Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, August 29, 2013
Need further proof that Miley Cyrus’ controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance will go down in the annals of history? Just check out the latest revision to the Oxford Dictionary Online, which now includes the verb “twerking.”
According to Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin, “twerking” isn’t a brand-new term by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s been around for more than twenty years.
“There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,” Martin told Britain’s Daily Mail. “We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to ‘work it.’ The ‘t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch.
Even actor Morgan Freeman seems to be excited about the new addition, performing a dramatic reading of the new officially-sanctioned word on HLN’s “Morning Express” Wednesday.
Cyrus’ infamous dance move wasn’t the only new addition inspired by popular culture, however. “Selfies,” “phablets” and “bitcoins” also made the cut. In June, Oxford added “e-Reader,” “flash mob” and “to have a cow” to its annals.
Listed below are 18 of the newest words in the Oxford Dictionary Online.
pl. n. (informal): apologies
n. (informal): a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born; a period of time following the birth of a baby during which the new parents can focus on establishing a bond with their child.
n. a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
adj. (informal): likely to arouse the interest and attention of the public, either by media coverage or word of mouth.
n.: a small round piece of cake coated with icing or chocolate and fixed on the end of a stick so as to resemble a lollipop.
n.: a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
n: a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
n: a hairstyle in which a section of hair running from the front to the back of the head stands erect, intended to resemble a Mohican haircut (in which the sides of the head are shaved).
n.: a protruding stomach caused by eating a large quantity of food and supposedly resembling that of a woman in the early stages of pregnancy.
n. (informal): an intense and typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one woman or girl for another.
n. (informal): time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
n.: a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.
n.: a woman’s short hairstyle in which the hair is cropped in layers, typically so as to create a slightly tousled effect.
n. (informal): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
n.: the practice of travelling into space for recreational purposes.
adv. (informal): short for ‘seriously’.
v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
v.: withdraw one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked).
This piece has been updated.