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“Sonic Screwdriver” Will Be Added to the Oxford English Dictionary


Doctor Who sonic sunglasses

While some dictionaries work to brighten our dystopia by trolling the Trump administration, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has brought us joy in a different way. They announced on their blog that “sonic screwdriver” will be added to the OED as part of the June update.

In its blog post, the OED jokingly called itself “a real-world equivalent to the Doctor’s dimensionally transcendent time and space machine.” After all, it’s “blue, much bigger than it looks from the outside, and ‘the gateway to everything that ever was or ever can be’…showing you the whole of the past (and much of the present) of the English language.” Therefore, the blog argued, the OED and Doctor Who terms are a perfect match!

The entry for “sonic screwdriver” will read:

sonic screwdriver n. chiefly Science Fiction a (hand-held) electronic device which uses sound waves to perform various mechanical and technical functions.

Originally and chiefly in (or with reference to) the British television series Doctor Who.

You can see the usage examples from Doctor Who scripts and other publications here.

“Sonic screwdriver” will join other Doctor Who terminology in the OED, including TARDIS, Dalek, and Cyberman. “Sonic sunglasses,” however, did not make the cut.

(Via Oxford Mail and the Oxford Dictionaries blog; image via BBC and BBC America)

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