The newest quarterly update to the Oxford English Dictionary finds space for 1,000 new words, including l8r, deffo and glamping
Pull on your budgie smugglers if you can be bovvered, but deffo make sure you don’t end up sleeping with the fishes.
These are some of the 1,000 new words, phrases and senses to make it into the latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Also included are nearly 2,000 fully revised or partially expanded entries.
The new entries range from the chocolate Afghan biscuit (a New
Zealand speciality, topped with cocoa icing and half a walnut) and
glamping (glamorous camping) to listicle – a usually derogatory term
applied to an article presented wholly or partly in the form of a list
that was first recorded in 2007.
Some phrases, familiar in one context, turn out to have a much longer
pedigree. Sleep with the fishes, for example is indelibly associated
with Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film The Godfather.
In the film, a dead fish wrapped in a gangster’s bulletproof vest is
interpreted as an old Sicilian message that the vest’s owner, Luca
Brasi, is dead. In fact, its origins date at least as far back as the
19th century, when it is recorded in a threat made by disgruntled German
villagers against an English angler who was depleting the stocks of
their trout streams.
Updates with an Australian flavour include budgie smugglers, a term
used since the 1990s to refer to close-fitting swimming trunks, “so
called because of the all-too noticeable appearance of a gentleman’s
wedding tackle”. Deffo, first recorded in Australia in 1940, also makes
Bovver makes an entry. A variant of bother, current since 1871, it
was made famous by comedian Catherine Tate in her teenage character
Lauren’s much-repeated catchphrase: “Am I bovvered?”
A slew of abbreviations associated with social media, email, texting
and other electronic communication are placed in their historical
context for the first time, says Jonathan Dent, a senior assistant
editor at the OED.
“Perhaps surprisingly, many of these abbreviations for common (and
not so common) phrases predate the worldwide web, with the Usenet
newsgroup communities of the late 1980s and early 1990s providing most
of our earliest citations,” writes Dent on an OED blog.
(away from the keyboard) was first recorded in 1990, and BRB (be right
back), TTYL (talk to you later), ltr and l8r (later) all date from 1988.
The latest update includes a small but distinct subset of initialisms
popularised by parenting websites and forums such as Mumsnet.
Referring to various members of one’s immediate family, these
initialisms combine irony and affection: DH (dear/darling husband), from
1993; DD and DS (dear/darling son or daughter), both from 1996; and LO
(little one), referring to a child, which was first recorded in 2004.
The indifferent or unenthusiastic IDC (I don’t care) first appeared
in 1989, while CBA (can’t be arsed) dates from 1998. Lack of enthusiasm
is also evident in tl;dr (too long; didn’t read), which appeared in
2002, “when it formed the entirety of a crushing response to another
Usenet user’s thoughts on the computer game Metroid Prime”.