Omnishambles is the OED’s word of last year

Oxford University Press includes selection of commonly used new words in online dictionary

The online edition of the OED is regularly updated with new words in common usage

The online edition of the OED is regularly updated with new words in common usage


If the sound of jorts (denim shorts) and twerking (what Miley Cyrus did at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards) make you vom (get sick) then perhaps it’s time to withdraw your approval of such things with an unlike.

These are just some of the new words Oxford University Press has included in its online dictionary by virtue of their common usage.

To stop you having a FOMO (fear of missing out) about keeping up with the latest buzzworthy lingo more than 1,000 new words are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online each year.

Thanks to this quarter’s list we have an official expression to describe those flat shoes with a thick sole Bono has a penchant for – flatforms – and also a word for self-taken portrait photographs: selfies.

Angus Stevenson from Oxford Dictionaries Online said new words are added when enough independent evidence shows they have “widespread currency in English”.

“Each month we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world,” he said. “We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis.”

Among the new entries is omnishambles, a word favoured by Malcolm Tucker, a character in the BBC’s political comedy The Thick of It. It is also the Oxford Dictionaries UK word of the year 2012. Omnishambles is not simply used to describe Ireland’s recent economic history but any situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged and is characterised by a series of blunders.

The new list has also led to the birth of two new babies: the food baby and babymoon. The former refers to a protruding stomach caused by eating too much. The latter is used to describe a romantic holiday parents-to-be take before a child is born, or a getaway taken after the birth in order to bond with the baby.

Lastly, apols (apologies) if this article was srsly TL;DR (seriously too long, didn’t read).