Who said the Oxford English Dictionary was behind the times?
The nearly 200-year-old definer of words added newcomers to its official ranks on Thursday, ranging from jeggings to staycation to photobomb—making sentences like I photobombed that sext of you in jeggings on our staycation totes legit. (Tweet This)
But not just any neologism can become a word in the online Oxford English Dictionary; a word generally has to have been in use in news stories and fiction for at least 10 years. That often means diligently tracing the roots of words like twerk, which can stretch back more than two centuries before it was destined to conjure up images of Miley Cyrus.
In fact, the word stretches back to 1820 (originally spelled twirk) to describe 'a twisting or jerking movement,' before it was adopted by the New Orleans 90's 'bounce' music scene, according to the Oxford English Dictionary's latest blog post. Other words inevitably have far younger roots, like sext, which the dictionary cites as a blend of sex and text.