Fun Facts: New Dictionary Words 2015: Part 2

A few times every year, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) adds new words and definitions to its vast collection of the English language. Language is continually evolving and it is important that even traditional institutions such as the OED keep up to date with the latest patterns by adding new dictionary words.

Here are some of the most interesting new words that were added in June 2015.  See if you can drop any of them into conversation.

Crowdfund (v.), crowdfunded (adj.), crowdfunding (n)

Crowdfunding is a concept that dates back to the 1700s, but has become more prominent in recent years. The idea is that a project (for example a film or an invention) gets funded with lots of small donations from a large number of people. This is especially well suited to the internet, and in the last few years The Veronica Mars Movie and Wish You Were Here are two high profile films that have been crowdfunded.

“I don’t have enough money to record my new album, so I might crowdfund it.”

Externship (n)

We’ve all heard of internships, but what’s an externship? It’s very similar to an internship, but they are usually given by educational institutions, and tend to focus on short, practical experiences in a particular field of study.

“My friend is doing a six week externship with an architecture firm.”

Kryptonite (n)

The origin of Kryptonite is actually from Superman. It is a fictional mineral that takes away Superman’s powers whenever he is near it. It has come into general usage to mean something that is your weakness.

“I can’t resist strawberry ice cream: it’s my kryptonite.”

Photobomb (n), photobomb (v.), photobomber (n), photobombing (n)

We’ve all done a bit of photobombing in our time, or have been the victim of a photobomber. A photobomb is nothing new, it’s when someone spoils (or improves) a photo by unexpectedly appearing in front of the camera. It’s not limited to just people, however. Animals sometimes like to photobomb too…

Squirrel and seal photobombing
Photobombing at its finest.

Staycation (n)

You can probably guess what staycation means: it’s a combination of a vacation and staying at home. It’s usually when you take holiday time off work but you don’t actually go on holiday anywhere. Catching up on sleep and box-sets are typical staycation activities.

Twerk (n), twerk (v.), twerking (adj.), twerking (n)

Twerk has a new update in the dictionary, but its origins actually go back to the 19th century. It is thought to be a combination of twist, twitch, and jerk, with an influence from quirk. The modern usage of the word – to describe dancing which emphasizes the dancer’s bottom – was first used in the early 1990s New Orleans bounce music scene.

“Have you seen that girl twerking on the dance floor?”

Do you already know any of these words? Let us know your favorites by leaving a comment below. You can also read some of the best new words that were added earlier in the year.

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