Brave New Words Coming Soon

According to National Geographic magazine, there might soon be some words added to the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. Yes, languages are living entities and should change over time. It appears that the time has arrived, again.

According to NatGeo, “Wide, long use is key….Fresh words or meanings are added to a database and their usage is tracked for up to ten years. If [the word] ‘cankle,’ for instance, pops up often enough [in books, magazines, newspapers, and various online sources], it may be one of the 4,000 words–out of 6,000 considered–that make the cut each year. Then it will be here to stay.”

Among the words being considered are:

beer jacket: the supposed insulating effect created by being drunk

cankle: thick ankle

earworm: a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head

face palm: an expression of exasperation or disbelief (palm goes to face)

guy liner: eyeliner for men

wibble: the trembling of the lower lip just shy from actual crying

xenolexica: a state of grave confusion when faced with unusual words

As a wordsmith, I particularly enjoy the last one! As a writer who tries to stay current, I realize that I need to keep tabs on today’s living language. It’s getting harder and harder, as new technology forces new words into our living lexicon. But I try to stay relevant. And now, I shall dip.

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