New OED Words
March 17, 2003 5:39 AM   Subscribe

Dungeons and Dragons, bigorexia, arse-licker, bass-ackward... The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the english language(s). Some of the new and spicey words are: arsehole, arseholed, arse-lick,arse-licker, ass-backward, ass-backwards, bass-ackward, bass-ackwards, dragon lady, Dungeons and Dragons, telenovela, and transgenderist!! Thank the gods of language for these new words! So what is you favorite new word and why?
posted by mfoight (26 comments total)
It has to be

"weblog, n. "

posted by BigCalm at 5:48 AM on March 17, 2003

That website isn't very helpful, but I find it difficult to believe that arsehole has only just made it in.
posted by Grangousier at 5:53 AM on March 17, 2003

see also:

blog, n.
blog, v.
blogger, n.
blogging, n.

but i'm feeling a bit peckish, so i'm more in the mood for a little:

bruschetta, n.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:55 AM on March 17, 2003

Also check out The Word Spy, recently featured on memepool.
posted by 111 at 5:59 AM on March 17, 2003

mountain shrimp

Seriously, how do they climb mountains?
posted by Space Coyote at 6:10 AM on March 17, 2003

What does it mean when "arsehole" and "weblogger" are listed on the same day?
posted by boost ventilator at 6:10 AM on March 17, 2003

"Mountain shrimp : a small freshwater crustacean, Anaspides
tasmaniae, found in mountain waters of Tasmania."

(They must be tasmanian-devil mountain shrimp)
posted by mfoight at 6:18 AM on March 17, 2003

(Under arse, n.)
   arse about face
   my arse!
   -- my arse
   to -- one's arse off
   to work (etc.) one's arse off
   to -- the arse off someone
   arse bandit

posted by eatitlive at 6:22 AM on March 17, 2003

rumpy-pumpy, n.

"What think you, my lord, of...'love'?"

"...You mean rumpy-pumpy?"

posted by DaRiLo at 6:36 AM on March 17, 2003

Those snobs at the OED take forever to accept Americanisms like D&D and, for gosh sake, "mountain bike." And they'd rather drop dead than sit down to after-dinner sherry with "diss" and "props" and "flow," from the hip hop generation. Not to mention lower-case-g "google "as a transitive verb, subject of a cease-and-desist letter to the Word Spy.
posted by hairyeyeball at 6:58 AM on March 17, 2003

Uhhh, how can distinct words separated by spaces become complete words in themselves?

If the OED is going to become an encyclopedia, by all means, add them in. Otherwise, stick to real words without spaces in them.
posted by shepd at 7:06 AM on March 17, 2003

Appropriately enough, ass-backwards and bass-ackwards were added to the dictionary at the same time.

Inappropriately, they are in the standard alphabetical order, with ass-backwards coming first.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:07 AM on March 17, 2003

Those snobs at the OED take forever to accept Americanisms

Cut Jesse Sheidlower some slack. He's only one man, for fuck's sake.
posted by eatitlive at 7:08 AM on March 17, 2003


That is just stupid and undermines the integrity of the OED.
posted by eas98 at 7:12 AM on March 17, 2003

what? they didn't add "camwhore" this year?
posted by Vidiot at 7:13 AM on March 17, 2003

"stratergy" didn't make the cut?
posted by grum@work at 7:37 AM on March 17, 2003

hee hee

After "weblog" and the variations thereof, my favorites have got to be "frittata" and "Sturgeon's Law."

I approve.
posted by keef at 8:32 AM on March 17, 2003

Well at last Mouseburger has made it in.

All I need is for Deep Fried Otter to get in there and my restaurant will bre ready to open.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:42 AM on March 17, 2003

I think it's nice that slapper ageism is over, and old slapper finally crept in there.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:45 AM on March 17, 2003

For me, it's a tie between "apotemnophilia" (the desire to have a limb amputated) and "dischuffed."

shepd, how something is written has no bearing on whether it's a word or not. The definition of "word" is far from easy, but it does not involve typographical space. It's very common for words to start out being written with a space ("base ball"), acquire a hyphen ("base-ball"), and end up written as a single word; this has to do with decisions of typesetters, editors, and lexicographers (and the printing fashions of the period), not the facts of the language.

As a parallel, consider Chinese; people think it's a monosyllabic language because traditionally each character was transliterated as a separate word. In fact, there are few monosyllables in spoken Chinese, and the new pinyin system reflects that, running syllables together so that "People's Daily" is Renmin Ribao rather than Jen Min Erh Pao. The words are the same as they always were.
posted by languagehat at 8:49 AM on March 17, 2003

Also check out The Word Spy

Sure, that's about equivalent to the OED.
posted by jjg at 8:55 AM on March 17, 2003

So all these years that arse bandit has been in usage I could have walked over to the haranguer and said : 'Excuse me young sir, but you will find that particular colloquism is not a recognised term of abuse.
It is NOT in the OED.
Could you stick to English please or you may as well speak latin to me. '

(HA HA - the spell checker doesn't like arse)
posted by dprs75 at 9:12 AM on March 17, 2003

"Mouseburger : A young woman of unexceptional appearance and talents, regarded as timid, dowdy, or mousy; (originally) such a person who can nevertheless achieve professional and personal success through determination.

1982 H. G. BROWN Having it All i. 10 Mouseburgers--people who are not prepossessing, not pretty, don't have a particularly high I.Q., a decent education, good family background, or other noticeable assetscan come a long way in life if they apply themsleves. 1987 St. Petersburg (Florida) Times (Nexis) 20 Jan. 2D, Mary is such a total mouseburger that you suspect she doesn't open doors, just slips under
them. 1991 Entertainm. Weekly (Electronic ed.) 2 Aug. 22 By beginning Robert Zemeckis' romantic adventure as a shy mouseburger, Turner connected with audiences in a way she hadn't before. 2000 Toronto Star (Nexis) 5 Mar., A Texas-raised mouseburger on the screen as London's Bridget Jones? Blimey.
posted by mfoight at 9:25 AM on March 17, 2003

The OED is WordSpyFilter.

I love the word apotemnophilia, but I would rarely have occasion to use it. Which is probably a good thing, overall.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:26 AM on March 17, 2003

What a gnofling waste of time. You'd think that the tweebs that "work" at the OED would have betroid things to do with their time.
posted by krisjohn at 6:20 PM on March 17, 2003

eas98, you clearly have no idea how intriguing terms with deliberate consonantal shifts are to lexicographers, especially when they also serve as a euphemism. The OED, it should be noted, is one of the foremost dictionaries in the dominant descriptivist school: they don't make the language, or say what's right, they just record it.

And while WordSpy may not be equivalent by any means to the entire OED, Jesse, the point here is that Word Spy serves a similar function to the new-entries announcements. It's probably far more timely, as well. I don't think the OED is snobby; they don't like to add words without a decent number of citations, and certainly they prefer those that have withstood a little battering and remained rather than the glitzy and jejune.
posted by dhartung at 12:17 AM on March 18, 2003

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