Translation musings: new words for old

Aug 15, 2014 | Language

ReferenceOur wonderful language is forever evolving, with new words and popular phrases going in and out of fashion all the time. And every year a group of eminents decide which words should be allowed into the dictionary. The first stage of acceptance for the word is online; they’ll make it to the paper copy if they hang around long enough! So which words have made it into the Oxford online dictionary this year?

Well, you’ve got to love it haven’t you – what about Amazeballs? Proving to be more popular in the UK than over the pond, this appears to have captured our imagination. I have a horrible feeling it may have started in Essex or Chelsea, but hey ho! Adorbs (an abbreviation of adorable), however, is more popular in the US. I think it can stay there.

Other newbies to join the gang are YOLO, the horribly abused abbreviation for You Only Live Once and binge-watch – the activity of watching multiple episodes of a TV series one after another. Popular in our house but only achieved successfully by the teenagers – my husband and I are still only on Episode 6 of Breaking Bad (fail!).

Others worthy of note are acquihire (I have no idea what that means…), click-bait (click attracting headlines such as ‘you won’t believe what happened next…’) and vaping, the use of e-cigarettes, which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable – it sounds like something rather unpleasant a vampire might do. Finally, I feel I can’t leave this Friday blog without mentioning side-boob and I’m going to leave it at that.

Have an amazeballs weekend!