Zadar greetings & Bling-Bling

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 7 17:40:13 UTC 2003

Here is the text of the Associated Press report on new OED vocabulary:

<begin quote>
LONDON (June 7) - Khazi, minging, bling-bling? Not some crazy new dialect,
but standard British vocabulary, according to the latest edition of the Oxford
English Dictionary, published Friday.

The publishers said they have added almost 6,000 new words and phrases that
reflect 21st century life, including the frowner's favorite, Botox,
passion-enhancing drug Viagra and sambuca, the aniseed liqueur served with a flaming
coffee bean.

Among the 187,000 definitions in the latest edition, published by Oxford
University Press, there is also bevvy - British slang for a beer; head-case,
referring to a person who exhibits irrational behavior; and bling-bling, a
reference to elaborate jewelry and clothing, and the appreciation of it.

Half-inch, Cockney rhyming slang for pinch, or steal, also makes it into the
dictionary this time around.

Some of the new terms, including cut-and-paste, screensavers and search
engines, reflect the growing influence of computers, while hands-free phones and
phreaking, the expression for hacking into phone systems for free calls,
acknowledge developments in telecommunications.

Other corporate-speak considered established enough for inclusion in the
dictionary includes dot-coms, or Internet companies, and blipverts, subliminal TV
adverts of just a few seconds' duration.

And J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional world in ``The Lord of the Rings'' is also
recognized. Orcs are defined as ``members of an imaginary race of ugly,
aggressive human-like creatures.'' The dictionary says the word probably comes from the
Latin orcus meaning hell, or the Italian orco, meaning monster.

Getting down to basics, the new dictionary now makes it all right to describe
the khazi (toilet) as minging (disgusting).

06/07/03 04:36 EDT
<end quote>

comments:  Viagra is a "passion-enhancing drug"?  I thought it was only for
helping erections when there was pre-existing passion.

I don't know about "head case", but I found a 1986 citation for the related
"head trip".

"cut and paste" long antedates computers.  It originally meant exactly what
it says---to move things around in a typewritten or handwritten document, you
cut out the words with scissors or a knife and then pasted them with paste or
cement where you wanted them to go.

"phreaking" dates back at least to the 1970's, although I have no written
citation.  A man I knew from about 1974 to 1978 boasted to me of being a "phone

    - James A. Landau

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