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Open Dictionary Word of the Month: pop

© Image Source / Image Source / Bjarte RettedalOnly 89 new entries made it into the Open Dictionary in September, a sharp drop from the two previous months. The overall number of submissions was slightly down too, and many submissions failed to meet the admissions criteria. These are that the word or phrase should be used by more than just one person or a small group, and that it isn’t in the dictionary already. It also has to make sense, of course.

Although the number of new promoted entries is relatively small, the quality is high. These additions to the Open Dictionary provide many little snapshots of the world we live in, from mini fist pump to haka,  from spit take to headdesk; a world of teachable moments and mommy blogging, where the fanbase of popular films and TV shows indulges in a little set jetting, perhaps when they are between jobs. Several slang terms were also added, including chuddies, deets, and rekt; plus some useful technical terms for different types of extreme weather phenomenon, including fire whirl, gustnado and waterspout.

My attention was caught by quinsy, which sounds like a historical affliction (“My lord, he is sick of a quinsy”) but is in fact completely current; also by the use of boring as a noun, part of a linguistic trend that is particularly prevalent in advertising; one example is Sky TV’s slogan Believe in better. This month’s top place  goes, however, to a modest little verb, to pop (a bottle of something alcoholic): the example given is: He opened a box of chocolates and popped a bottle of cabernet. I would have expected this meaning to be in the dictionary already but it wasn’t, though we do have a similar but more restricted sense; so kudos to our regular contributor Boris Marchenko from the Russian Federation, for spotting the omission and taking the time and trouble to correct it.

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

Liz Potter

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