I’m sure you’ve noticed new words being used in everyday English all the time – for example, only the other day I overheard someone using the phrase ‘mini-moon’ to describe a mini break taken immediately after marriage with the full ‘honeymoon’ coming at a later date, and on another occasion I heard the phrase ‘babymoon’ (a holiday prior to a baby arriving) being used in conversation.
However, these words and phrases don’t just automatically make it into the dictionary, a word needs to be used for some time before it is added to the Oxford English Dictionary. These updates happen every quarter and June saw the latest update to the OED adding over 1200 new words, phrases and senses.
So, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more interesting new additions this quarter:
‘Widdly’ – No, it isn’t a new word for small, it means “Of music or its performance (esp. the playing of an electric guitar): showy, over-elaborate; noodly”
‘Devil Dog’ – Not next door’s aggravating mutt, this is a motivational nickname for a US Marine.
‘Sonographer’ – I was interested to see this appear as a new word as I thought the term must have been around for decades, and in a way it has, but in actual fact, the person who performs ultrasounds is officially known by the now lesser used term ‘ultrasonographer’.
‘Zoomable’ – This addition is one of a multitude of new words we now use every day relating to technology. ’Zoomable’ is a computing term describing the facility to zoom, or magnify something on the screen.
‘Chip and Charge’ – Nothing to do with paying with your chip and pin credit card, as I assumed! This is a tennis term meaning “an attacking style of play in which the player approaches the net behind a sliced shot (usually a return of serve)”.
For those tennis loving wordsmiths out there, in addition to ‘chip and charge’ there have been plenty of other tennis-related words and phrases to make their way into the OED this quarter, for example: hawk-eye, drop shot, drop-volley, forced error and second serve.
If you would like to see a full list of the words included in the June update check out the OED here.
The next OED update is due some time in the Autumn so watch this space for more info.