Earlier this week, Oxford Dictionaries (careful, don’t confuse that with the venerated OED) announced their annual dictionary update. Each year, the organization adds new words to the “world of informal language,” and simultaneously offers us a glimpse into the current state of humanity.
Language is the mind’s infrastructure through which consciousness emerges. Not only do we use language to communicate with one another, we use it internally to frame our individual experiences. We think in language. We learn in language. What it is to be human is defined by the very words we use to describe our existence.
Unfortunately, if the annual list of new dictionary-worthy words is any indication, our collective existence seems to be getting dumber… and a tad self-absorbed. Twenty years ago, the word of the year according to the American Dialect Society was World Wide Web, and with it came a subtext of infinite possibility and global progress. Fast forward to 2013, and words like twerk, selfie, and struggle bus tied for the honor.
Dumb words for a dumb time? Who cares, it’s beer o’clock somewhere, bruh! Hopefully we’re just suffering from a prolonged brainfart and we’ll all hop off that struggle bus before anyone gets really hangry. Until then, here are a few weak sauce additions from the new words class of 2015.
awesomesauce (adjective): extremely good; excellent
bants (noun): playfully teasing or mocking remarks exchanged with another person or group; banter
beer o’clock (noun): an appropriate time of day for starting to drink beer
brain fart (noun): a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly
bruh (noun): a male friend (often used as a form of address)
butt dial (verb): inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s rear trouser pocket
butthurt (adjective): overly or unjustifiably offended or resentfull
fatberg (noun): a very large mass of solid waste in a sewage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets
fat-shame (verb): cause (someone judged to be fat or overweight) to feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size
fur baby (noun): a person’s dog, cat, or other furry pet animal
glanceable (adjective): denoting or relating to information, especially as displayed on an electronic screen, that can be read or understood very quickly and easily
hangry (adjective): bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger
kayfabe (noun): (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic
MacGyver (verb): make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand
manic pixie dream girl (noun): (especially in film) a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist
manspreading (noun): the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats
mic drop (noun): an instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive
mkay (exclamation): non-standard spelling of OK, representing an informal pronunciation (typically used at the end of a statement to invite agreement, approval, or confirmation)
pocket dial (verb): inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s pocket, as a result of pressure being accidentally applied to a button or buttons on the phone
rando (noun): a person one does not know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour
weak sauce (noun): something that is of a poor or disappointing standard or quality
wine o’clock (noun): an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine
Featured image via Flickr user Pierre Metivier