Open Dictionary Word of the Month: bawbag

Posted by on August 31, 2016

© PhotoDisc / Getty ImagesNumbers of submissions to the Open Dictionary in July were back to normal levels, and approval levels were back up too, with just over 40% of submitted entries being approved for publication. Sometimes entries are rejected with regret, because although there is no independent evidence for their use, they have a certain charm or energy about them. My favourite in July was duboisery, ‘a small indent into the beach made by the tidal shaping process of the sea’ but alas I could find no evidence for its use.

Some words that are already well established but are only now making their way into the dictionary are delist (to stop a company’s shares being traded on the stock market); hacker (in the sense of someone who is clever with computers); godliness, and bombast (arrogant pompous language – the adjective bombastic is an entry in Macmillan Dictionary).

Also added were the verbings to architect and to pink-slip, the very formal adjective contumacious and the usual smattering of technical terms, including horst, nomadicity and operand.

My word of the month caused a little bit of a media stir when it was published: August is a notoriously quiet news month and several editors pounced with glee on the fact that the slightly risqué Scots word bawbag had ‘made it into the dictionary’. This colourful piece of slang had been in the news once before when it was attached to a wild storm that caused a lot of damage in Scotland in December 2011. Many thanks to user tooz for bringing this colourful piece of language to our attention

Thanks for all your submissions and do keep them coming. If there’s a word or expression that you think deserves inclusion in the Open Dictionary you can submit it here. Don’t forget to check first to make sure your word isn’t in our dictionary already.

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