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Open Dictionary Word of the Month: shabbify

© MACMILLAN AUSTRALIAJust under 180 of your submissions were accepted into the Open Dictionary in August, up from 159 the previous month. Many new entries came from Kerry Maxwell’s regular BuzzWord feature, which has focused on a newsworthy neologism almost every week for the past twelve years. Inevitably not all of these words have stood the test of time, but a surprisingly large number have proved durable. These coinages, ranging from babylag to Wagabee by way of quintastic, sharent, and many more, provide a kind of snapshot of the social trends of the past decade or so. And if you haven’t yet looked at Kerry’s BuzzWord articles I urge you to have a browse.

One of our regular contributors submitted useful entries for a number of lesser-known European languages, including Galician, Rhaeto-Romance and Sorbian. Some novel and productive affixes, of the type Arnold Zwicky has named libfixes, have been added, including -zilla, -preneur and -kini. As always there were many words that were completely unfamiliar to me: I now know that an abactor is a cattle thief, while a boda-boda is a motorcycle used for public transport in several countries of East Africa.

Even though I was tempted by cattoo, bronde, and manel, my eventual choice for August’s Open Dictionary Word of the Month is shabbify, to make something new more aesthetically appealing by making it look old.

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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