Tell Your Bestie: The OED Has New Words

The Oxford English Dictionary is adding some 900 new words and phrases to its pages, with wackadoodle, bestie and DIYer among them. Melissa and Robert review some of the new entries.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Robert?

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Mm-hmm.

BLOCK: If I said to you I need a do-over with the honky-tonker I interviewed the other day, I was kind of wackadoo, would you know what I was saying?

SIEGEL: Sort of.

BLOCK: Well, for those who aren't quite as savvy as you are, the words do-over, honky-tonker and wackadoo are all now officially in the Oxford English Dictionary.

KATHERINE CONNOR MARTIN: I love the word wackadoo.

SIEGEL: Who doesn't? That's Katherine Connor Martin, head of U.S. Dictionaries at Oxford University Press and she has this OED definition of wackadoo.

MARTIN: Crazy or eccentric or it can be used as a noun to refer to a crazy or eccentric person.

BLOCK: The OED considers itself the definitive record of the English language and Martin says since English is always evolving, so is the OED. It's actually revised four times a year.

SIEGEL: This time, the word honey gets a lot of attention. I guess that means the editor did some work in the H section.

BLOCK: There's honey-blonde, honey jar, honey mustard, honey parrot, honey trap, even honey-bunny.

MARTIN: A term of endearment, like sweetheart or darling, although people also use it with reference to their children. That seems to be the first usage we have from 1887, a reference to you precious little honey-bunny boy.

SIEGEL: Ethnopharmacological has also been added to the OED. That's of or relating to ethnopharmacology, of course.

BLOCK: Of course. And there's also Coney Island and scissor-tailed flycatcher. That's a bird. You knew that, Robert.

SIEGEL: Sure.

BLOCK: And bestie.

SIEGEL: Bestie. That's a BFF. Melissa, back to how we started all of this. I hope that that honky-tonker becomes your bestie after that do-over.

BLOCK: I hope so, too.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: