Quirky new additions to Oxford English Dictionary

  • Kanika Sharma, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 16:21 IST

It was recently revealed that the Oxford English Dictionary may disappear from the shelves as the future editions may be too big to print. With words like 'selfie' and 'twerk' making it to the massive masterpiece, the fear of publishers comes as no surprise.

Over 900 new words, phrases, and senses have been entered in the current update. Many popular, colloquial words like hon’ble, demo, wackadoodle, bestie that were a part of everyday conversations have now been added to the pages. But here’s a catch! Academicians feel these words should not be in literary papers.

"There are many formal words now that were considered colloquial about 50 years back. But when it comes to an academic essay, I would certainly not like to read that Jane Austen’s Elizabeth and Charlotte were besties," Vinita Chandra, Associate Professor, Ramjas College.

Read: Next edition of Oxford English Dictionary may be too big to print

"This is the ‘lingo’ that we talk in. And now that these words are officially a part of the dictionary, it would be fun using them in our assignments," says Shubham Bajaj, a student from Delhi University.

But caution is advised.

"There is a difference between formal and informal language. Just because you have a wardrobe doesn’t mean that you would wear a pair of shorts and t-shirt to a wedding. Similarly even though popular words are added, it does not mean that they can be used everywhere," says author William Dalrymple.

For some, the inclusion does not make much difference. "I remember using the word E-ticket ever since the time I started booking tickets online. Dictionary or not, I would still use it. But next time someone tells me, ‘is that even a word?’ I will ask them to go look it up," says Andrea Hooper, a student from DU.
As more and more words become popular, and a Hong Kong local has been identified on the world stage as a ‘Hongkonger’, here’s hoping that Delhiites or Dilli Waalas becomes a part of the official word play, too!

Newest add-ons
1. Beatboxer: Imitating sounds of a drum machine with voice
2. Bestie: A person’s best friend
3. Bookaholic: A lover of books
4. E-ticket: A right to travel recorded electronically when purchase is made
5. Hero-worshipping: Excessive admiration for someone
6. Hongkonger: A native or inhabitant of Hong Kong
7. Honk: The cry of a wild goose; The harsh sound of a car horn.
8. Sciency: Of a somewhat scientific or technical nature
9. Wackadoodle: An eccentric/fanatical person, or the quality of being such.

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