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Oxford Dictionaries Adds ‘Fat-Shame,’ ‘Butthurt’ and ‘Redditor’

6 minute read

Oxford Dictionaries announced its latest additions on Wednesday, highlighting the things we were talking about in the summer of ’15—like angry Internet commenters, gender identity and what a sweet time of day “beer o’clock” is.

Oxford Dictionaries is the branch of the Oxford family that focuses on modern language—words that people are using now and how they’re using them—which makes their barriers to entry different than the venerable, historical Oxford English Dictionary. Their new words often arise from fresh technology and pop culture and might include Internet slang (like new entry pwnage) that would get laughed out of the OED’s admittance office.

As with every update, the additions reflect who English-speakers are. Sometimes we are microaggressive brain-farters. At other times we are butthurt pocket-dialers. At others still, we are simply hangry fat-shamers or rando Redditors.

Among the lessons about who we are right now: The addition of Mx., a gender-neutral honorific for those who do not want to be referred to as Mr. or Mrs., reflects today’s more thoughtful conversations about gender identity, spurred on by the likes of Caitlyn Jenner. Grexit, a term for referring to the possible exit of Greece from the European Union, points to how global our economy is becoming. And the addition of barbacoa illustrates how much people like Chipotle.

Here is a selection from this latest update, including definitions of all the italicized words above:

awesomesauce (adjective): extremely good; excellent

bants (noun): playfully teasing or mocking remarks exchanged with another person or group; banter

barbacoa (noun): (in Mexican cooking) beef, lamb, or other meat that has slowly been cooked with seasonings, typically shredded as a filling in tacos, burritos, etc.

beer o’clock (noun): an appropriate time of day for starting to drink beer

brain fart (noun): a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly

Brexit (noun): a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union

bruh (noun): a male friend (often used as a form of address)

butt dial (verb): inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s rear trouser pocket

butthurt (adjective): overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful

cakeage (noun): a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake they have not supplied themselves

cat cafe (noun): a café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises

cupcakery (noun): a bakery that specializes in cupcakes

deradicalization (noun): the action or process of causing a person with extreme views to adopt more moderate positions on political or social issues

fast-casual (adjective): denoting or relating to a type of high-quality self-service restaurant offering dishes that are prepared to order and more expensive than those available in a typical fast-food restaurant

fatberg (noun): a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets

fat-shame (verb): cause (someone judged to be fat or overweight) to feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size

fur baby (noun): a person’s dog, cat, or other furry pet animal

glanceable (adjective): denoting or relating to information, especially as displayed on an electronic screen, that can be read or understood very quickly and easily

Grexit (noun): a term for the potential withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone (the economic region formed by those countries in the European Union that use the euro as their national currency)

hangry (adjective): bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

kayfabe (noun): (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic

MacGyver (verb): make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand

manic pixie dream girl (noun): (especially in film) a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist

manspreading (noun): the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats

meeple (noun): a small figure used as a playing piece in certain board games, having a stylized human form

mic drop (noun): an instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive

microaggression (noun): a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority

mkay (exclamation): non-standard spelling of OK, representing an informal pronunciation (typically used at the end of a statement to invite agreement, approval, or confirmation)

Mx (noun): a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female

pocket dial (verb): inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s pocket, as a result of pressure being accidentally applied to a button or buttons on the phone

pwnage (noun): (especially in video gaming) the action or fact of utterly defeating an opponent or rival

rando (noun): a person one does now know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour

Redditor (noun): a registered user of the website Reddit

social justice warrior (noun): (derogatory) a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views

subreddit (noun): a forum dedicated to a specific topic on the website Reddit

swatting (noun): the action or practice of making a hoax call to the emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address

weak sauce (noun): something that is of a poor or disappointing standard or quality

wine o’clock (noun): an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine

Writers on Their Favorite Young Adult Books

Laura Hillenbrand,  whose latest book "Unbroken" has just come out, in her home in Washington, DC.
Laura Hillenbrand, Author of Unbroken. "Come on Seabiscuitby Ralph Moody. When I was eight years old, I bought this battered paperback for a quarter at a neighborhood fair. Enthralled, I read it over and over, until the cover fell off and the pages parted from the spine. I had to hold the book together with a rubber band. The story stayed with me, and many years later, it would inspire me to become an author myself."Bill O'Leary—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Author James Patterson
James Patterson, Author of Along Came a Spider. "As a kid, Peter Pan was one of a few books that I truly enjoyed. It’s got pirates, fairies, mermaids—what’s not to like? When I was starting to write Maximum Ride, my first series for kids, I had Mr. Barrie’s story in the back of my mind."Brian Harkin—MCT/Getty Images
Author Michael Lewis poses for a portrait while promoting his book about high-frequency trading (HFT) named "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," in New York
Michael Lewis, Author of Flash Boys. “As a kid I lived on a steady diet of The Hardy Boysand Archie comic books, without the slightest sense there was anything better I might be doing with my time.”Lucas Jackson—Reuters/Corbis
Jesmyn Ward Portrait Session
Jesmyn Ward, Author of Men We Reaped. "When I was around eight or so, I discovered The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley at my local book fair. I charmed one of my cousins into buying it for me, and then I devoured it. The heroine is an illegitimate princess who hunts dragons in an attempt to find some place for herself in her father's kingdom; I loved the book because the heroine is tough, stubborn, and smart, and she takes on a world bent on making her less than she is. I empathized."Ulf Andersen—Getty Images
National Book Awards
Dave Eggers, Author of A Hologram for the King. "Barbara McClintock's Adèle & Simon books are, I think, contemporary classics. McClintock's artwork is ridiculously beautiful and because readers are asked to find objects that Simon has lost during various trips—including turn-of-the-century Paris and the USA—the books reward very close attention."Tina Fineberg—AP
Curtis Sittenfeld, Author of Sisterland. “I've always loved the George and Martha books by James Marshall. These tales of two hippo BFFs are wonderfully irreverent and full of both misbehavior and compassion.”Haraz Ghanbari—AP
Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner, Author of All Fall Down. "One of the joys of motherhood is getting to re-discover the books I loved as a girl by handing them to—and occasionally forcing them upon—my daughters. Recently, my seven-year-old and I have worked our way through the Little House on the Prairie books. Re-reading them was like curling up in a beloved, cozy blanket. A blanket that made us both hungry. As a girl, I loved the stories of adventure—surviving sickness, blizzards, poor crops and snotty Nellie Olson. As a grown-up, I was surprised at how much of the prose is devoted to the finding, gathering, slaughtering, preparing, and eventual devouring of mass quantities of food. The books remain touching and transporting—if you can get past a desire for maple-syrup candy, cracklings, codfish gravy and cornmeal mush."Chris Pizzello—AP
USA - 2013 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Ann Brashares, author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. "The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald. Set in a tiny town in Utah in the late 1890's, The Great Brain series recounts the mischief and miracles wrought by Tom Fitzgerald through the eyes of his ordinary-brained younger brother John. You idolize Tom's brilliance—his schemes make him more powerful and exciting than anybody else—but you can't escape his selfishness or his greed. I think as a kid I appreciated liberation from the regular moral categories."Katy Winn—Corbis
John Irving;
John Irving, Author of The Cider House Rules. "The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey. Edward Gorey is the rare writer-artist whose work has a lasting effect on children and adults."Aaron Vincent Elkaim—AP
Matthew Quick
Matthew Quick, Author of The Silver Linings Playbook. “Although I can't recall the title of a single edition, I remember reading and loving many Choose Your Own Adventure novels when I was a kid. The series made you the protagonist and every so many pages you would come to a question. There were options listed and corresponding page numbers. I remember reading each path regardless of my choice, thumbing furiously forward and backward through the maze-like stories. In retrospect, I realize this active-reading process was perhaps my first lesson on story structure.”Richard Vogel—AP
Adelle Waldman Portrait Session
Adelle Waldman, Author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. “As a teenager, my favorite author, hands down, was Norma Klein, whom I would describe as Judy Blume for a slightly older set—or Woody Allen for a younger set. Klein wrote wry, psychologically acute novels about the romantic lives of smart New York teenagers. With intelligence and humanity, Klein describes crushes, relationships, sex, breakups and complicated friendships. Equally intriguing to me was the milieu. As someone growing up in the suburbs—who had little to do for fun but go to the mall or the multiplex—the New York Klein described was a revelation: kids took the subway to museums, walked around the Village and saw old movies at art house theaters. I live in New York today, in large part because Norma Klein’s books. She was very prolific until her death in 1989, but for a good taste of her work, try Domestic Arrangements, about a precocious 14-year-old with an eccentric, intellectual family and a steamy love life.”Ulf Andersen—Getty Images
Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen, Author of The Andy Cohen Diaries. “I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books. They were about as butch as I got as a young boy (not that they were even in the same league as The Hardy Boys, which I stayed away from). Simple to understand and there was always a shot you could figure out the mystery on your own.”Charles Sykes—AP
Gillian Fllynn
Gillian Flynn, Author of Gone Girl. “The Westing Game completely charmed me as a kid: the clever mystery, the complex characters (especially the grownups—who knew they had lives too?) and the nasty, fantastic Tabitha Ruth Wexler. I still read it once a year.”M. Spencer Green—AP
Jerry Spinelli, Author of Maniac Magee. "When I was 12 I thought breaking a tackle in sandlot football was the hardest thing a person could do. And then I read Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. It instantly inflated both my worlds. My planet now stretched from the West End of Norristown, PA, to the vast reaches of the Pacific. And the other world—the world of my dreams, my future—swelled to the stars. I remember that I closed the book with a sense of both ending and beginning. He had arrived, he had done it. And I—as if his feat had given me permission—I could launch a voyage of my own. I knew not yet the vessel or the seas, but whatever the destination, I knew I could get there."Courtesy of Penguin Random House
Simon Doonan And NEXXUS Create Window Display At Duane Reade In Tribute To The 2013 Tony Awards
Simon Doonan, Author of The Asylum: True Tales of Madness from a Life in Fashion. “The most mind-expanding tome is still Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Like Led Zeppelin or Jimi or Bowie, Alice should be a right of passage for every kid. The trippy narrative, interwoven with the creepy John Tenniel illustrations, is a cosmic blast of creativity which can unlock the imagination of even the most conventional kid.”Jemal Countess—Getty Images
Dick Cavett
Dick Cavett, Author of Brief Encounters. "I’m told I began reading at age three. I soon fell deeply in love with Rufus M. (1943) by Eleanor Estes—a children’s author and children’s librarian. I’ve assumed it, and she, were long gone. It pains me to learn that she lived well into my later life and that I could have met her and expressed my delight. Damn. Among many laugh-out-loud escapades, small boy Rufus plants beans in his garden to contribute to his not-wealthy family’s dinner table. Sadly, in his intrepid enthusiasm, he couldn’t resist going out at night and digging them up to see how they were doing. The book, still in print, is wonderful. It’s for kids, but certainly not only so. Get it."Richard Shotwell—Invision/AP
Martin Amis at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014
Martin Amis, Author of The Zone of Interest. "I must have read Goodnight Moon to my children several thousand times, and I was never bored by it. The book has its own soporific poetry—and it quite often worked."Pako Mera—AP

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