The final mahoosive 2014 update to Oxford Dictionaries includes some xlnt new words. Don’t be a keyboard warrior or say IDC – just sit back and enjoy. Simples.

Try not to be jel, but some xlnt new words have gone into in 2014’s final mahoosive update. Whether you’re a shiny bum reading this while eating al desko or taking a break while you respawn, don’t be a keyboard warrior or say IDC – just sit back and enjoy the new words. Simples.

Slang and abbreviations

As usual, popular culture and slang have seen plenty of new additions in the Oxford Dictionaries update, including duck face, simples, choon, fone, handsy, xlnt, and Canadian tuxedo.

Want to describe how attractive you think someone is? This update sees the inclusion of the antonyms hawt (an informal respelling of hot). That person may even be your man crush (a ‘typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one man for another’) or someone who is your catnip; the word has long been another name for the catmint, but its effect on cats has led to the figurative sense ‘someone or something that is very attractive or appealing to a particular person or group’.

Several abbreviations have also been added, with their popularity growing partly due to the space-saving demands of social media. These include tomoz (‘tomorrow’), jel (‘jealous’), IDC (I don’t care), PMSL (p–ing myself laughing), WRT (with reference to), PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions), and MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra, said of certain keen road cyclists). On the other hand, the term mahoosive offers an aptly longer version of the existing word massive, perhaps blended with a phonetic respelling of the first letters of huge.


The language of food is always a fruitful area for vocabulary, and additions include arancini, cavatelli, cappellacci, trofie, parm, queso, guanciale, izakaya, and food diary.

Of more interest to students everywhere, there is now an entry in for the five-second rule: ‘a notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds’. Sadly the operative word in that definition is notional (‘existing as or based on a suggestion, estimate, or theory; not existing in reality’). A caution worth heeding is demonstrated by another addition: food-borne. The adjective is used of a disease, meaning ‘carried by or transmitted through contaminated food’.

More pleasantly, the term al desko has also been added – a play on al fresco (for food eaten outside, literally ‘in the fresh (air)’ in Italian), it is an adjective and adverb denoting food eaten ‘while working at one’s desk in an office’.

Games and technology

The world of technology has, unsurprisingly, provided new vocabulary for this quarter’s update – including camel case, SD card, soft key, digital footprint, keyboard warrior, and a new sense of fire hose (or firehose): no longer simply a hosepipe used to extinguish fires, this word also refers (in computing) to ‘an unfiltered, real-time stream of data produced by a social media website or other online service’.

Outdoor, indoor, and virtual games have all contributed terms to this update. Tiki-taka, total football, and pickleball have taken their place in, as have respawn (of a character in a video game, ‘reappear after having been killed’), and permadeath (‘a situation in which a character in a video game cannot reappear after having been killed’). Then there’s park the bus in football (that is, soccer), meaning to ‘play in a very defensive way’. It is typically said of an away team, and comes from the metaphor of parking the team bus in front of the goal.

Perhaps the most amusing addition, and one indicative of the spirit of certain parts of the Internet, is lolcat (or LOLcat): ‘a photograph of a cat accompanied by a humorous caption written typically in a misspelled and grammatically incorrect version of English’ – from a combination of lol (‘laugh out loud’ or ‘laughing out loud’) and cat.


This article originally appeared on the OxfordWords blog, and is reproduced with kind permission.