New words: Retweet, cyberbullying, and sexting officially enter the OED

A raft of new words were added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary this month. Among the new words: 'sexting,' 'cyberbullying,' and 'retweet.'

New words are added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary on a regular basis. The latest batch includes "sexting" and "retweet." But it's not all new words, OED cut some, too.

Earlier this month, the Oxford English Dictionary team released the latest edition of its "Concise" reference guide, and with it, 400 new pieces of modern slang. Some of the new words are funny – "mankini" – and some of the new words will please committed sartorialists – "jeggings" – but for our purposes, the best of the bunch are the addition of several (familiar) pieces of techspeak.

Take sexting, a noun, defined by the OED as "the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone." Or retweet, also a noun, defined as a "reposted or forwarded message on Twitter." And don't forget about cyberbullying, "the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature."

Meanwhile, for the especially enthusiastic techie, there is woot (exclamation mark optional), a word "used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph."

"Sadly, the new edition has no room for tremendous words like brabble 'paltry noisy quarrel' and growlery 'place to growl in, private room, den' – what we might call a man cave these days. But the preoccupations of today’s Generation Y have opened the door to some equally colourful vocabulary," editor Angus Stevenson wrote on the official OUP blog. (The post is well worth reading in full.)

But this story isn't all about additions. There are deletions, too – chief among them the phrase "cassette tape." And that has made cassette lovers such as Bucks Burnett, owner of the Eight Track museum, very upset. "I'm going to ban the Oxford Dictionary from the museum. I have a copy and I'm going to recycle it!" Burnett told the Huffington Post. "This decision to remove the word was made inside a Starbucks by 20-something editors on their lunch break."

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