Live English Open Dictionary

Open Dictionary word of the week: obvs

obvs (adverb)

a slang way of saying obviously

I mean, obvs everyone has played their part, even Anya, but London is so back?

(Submitted from the UK)

Look, obvs this is totes a fad. And that’s fine, it’s amaze and all that. But what troubles me about this entry is that I totes don’t know what the sample sentence means. I understand the obvs bit, but I don’t understand: I mean, obvs everyone has played their part, even Anya, but London is so back? Can someone who is not stupid like me help me with this. I’ve read it again and again … but I don’t get it, I feel so ridic. And also lazy. I feel lazy because I suddenly can’t be both to fin my sens.

But then again if teenage girls do in fact lead linguistic evolution, maybe I am being ridic because there are some truncated words that we all use without a second thought. This from ‘The History of English‘:

Some words arise simply as shortened forms of longer words (exam, gym, lab, bus, vet, fridge, bra, pram, phone and burger are some obvious and well-used examples). Perhaps less obvious is the derivation of words like mob (from the Latin phrase mobile vulgus, meaning a fickle crowd), goodbye (a shortening of God-be-with-you) and hello (a shortened form of the Old English for “whole be thou”).

… so laziness in the noun department has been going on forevs. Maybe it’s a natural progression to start to become less and less bothered in other departments. Is English driven by laziness? And creativity, of course. If it were just laziness that would be awf.

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Laine Redpath Cole


  • My friend’s 14-year old, attending school in Oxford, often uses the phrase ‘chronicles of ridic!’ I love this disparaging term which crystalises the thought that the person this is being said to has had many stories written about her adventures in stupidity and here, evidently is the latest chapter in that person’s ‘chronicles of ridic’.

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