It's Miley Cyrus' Fault That Twerking Has Been Added to the Dictionary
It's official, now: Twerking is dead. Not only has Hannah Montana made twerking her signature move in life, but now the AP is reporting that the word "twerking" has been added to the Oxford dictionary. You hear me, Miley? TWERKING IS DEAD AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.
AP even cites Cyrus in the reason that the word "twerk" made the jump into the dictionary as a verb:
Britain's Oxford Dictionaries said the rapid-fire gyrations employed by U.S. pop starlet Miley Cyrus to bounce her way to the top of the charts had become increasingly visible in the past 12 months and would be added to its publications under the entry: "Twerk, verb."
And, because I know you're interested, here's the full definition as currently listed on Oxford Dictionaries Online:
Pronunciation: /twəːk/ verb [no object] informal dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance
Equally important, they theorize the word dates back to the 1990s, and is a variation of "work." The sentence examples listed are: "Just wait till they catch their daughters twerking to this song," and "Twerk it girl, work it girl."
Oh God, they even make it sound weird. This is way more uncomfortable an experience than watching Cyrus twerk on Robin Thicke, and I was convinced that was as bad as it comes. Leave it to these guys to prove me wrong.
At the very least, rest assured that Oxford isn't screwing around when it comes to adding "twerk" to their database: They know the word has been around for a while, and delved impressively deep into its etymology. As Oxford dictionaries' Katherine Connor Martin commented: "There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure ... we think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to 'work it.' The 't' could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch."
Amongst the other word additions this year: "Selfie," "digital detox," and "bitcoin." Oxford truly isn't your grandmother's dictionary anymore.