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OMG and muffin top added to the Oxford dictionary. LOL

OMG, wassup? LOL. Smack talking about your friend's muffin top? Fnarr fnarr.

Have no idea what we're talking about? Look it up in the dictionary.

The updated Oxford English Dictionary has added a batch of words to reflect the changing language, including several slang terms and initialisms. Some of the most noteworthy include OMG (short for "Oh my God," or sometimes "gosh," "goodness"), wassup (a contraction of "what's up?"), LOL ("laughing out loud"), smack talking ( to "use insulting speech, especially to irritate or annoy someone"), muffin top (which Oxford defines as "a roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of women's tight-fitting low-waisted trousers") and fnarr fnarr ("used to represent sniggering").

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OMG and LOL join other entries, such as IMHO ("in my humble opinion"), TMI ("too much information") and BFF ("best friends forever"), which are commonly used in electronic communication as they're easer to type. But the Oxford English Dictionary website notes these terms are also now found outside of electronic contexts, even in spoken use.

"The intention is usually to signal an informal, gossipy mode of expression, and perhaps parody the level of unreflective enthusiasm or overstatement that can sometimes appear in online discourse, while at the same time marking oneself as an 'insider' au fait with the forms of expression associated with the latest technology," Graeme Diamond, one of the dictionary's editors, explains online.

(Could OMFG be far behind?)

Responding to the rise of foodie-ism, the updated dictionary also includes a host of new food terms, such as banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich; taquito, a "crisp-fried Tex-Mex snack," and the California roll.

Of course, a glut of these foods brings us back to the dreaded muffin top, which, the dictionary elaborates, "refers, denoting in its first sense the top portion of such a muffin, or sometimes a muffin cooked in a special shallow tin so that it consists exclusively of this top part, without the soggy bottom whose relative undesirability once inspired an episode of Seinfeld. The second sense is figurative, referring to a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers (cf. spare tyre n., love handle n.).

Check out a full list of the new entries here.

Purists might lament the approval of some of these terms as the deterioration of the English language. But the OED editors would probably just dismiss that kind of smack talk.

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Which new words would you submit?





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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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