“Twerk,” “Selfie,” and “Emoji” Are Now In The Oxford Dictionaries Online

Miley Cyrus might have made “twerk” a household word during her MTV Video Music Awards performance Sunday, but the Oxford University Press is making it indelible: “Twerk” joins 42 more new words just added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online. Srsly.


Of the 43 new words, which are only being added to the ODO and not to the historic Oxford English Dictionary, about half are inspired by current technology trends and Internet colloquialisms. Here’s a TL;DR version of some the new word additions:

BYOD, n. – the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work.

digital detox, n. informal – a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.

Internet of things, n. – a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.

MOOC, n. – a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people. (Stands for Massive Open Online Course.)

phablet, n. – a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.

selfie, n. – a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

twerk, v. – dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.

If our sampling is leaving you suffering from FOMO, you can see the ODO’s full list here.

[Photo by Charles Sykes | Invision | AP Images]