Oxford Dictionaries Online has recently decided to add several popular culture slang words to its database. The word “twerk” has been added along with Popular tech- and social-media words, including selfie, digital detox, Bitcoin, BYOD, emoji, FOMO, geek chic, hackerspace, phablet, srsly and TL;DR, have also been added.
Listed as a verb, twerk joins other pop cultural words that Oxford has introduced to its print or online editions in recent years, such as lolz, totes, OMG, LOL, mankini, jeggings and sexting.
The dictionary’s official definition of twerk is: “Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”
As example sentences, Oxford Dictionaries lists “Just wait till they catch their daughters twerking to this song” and “Twerk it girl, work it girl.” The term originated in the 1990s, according to the new entry.
“There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,” Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin told the AP. “We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to ‘work it.’ The ‘t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch.”
- Selfie: “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
- Digital detox: “A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.”
- Bitcoin: “A digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.”
- BYOD: “Abbreviation of ‘bring your own device’: the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes.”
- Emoji: “A small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.”
- FOMO: “Fear of missing out: Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
- Click and collect: “A shopping facility whereby a customer can buy or order goods from a store’s website and collect them from a local branch.”
- Geek chic: “The dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable.”
- Hackerspace: “A place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.”
- Internet of things: “A proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.”
- MOOC: “A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.”
- Phablet: “A smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.”
- Srsly: “Short for ‘seriously.’”
- TL;DR: “‘Too long didn’t read’: Used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post.”