Oxford adds binge-watch, side boob and Yolo to online dictionary

Thursday 14 August 2014 16.23
Yolo at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club
Yolo at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club

Binge-watch, humblebrag, side boob and vape are among the new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com today in its latest quarterly update giving an insight into current language usage trends.

New entries include adorbs, listicle, neckbeard, and Yolo, a favourite with teenagers, which is an acronym of you only live once.

The new entries have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com, not the Oxford English Dictionary.

Use of the word binge-watch has shown a steady increase over the past two years, with notable spikes in usage recorded around the releases of House Of Cards season two in February 2014 and Orange is the New Black season two in June 2014.

According to Oxford's language monitoring programme, the use of binge-watch increased fourfold in February and tripled in June, based on its average use over the last two years.

Changes in media consumption habits also see hate-watch, watching a programme for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticising it.

Listicle, an internet article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list, added in this update.

Technology more broadly continues to have a strong influence on the English language, and is reflected in new entries including acquihire, clickbait, Deep Web, dox, fast follower, geocache, in silico, octocopter, responsive, smartwatch, and tech-savvy.

The Oxford Corpus reveals an approximate tenfold increase in usage of the terms vape and e-cig in the past two years, as electronic devices that enable people to inhale smokeless nicotine vapour have become increasingly widespread.

E-cigarette, added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2012, has seen an even sharper rise in usage.

However, despite the fact that e-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, the word vaping dates to 1983, when it was used to describe a hypothetical smoking device being considered at the time.

Other informal or slang terms added include bank of mum and dad, bro hug, cray, hench, hot mess, mansplain, side-eye, and spit-take.

Cray, an abbreviation of crazy, seems to have arisen initially in the reduplicated form cray cray in the early 2000s, but it was popularised in its single-syllable form when used by Kanye West in the hook to a track from his collaboration album with Jay Z.

New words, senses, and phrases are added to OxfordDictionaries.com once editors have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English.

Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Connor Martin said: "One of the advantages of our unique language monitoring programme is that it enables us to explore how English language evolves differently across the world.

"Naturally, many words are used in similar frequencies in the UK and US, for instance the informal additions amazeballs and neckbeard.

"However, some new slang and informal words catch on much more quickly in a particular variety of English-for instance, in our monitoring sample, side boob is more than ten  times more common in the UK than in the US (although this is due in part to its frequent use in the British media), whereas adorbs is used about four times more often in the US as in the UK."

Adorbs is an adjective meaning something is cute or adorable, while neckbeard is growth of hair on a man's neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming.

Amazeballs means impressive or very enjoyable.

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