Some of These New Oxford Dictionary Terms Make Me Feel Pretty Out of Touch

Hey, Oxford buddy... you okay?
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Hey, Oxford. Glad you could make it. But I’m sorry, I invited you here under false pretenses. This isn’t a cat cafe, as I’m sure you’ve figured out. But I want to talk about those words you just added today. All your buddies are here: Merriam-Webster, Collins. Even is here and you know how hard it is to pull them away from work. Can we talk about those words? Okay.

For starters: social justice warrior? Really? I mean, okay, sure, your definition is pretty ironic: (informal, derogatory) a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views. “How dare they,” I can hear you saying. That’s fine. And I guess we can all agree that anyone who uses that term unironically is… well, you know.

Which brings me to the next term: fatbergFatberg?! Really? According to you, it’s a “a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.” I get the wordplay–iceberg, fatberg–but… was there really a need for this? Do people run into fatbergs on a daily basis, so much so that they need a portmanteau to cover it? What are kids even doing these days? Oh, pro tip: don’t image search that.

What’s that, Collins? Yeah. Yeah, you have a good point. Awesomesauce is pretty old. Kids have been saying that for years now. Same goes for its buddy weak sauce.

But brings up a good point. After you added mansplaining not too long ago, you went ahead and added manspreading. At least now we have a dictionary definition to throw at jerks on the subway as we glower over their sitting forms taking up two seats seriouslysircanyounot–*ahem*. Speaking of great new dictionary terms to point people to: microaggression. That’ll definitely come in handy.

Also, kudos on adding Mx. as a title for gender non-conforming people. And my Twitter-addicted self is super glad to see rando made the list. Just lovely.

I guess we’re not worried about these words per se. You’ve just made a lot of interesting choices. Didn’t realize Brexit and Grexit were a common thing–then again, I don’t really live in the UK or Greece, so I don’t talk about leaving the EU so much.

Okay, fine. Go ahead and run along, Oxford. But one more thing: fatberg?! I mean really, come on, where do people even run into that ugh gross.


You can check out the full list of added terms over at Yahoo. Make sure you grab some food first, lest you get hangry.

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.