Four times a year the
Oxford English Dictionary Oxford Dictionaries Online chooses new words to be allowed into its hallowed (digital) pages. In the past, those words have included geekery, hentai, tweet, sexting, dad dancing, and doh (as in Homer Simpson). This time around we get… twerking. Man, it’s almost exactly like they timed this to the ongoing controversy over Miley Cyrus.
Some new words that are now totally legit to use in formal essays (because if we can’t trust the dictionary, whom can we trust?) are behind the cut, as are their brand spankin’ new definitions.
Oh, and also a video of Morgan Freeman explaining twerking.
Update: We were incorrect in saying that the words are being added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s actually the Oxford Dictionaries Online, which “focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words.” Apologies.
First off we have twerk:
dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
There’s also derp:
(informal): (used as a substitute for) speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action.
the dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable.
(informal): an intense and typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one woman or girl for another.
(informal): (used to express) great delight or excitement.
and double denim:
a style of dress in which a denim jacket or shirt is worn with a pair of jeans or a denim skirt, often regarded as a breach of fashion etiquette.
I’m sorry, but I’m going to keep calling that a “Texas tuxedo” until the day I die. Other fashion additions include fauxhawk, pixie cut, and the absolute height of fashion: Jorts.
The net-related terms TL;DR, emoji, and hackerspace have been added, as have guac (short for guacamole), apols (apologies), grats (congratulations), vom (vomit), and srsly. Srsly. They’ve added srsly. Those are all just shortened forms of words!
I’m not going to argue with space tourism (“the practice of travelling into space for recreational purposes.”), though. Because spaaaaace!
Regardless of your feelings on twerk being added to the dictionary, I suggest you take some me time (another new addition—”time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.”) and watch this video of Morgan Freeman reading Oxford’s official definition of the word. Twerking has never sounded so dignified.