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Vuvuzela now in English lexicon!

world Updated: Jul 25, 2010 10:49 IST

Its cacophony may have irritated many, but 'vuvuzela', the air horn trumpet that became the loudest and most distinctive symbol of the FIFA World Cup, has now been accepted in the English lexicon.

According to the Global Language Monitor (GLM), a group that studies word usage, "Vuvuzela has already appeared some 2,450 times in a recent search of the New York Times archive."

"Vuvuzela appears certain to achieve a place (or at least some notoriety) within the ranks of the English language," said GLM's chief word analyst Paul J J Payack.

"That is quick a few citations for the first draft of history; even a quick Google search yields over 6,000,000 hits on the term," Payack said.

According to the BBC, vuvuzelas are seemingly ubiquitous brightly coloured plastic horns, said to have the potential to inflict lasting hearing loss because of the loudness and pitch.

The thresholds to cross into the English lexicon include 25,000 citations meeting criteria for breadth of geographic dispersion along with a depth of media formats including the Internet, blogosphere and social media along with various formats of print and electronic media.

Since 2003, the GLM has been recognising new words or neologisms once they meet these criteria.

The GLM says the word vuvuzela, is of uncertain origin.

"Some think it is related to the summoning horn, the kudu, for African villages. Others speculate it to be derived from an onomatopoeic Zulu word for the sound 'vu-vu', or a word for noise making, while many believe it to be 'township slang' for shower (of noise)," it said.