The Oxford Dictionary regularly releases updated editions with plenty of new words and phrases that have snaked their way into our collective vocabulary, and while many of these inclusions totally deserve a spot in the dictionary, I can’t be the only one who thinks that a handful of these belonged on the cutting room floor…
You can see the entire listing of new word entries here, but let’s focus on a few of the worthy additions:
Zyzzyva, n. – a genus of South American weevils found on or near palm trees. This type of insect has dethroned zythum, an ancient Egyptian malt beer, as the final word in the dictionary.
devil dog, n. – a motivational nickname for a U.S. Marine. (No relation to the snack cakes that share the same name.)
hygge, n. and adj. – a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, as cozy, charming, or special.
Doenjang, n. – a type of Korean fermented bean paste made entirely of soybean and brine.
web radio, n. – an audio service transmitted online.
Those all felt like fresh entries that you’d expect to see in a modern dictionary, right? How do you feel about these?
bug chaser, n. – A person (esp. a homosexual man) who actively seeks infection with the HIV virus through unprotected sex with HIV-positive partners.
woke, adj.2 – U.S. regional and nonstandard (chiefly in African-American usage). Originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in stay woke (often used as an exhortation).
butt pirate (sub-entry), n. – A sexual slur for gay men.
post-truth, adj. – a political environment in which discussion is erected largely by calls to emotion detached from the aspects of policy, and by the reiterated assertion of talking points to which actual rejoinders are ignored.
barebacking, n. – physical sexual activity without the use of a condom, especially male to male anal sex.
The next time your kid asks you to define something, and you respond with “I don’t know, why don’t you look it up?” keep in mind that the Merriam-Webster dictionary doesn’t include terms like “butt pirate” and “barebacker.” Just throwing that out there, parents.