Vuvuzela, overleveraged, bromance now in dictionary

ShareThisThe creators of the Oxford English Dictionary have added 2,000 new words and phrases, largely inspired by the Interweb (another new addition), the World Cup and the global economic meltdown. Other words have lost their OED status: Cankles - fat ankles - has been officially de-listed.

A word makes into into the OED once it's "been around for long enough", its creators say. The idea is to ensure that off-the-moment buzz words don't slip into the permanent lexicon.

Oxford welcomes "vuvuzela", the now all-too-familiar South African horn instrument that made global appearences during the World Cup.

Credit crisis-inspired words include "overleveraged" (taking on etoo much debt), "quantitative easing" (when the central bank introduces new money into the money supply),  "toxic debt" (a debt with a high risk of default), 'staycation", a holiday spent in your own country, and "bargainous" (costing less than usual).

"Social media", a new addition, arrives along with offspring "defriend" (removing someone from your list of friends or contacts), "microblogging" (posting very short blog entries) and "tweetup", an in-person meeting organized via Twitter.

New additions that will interest the journalistically-inclined include:

paywall: an arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to a website

freemium: a business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for

catastrophizing: view or present a situation as considerably worse than it actually is

soft skills: personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people

Other new words include:

Bromance: a close but non-sexual relationship between two men

Buzzkill: a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect

Cheeseball: lacking taste, style or originality

Chillax: calm down and relax

Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry

Hater: a negative person

Interweb: the internet

Wardrobe malfunction: an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position

Words that were cut include:

Tanorexia: an obsession with getting a tan
Flashpacking: glamorous backpacking
Cankles: thick ankles

Comment Policy

J-Source invites comments on any content items or on any other topics relevant to journalism. Those posting comments are expected to adhere to standards of accuracy and fairness that would be recognized by those who practise, teach or study journalism.

  • Comments are restricted to registered users. You must register with your full first and last name in order to be eligible to comment.
  • Please communicate as effectively and intelligently as you would in a professional or academic forum, focusing on the issues at hand rather than the characters or characteristics of those involved.
  • This forum is intended for discussion of the craft of journalism, not of the issues of the day that journalists cover; please do not post story tips or press releases.
  • We moderate the forum for adherence to these standards of discourse, and reserve the right to decline any comment or restrict any user from commenting without giving reasons. Every effort is made to approve valid comments within 24 hours of submission.