do well to annotate that “wardrobe malfunction” was popularized by Janet Jackson in reaction to criticism about her live 200? Superbowl halftime television appearance with ????, who appears to have caused the malfunction.

  31. [...] Ready to put on your “LBD” (Little Black Dress) go out with your “BFF” (Best Friend Forever) to “share a moment,” and then develop an “exit strategy” if you encounter men who think they’re “all that” (what we used to call God’s gift to women)?” Better take the Oxford American Dictionary’s list of newly added words along. Go here for the full list: http://blog.oup.com/2010/09/noad3/! [...]

  32. [...] evolves. For example, new words and acronyms are constantly being added to the Oxford English Dictionary — like this year’s selection, which includes hashtag, unfriend, carbon offsetting, TTYL (talk to [...]

  33. [...] Speaking of English: Oxford’s additions to their 2010 Dictionary, AND 50 Cent’s tweets, translated into the Queen’s [...]

  34. [...] My BFF just told me “TTYL” is in the dictionary. LMAO. [...]

  35. [...] I’ve been thinking about how we use language to express ourselves online. I’ll admit to straddling the fence here, on whether or not I’m happy to see how our language is evolving. For example, they added LMAO and Unfriend to the New Oxford American Dictionary? [...]

  36. [...] I’ve been thinking about how we use language to express ourselves online. I’ll admit to straddling the fence here, on whether or not I’m happy to see how our language is evolving. For example, they added LMAO and Unfriend to the New Oxford American Dictionary?” [...]

  37. [...] words, words: Language is another thing that changes—sometimes dramatically—over time. [Highlights] from the latest batch of words, phrases, and meanings added to the Oxford English Dictionary from [...]

  38. JIM sare

    I always wondered who mad ethe final decision on what gets added.

  39. [...] stamp’ or a ‘bromance’” surf (ah, another old word that now has a new definition!) to the Oxford University Press’s blog to find the answer and learn more new and off the wall words and phrases. Share [...]

  40. [...] initialisms associated with the digital genres of chat and text messaging, for example OMG, WTF, LMAO, and BRB, are also ridiculed, and sometimes even condemned for contaminating the English language [...]

  41. [...] The Oxfrod American Dictionary has some pretty interesting updates [...]

  42. [...] more about the new words at the publishing company’s blog at http://blog.oup.com/2010/09/noad3/ (I love the [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *