Yolo and binge-watch added to online dictionary

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Image caption,
This word has featured in several pop and rap songs in the UK and the US

Yolo, an acronym for 'you only live once', is among the latest new words added to the Oxford online dictionary.

The phrase, along with 'adorbs' - meaning cute or adorable, and 'binge-watch' - which means to avidly watch something - has been added to oxforddictionaries.com.

The website is a catalogue of current definitions of English words as they are used today.

Other new inclusions include "tech-savvy" and "clickbait".

The words have been revealed as part of the latest quarterly update of the online dictionary, and give an insight for linguists into current language usage trends.

The words will not, for now, appear in the paper-version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which is a more historical account of words, but they could do in the foreseeable future if they continue to be frequently used for years to come.

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

There were notable spikes in its usage recorded around the latest releases of political drama House Of Cards in February and the US comedy Orange Is The New Black in June 2014.

Other informal terms entered into the online dictionary:

  • bank of mum and dad - a person's parents regarded as a source of financial assistance or support
  • bro hug - another term for 'man hug' and is used to describe two males embracing
  • cray - crazy
  • hench - often used to describe a man who is strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles
  • hot mess - a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered:
  • mansplain - (Of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising
  • side-eye - a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt
  • spit-take - an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising

Changes in media consumption habits have also seen the word 'hate-watch' - which means watching a programme for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticising it - and 'listicle' - an online article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list - added to the web dictionary.

Technology has continued to enter everyday vernacular with words such as 'clickbait' - used to describe an eye-catching word on a website - and 'tech-savy' also making the list.

All new words, senses, and phrases are added to oxforddictionaries.com once enough independent evidence from a range of sources has been gathered to prove their widespread use in English.

Linguistic evolution

Other words added include 'side-boob' - which describes the side part of a woman's breast, 'neckbeard" - meaning male facial hair growing on the neck, and 'humblebrag' - an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement, the actual purpose of which is to draw attention to something of which one is proud.

Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Connor Martin said one of the main advantages of its language monitoring programme was "to explore how English language evolves differently across the world".

She said: "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 10 times more common in the UK than in the US whereas 'adorbs' is used about four times more often in the US as in the UK."