‘YOLO’ and ‘Clicktivism’ are among more than 1,000 new entries added by the Oxford English Dictionary in its latest quaterly update.
The update also marks the centenary of the birth of British novelist Roald Dahl with a range of new words connected to his writing including ‘splendiferous’, ‘human bean’, ‘Oompa Loompa’ and ‘Dahlesque’.
The Oompa Loompas, Willy Wonka’s diminutive workers, became fixed in the popular imagination as green-haired and orange-skinned thanks to the 1971 film adaptation of Dahl’s popular book – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The adjective Dahlesque makes its first appearance in the Oxford dictionary this month with a first quotation from 1983 in which a collection of stories is praised for its ‘Dahlesque delight in the bizarre’.
“These new additions provide Dahl fans with a golden ticket to the first uses and historical development of words like scrumdiddlyumptious, for those occasions when scrumptious simply won’t do, and the human bean, which is not a vegetable, although – according to the Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant – it comes in ‘dillions of different flavours’,” said Jonathan Dent, Senior Assistant Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The acronym YOLO (1996) is traced back to its axiomatic ‘you only live once’ – first used in a nineteenth-century English translation of Le Cousin Pons, a French book by Honore de Balzac.
The word ‘clicktivism’ describes the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause. Histories of related words such as slackivism, slacktivist, and clicktivist, are also explored in this update.
New entries also include words such as gender-fluid (first recorded in 1987), ‘Merica (a truncated form of ‘America’) – often used ironically to draw attention to stereotypical American ideals, institutions, or traditions – and British political buzzword Westminster bubble – first used in the Birmingham Post in 1998.
The word ‘moobs’ also features in the latest update, describing “embarrassing male appendages”.
The Oxford English Dictionary is updated four times a year, every March, June, September and December since the year 2000.
The material added to the dictionary includes revised versions of existing entries, as well as new words and senses.