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Moobs and YOLO among new words in Oxford English Dictionary

A skateboarder with the word YOLO written on their hand. Image copyright Thinkstock

Moobs and YOLO are among hundreds of new words to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Moobs earns its listing as a slang term for a man's prominent breasts, and YOLO is an acronym for "you only live once".

New words and phrases are usually added to the dictionary once editors have enough evidence to demonstrate continued historical use.

Other entries focus on the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth, with additions such as Oompa Loompa and witching hour.

Words related to food, speech, media and retail also feature.

The OED is a historical dictionary and a definitive guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of almost 830,000 past and present words, senses, and compounds from across the English-speaking world.

It differs from the online Oxford dictionary, which lists current definitions of English words, and has a lower threshold for accepting new entries to its list of words.

New additions

Some of the words and senses to be added or updated in the OED, along with the dictionary's definitions:

  • Cheeseball - someone or something lacking taste, style, or originality, or the breaded and deep fried cheese appetiser
  • Clickbait - internet content which encourages users to follow a link to a web page often considered to be of low quality or value
  • Gender-fluid - a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender
  • Fuhgeddaboudit - A regional colloquialism especially in New York and New Jersey, meaning forget about it and used to indicate a scenario is unlikely or undesirable
  • Moobs - the chiefly British colloquialism used to describe unusually prominent breasts on a man
  • Vom - a colloquialism for the word vomit
  • Yogalates - a fitness routine combining Pilates with the postures and breathing techniques of yoga
  • YOLO - acronym meaning you only live once, used to express the view that one should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future
  • Westminster bubble - an insular community of politicians, journalists, and civil servants, who appear to be out of touch with the experiences of the wider British public

Dahlesque

There are also a number of new entries related to Roald Dahl which coincide with centenary celebrations and the publication of the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.

These include the words Oompa Loompa, scrumdiddlyumptious, witching hour, human bean and golden ticket.

"The inclusions reflect both his influence as an author and his vivid and distinctive style," said the chief editor of the OED, Michael Proffitt.

"For many children, Roald Dahl's work is not only one of their first experiences of reading, but also their earliest exposure to the creative power of language."

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