One of the great things about the English language is the way that it changes and evolves over time. Language is fluid and is informed by how people from a diverse range of social classes, geographical areas, age groups and cultures use words.
Because of the ever-changing nature of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary regularly gets updated with new entries. We thought it would be fun – seeing as you’re all learning the English language – to take a look at some of the most recent additions!
Despite first being recorded in a Jimi Hendrix song back in 1967, freak flag has only just made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. The term refers to embracing your unique or quirky personality traits and exhibiting them proudly and defiantly i.e. “let your freak flag fly.”
This new addition to the dictionary has its origins in Scotland – specifically the Shetland Islands – and is a fun, slang term for whisky. Like a lot of regional slang, the word has gone through many spelling variations and has its roots in a few different other Scottish words. Most notably, skreigh which means ‘to shriek or screech’ – something a whisky drinker might do due to the harshness of the alcohol.
When a brand name loses its unique identity through generic use, it is known as genericide. For example Hoover is a specific brand name but through common usage, the word hoover has become a generic name to refer to vacuum cleaners as a whole. Whilst it can be seen as a positive thing as the word gains popularity but it can be hard for brands in terms of trademarking.
This word is a relatively new term. Hate-watching refers to watching a TV show that you hate but continue to watch because you are intrigued to know how it turns out or have high ambitions for it.
What do you think of the new additions? We have to admit, they probably won’t be taught in our English Language School but it’s fun to keep up to date with the latest entries.