We’ve previously written about updates to the Oxford English Dictionary before, and seeing as though students can get the chance to study English at any one of our English Language Schools at NCG, we thought we’d keep you up to date with the newest additions.
The English language is ever-evolving, largely due to the sheer diversity of peoples and cultures who have influenced it throughout the years. So, here are some of the more fun new entries to the wonderfully fluid English language, which all came at the start of this year…
Some of the new additions are obviously already a part of the English vernacular, but have been updated with extra alternative definitions. Snowflake for example, usually refers to a delicate feathery ice crystal, but in today’s modern political climate the word has also actually become an informal derogatory insult. It’s now being used as a term to characterise a person who feels as though they are entitled to special treatment, and who is either easily offended or overly sensitive.
Most are familiar with the word, explain, which means you’re trying to make an idea or situation clear by describing it in more detail etc. However, another new addition to the Oxford English Dictionary, mansplaining, puts a different spin on this. The informal mass noun is used to describe when a man is explaining something in a condescending or patronising way, typically to a woman. “His response was classic mansplaining.”
It’s an all too familiar feeling, when you’ve been waiting for some sustenance for a long time, or you’re in a situation where there’s a distinct lack of food, you start to get more hungry with every passing moment. Your hunger grows until you feel increasingly frustrated, irritable and angry. Hangry is a word that describes this mixed feeling of being hungry and angry at the same time. It’s a clever portmanteau of the two words and its wider use saw it added to the dictionary this year.
It seems as though the English vocabulary has also changed as a result of more and more people streaming their favourite TV shows and films. The term binge-watch has very recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year, and it describes viewing multiple episodes of a TV programme in quick succession. Even the noun, spoiler alert, has found its way into the dictionary, which is a warning when an important plot detail is about to be revealed.
These quirky little additions continue to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary and although it’s unlikely that they’ll make an appearance on our English language course, it’s still fun to discover new and exciting words while you study English.