Cube Farm!??!?!?!?

Thousands of new definitions in latest revision of Canadian Oxford Dictionary
TORONTO (CP) – Canadians have a new word for a selfish hockey player (puck hog), a boy-crazy older woman (cougar) and the colourless rows of cubicles that make up the modern workplace (cube farm).
These entries are among thousands of updated words and meanings in the second edition of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which hits stores at the end of the month. Although some may seem so common that they barely merit a special mention, editor Katherine Barber said it is precisely those types of words that need to be recorded.
“Once these words become part of general vocabulary, you can’t remember not having them,” she said.
This update to the tome first released in 1998 adds only words and phrases the editors feel have become firmly entrenched in the language.
“We have a rule of thumb for the new dictionary entries – we have to have 15 examples from 15 different sources before we put it in the dictionary,” Barber said, adding it takes about 10 years of use for a word to make the move from fringe expression to dictionary-worthy.
“We can’t put every ephemeral word in the dictionary. We have to be convinced it’s sticking around in the language,” she said.
Barber pointed out Canadians’ unique use of English continues to provide her and the other lexicographers on the project with new entries.
“Canadians are using Canadian English all the time without realizing it. We have about 2,200 Canadianisms in the dictionary,” she said. “Most people don’t realize ‘butter tart’ is a Canadianism, ‘eavestrough’ is a Canadianism.”
For the past few years, editors have been surveying samples of the printed word across the country – everything from newspapers to grocery store flyers – and coming up with possible new entries for this revision. The mutability of the language means it’s a never-ending job.
Barber’s team encountered several surprises when researching this edition. For example, the everyday word for the orange simulated cheese-flavoured snack, Cheezies, is made-in-Canada. South of the border, they’re called “cheese puffs” or “cheese twists.”
“It’s the ordinariness of (Canadianisms) which tends to surprise us,” she said.
And the challenge goes beyond making sure there’s a u in colour. Barber said Canadian English has a host of alternative word meanings, spellings and even pronunciations to contend with.
The context for Canadians is different as well, said Barber, pointing out that the vast hockey and curling vocabularies her team included isn’t likely to be found in the equivalent American or British reference book.
“Hardly anyone puts curling vocabulary in dictionaries,” she said.
But she rejected the idea that the dictionary, which she has worked on since 1991, is shaping the language.
“We don’t delude ourselves into believing that just because a word is in the dictionary that people will keep on using it,” she said.
In addition to new words and meanings, the latest edition includes a reference list of Canadian prime ministers and new biographical entries for 100 notable Canadians – including one horse. This revised dictionary includes a brief item on Northern Dancer, the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby.
Since its release six years ago, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary has sold more than 190,000 copies. The new edition includes 300,000 definitions.
Here are some of the new entries in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, second edition:
– Alberta clipper
– double-double
– May Two-Four
– puck hog
– beer league
– sno-pitch
– studmuffin
– sexcapade
– cougar
– hacktivist
– netizen
– blog
– West Nile Virus
– erectile dysfunction
– geek chic
– jiggy
– co-parent
– commuter marriage
– nanny cam