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August 28, 2013

Twerk, Selfie Added to Oxford Dictionaries Online

by VOA News

The Internet continues to have a major impact on the English language.

In its quarterly update, the Oxford Dictionaries Online has added many words from Internet culture.

Here’s a partial list, but the full list can be seen here.

  • derp, exclam.  n. (informal): (used as a substitute for) speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action
  • digital detox, n.: a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
  • bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
  • emoji, n: a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
  • selfie, n. (informal): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Another addition is the verb “twerk,” which was made infamous during Monday’s MTV Video Music Awards when pop star Miley Cyrus made the suggestive moves during her performance.

The entire definition of twerk is to “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.’’

Last year, the dictionary added lolz, photobomb and tweeps to the lexicon.

Oxford Dictionaries Online focuses on modern usage, while the Oxford English Dictionary is more traditional and unlikely to include words like “twerk” in the near future.