“Twerk” added to Oxford Dictionaries Online

Miley Cyrus twerking

Miley Cyrus, twerking at the VMAs.

Hands up if you’ve heard about the MTV VMA awards, which took place last Thursday in the USA. In particular, I’m talking about the behaviour of a certain pop singer, Miley Cyrus.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds were buzzing with news and comments about Miley Cyrus’ somewhat memorable performance alongside Robin Thicke.  In the real world everyone was talking about it too.
Haz click para conocer los mejores Cursos de Inglés Online Her performance, in which she gyrated in a provocative manner in front of singer Thicke, sealed the deal for the debut of the word “Twerk” in the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO). The ODO is known to be the hipper version of the Oxford Dictionary, as it keeps up-to-date with the latest trends in the English language.

“Twerk” was one of many words to be added to the ODO, alongside colloquialisms such as “selfie”, “me time” and “buzzworthy”. The ODO’s definition of the verb twerk is: Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance. This word has been around for a while and has been used in many rather raunchy rap songs, but finally it’s twerked it’s way into the dictionary.

These new additions demonstrate just how closely connected language and culture are; with new trends come new words and phrases. We live in a world, which is constantly changing and morphing into the shapes of the future. New crazes in technology, social media, music, art, cinema, etc. are emerging every week. In fact, many of the words added are related to social media and technology.

For me it’s a struggle to keep up with what’s in and what’s out.  At least the ODO is here to give us a helping hand!

Below you will find a selection of some of the words added, with their definitions.

New additions to the ODO
  • bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
  • buzzworthy, adj. (informal): likely to arouse the interest and attention of the public, either by media coverage or word of mouth.
  • derp, exclam. & n. (informal): (used as a substitute for) speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action.
  • emoji, n: a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
  • FIL, n.: a person’s father-in-law (see also MIL, BIL, SIL).
  • me time, 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.
  • phablet, n.: a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.
  • selfie, 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.
  • squee, exclam. & v. & n. (informal): (used to express) great delight or excitement.
  • twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.

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