global English Live English

Open Dictionary Word of the Month: smoko

© SUPERSTOCKSubmissions to the Open Dictionary in July continued the theme of food words from around the globe. So we have added, among others, aloo tikki (‘a famous Indian snack made of potato and spices’), kreplach (small dumplings filled with meat or cheese, eaten on Jewish holidays) and lahmacun (a type of middle Eastern pizza). A contributor in Germany systematically added many names of cocktails, while another anonymous user added a large number of useful acronyms, from AFAIK (‘as far as I know’) to XOXO (‘hugs and kisses’).

Many of the 159 entries accepted were from varieties of English other than those spoken in the US and UK, so we learned that short eats are snacks in Sri Lankan English, while in Malaysian English a mobile phone is a handphone.

My favourite new entry this month is used in three Antipodean varieties of English. I was delighted to learn that in Australian, New Zealand and Falklands English, a smoko is ‘a rest from work, for example to smoke a cigarette’; Wikipedia sheds further light, including the information that the word is also used to refer to a tea or coffee break. This was one of two submissions of Falklands English terms, the other being Kelper, an informal name for an inhabitant of the islands. Thanks for this and all your contributions, which are helping to enrich and broaden Macmillan Dictionary on a weekly basis.

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.

Email this Post Email this Post

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

Leave a Comment