Shia LaBeouf (AP/Joel Ryan)

ICYMI: Oxford Dictionaries adds "mansplain" and "douchebaggery"

"ICYMI," "YOLO" and "FML" are just a few of the new abbreviations to be included in the online edition


Jenny Kutner
August 14, 2014 5:53PM (UTC)

The English language is constantly evolving. To some, however, that "evolution" might seem more like a speedy descent to becoming a hot mess -- a phrase that, by the way, no longer needs to be put in quotes, because it now has an official dictionary definition. On Wednesday, Oxford Dictionaries released a list of the newest additions to its online edition, many of which reflect the popularization of silly Internet slang. The noobs might make the 2011 addition of "noob" look tame: This year's new words include the likes of "amazeballs," "cray" (attributed to Kanye West and Jay Z), "binge-watch,"  and "neckbeard."

According to Oxford, several of the words -- including amazeballs and neckbeard -- increased in usage at similar rates in the U.S. and UK. Other new additions, however, varied dramatically in their rises in popularity across the pond. The newly official phrase "side boob" is 10 times more common in the UK than in the U.S. (which Oxford attributes to heavy media usage), while Americans tend to use the word "adorbs" about 4 times more frequently than Brits.

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For what it's worth, it's not quite time to curse the devaluation of the English language (or throw shade on the new additions). The newest words have only been added to the online dictionary, not the Oxford English Dictionary -- the web edition's more academic, reputable counterpart. When that happens, though, it might be fair to say "FML" and give up.

Here are some more of Oxford Dictionaries' newest words and their abbreviated definitions:

  • adorbs, adj.: (informal) arousing great delight; cute or adorable
  • air punch, n.: thrusting one’s clenched fist up into the air, typically as a gesture of triumph…
  • amazeballs, adj.: (informal) very impressive, enjoyable, or attractive
  • anti-vax, adj.: (US informal) opposed to vaccination
  • binge-watch, v.: (informal) watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession…
  • bro hug, n.: (US informal) friendly embrace between two men
  • clickbait, n.: (informal) (on the Internet) content…whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page
  • cord cutting, n.: (informal) practice of cancelling a pay television subscription or landline phone connection in favour of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service
  • cray, adj. (also cray cray): (US informal) crazy
  • Deep Web, n.: the part of the World Wide Web that is not discoverable by means of standard search engines…
  • doncha, contraction: (informal) don’t you
  • douchebaggery, n.: (N. Amer. informal) obnoxious or contemptible behaviour
  • dox, v.: (informal) search for and publish private data about (an individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent
  • e-cig, n.: (informal) another term for electronic cigarette
  • fandom, n.: the fans of a particular person, team, series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture
  • FML, abbrev.: (vulgar slang) f— my life! (used to express dismay at a frustrating personal situation)
  • geocache, n.: an item…that has been hidden at a location whose coordinates have been posted on the Internet…
  • hate-watch, v.: (informal) watch (a television programme) for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticizing it
  • hippotherapy, n.: horse riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment…
  • hot mess, n.: (US informal) a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered
  • hot mic, n.: (informal) a microphone that is turned on, in particular one that broadcasts a spoken remark that was intended to be private
  • humblebrag, n. & v.: (informal) (make) an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to somethingof which one is proud
  • hyperconnected, adj.: characterized by the widespread or habitual use of devices that have Internet connectivity
  • ICYMI, abbrev.: (informal) in case you missed it
  • listicle, n.: an Internet article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list
  • live-tweet, v.: post comments about (an event) on Twitter while the event is taking place
  • mansplain, v.: (informal) (of a man) explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing
  • mud run, n.: an event in which participants negotiate a course consisting of obstacles filled or covered with mud
  • neckbeard, n.: (informal) growth of hair on a man’s neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming…
  • Paleo diet, n: a diet based on the type of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans…
  • pharmacovigilance, n.: the practice of monitoring effects of medical drugs after they have been licensed for use
  • responsive, adj.:  denoting a website whose page design changes automatically according to the size of screen on which it is viewed
  • second screen, n.: a mobile device used while watching television, especially to access supplementary content or applications
  • side boob, n.: (informal) the side part of a woman’s breast, as exposed by a revealing item of clothing
  • side-eye, n.: (informal , chiefly US): a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt
  • smartwatch, n.: a mobile device with a touchscreen display, worn on the wrist
  • SMH, abbrev.: (informal) shaking (or shake) my head (used to express disapproval, exasperation, etc.)…
  • spit take, n.: (informal) (especially as a comic technique) an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising
  • subtweet, n.: (informal) (on Twitter) a post that refers to a particular user without directly mentioning them, typically as a form of furtive mockery or criticism
  • tech-savvy, n.: (informal) well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology
  • time-poor, adj.: spending much of one’s time working or occupied…
  • throw shade, phr.: (US informal) publicly criticize or express contempt for someone
  • vape, v.: inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device
  • WDYT, abbrev.: (informal) what do you think?
  • YOLO, abbrev.: (informal) you only live once (expressing the view that one should make the most of the present moment)…

Jenny Kutner

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