Oxford English Dictionary Adds ‘Woke,’ 600 Other Words to Its Vocabulary

By Erica Abbott

The Oxford English Dictionary has added a plethora of new words to their online database. Those searching their dictionary can now find the definitions of words such as “woke,” “hygge” and “post-truth,” which they named last year’s Word of the Year.

One of the most notable entries for many on social media was “woke,” a slang entry that was met with both praise and backlash. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “woke” as:

well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in stay woke (often used as an exhortation).

In later use perhaps popularized through its association with African-American civil rights activism (in recent years particularly the Black Lives Matter movement), and by the lyrics of the 2008 song Master Teacher by American singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, in which the words I stay woke serve as a refrain.

In addition to having an original meaning of simply “awake,” the adjectival “woke” has been around far longer than some may think. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the earliest use in a figurative sense was in a 1962 New York Times article. Titled “If You’re Woke, You Dig It,” it “describes how white beatniks were appropriating black slang at the time.” The term is now widely used to challenge others to be more aware of injustices in the world.

This was just one of the 600 words the online dictionary added to its database this quarter. Other words that captured the attention of the internet were “Zyzzyva,” which is now the dictionary’s newest last word, and “post-truth“—which deals with how people’s emotions and personal beliefs may shape public opinion more than objective facts. It was named their 2016 Word of the Year in November due to Brexit and the contentious presidential election in the U.S.

Other new word entries include:

  • bug chaser
  • casita
  • chantoosie
  • devil dog
  • gingerish
  • sonification
  • unlaughing
  • unlawyerly
  • Webby
  • zoomable
  • zoophagy

See how social media reacted to the new words and definitions below:

Social Media Reacts to Oxford English Dictionary’s New Word Entries

Not sure @OED‘ new definition of ‘woke’ is woke enough. https://t.co/6zwBXmoJWa pic.twitter.com/yyLx5Nisrk

— Ari Phillips (@re_ari) June 27, 2017

What a thing is this post-truth thing! https://t.co/vGybZOpS3F

— Dinesh Sinha (@dinesh2sinha) June 26, 2017

“Woke” and “post-truth” have been added to the @OED… so sad.

— arielegivner (@arielegivner) June 27, 2017

‘Wokeness’ has found it’s way to Oxford Dictionary

— Ogens (@ogens2) June 27, 2017

Woke has been added to the Oxford dictionary. Yayy millenials.

— El Capitán (@pyrate_lord) June 27, 2017

Lmao “woke” was added to the Oxford Dictionary #StayWoke

— Kristina Airdo (@kristina_airdo) June 26, 2017

Want to sound more educated? Well I’ve got some good news for you! The @OxfordWords dictionary has added ‘Woke’ and ‘Post-Truth’ #StayWoke

— Robert Jimison (@CNNRobert) June 27, 2017

Which new Oxford English Dictionary entry is your favorite? Do you like that they added “woke” to their online dictionary? Sound off in the comments section below!

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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