Retweet, sexting enter Oxford English Dictionary
LONDON (AP) — Woot! The online expression of enthusiasm is now in the dictionary. So are textspeak, sexting — and, less happily, cyberbullying.
They are among 400 new entries in the 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, published this month.
Another newcomer to the reference book’s 24,000 entries is retweet — to repost another Twitter user’s message.
Editor Angus Stevenson revealed some of the new entries in a blog post Thursday.
Some of the new words describe forms of behavior and communication created by technology. There’s cyberbullying, a form of online abuse, and textspeak, the abbreviated language used in cell phone messages. And, of course, sexting — sending explicit photos or messages by mobile phone.
Less high-tech new entries include jeggings — a jeans-leggings hybrid popular with some and considered a fashion crime by others — and mankini, a sling-style bathing suit made infamous by comic character Borat.
Stevenson said the latest edition also added new meanings for existing words like friend and follower to reflect their new online uses. A friend is no longer just an intimate acquaintance, but also “a contact on a social networking website.”
Unlike the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, the concise edition was founded to include modern and slang terms as they enter common use. Its first edition in 1911 featured the then-new words aeroplane, motorist and flapper.
Stevenson said the new additions “are just carrying on the tradition of a dictionary that has always sought to be progressive and up to date.”
Earlier this year compilers admitted hundreds of new words to the vast Oxford English Dictionary, including the Internet abbreviations OMG, “Oh My God”; LOL, “laughing out loud”; and IMHO, “in my humble opinion.”