Oxford English Dictionary Makes New Words Legit, Because YOLO

A home in the Cotswolds

By Paul Riegler on 12 September 2016
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Several times each year, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary add new words they deem worthy of inclusion based on both FOMO and how they see the English language evolving.

Some of the new entries are a bit more salacious than others. Indeed, we are too prudish to publish some of them, but many of the newcomers are important to travelers. Others are connected to Roald Dahl and his writings, including frightsome, scrummy, scrumptious, splendiferous, and human bean.

One new entry is “YOLO,” the acronym for “you only live once,” which the OED defines as “used to express the view that one should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future (often as a rationale for impulsive or reckless behaviour).”

Other scrumdiddlyumptious words include the Greek pastry spanakopita and gender-fluid.

Jonathan Dent, the dictionary’s senior assistant editor, explains in the OED’s blog that “you only live once” was first used in a nineteenth-century translation of “on ne vit qu’un fois” in Balzac’s Le Cousin Pons.

Among the more provocative words you can now feel free to use is “biatch,” along with its variants beeotch, beoch, beotch, beyotch, biotch, biyotch, and beech.

Still thinking “fuhgeddaboudit”? Feel free to use that word going forward as the interjection, which comes from “forget about it!”, has gained legitimacy as well.

To those of you who have made it to the end, to borrow from what my colleague Jonathan Spira wrote the last time we looked at the OED’s newest additions, I can only say grats. And if you didn’t know what FOMO meant, well, we covered that in 2013 – it’s been officially legit for that long.

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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