Gen Z, Fidget Spinner, and Cheat Day Join the Dictionary

As Oxford University Press today welcomes a new batch of words to, its free online dictionary of current English, now seems like a good time to take a deep dive into what has been included.

The youngsters of Generation Z or Gen Z, the generation reaching adulthood in the second decade of the 21st century, make their linguistic mark as they dab—a dance move originating in hip hop and often performed as part of a celebration—or play with their fidget spinners.

Technology also continues to be an ever-pervasive theme as people put their devices into airplane mode, take screen grabs, or face swap with their friends, pets, or favourite celebrities.

Following high-profile election days across the globe in 2017, we are now able to enact an ambush interview to accuse our politicians of being snollygosters—a 19th century term referring to a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician—or of doing things backasswards. We also see the addition of ultra-left and ultra-right, to describe the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

Achcha! During this updation (an Indian English term for the process of updating something), we welcome Indian English words like chakka jam, a traffic jam, and dadagiri, a noun for intimidating, coercive, or bullying behaviour. Turning to food, mirch masala, an Indian spice blend, and namkeen, a small savoury snack or dish in India, now feature in the dictionary. About time for a cheat day, we say…

Other words added to

Breviloquent – adjective: Using very few words; concise

Bug bounty – noun: A reward offered to a person who identifies an error or vulnerability in a computer program or system

Civic nationalism – noun: A political attitude of devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country combined with a feeling of shared community with fellow citizens, especially as contrasted with a similar attitude based on ethnicity, race, or religion

Clicktivist – noun: A person who shows supports for a political or social cause via the Internet by means such as social media or online petitions, typically in a way characterized as involving little effort or commitment

Hicksville – noun: A place regarded as provincial and unsophisticated

Non-denial – noun: A statement that appears to deny that something is true but does not in fact constitute…

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