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ZOMG! Schmick New Words from Oxford

A new batch of words has been added to Oxford Dictionaries Online, and the additions lean heavily on the lingo of online communication. "The world of computers and social networking continues to be a major influence on the English language," the Oxford announcement says, and sure enough the list has everything from Twittersphere to overshare to ZOMG. (The last one is a playfully misspelled version of OMG, as if someone is a bit too excited to type it correctly.) A sample follows below.

  • awareness bracelet: a colored bracelet worn to raise awareness of a particular cause
  • baby bump: the protrusion of a pregnant woman's belly, especially when it is first noticeable
  • bankster: a member of the banking industry seen as profiteering or dishonest: nothing ever seems to happen to any of the banksters who caused all the problems in the first place
  • bestie: informal a person's best friend
  • BOLO: (typically in police use, referring to a suspected criminal or missing person) be on (the) lookout
  • breadcrumb trail: (on a website) a series of hyperlinks displayed at the top of a web page, indicating the page's position in the overall structure of the site
  • bucket list: a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime: making this trip is the first thing on my bucket list
  • casino banking: the practice whereby a commercial bank engages in unduly speculative or risky financial activities with the aim of achieving high profits
  • coconut water: the watery liquid found inside a coconut, consumed as a beverage
  • confirmation bias: the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories
  • Cyber Monday: (in the US) the Monday following Thanksgiving, promoted by online retailers as a day for exceptional bargains
  • eco-chic: concern with environmental issues, viewed as a fashion or fad: eco-chic is all the rage!
  • infographic: a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data: a good infographic is worth a thousand words
  • insidery: proceeding from or reflecting an insider's knowledge or perspective: an insidery website that is widely read in the capital's political precincts; insidery jargon
  • lappy: a laptop: I'm going to transfer my CD collection to the lappy
  • lifehack: a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way
  • man cave: a room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household: a man cave equipped with a pool table and pinball machine
  • man flu: a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms
  • mani-pedi: a beauty treatment comprising both a manicure and a pedicure
  • meep: a short, high-pitched sound, especially as emitted by an animal or a vehicle's horn: the kitten released a terrified meep
  • nekkid: (of a person) naked: some of the oldest photos in existence are of nekkid women
  • network neutrality: the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites
  • newb: short for newbie: it's easy enough for total newbs to pick up and play
  • NSFW: not safe (or suitable) for work (used in electronic communication to indicate that a particular web page or website contains explicit sexual material or other adult content): if your friend just sent you something with NSFW in the subject line, don't go there
  • overshare: reveal an inppropriate amount of detail about one's personal life: her taste for oversharing was part of a grassroots publicity campaign that cost her and her label nothing
  • paperless: relating to or involving the storage or communication of information in electronic form, rather than on paper: several of the utilities companies have switched to paperless billing
  • pat-down: an act of searching a person for concealed items such as weapons or illegal drugs, made by passing the hands over their clothing
  • permalink: a permanent static hyperlink to a particular web page or entry in a blog
  • 'roid: an anabolic steroid: those guys are all on ' roids
  • savior sibling: a child conceived through selective in vitro fertilization as a potential source of donor organs or cells for an existing brother or sister with a life-threatening medical condition
  • schmick: smart or stylish: the new white, blue, and orange colour schemes are very schmick
  • social graph: a representation of the interconnection of relationships in an online social network
  • Twittersphere: postings made on the social networking site Twitter, considered collectively: the Twittersphere was abuzz when the story first broke
  • unfollow: stop tracking (a person, group, or organization) on a social networking site: never unfollow someone just because they unfollowed you!
  • ZOMG: (used especially on electronic message boards as a sarcastic comment on an inexperienced or overenthusiastic poster) oh my God!: ZOMG! ! I finally managed to reformat the file; the airport was hot and big, but there was really nothing that made me stop and think ZOMG FOREIGN COUNTRY!

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Comments from our users:

Wednesday June 15th 2011, 2:38 AM
Comment by: Sue B.
Many of these seem almost old now to me (!), but I have to say I have NEVER seen "noob" spelled "newb"! I realize that the latter spelling more accurately reflects the words roots; nevertheless, the former is far more common, in my experience.
Wednesday June 15th 2011, 7:53 AM
Comment by: Ben Zimmer (New York, NY)Visual Thesaurus ContributorVisual Thesaurus Moderator
Sue: Or, alternatively, n00b.
Wednesday June 15th 2011, 8:23 AM
Comment by: Karen D. (Laurel, MD)
"newb" is slang that far predates the Internet. When I first encountered it it was short for "newbie", which was slightly more common.

And zomg (or ZOMG, though that misses the point) is meant to mimic someone so excited they hit the Z instead of the shift key.
Friday June 17th 2011, 3:52 PM
Comment by: (Liberty Hill, TX)
And I thought 'roid was clipped exclusively for hemorrhoid...

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OED Hearts OMG
The Oxford English Dictionary recently added "OMG" and "heart" (as a verb).
More reactions to recent Oxford English Dictionary additions.
There's a difference between the OED and other Oxford dictionaries.