The NewsDemon Blog

New USENET and Online Slang Terms Enter Dictionary

By Daniel Li August 24th, 2011

By now everybody knows full well what the USENET born terms like ‘OMG’, ‘LOL’ and ‘FYI’ mean, and this year the Oxford English Dictionary caught up by adding these to the dictionary. Now, newsgroup subscribers report that in the dictionary’s latest update, more words from the Internet age will appear in the well-respected dictionary.

USENET subscribers report that the latest update, which take place four times per year, will include words like ‘retweet’, ‘cyberbullying’, ‘sexting’, ‘woot’ and ‘jeggings’.

In case you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms, to “retweet’ means to forward another Twitter user’s message, while ‘cyberbulling’ means to bully somebody via online means. ‘Sexting’ is to send a sexually explicit text message to another person, and ‘jeggings’ are tight leggings meant to look like jeans. ‘Woot’ is a commonly used term to express excitement. ‘Mankini’ was also added. This is a very revealing male bathing suit similar to what was worn by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie Borat.

Say what you will about adding these terms to the respected dictionary, but they’re commonly used terms and including them will make the dictionary more helpful to its users unsure of one of these words’ meanings. These terms are commonly found on internet forums and message boards, as well as on Usenet, where many users rely on terms such as these to communicate their ideas and points of view.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first edition of the dictionary, released in 1911 and compiled by Henry and George Fowler. Angus Stevenson of the Oxford University Press noted that they were interested “in setting out new meanings for words. Some of the subjects now as well as then are new technology and slang.”

So it is only fitting that the dictionary continues to adapt to the new slang and new words used in our everyday lives.