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Open Dictionary Word of the Month: jackrabbit

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© PhotoDisc / Getty ImagesThe blog schedule has been rather crowded lately, so this post looks at Open Dictionary submissions for two months, September and October.  Submissions were slightly up in September and again in October, but the number of rejected entries was up too, with approval levels for both months falling below 30% for the first time since October 2015.

It’s always a pleasure to see submissions that introduce words and phrases I was not aware of previously. Examples from these two months include, to name but a few: comber (a long curling wave); greensperson – nothing to do with golf, but rather someone who takes care of natural materials and landscaping on a film set; the poetic ice flowers or ice ferns (see the image at the top of this post); krump (a dance style associated with hip hop); phillumenist (a collector of matchboxes – yes, it’s a thing); and esurient (hungry or greedy) – I’d have sworn that one was made up, but in fact it dates back to the 17th century.

There are usually several submissions that provide an insight into today’s society and these two months were no exception: so we have sadcom (a comedy show that deals with sad subjects);  unschooling (a system of education where children decide what to learn and when); Pokemon-going – or perhaps that should be Pokemon-GOing (the activity of playing Pokemon GO); smize (to smile with your eyes, a term popularized by the TV show America’s Next Top Model); mook – a cross between a book and a magazine; and femoir (a memoir by a female comedian). Some good slang terms were also added, including shizzle, totes magotes, and MEGO, short for ‘my eyes glaze over’ and used to indicate that something is so boring you can’t deal with it.

My word of the month for September and October is a great example of verbing, the transformation of a noun into a verb. The entertainingly-named Stillnotfinished from Italy submitted the entry for jackrabbit, which means to move in a jerky and uncontrolled way.

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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Liz Potter

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