ICYMI, internet acronyms among new Oxford English Dictionary additions

Britons are pulling on budgie smugglers to go wild swimming, discussing starter marriages at stupid o'clock and sipping craft beer while planning their next elimination diet.

Budgie smugglers and wild swimming make it into the Oxford English Dictionary for first time. Picture: Getty Images
Budgie smugglers and wild swimming make it into the Oxford English Dictionary for first time. Picture: Getty Images

TBH, not everyone will be bovvered by all of the 1,000 new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in its latest quarterly update, which reveals current trends in the use of language.

Entries include air-punching – the action of thrusting a clenched fist into the air in elation or triumph favoured by tennis ace Andy Murray – and bovver – part of the catchphrase of comedian Catherine Tate’s teenage character Lauren.

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A number of internet slang acronyms such as ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing), ICYMI (in case you missed it), TBH (to be honest), and FWIW (for what it’s worth) also make the list.

Budgie smugglers, an Australian term used since the 1980s to refer to close-fitting swimming trunks, are featured in the update, along with Scandi crime thrillers and wild swimming.

The phrase “taking candy from a baby”, in which one exploits an easy opportunity, is included as well as “sister from another mister” – a term for a very close female friend first recorded in 1998.

Other entries include fro-yo, the short form for frozen yoghurt, dudettes – the female form of dude – and agender for designating people who do not identify themselves as a particular gender. Starter marriages are short-lived first marriages, often in preparation for something more long-term, while stupid o’clock is a time outside one’s normal waking life.

In a blog on the latest update, Jonathan Dent, senior assistant editor of the OED, said it included more than 1,000 new words and senses and almost 2,000 fully revised or partially expanded entries.

“One inescapable factor of modern life is our increasing reliance on computers and digital communications,” Mr Dent wrote.

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“A slew of initialisms associated with the social media, emails, texts, and other electronic means of communication are placed in their historical context for the first time in this update.

“Perhaps surprisingly, many of these abbreviations for common (and not so common) phrases predate the World Wide Web, with the Usenet newsgroup communities of the late 1980s and early 1990s providing most of our earliest citations,” he said.