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Newest Dictionary Words
updated: Jan 07, 2017, 2:00 PM

2016 has brought a lot of things - including a whirlwind of emotions for some. While this year may leave some at a loss for words, here's Oxford's newest additions to the dictionary to help you describe the extremes and in betweens of 2016. Complied here were some of our favorite additions, vote on yours below!

Brexit:(n.) A term for the potential departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. ‘the report warned that Brexit would reduce the EU's potential GDP'

defang:(v.) Make (something) harmless or ineffectual: ‘the president had largely defanged the opposition'

gobsmacking: (adj.) utterly astonishing; astounding. 'I'm gobsmacked by the response of edhat commenters.'

DEFCON:(n.)Each of a series of five progressive levels of alert used by the US armed forces. ' figurative ‘my stress levels have finally reached defcon 1'

Grexit: (n.)A term for the potential withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone (the economic region formed by those countries in the European Union that use the euro as their national currency): ‘renewed fears of a Grexit have been shaking the financial markets'

O-line: (n.) short for offensive line: 'Ed deleted an edhat commenter for nasty o-line.'

paddle boarding: (n.) The sport or pastime of lying, kneeling, or standing on a paddleboard or surfboard and propelling oneself through the water with a paddle or the hands: ‘she wriggled into a wetsuit to try her hand at paddle boarding'

teleconference: (n.) A conference with participants in different locations linked by telecommunication devices. 'Ed will teleconference with the Dedicated Staff when he's traveling the world.'

soft launch: (v.) Release (a new product or service) to a restricted audience or market in advance of a full launch. ‘Apple has soft-launched music video downloads via iTunes, and a legal movie download service can't be too far away.'

YouTuber: (n.) A frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site: ‘we've been seeing top YouTubers getting TV deals over the last couple of years'

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 REX OF SB agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 02:27 PM

"Gobsmacked" has been a common word in England since at least the 1950s–and probably before that. I also question "defang" as a new word, since I recall hearing in reference to snakes pretty much forever.


 COMMENT 750411 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 03:58 PM

@REX OF SB ... in the spirit of teaching fishing ...

The answers to your questions are easily found by following the link included in Edhat's article. Once there, pop up a few levels in the URL hierarchy until you get to "The OED Today".

The URL hierarchy is the blue hyperlink text at the top of the white portion of OED's pages. Popping up (or backing up) means moving to the left (or shortening) of the hierarchy.

This is a useful technique for browsing web content to figure out context. It's like backing out of an indented table of contents.

The short answer is: The OED is very outdated and the editors are playing catch-up. But their explanation is more elegant which is why you should read it.


 COMMENT 750417 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 04:11 PM

Rex, I was surprised too that gobsmacked wasn't already listed. Interestingly, my spellcheck didn't recognize it though...


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 05:12 PM

Wow, pretty snarky. I too was amazed that those words were not yet in the OED, a favorite resource of mine for 40 years. Remember the 2 volume one you got with a book club membership? Of course it was easier to use the 20 or so volumes housed in a college library.

OED outdated? Depth requires time. I always go there for etymology.

I highly recommend "The Professor and the Madman," a great read!

and this, by same author:


 REX OF SB agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 06:05 PM

@411 – Thanks for the lesson on using the OED, but I really didn't have any questions, just a couple of observations; specifically that "gobsmacked" and "defanged" are already established words. Which they are.


 COMMENT 750456 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-07 07:21 PM

If one questions something I would think it would be a question. Of course this is just an observation.


 COMMENT 750480P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-08 07:09 AM

I had the exact same reaction as Rex. I have seen, and even used, those words for years.


 COMMENT 750484 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-08 07:51 AM

I, too, am surprised "gobsmacked" wasn't already in there. Nowadays, many words make it into the OED rather quickly. I remember in about 1980 and one of my brothers received a copy of the OED; We looked at the list of "new" words and "ho-daddy" had just been added, about 20 years after it was common in surfing culture.


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-08 10:08 AM

"O-line" is also not new as a reference to "the" offensive line in football. Perhaps it is new as a reference to a post that is not pleasant?


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-08 10:31 AM

Maybe they just meant "new" to the dictionary; i.e., previously not included. Perhaps they thought the words weren't important enough to add in past years.


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