Girl power kicks its way towards immortality
IT IS the catchphrase associated with Britain’s most successful all-girl singing group.
While the Spice Girls might not be remembered for the quality of their music, they have certainly left their mark on our vocabulary, with the expression "girl power" joining other new phrases in the Oxford English Dictionary Online.
The term is used enough on a day-to-day basis to be considered a permanent part of the English language, according to the publishers of the on-line dictionary, the most up-to-date version of the world-famous authority on the English language.
Girl power is defined as "power exercised by girls; spec. a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness and individualism".
It is one of several hundred new terms to have been added to the on-line dictionary.
But although Scary, Posh, Baby, Ginger and Sporty can be credited with making the phrase popular in the late 1990s, researchers at Oxford University Press said the group were not responsible for inventing it. Riot girls (another new entry into the dictionary) adopted the phrase "girl power" in the US in the early 1990s.
A riot girl, who is also known as a "grrrl" (another new entry), is "a young woman perceived as strong or aggressive, esp. in her attitude to men or in her expression of feminine independence and sexuality".
A spokeswoman for Oxford University Press, which publishes the dictionary, said: "We have to be sure that words we include will not just come and go again.
"We monitor several sources, such as the media and literature, to see what evidence of usage any new word or expression, such as ‘girl power’, has. There is a 20-year programme of updating the full OED, with 50 people working on it."
Also making an entrance is the expression "f*** me", listed as an adjective because it is used in phrases such as "wearing f*** me shoes".
Home cinema and home shopping have been added, as have terms such as dosha, kapha, vata, and pitta.
High street as an adjective meaning "popular, mainstream" makes an appearance alongside feeding frenzy.
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