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Amber Alert to Nomophobia, 10 words that entered the dictionary in 2019

Here are some of the most interesting additions to Oxford English Dictionary in 2019

Neha Mishra  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Wikipedia
Oxford English Dictionary

Every year, new words are coined and new definitions added to the already existing vocabulary. (OED), considered the most important English language dictionary, added more than 1,400 words, senses, and sub-entries in the year 2019.

The English language is constantly evolving and to keep up with the slangs that now rule and impact our everyday lives, new words like ‘omnishambles’, ‘satoshi, ‘nomophobia and ‘lightsabre’ were added to the dictionary in 2019. Some of the latest additions surprised us, but other words left us wondering why they weren’t included earlier.

The is revised four times every year and published as updates in March, June, September and December. Here are some of the most interesting additions to the dictionary in 2019:

Amber Alert: An announcement that alerts the public about a missing person, especially an abducted child, conveyed through media broadcasts, electronic roadway signs, etc. With the help of an amber alert, law enforcement agencies and media broadcasters send out emergency alerts to the public when a child has been abducted and it seems that the child’s life is in imminent danger. The Amber (America's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert app was implemented in the USA after the abduction and killing of a nine-year-old girl in 1996.

Lightsaber: In the fictional universe of the films, ‘lightsaber’ is a weapon resembling a sword, but it has a destructive beam of light in place of a blade. A lightsaber is an energy sword with a luminescent plasma blade of wavering colours. The lightsaber is most often used by the Jedi Order and the Sith, and it made its first appearance in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977.

Padawan: An apprentice ‘Jedi’ in the fictional universe of the films. Also (often humorously) in extended and allusive use, a youthful, naive, or untrained person. Frequently in young Padawan, especially as a form of address.

Misgendering: The action or fact of mistaking or misstating a person’s gender, misgendering occurs when someone intentionally or unintentionally refers to a person, relates to a person, or uses language to describe a person who doesn’t align with their affirmed gender. For example, referring to a man as “she” or calling him a “woman” is an act of misgendering.

Twittersphere: It is a social media terminology to describe the collective number of members of online social media networking site ‘Twitter’. Similarly, the twitterverse refers to all Twitter users, regardless of their gender, location and activity or tweets on Twitter. The twitterverse is also known as the twittersphere or twitosphere. For example, the Twittersphere was abuzz when the news first broke.

Omnishambles: It is defined as a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged (Mostly in political contexts), or is characterised by a series of blunders and miscalculations. The word secured a place in the Oxford dictionary after its regular use to describe British politics in 2019.

Simples: Used immediately after a statement giving a solution to a problem to indicate that something is very simple or straightforward to do.

Satoshi: The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin. The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, it is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous developer(s) of Bitcoin.

Jedi: In the fictional universe of the films, Jedi is a member of an order of heroic, skilled warrior monks who are able to harness the mystical power of the Force.

Nomophobia: It is defined as an anxiety about not having access to a mobile phone or mobile phone services.

First Published: Tue, December 31 2019. 19:20 IST
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