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Reuters: OED Adds 'Ass-Backwards,' And 'Klingon'

LONDON - Science fiction's "Jedi" warriors and "Klingon" bad guys have entered the newest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, along with "asylum seekers", "asymmetrical warfare" and "spin control".

The first new edition in nearly a decade of the short version of the classic word bible will appear on Thursday, with 3,500 new entries, from "ass-backwards" to "warp drive". New slang terms include "get real" and "badass."

But words coined for the Harry Potter books are still too new to appear. "Generally, a word has to be used five times in five different places over five years, although something like 'text messaging' got in quicker because it became so widely used so quickly," said spokeswoman Claire Turner. But "muggle" -- Rowling's made-up word for people who are not wizards -- is still listed only as an early 20th century American slang term for a marijuana cigarette.
 
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Our local paper had an article listing several more -- but defining only four of them. Several of the others are new to me. Help! (especially with the asterisks)

bunny-boiler: a vindictive woman, a la Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction"
bunny-hugger; a conservationist or animal lover
gearhead: a car enthusiast
grinch: a spoilsport

alcopops*
carjacking
control freak
DVD
lap dancing
line dancing*
pashminas*
road rage
shock jock
speed camera*
supermodel

and, from the dining table:
balsamic vinegar
BLT
bruschetta*
cava*
chargrilling
dauphinois potatoes*
Heimlich maneuver
 
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OK, here goes with my own take on those you didn't recognise:

Alcopops are bottled alcoholic drinks. They contain spirits mixed with fruit juices and similar, such as vodka and lime, scotch and ginger ale, and so on. The alcohol by volume is relatively low, about the same as wine. There was a lot of fuss here a year or so ago because young kids took to buying them illegally from unscrupulous shopkeepers.

Pashminas are mountain goats in the Himalayas. The wool is made into pashmina scarves and shawls and is extremely light and warm. Sweat shops in Nepal, Tibet and India produce them and sell them to the Western fashion industry for peanuts who then sell them on for hundreds of dollars.

A speed camera is sited on the side of the road and takes pictures of passing cars. It uses radar to gauge their speed and if any are exceeding the speed limit their drivers get a ticket in the post. Some people seem to think they are somehow unsporting.

Bruschetta is an Italian dish, made with grilled garlic bread.

Cava is Spanish and Italian (maybe other laguages too) for cave. It is often used for a wine cellar. Dunno if that is the meaning in the OED, though.

Dauphinois potatoes are potatoes with cream and cheese. Dished up in restaurants that serve French cuisine.
 
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Line dancing Traditionally done to such songs as "Boot Scoot Boogie" by Brooks and Dunn, is a dance where people line up in lines or a grid and all do the same steps at the same time, but individually. There is a pattern to follow and usually ends with a quarter turn to one direction or the other, where the whole sequence is then repeated. This quarter turn makes another side of the grid, the front at this point, and this continues until the song is over. The songs have a very strong, even beat making it easy for the dancers to count steps and keep in sync. big grin
 
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Today's AOL published the same Reuters' account, but with a further paragraph with more words:

"Britain's prime minister Tony Blair is immortalized with "Blairism," "Blairite," "New Labour," "Old Labour" and the ill-fated construction project, the "Millennium Dome."
 
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Are you saying that you do not need assistance with the terms you list but did not asteriskiate (Woof! Talk about verbifing a noun!!) since I'd be more than happy to fill in some gaps if you need them.
 
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Thanks for bringing this one up, CJ. I'd love to know what lap dancing is.
Also, is muggle a common term for a marijuana cigarette? I've Never heard it used that way.
 
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quote:
I'd love to know what lap dancing is.
Ummmmmm....Kalleh? You could probably get that answer from any of the men around here who have ever been to a bachelor party! wink
 
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quote:
is muggle a common term for a marijuana cigarette

A muggle was used by JK Rowling in the Harry Potter books to describe someone without any magical ability. Another author, Piers Anthony used mundane in a similar way.

It was in the news recently because an American writer accused Rowling of plagiarism, and muggle was one of the words she said she'd invented that was lifted by Rowling. JK Rowling's defence pointed out that the word had been used for a marijuana cigarette before either started writing. I don't think the word was ever in common use, even among the pot smokers.
 
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I recently saw an article listing half a dozen bits of slang recently accepted for OED. (Where is that durn article?) Among them was phat, and a local teenager promptly confirmed its meaning for me. AHD says "excellent; first-rate: phat fashion; a phat rapper."

But AHD says "origin unknown". I'd thought the origin was quite well known, even to an old fuddy-duddy like me, but perhaps my "origin" is mistaken. What origin, if any, is known to you?
 
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Carjacking - Hijacking for morons who can't afford the price of a plane ticket. It's odd but this fairly recent phenomenon has been shown to be a direct result of the sharp increase in people using steering wheel locks on their cars when parked. The easiest and most direct way around this impediment for the car thief was to jump the driver in his or her car while, for example, stopped at a traffic light. (Who knew?)

Control freak - As in "You're going where? With whom? To do what?? OK, this time, but be back no later than 3:30, no liquor, wear your seat belt, don't talk to strangers and, when in doubt, call me and I'll decide." When dealing with children and teenagers, this can be a good thing. With co-workers, not so much.

Lap dancing - Folk dancing as practiced by residents of that area known as Lapland.

Road rage - The primary reason machine guns mounted over the headlights aren't standard equipment on Volvos. With the average person, road rage occurs when he or she overreacts to real or imagined slights committed by other drivers on the road. With me, it occurs when all the other drivers are idiots! MOVE IT, LADY!! DON'T MAKE ME GET MY MACHETE!!!

Shock jock - A radio "personality" (in quotes because they so often lack precisely that) whose idea of humor is to be rude and offensive. Classic case ocurred recently when one of the primary pitchers of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team died suddenly at the age of (I think) 33. Shortly afterwards, a shock jock called up his still grieving widow on the air and asked her out on a date because "I heard you were available." He was promptly fired and just barely escaped being skinned alive by irate fans, a punishment which would have not even approached adequacy in my opinion.

(Do I seem overly violent today? I do apologize.)

Lap dancing - OK, on the off chance that you weren't joking and that you really aren't familiar with the term, a lap dance is when an exotic dancer sits in the lap of a customer of the men's entertainment venue (i.e. "strip club") she works at and "dances." Again the quotation marks since this dance is nothing our parents would have ever learned in an Arthur Murray class. The woman faces the gentleman (no comment) and grinds her hips against his groin and/or her breasts against his face or chest. By club rule, he must literally sit on his hands so that he receives the woman's attention but does not actively participate in the dance itself.
Or so I've heard...

Supermodel Grossly overpaid, seriously underfed, beautiful (OK, I'll give her that) woman who poses for pictures wearing a vacuous expression (and often little else) suggesting that she's just been smacked against the side of her head with a two-by-four. Just who in the world decided that this was a sexy look?! Whenever I see a Supermodel (and for some reason undoubedtly involving ego, I always see that word capitalized) who is shown smiling or laughing or apparently enjoying herself to any degree, I immediately rush out to buy whatever product her photo is hawking.

BLT - Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Not to be confused with "PB&J," peanut butter and jelly. Also not to be confused with "C&AG," carrots and axle grease.

Heimlich maneuver - Lifesaving technique for when someone takes too big a bite of their C&AG sandwich and gets it lodged in their windpipe. The first aider stands behind the victim, puts his or her hands together around the victim's stomach and then thrusts upward. This forces the air in the victim's lungs to expell the blockage and permit regular breathing again. The world record is 27 feet, 3 inches for a hunk of roast beef roughly the size of a horse's hoof (Mama always said "Chew your foot at least 20 times!") but longer unsubstantiated claims are often reported.

I have a rough idea on some of the other items listed but these are the ones I felt most strongly about.
 
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CJ, are you by any chance a descendent of Ambrose Bierce?

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Read all about my travels around the world here.
 
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Geneologically, no. Metaphorically, it's been years since I've been paid such a compliment.

Sincerest thanks.
 
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Bob! Thank you for mentioning Ambrose Bierce! I had company over the weekend who, knowing my love of words, brought me my very own copy of "The Devil's Dictionary"! I think I'm in love!

quote:
LOVE, n.
A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordnerd Nov 12, 2002):
"Phat" - origin unknown?
What origin, if any, is known to you?

The OED Online gives two definitions:

a. Of a person, esp. a woman: sexy, attractive. b. Esp. of music: excellent, admirable; fashionable, ‘cool’.
Particularly associated with the hip-hop subculture.

It also says the origin is unknown, but suggests it's "a respelling of fat (at least in sense b)". The earliest citatation given is from 1963: "1963 Time 2 Aug. 14 Negro argot... Mellow, phat, stone, boss. General adjectives of approval". It gives two quotes (1974, 200) using phat as an acronym, but says these "seem likely to be later rationalizations". I do like the 1974 quote, though.

Now I know the difference between a fat woman and a phat woman!

Tinman

[This message was edited by tinman on Sun Jun 1st, 2003 at 19:01.]
 
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Tinman, this post is interesting in 2 ways. Besides the definition of "phat", I wonder why this thread wasn't locked?? Sarah?? Tinman, did you do anything to unlock it?
 
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Cheap white sparkling wine, available from UK supermarkets at <£5 a bottle. It is a very good alternative to some of the cheaper champagnes, certainly a hundred times better than Pomagne. However, it is by no means the key to anybody's pants.
 
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"Cava" .... not to be confused with Kava!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by C J Strolin:
(Mama always said "Chew your foot at least 20 times!")

OK, at the risk of admitting I put my foot in my mouth there, that was obviously supposed to be "food," not "foot."

Are threads no longer being closed out after a certain period of inactivity? I think that this would be an improvement to this site.
 
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I would agree with you 100% on that, CJ. Sarah, do you know?????
 
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I agree whole heartedly. But I honestly don't know how this happened, or how we can change the settings for all the Forums. Rest assured, I am looking for the answers.
 
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Obviously, my thread here never became locked because it was too lovely to end.

And the latest word on words is that OED's recent approvals include
  • Mumbo-jumbery: obscure or meaningless language or ritual; jargon intended to impress or mystify; nonsense
  • Geekfest: a gathering of geeks, especially one devoted to technical discussions; a single ongoing activity that is particularly appealing to geeks
  • Studmuffin: a sexually attractive young man
  • Rageaholic: a person prone to extreme, frequent, unprovoked outbursts of rage
as well as three-peat, muggle (previously noted in this thread), bling-bling, tacqueria and telenovela.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh: "I'd love to know what lap dancing is."
Originally posted by Angel: "Ummmmmm....Kalleh? You could probably get that answer from any of the men around here who have ever been to a bachelor party! Wink"

I hear that lap dance (1990s) is defined thus in the New Yorker: "To lap dance, you undress, sit your client down, order him to stay still and fully clothed, then hover over him, making a motion that you have perfected by watching Mister Softee ice cream dispensers."
 
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Nope, sorry. That can't be right.

If anything to do with your lap dance brings a "Mister Softee" to mind, you're doing it wrong.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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If anything to do with your lap dance brings a "Mister Softee" to mind, you're doing it
wrong.
________________________________________________
Since the white, gooey stuff in the ice cream dispenser dribbles down, I dare say the woman in question has an affliction I don't want, so "Mr Stiffy" would not likely appear!
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Speaking of the OED, last night I happened upon Simon Winchester on C-SPAN. Has anyone here read his latest work, A Brief History of Nearly Everything?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
Speaking of the OED, last night I happened upon Simon Winchester on C-SPAN. Has anyone here read his latest work, _A Brief History of Nearly Everything_?


Are you sure you aren't mixing that up ?

Bill Bryson has recently published "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (which I have read) while, as far as I know Simon Winchester has just published "The Meaning of Everything:The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary" (which I haven't).

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life ?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off ?
Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
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I'm familiar with Simon Winchester's, "The Professor and the Madman," which tells the story of the insanity of one of the contributors (WC Minor) of the OED*....and of Bryson's book of which Bob speaks. I am not familiar with Winchester's new book, "The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary." However, after reading the review in the Houston Chronicle, I am planning to read it!

* I wrote a limerick about Simon Winchester's book.
 
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Yes, Bob, I did mix it up! Sorry! Now I gotta go get both books....
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
Yes, Bob, I did mix it up! Sorry! Now I gotta go get both books....


Well I don't know about Simon Winchester's book but Bill Bryson's book is excellent and when finished makes a very useful door stop.

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life ?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off ?
Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.

[This message was edited by BobHale on Mon Dec 29th, 2003 at 4:09.]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
Yes, Bob, I did mix it up! Sorry! Now I gotta go get both books....

Check out Powell's.

A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester

Of course, it's cheaper to check it out of the library.

Here are reviews of the two books:

Bryson

Winchester

Tinman
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Check out Powell's.
_____________________________________________

That, Tinman, is something I do regularly! The library is cheaper, to be sure, but it's not open every day due to budget cuts, and it ain't as much fun! Buzz down and wander around Powell's with me one of these days!
 
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The Winchester book also received a great review during a fairly lenthly segment on NPR (National Public Radio).

One point they brought up was that no word is ever dropped from the Unabridged OED - once a word is in, it's in forever. I didn't know that. This is going to add considerably to the time required for my rewrite.

One other note to mention: The person being interviewed (I don't know if it was Winchester himself since I came in late) mentioned that there is, to the best of his knowledge, only one example of unintentioned humor in the OED. "Abbreviator" is given two definitions. The first is the one you would expect - someone or something that abbreviates. The second was a legal term used in the Vatican for someone who brings up the Pope's briefs. The humor was of course unintentional since "briefs" as "underwear" didn't come into existence until decades after the OED printed that second abbreviator definition.

They also said that the next complete rewrite, all 40 volumes of it, is scheduled to be complete in 2030 or 2035 or sometime around there although I seem to recall reading elsewhere that the OED, among other major dictionaries, will be published on-line in a continuing basis from here on in. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the language, it seems like the only way to go.
 
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Buzz down and wander around Powell's with me one of these days!

I'll do that, Asa, when the weather warms up. My son may join me.

Tinman
 
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