Tell Your Bestie: The OED Has New Words
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
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.
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.
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.