New Oxford American Dictionary Adds “BFFs,” “Bromance,” “Hockey Mom”


Over 2,000 new words, phrases, and meanings have been added to the New Oxford American Dictionary in its first update since 2005. The Oxford University Press blog has a list of some of the new words, many of which seem to have been lifted from a teenage girl’s text message. Here are a few examples:

BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

bromance n. informal a close but nonsexual relationship between two men.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of brother and romance.

hockey mom n. informal a mother who devotes a great deal of time and effort to supporting her children’s participation in ice hockey.
(We can thank Sarah Palin for this entry.)

steampunk n. a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

tramp stamp n. informal a tattoo on a woman’s lower back.

And then there are the following new words and phrases that left me wondering if it’s still 1997:

be all that informal be very attractive or good: he thinks he’s all that—yeah, God’s gift.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

nimrod informal an inept person.

It’s fun to look through this list and see how our language changes from year to year. I like that they’ve added “friend/unfriend” as a verb thanks to social networking sites like Facebook.

What do you think of the recent additions to the New Oxford American Dictionary? Do any of them make you cringe?

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  • http://amckiereads.wordpress.com Amy

    Wow… I hate seeing some of those slang expressions entering into an actual dictionary. Especially tramp stamp. HATE that word.