The words “retweet”, “sexting“, and “cyberbullying” have been added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.
In celebrating its centenary anniversary, the twelfth edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary adds 400 new words, for a total of 240,000 total entries.
By including Internet slang and terminology in its latest edition, the Oxford University Press proves its commitment to “setting out new meanings for words“.
Here are a few of the new words added and their accompanying definitions:
verb: (on the social networking service Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user)
noun: the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone
noun: the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
According to The Telegraph, “the new words were selected after being entered into a database of 2 billion words drawn from contemporary websites and texts to prove their ubiquity”.
The dictionary’s editor Angus Stevenson told Channel 4 News that “new words often reflect the era in which they were added to the dictionary,” and commented on the impact that social media and the Internet have had on language.
It’s worth noting that the term “retweet” was not widely used until 2008 (two years after Twitter was founded), when users began prepending their messages with “RT @username”. Now with more than 175 million users, Twitter terminology has become common language, and the Oxford University Press undoubtedly agrees.
Other new words added to the Concise Oxford Dictionary include “woot” (used to express enthusiasm in online communication) and “kinematograph” (an early film projector).
Earlier this year, online initialisms “LOL” and “OMG” were added to the Oxford English Dictionary–a larger and more inclusive dictionary published by Oxford University Press.
- Sexting, retweet and woot added to the Oxford English Dictionary (digitaltrends.com)
- Retweet & Sexting Are Now Words In Oxford English Dictionary (mashable.com)
- Oxford Dictionary Defines Sexting, Cyberbullying (wired.com)
- Oxford dictionary adds ‘retweet,’ ‘sexting’ (ctv.ca)
- Retweet Makes Its Way into the Oxford English Dictionary (blogworld.com)
- You Can Now Find “Woot” in a Dictionary (escapistmagazine.com)