The prestigious Oxford English dictionary added 1,400 new words to its expansive lexicon in its latest update introducing commonly used words such as “Idiocracy,” some medieval-origin words, foreign words as well as words coined from popular culture. In the time of upheaval and protests across the world against despotic governments, the term “idiocracy” aptly refers to a government formed of people considered ignorant or idiotic.
The Greek suffix “-cracy” means “power” or “rule,” and makes “‘idiocracy” one of the over 100 words ending with “–ocracy.” Statocracy, mobocracy, and democracy are other similar words.
Among the words that are connected to protests is “Antifa” – the acronym for anti-fascists. The term is used to define any group of protesters against fascism. Coined by the media, Antifa groups have taken to the streets in Europe and in the United States against the ruling governments or other far-right groups.
Among the words that were added are “fam,” “Tarantinoesque,” “Nothingburger,” “Bergmanesque,” “Spielbergian,” “Keatonesque,” “kaiju,” “scream queen,” etc. Here is a list of some of the words and their meanings.
- Fam – n. Abbreviation of the family; can mean close friends or relatives.
- Tarantinoesque – (Coined after Quentin Tarantino) adj. Anything characterized by graphics and stylised violence, non-linear storylines, cineliterate references, satirical themes, and sharp dialogue.
- Nothingburger – n. A person or thing of no importance, value, or substance; something which, contrary to expectations, turns out to be insignificant or unremarkable.
- Bergmanesque – adj. Of or relating to the director Ingmar Bergman; resembling or characteristic of his films or style. (Bergman’s films are known for symbolism and the treatment of existential themes such as suffering, insanity, and death.)
- Spielbergian – adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the films of Steven Spielberg, esp. as having fantastical or humanist themes or a sentimental feel.
- Trapo – (origin: Philippine English) n. A politician perceived as belonging to a conventional and corrupt ruling class.
- Dunbar number – (derived from British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar) n. A theoretical maximum size of a stable social group in which all of the members know each other (usually considered to be about 150).
- Kaiju – (origin Japanese) n. Any of various giant monsters featured in Japanese films and television programmes (or those in a similar style made elsewhere). [The word was made popular by Pacific Rim film series.]
- Robinson – n. A term used to describe an older woman pursuing someone younger than herself [Word is based on the character of the same name from the 1967 movie The Graduate.]
- Bedunged – v. That which has been soiled with or covered in dung.
- Scream queen – n. (a) An actress noted for her comedic roles (rare); (b) an actress noted for her roles in horror films.
One of the more unpopular new entries is “updation,” which caused some resistance on Twitter with some users calling for its removal. It is defined as “the action or an act of updating something.”