There are approximately half a million words in the English language and every year new ones are created. Some will make it into the Oxford English Dictionary and others will not. For a word to be included, it has to have been used extensively by people, for example in newspapers and novels.
Updated four times a year, here is a list of some of the words that were added to Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2012:
Chatbot (noun): a computer program designed to stimulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.
Deets (plural noun): details.
Forumite (noun): a person who posts comments in a particular Internet forum, typically on a regular basis.
Hackathon (noun): an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.
Lolz (plural noun): fun, laughter or amusement.
Mumblecore (noun): a style of low-budget film typically characterized by the use of non-professional actors and naturalistic or improvised performances.
OH (noun): a person’s wife, husband, or partner (used in electronic communication).
Photobomb (verb): spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by suddenly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke.
Tweeps (plural noun): a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter.
Twitterpated (adjective): infatuated or obsessed.
Soul patch (noun): a small tuft of facial hair directly below a man’s lower lip.
Veepstakes (noun): the notional competition among politicians to be chosen as a party’s candidate for vice president.
2012 also saw the creation of new words, some inspired by the Olympic Games and economic recession. The following are words that made the Oxford English Dictionary shortlist for potential inclusion in the future:
Omnishambles (noun): This word was also named Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012. Omnishambles is a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations. The word was created by the writers of the satirical television program The Thick of It.
Eurogeddon (noun): the potential financial collapse of the European Union countries that have adopted the euro, envisaged as having catastrophic implications for the region’s economic stability.
Mobot (noun): a characteristic gesture as performed by the British long-distance runner Mo Farah on winning the 5,000 and 10,000 meters events at the 2012 Olympics, in which both arms are arched above the head with the hands pointing down to the top of the head to for a distinctive ‘M’ shape.
YOLO (acronym): ‘you only live once’, typically used as a rational or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behavior.