"Vuvuzela," "staycation" among 2,000 words added to Oxford Dictionary

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The Independent Culture

The third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, the largest single-volume English dictionary, was released on August 19. According to an announcement made a day earlier, the new edition contains such newly added words as vuvuzela, micro-blogging, chillax, and staycation.

The first Oxford Dictionary of English was published in 1998, followed by a second edition in 2003. Since then, editors have added 2,000 new words, including a range of Internet-related terms (microblogging, social media, netbook, dictionary attack, paywall, tweet-up).

The new edition also includes 200 new phrases, including "fog of war," "on the naughty step," and "the glass is half full (or half-empty)."

Talk of climate change has resulted in the new terms "climate capture and storage" and "geo-engineering," while the financial crisis is seen in new phrases "toxic debt" and "quantitative easing."

New term "LBD" salutes a classic in women's fashion: the little black dress, now recognized in the dictionary under its abbreviation for the first time. "Cheeseball" is now an Oxford-approved term for a person lacking in taste and style, while the culinary specialty "turducken" also earns a spot in the new edition.

Oxford University Press uses a constantly updated "word bank" to steer its changes, intended to reflect current trends in usage. Other dictionaries to recently update their contents include Collins, which added several Twitter-related terms to its 2009 printing, and Merriam-Webster, whose 2009 additions included "staycation," "flash mod," "green-collar," and "vlog."

The newest edition of th Oxford Dictionary of English is now available internationally for £39.99 ($48.40). One year's free access to Oxford's online English dictionary service is included with a purchase of the print book.