Oxford Dictionaries' Website Now Includes Definitions for “Lolcat,” “Duck Face,” and “Hawt”
It’s that time again: A whole bunch of new words have just been added to the Oxford Dictionaries, causing lovers of language everywhere to bemoan the state of the English language. Among the latest additions are terms like “lolcat” and “duck face”; all in all, 1,000 new words have officially become part of our standard lexicon. I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised about the absurdity of most of them — after all, not only was “bae” up for Oxford’s 2014 Word of the Year, but even worse, “vape” ended up being the winner. Facepalm (or more accurately, “a gesture in which the palm of one’s hand is brought to one’s face as an expression of dismay, exasperation, embarrassment, etc.” Thanks, Oxford English Dictionaries).
As TIME reminds is, it’s important to bear in mind that we’re talking about “the branch of Oxford that reflects modern usage” — not the almighty Oxford English Dictionary, beloved (or sometimes not) by academics and scholars everywhere. Requirements for a new word to be entered into the OED are much more stringent, so, y’know…at least there’s that. Popular language may look kind of goofy, but academia is as comfortingly stuffy as always.
I can’t help but think, though, that the official Oxford definitions I’ve seen of the new additions don’t quite do them justice. Sure, they tell us what they mean in the literal sense — but let’s face it: That’s not what they really mean. Accordingly, I’ve come up with a few, shall we say, alternative definitions for eight of the new words which I believe to reflect their meanings more accurately:
1. Al desko (adv., adj.)
Oxford definition: “While working at one’s desk in an office (with reference to the consumption of food or meals).”
True definition: Sad desk lunch.
2. Cool beans (excl.)
Oxford definition: “Used to express approval or delight.”
True definition: A slang term expressing approval or delight that no one has used since the conclusion of the ‘90s.
3. Duck face (n.)
Oxford definition: “An exaggerated pouting expression in which the lips are thrust outwards, typically made by a person posing for a photograph.”
True definition: A guaranteed way to make the entire Internet want to punch your Instagram account in the face.
4. Hawt (adj.)
Oxford definition: “Informal spelling of ‘hot.’”
True definition: An imaginary word used by people trying way too hard to be cool.
5. IDC (abr.)
Oxford definition: “(Informal) I don’t care.”
True definition: I don’t care SO MUCH that I can’t even be bothered to use full words.
6. Lolcat (n.)
Oxford definition: “(On the Internet) a photograph of a cat accompanied by a humorous caption written typically in a misspelled and grammatically incorrect version of English.”
True definition: The reason you didn’t get anything done at work today.
7. Shabby chic (n.)
Oxford definition: “A style of interior decoration that uses furniture and soft furnishings that are or appear to be pleasingly old and slightly worn.”
True definition: The interior design version of buying pre-distressed jeans.
8. Xlnt (adj.)
Oxford definition: “(Informal) excellent.”
True definition: Prf tht n th ftr w wll ll b tpng lk ths.
Images: Giphy (4)