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Selfie twerks its way into the dictionary

Our beloved mother tongue gets down with the kids

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Our beloved and accommodating mother tongue is officially a few words richer with the announcement that the Oxford Dictionaries Online, from the chaps who bring us the Oxford English Dictionary, has gathered "selfie" and "twerk" into its lexicographical embrace.

Our net-savvy readers will need no introduction to selfie, which is nicely described by the BBC as a "pouty self-portrait typically taken with a smartphone"*.

Twerking, on the other hand, is apparently a "raunchy dance move" performed by someone called Miley Cyrus on "MTV", although quite what she was doing atop a Munitions Transport Vehicle is anyone's guess.

The OED's Katherine Connor Martin explained that people in the hip-hop scene have been twerking for the past two decades, and that the term had by last year "generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list".

She continued: "By this spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English."

Other words and terms to twerk their way into the latest OED update are "dappy", "girl crush" and "digital detox".

Similarly, "omnishambles" has earned itself a place, following its triumph as the OED compilers' English word of 2012. ®

Bootnote

El Reg believes the new selfie trend is the "shocked look" – where the subject – ridiculously – pretends to be surprised by the camera while taking a picture of themselves... which simultaneously makes us more cool, and much, much, much less cool than Auntie.

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