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"Bruh" and "Manspreading" Added by Oxford Dictionaries in Latest Update

Linguists can be divided into two camps: prescriptivists and descriptivists. The former believe that there is a “correct” language (i.e. proper English) that should inform all usage. Descriptivists think that language should be defined by how people actually use it. For example, descriptivists are cool with the fact that OxfordDictionaries.com has added the word “awesomesauce” to its free online dictionary, whereas prescriptivists are likely “butthurt” (a word that also made the cut).

OxfordDictionaries.com’s recent quarterly list of new words totals 46 definitions, and they range from the aforementioned “awesomesauce” to “wine o’clock. It should be made crystal clear that while OxfordDictionaries.com and the more formal Oxford English Dictionary are both owned by Oxford University Press, the two publications are totally different. OxfordDictionaries.com is a free online service that describes itself as a “guide to the language of today,” meaning that they’ll gleefully include the likes of “pwnage” to their ranks—and send out a press release heralding the fact that they did so. Meanwhile, “bruh” won’t be so much as sniffing the pages of the OED anytime soon, though that dictionary is getting a little more trigger-happy when it comes to updates (they included “sext” in 2011).

Angus Stevenson of Oxford Dictionaries describes the process of finding worthy words and phrases for their quarterly updates:

“We have gathered enough independent evidence from a wide range of sources to be sure that they have widespread currency in the English language. We do much of this research using a range of corpora, including the Oxford English Corpus, our unique language monitoring programme that represents all types of English, from literary novels and specialist journals to everyday newspapers and magazines, and from Hansard to the language of blogs, emails, and social media.”

If seeing these new words gets you steamed, take a deep breath and remember that this is a fun publicity stunt for an online dictionary. No one is forcing you to use the term “cupcakery” in your everyday conversations. Though, you might want to give it a try—it’s really fun to say.

Here is the complete list of words, via OxfordDictionaries.com:

awesomesauce, adj.: (US informal) extremely good; excellent

bants (also bantz), n.: (Brit. informal) playfully teasing or mocking remarks exchanged with another person or group; banter

barbacoa, n.: (in Mexican cooking) beef, lamb, or other meat that has slowly been cooked with seasonings, typically shredded as a filling in tacos, burritos, etc.

beer o’clock, n: an appropriate time of day for starting to drink beer

blockchain, n.: a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly

brain fart, n.: (informal) a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly

Brexit, n.: a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union

bruh, n: (U.S. informal) a male friend (often used as a form of address)

butt dial, v.: (U.S. informal) inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s rear trouser pocket

butthurt, adj.: (U.S. informal) overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful

cakeage,n.: (informal) a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake they have not supplied themselves

cat cafe, n.: a café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises

cupcakery, n.: a bakery that specializes in cupcakes

deradicalization, n.: the action or process of causing a person with extreme views to adopt more moderate positions on political or social issues

fast-casual, adj.: denoting or relating to a type of high-quality self-service restaurant offering dishes that are prepared to order and more expensive than those available in a typical fast-food restaurant

fatberg, n.: a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets

fat-shame, v.: cause (someone judged to be fat or overweight) to feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size

freekeh, n.: a cereal food made from unripened wheat that has been roasted and crushed into small pieces, used especially in Middle Eastern cookery

fur baby, n.: a person’s dog, cat, or other furry pet animal

glanceable, adj.: denoting or relating to information, especially as displayed on an electronic screen, that can be read or understood very quickly and easily

Grexit, n.: a term for the potential withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone (the economic region formed by those countries in the European Union that use the euro as their national currency)

hangry, adj.: (informal) bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

kayfabe, n.: (U.S. informal) (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic

MacGyver, v.: (U.S. informal) make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand

manic pixie dream girl, n.: (especially in film) a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist

manspreading, n.: the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats

matcha, n.: powdered green tea leaves, dissolved in hot water to make tea or used as a flavouring

mecha, n.: (in anime, manga, etc.) a large armoured robot, typically controlled by a person riding inside the robot itself

meeple, n.: a small figure used as a playing piece in certain board games, having a stylized human form

mic drop, n.: (informal, chiefly U.S.) an instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive

microaggression, n.: a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority

mkay, excl.: (informal, chiefly U.S.) non-standard spelling of OK, representing an informal pronunciation (typically used at the end of a statement to invite agreement, approval, or confirmation)

Mx, n.: a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female

pocket dial, v.: inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s pocket, as a result of pressure being accidentally applied to a button or buttons on the phone

pwnage, n.: (informal) (especially in video gaming) the action or fact of utterly defeating an opponent or rival

rage-quit, v.: (informal) angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game

rando, n.: (informal) a person one does not know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour

Redditor, n.: a registered user of the website Reddit

skippable, adj.: (of a part or feature of something) able to be omitted or passed over so as to get to the next part or feature

social justice warrior, n.: (informal, derogatory) a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views

snackable, adj.: (of online content) designed to be read, viewed, or otherwise engaged with briefly and easily

spear phishing, n.: the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information

subreddit, n.: a forum dedicated to a specific topic on the website Reddit

swatting, n.: (U.S. informal) the action or practice of making a hoax call to the emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address

weak sauce, n.: (U.S. informal) something that is of a poor or disappointing standard or quality

wine o’clock, n.: an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine

[h/t: OxfordDictionaries.com]

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8 Professional Translators Choose Their Favorite 'Untranslatable' Words
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Readers tend to think of a translated novel as having just one author. While that’s technically true, each work contains two voices: that of the author and the translator. Translators must ensure that their interpretation remains faithful to the style and intent of the author, but this doesn't mean that nothing is added in the process. Gabriel García Márquez, the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, once famously said that the English version of his novel was, in some ways, better than his original work in Spanish.

“A good translation is itself a work of art,” translator Nicky Harman writes. Put differently, translator Daniel Hahn believes translation is literally impossible. “I don’t just mean it’s really, really difficult, but really, it’s not actually possible,” he says. “There’s not a single word in any of the languages I translate that can map perfectly onto a word in English. So it’s always interpretative, approximate, creative.”

In a show of appreciation for this challenging craft, the Man Booker International Prize was created to annually recognize one outstanding work of literature that has been translated from its original language into English and published in the UK. Ahead of the winner being announced on May 22, the translators of eight Man Booker International Prize nominees have shared their favorite "untranslatable" words from the original language of the novels they translated into English.

1. BREF

Sam Taylor, who translated The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet from French to English, said the best definition of bref is “Well, you get the idea.” It’s typically used to punctuate the end of a long, rambling speech, and is sometimes used for comedic effect. “It’s such a concise (and intrinsically sardonic) way of cutting a long story short,” Taylor says.

2. SANTIGUADORA

Unsatisfied with any of the English words at their disposal, translators Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff left this word in Spanish in Die, My Love, a psychological novel by Ariana Harwicz. The word, which describes a female healer who uses prayer to break hexes and cure ailments, was explained in the text itself. The translated version reads: “If only there were santiguadoras living in these parts, those village women who for a fee will pray away your guy’s indigestion and your toddler’s tantrums, simple as that.”

3. HELLHÖRIG

The German word Hellhörig "literally means 'bright-hearing' and is used, for example, to describe walls so thin you can hear every noise in the next room," says Simon Pare, who translated The Flying Mountain, a novel by Christoph Ransmayr. Pare notes that while English equivalents like "paper-thin" and “flimsy” carry the same negative connotation, they don’t have the same poetic quality that hellhörig has. "'The walls have ears,' while expressive, is not the same thing,” Pare laments.

4. VORSTELLUNG

Vorstellung (another German word) can be defined as an idea or notion, but when its etymology is broken down, it suddenly doesn’t seem so simple. It stems from the verb vorstellen, meaning “to place in front of—in this case, in front of the mind’s eye,” according to Susan Bernofsky, who translated Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck. “The Vorstellung is the object of that act of mental conjuring-up," Bernofsky adds. (Fun fact: All nouns are capitalized in German.)

5. 눈치 (NUNCH'I)

Literally translating to “eye measure,” the Korean word nunch’i describes “an awareness of how those around you are currently feeling, plus their general character, and therefore the appropriate response,” says Deborah Smith, the translator of Han Kang’s The White Book. Korean culture stresses the importance of harmony, and thus it’s important to avoid doing or saying anything that could hurt another person’s pride, according to CultureShock! Korea: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette.

6. ON

Anyone who has survived French 101 has seen this word, but it’s a difficult concept to fully grasp. It’s also one that crops up regularly in novels, making it “the greatest headache for a translator,” according to Frank Wynne, who translated Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes. On is often translated as “one” (as in “one shouldn’t ask such questions”), but in general conversation it can come off as “preposterously disdainful,” Wynne notes. Furthermore, the word is used in different ways to express very different things in French, and can be taken to mean “we,” “people,” “they,” and more, according to French Today.

7. TERTULIA

Store this one away for your next cocktail party. The Spanish word tertulia can be defined as “an enjoyable conversation about political or literary topics at a social gathering,” according to Camilo A. Ramirez, who translated Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Munoz Molina. Although tertulia is tricky to translate, it's one of Ramirez's favorite Spanish words because it invokes a specific atmosphere and paints a scene in the reader’s mind. For instance, the first chapter of The Hobbit, “An Unexpected Party,” becomes “Una Tertulia Inesperada” when translated into Spanish.

8. PAN/PANI

Like the French on, the Polish words pan (an honorific address for men) and pani (an address for women) are challenging to explain in English. While many European languages have both a formal and informal “you,” pan and pani are a different animal. “[It's] believed to derive from the days of a Polish noble class called the szlachta—another tradition unique to Poland,” says Jennifer Croft, who translated Flights by Olga Tokarczuk into English. This form of address was originally used for Polish gentry and was often contrasted with the word cham, meaning peasants, according to Culture.pl, a Polish culture site. Now, it’s used to address all people, except for children or friends.

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Why Are Small, Fancy Hats Called Fascinators?
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Even if you aren't invested in the lives of British royals, it will be worth tuning in to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19 for a glimpse at all the elaborate headgear. Fascinators—tiny, elaborate hats that are clipped to the wearer's head—are a popular fashion choice among the women of the royal family today. The name may seem like a perfect fit for the eye-catching accessory, but as Co.Design explains, the hat was called something entirely different until the 1960s.

The term fascinator first surfaced in the fashion world in 17th-century Europe. Back then, it referred to a lacy scarf women wrapped around their heads (or "fastened," hence the name). Rather than attracting stares from across the room, this version of the hat was meant to give women an alluring air of mystery. By the mid 20th-century, a slew of new hat styles hit the scene, leaving both the term fascinator and the garment it described to fall out of fashion.

In the 1960s, a New York milliner named John P. John decided it was time for the fascinator to make a comeback. Instead of thinking about the headpiece in its original sense, however, he used the name to rebrand the petite cocktail hats that were known at the time as clip-hats or half-hats. The sexy new name helped the already-popular design become even trendier.

Fascinators aren't that common in the U.S., but they're a staple of high-profile royal events in the UK. Princess Beatrice realized the accessory's full potential when she debuted her now-iconic fascinator at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. (She eventually auctioned it off on eBay for charity, where it sold for a cool $130,000.) As a result, her head will be the one to watch when she arrives at her cousin Harry's wedding this Saturday.

[h/t Co.Design]

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