New words added to the Oxford English Dictionary

Okay, well not new-new, this is the list of words added in June, but it is the first time I’ve seen it. There are a few words in the list I found interesting, some vulgar, some not. Here I ramble about six of them:

geekery, n. – while the original sense (bizarre acts preformed by a carnival geek) is recorded as being in use since 1947, I imagine that this word has only now just been added because of the rise of ‘geek culture’. They define it as actions typical of geeks: an unfashionable person with an obsessive hobby. I think that the meaning of ‘geek’ is so tied up with people’s  connotations about it that it seems hard to properly define.

headfucking n. – this shows how flexible the word ‘fuck’ is. While not unheard of I thought it was interesting that a word ending with an ‘-ing’ suffix has become a noun.

smeg, n. (and int.) – added over twenty years after it made its way into popular culture by Red Dwarf! Defined as ‘a general expletive’.

young adult, n. and adj. – recorded as being used from 1762, but I guess it’s only recently that they’ve decided to class it as one word instead of just having ‘young’ modifying ‘adult’. I would love to hear the decision making process behind a choice like this: when two words collocate so closely that they become one.

trans- prefixed words such as ‘transperson’ and ‘transphobia’ –  out of all of the words on the list I am most surprised that these have only just been added! ‘transexual’ was added to the OED in 1986 and I had just assumed that related ‘trans-‘ prefixed words would have been added already too. Interestingly it seems that ‘cissexual’ isn’t even in the OED yet, I wonder how long that will take to get an entry?

heart-stopper, n. – I just thought that this was a cute description of someone who makes your heart jump a beat! Seems like it should be a far older term than only having the first recorded use in 1940.

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