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Yanks officially recognise the word 'boffin'

Merriam-Webster's fave Brit word list cites El Reg usage

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We're delighted to report that the word "boffin" has achieved the international recognition it so richly deserves, securing a spot on the Merriam-Webster "Top 10 Favorite British Words" list.

And where better for Merriam-Webster to find an example of this magnificent term than on the pages of El Reg? The dictionary's website cites:

"Brain boffins at University College London have made a major breakthrough in the ongoing effort to bridge the gap between man and machine." – Rik Myslewski, The Register, April 11, 2011.

A proud Myslewski, raised by Polish-speaking parents, says this is proof he's finally arrived, and is indeed the Joseph Conrad of IT journalism, or something like that.

For the record, Merriam-Webster's top 10 list is:

  1. Prat
  2. Twee
  3. Knackered
  4. Jiggery-pokery
  5. Plonk (wine)
  6. Chunter
  7. Whinge
  8. Gormless
  9. Boffin
  10. Pukka

Naturally, we had a look for further examples of Vulture Central's contribution to promoting delicious Britside lingo worldwide, and weren't disappointed:

"Telling him to stop being such a prat is something that not only would useful to my long term management ambitions, but also would afford me considerable personal satisfaction." – Verity Stob, 17 March 2009.

"If that key shape's too twee for you, LaCie also offers CurrenKey – a coin-shaped Flash drive with a retractable USB connector." – Tony Smith, 9 March 2009.

"Then there's the matter of making rails that won't be destroyed by the armature screaming along them, which is yet to be properly sorted out (at the moment, the ONR only trusts its railguns to survive two or three shots before being knackered)." – Lewis Page, 13 December 2010.

"Accordingly, and with a little mathematical jiggery-pokery, it can be calculated that if a gram contains 10 to 20 lines, users can get a hit for as little as £1, with the average price lying between £2 and £4. The average price of a pint of lager is £2.75, with a glass of plonk costing around £3.50." – Yours truly, 13 February 2009.

"Battery reception is claimed to be five hours online, but to my surprise it could sometimes chunter along quite happily for longer." – Andrew Orlowski, 14 October 2009.

"Which?'s powers to take a super-complaint to the OFT were outlined in the 2002 Enterprise Act. Once it receives such a complaint the OFT has 90 days to respond. Its last mega-whinge was in 2007 and related to Scottish legal services." – John Oates, 11 February 2011.

"The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on new guidelines for gormless pet owners who don't know a dog's arse from whatever it has in lieu of an elbow." – Sarah Bee, 5 November 2008.

"Oh those crazy Indians! A high court judge in the subcontinent has apparently ruled that astrology is a pukka science like physics or chemistry." – Team Register, 11 February 2011.

®

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