A New Word!


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New words notes June 2017

By Katherine Connor Martin, Head of US Dictionaries

The latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary includes over 1,200 new words, phrases, and senses from the newly revised alphabetic ranges and from around the alphabet. Some highlights of the new additions are discussed below.

A new sense of thing

The noun thing has been part of the English lexicon for more than a thousand years, but the OED now defines a new meaning which has only arisen in the past two decades. The new sense is defined as ‘a genuine or established phenomenon or practice’, and is often used in questions conveying surprise or incredulity, such as ‘is that even a thing?’ The earliest citation is from 2000, in an episode of the U.S. television programme, The West Wing: ‘Did you know that “leaf peeping” was a thing?’