‘Moobs’ and ‘YOLO’ among 1,000 words and terms added to dictionary

Moobs, gender-fluid, and YOLO are among more than 1,000 words and terms that have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Moobs, a term for unusually prominent breasts on a man; gender-fluid, referring to a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; and YOLO, the acronym for the phrase “you only live once”, made the cut in the OED’s quarterly update.

Food-related terms including cheese eater, chefdom and cheeseball will appear in the new edition alongside Yogalates, the combination of yoga and Pilates, and Westminster bubble, an insular community of politicians.

To celebrate the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth, the OED is also publishing new and revised Dahlesque entries the author used in his writing, including Oompa Loompa, scrumdiddyumptious and human bean.

Michael Proffitt, chief editor of the OED, said: “The inclusion in OED of a number of words coined by or associated with Roald Dahl reflects both his influence as an author and his vivid and distinctive style. For many children Dahl’s work is not only one of their first experiences of reading, but also their earliest exposure to the creative power of language.”

Moobs — a combination of the words man and boobs — first appeared in the young adult novel The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants in 2001. Gender-fluid was first recorded in 1987, and social media phrase YOLO is used as the rationale for impulsive behaviour.

Other interesting additions include fuhgeddaboudit — a US colloquialism reflecting an attempted New York or New Jersey pronunciation of the phrase “forget about it”.

The OED describes itself as “an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over 829,000 words, senses, and compounds — past and present — from across the English-speaking world”.

For a word to be included, it requires several independent examples of the word being used, as well as evidence it has been used for “a reasonable amount of time”.


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