New words in the dictionary – how many are you familiar with?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has just released its January 2018 update, with 240 brand new words making it into the publication, along with around 900 subentries.

A notable theme among the latest entries is parenting, pregnancy and women’s health, with 47 of them coming from suggestions via the website Mumsnet. OED has long sought to consult with industry experts to find how language is changing and, having decided to delve into parenting-themed words this time round, the popular advice-sharing forum is an obvious place to turn.

Verbs like ‘to co-parent’ make the list, as does ‘tomgirl’ – a boy who behaves in a way typically seen as girlish, which could be considered the opposite of the more familiar ‘tomboy’.

OED has revealed that many suggestions from Mumsnet did not quite make the list though, with some of the creative nappy-changing terminology being shelved for now. Parents may have to wait a little longer before they can come out with the likes of ‘poonami’, ‘craptastrophy’ and ‘shizzard’ and claim to be using recognised English words.

Menstrual terms and euphemisms like ‘Aunt Flo’ (referring to the menstrual cycle itself) and ‘2ww’ (the two-week wait between ovulation and a period) have been given the thumbs up, and many women may have been subject to ‘manspaining’ – the practice of explaining something in a patronising and overly simplified way, usually by a man to a woman.

New words should be embraced by writers, as they give us fresh opportunities to express ourselves. If you’re inspired to get into ‘e-publishing’ (that’s also one of the new words, in fact), try our Business Blogging for Beginners course.

Categories: Words and Language

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