“Lolz”, “photobomb” and “hackathon” Among Latest Additions to the Oxford Dictionary

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.

Sources:
BBC
Huffington Post
Oxford Dictionaries

Scholars Complete Dictionary that Translates Ancient Egyptian Language

Thirty-seven years in the making, scientists have finally completed a dictionary that translates Demotic Egyptian – a language that has been dead for over 1500 years.

Unlike hieroglyphs, which

was a more formal script used by the elite, Demotic Egyptian was the spoken and written language of everyday life in ancient Egypt from around 500 B.C. to A.D. 500.

The dictionary, called the Chicago Demotic Dictionary (available online), has recently been completed by researchers at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and will “provide a wealth of information about the Egyptian-speaking population in Egypt” and is “an indispensable tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period,” says Janet H. Johnson, an Egyptologist at the Institute.

The scholars were able to compile the 2000-page dictionary from Demotic script found on stone carvings, pottery pieces and papyrus. Demotic, hieroglyphs and Greek were the three languages found inscribed on the Rosetta Stone, which enabled the first Egyptologists to decode the hieroglyphic script.

Surprisingly, although the language has been extinct for over 1500 years, the dictionary reveals that several words live on today, such as “adobe” (passed on to Arabic and Spanish), and “ebony.”