Now, the world can feel comfortable to use slangs like “twerk” and several other online slangs as they have now been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
“Twerk”, “carnap”, “FLOTUS” and scores of other new entries, including many introduced from Asia and from online slang, were added to OED’s latest edition on Thursday.
According to OED Editor, Danica Salazar, who spoke in London, the word twerk, a dance popularised by music stars and Internet memes, actually dated back about 200 years as a combination of twist and jerk first spelled as “twirk.’
He said the use of twerk to describe a type of dance, which emphasises the performer’s posterior, has its roots in the early 1990s in the New Orleans ‘bounce’ music scene. Salazar said the word itself seems to originate from more than 170 years before that.
“Joining twerk in the updated online OED is the acronym FLOTUS, or First Lady of the U.S. “A term that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, felt obliged to explain to London schoolgirls last week when she mentioned her FLOTUS Twitter handle,’’ he said.
The editor said Philippine word carnap, meaning to “kidnap,” or steal, a car, originated in the mid-20th century in the U.S. but was no longer used there.
He said another word from the Philippines was presidentiable, “a person who is a likely or confirmed candidate for president.” Salazar said throughout the years, Filipino English speakers have been adapting the vocabulary of this once foreign tongue, using it to express their own identity and way of life.
“Many additions refer to “specific elements of Philippine culture, such as greetings and terms of address. “The boundless optimism of Filipinos and their unshakeable belief that things will work out in their favour in the end is reflected in the phrase bahala na.”
Salazar said several other new entries are from South Asia and South-east Asia, where several hundred million people use
English as a first or second language. Katherine Martin, the OED’s Head of U.S. dictionaries said the term “Batchmate’’ a member of the same graduation class as another, was used in both Philippine and South Asian English.
Here are some of the new words:
- Auto-tune: Device or software used to correct a singer if they hit a bum note
- Crowdfund: To actively source money for a project from a large numbers of people, who may only contribute small amounts each
- E-cigarette: A battery-powered cigarette-shaped smoking device containing nicotine
- Ecotown: New-build towns designed to have minimal impact on the environment
- Fo’ shizzle: ‘For sure’
- FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out
- Handsy: A person who cannot resist touching others
- Hard arse: A person known for insisting on a rigorous set of standards
- Hyperlocal: Local to a very small area
- Jeggings: Trousers with the stretch of leggings, but the appearance of jeans
- Meh: Used to signal lack of enthusiasm, or a state of boredom. Popularised by The Simpsons in the 1990s
- On-trend: Highly fashionable
- Photobomb: To insert yourself into someone else’s photo uninvited
- Sh*tshow: An event or situation which is chaotic, controversial or which did not go to plan
- Skort: Shorts with an extra flap of material to given them the appearance of a skirt from the front
- Twitterati: People who are highly active on Twitter, and tweet regularly
- Webisode: A short online video of a longer-running series
- Yarn bomb: A form of street art where lamposts, benches, signs and other street ornaments are covered in knitted objects