Oxford Dictionary has a new last word
Zyzzyva – a type of beetle – takes the closing honour from zythum, an ancient Egyptian malt beer
Oxford Dictionary: among the tranche of new words are 50 new terms relating to tennis, such as forced error, chip and charge and career slam
The Oxford English Dictionary has a new “last word” – “zyzzyva”, which is a genus of tropical weevil native to South America typically found in palm trees. It takes the closing honour from “zythum”, an ancient Egyptian malt beer.
Zyzzyva is among a variety of new words to be added, which also include hygge, a Danish term described as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”.
The update features a number of politically charged new coinages, led by the 2016 word of the year “post-truth”, which has made its way into the latest update alongside “woke”, which was also shortlisted as a word of the year in 2016. “Woke” has been popularised by the Black Lives Matter movement to signify “being alert to racial and social discrimination and injustice”.
The definition of “thing” has also been given a meaning makeover to include “a genuine or established phenomenon or practice” when used to express disbelief, as in: “How can that be a thing?”
Also among the tranche of new words are 50 new terms relating to tennis, such as forced error, chip and charge and career slam.
“Tennis mom” and “tennis dad” – terms to describe parents who encourage their children to play the sport – have also been added to the book, which contains 829,000 words.
Speaking about how a word qualifies for inclusion, the OED said: “We require several independent examples of the word being used, and also evidence that the word has been in use for a reasonable amount of time.” – (PA, Guardian Service)