December 2008 update

On 11 December 2008 the alphabetical range ran-reamy was added to the New Edition: every word in this range has been thoroughly revised and updated. Below are listed all the new words in the range. We have also added a further list of new words from across the alphabet.

The OED‘s chief editor, John Simpson, provides some observations on the revision of this section of the alphabet, and Graeme Diamond comments on some of the most interesting new words in the batch.

Revisions

In October the OED held a series of seminars and talks in Oxford and elsewhere to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the completion of the first edition of the dictionary in 1928. With this December’s release of new and revised material we’ve passed another milestone, with a quarter of the third edition now published.

The present release contains revised material in the range ran (a regional term for particular width of net, or of twine) to reamy (creamy, frothy). The entries at the beginning and end of these ranges are often for fairly inconsequential words. In this case OED1/2 had little to say about ran: it was able to present a couple of quotations for the ‘twine’ sense (1794, 1880) and only one for the ‘net’ sense (1887). But readers and editors have been busy collecting more material for the term over the last hundred years, and we’re now able to show the ‘net’ sense in an unpublished document from the south-coast town of Brighton from 1580, and to bring the coverage up to the present day. The etymology (previously one of those with the slightly embarrassed text ‘of unknown origin’) now posits a relationship with rand (a strip of land, meat, leather, etc.).

Reamy (with quotations from 1831 and 1868 in OED1/2) seems to have attracted less scholarly and general attention since the OED‘s original entry was published in 1904. Two later quotations show that it was still known in 1877 and later in Banffshire in 1922, but otherwise things have been quite quiet on the reamy front. But switch to ream (= cream), and again you find numerous changes updating the word’s coverage from the Old English period.

The range of newly revised entries does, however, include a large number of significant terms in English:

ranch rancid random range rank rankle ransack ransom rant rap rape rapid rapture rare rascal rash rat ratchet rate rather rating ratio ration rational rationalize rattle ravage rave raven raw ray razor reach react reaction read ready real reality realize really realm.

What that list, extracted from all of the entries in the range, fails to show is that the range includes the monumental prefix re- (69 screensworth of material on the OED‘s editorial computer system). The revised entry begins with a description of the various ways in which the prefix was used in Latin and the Romance languages, before continuing with an analysis of its various usages in English, whether the vowel is likely to be long or short, and how the stress may fall on re- words. After that, the bulk of the entry is taken up with subentries for around 300 words beginning with re- (the ones that did not merit full main-entry status).

Elsewhere in the batch I think I’d start by reading through reality, to see evidence from 1513 for a word previously recorded from 1550, and also to see how television has affected an entry which was formerly remarkable principally for the complexity of its meanings. Television also features in the revised entry for ray (noun five), but this time in a much more scientific context (the cathode-ray tube). In fact ray illustrates well how the revised dictionary treats words with major scientific senses from optics, mathematics, and botany. And in this case the word has also developed in the more popular arena (little ray of sunshine, to soak up the rays, and in science fiction – ray gun).

After reality, there is a choice of routes: those with a grammatical/syntactic bent might turn to rather and really; other interest groups are catered for at rat, reading, ration, rational, random, and in many other places.

At the quarter point in its revision, the OED currently contains 263,917 entries (741,153 meanings), illustrated by 2,931,547 quotations.
John Simpson Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary

New words

ew int.

Joining a large family of imitative words expressing disgust or aversion, ew takes its place, alongside ugh, ough, auh, yah, pew, faugh, and many more, on the list of words which have attempted to tackle the age-old problem of how to represent in print what are essentially inarticulate sounds. Even within the scope of this one entry, many different opinions prevail as to how one should spell ew, as the variants section shows: we have found examples of euuw, euuww, euw, euww, ew, and eww, plus instances in which even more “u”s or “w”s (or both) are pressed into service: as many as 6 “u”s or 16 “w”s have been sighted.

plus-one n.

A word of relatively unusual etymology and evocative meaning, plus-one is an invitational convention—that of indicating that a named invitee may bring one unspecified guest by following the name with the words ‘plus one’—made flesh, as a noun used to mean the extra person who attends an event or party under the auspices of these words. Interestingly, this is not the first time the word plus has been involved in this sort of process of word-formation—the dictionary also records plus four n. and plus two n.—although it is the first time outside the realm of trousers.

podcasting n.

A very new word, for a recent phenomenon, and a great example of how technological change, especially that relating to the Internet and the media, can be a driving force not only in generating new words, but in determining whether they survive and succeed. In this case the rapid adoption of podcasting (the technology) as a means of making audio material available has seen podcasting (the word) move quickly from its first tentative steps in 2004, as only one of a number of suggested names for the process, to near-ubiquity in 2008. The current OED quarterly release also includes other members of the same family: podcast as a noun and a verb, podcaster, and even the somewhat ungainly adjective podcasted.

Rashomon n.

An indication of the wealth and variety of influences which are at work on the English language, as Japanese cinema gives us this word, which alludes to the method of storytelling used in Akira Kurosawa’s 1951 film of this name, and is used attributively to denote things involving multiple conflicting or differing perspectives. The underlying simile is first invoked in English in the adjective Rashomon-like, which dates back to 1962, and is also included in this release of new and revised OED text.
Graeme Diamond, Principal Editor, New Words, Oxford English Dictionary

List of new words

  • ranchera, n.
  • ranchy, adj.1
  • rancidification, n.
  • rancidify, v.
  • randonnée, n.
  • rangeability, n.
  • rangpur, n.
  • rank ordering, n.
  • rannel-perch, n.
  • rantankerous, adj.
  • rantle, n.
  • rapamycin, n.
  • raphid, n.
  • raphid, adj.
  • raphidian, adj.
  • rapso, n.
  • rara, n.
  • rareness, n.2
  • rasam, n.
  • rascette, n.
  • Rascian, n. and adj.
  • rased, adj.
  • rashed, adj.1
  • Rashomon, n.
  • Rashomon-like, adj.
  • Rashomon-style, adj. and adv.
  • ras malai, n.
  • rassclaat, n., (int.), and adj.
  • rasted, adv.
  • rasterization, n.
  • rasterize, v.
  • rasterizer, n.
  • rastrum, n.
  • rat, v.2
  • ratamacue, n.
  • ratcheting, n.
  • ratcheting, adj.
  • rateable, n.
  • rationable, adj.2
  • rat pack, n.2
  • ratted, adj.3
  • ratted, adj.4
  • Ratz, n.
  • raunch, v.
  • ravelling | raveling, adj.
  • ravishable, adj.
  • raw food, adj.
  • rawhider, n.
  • rawk, n.
  • Rayburn, n.
  • ray-trace, v.
  • ray tracer, n.
  • razoo, n.1
  • razz, n.2
  • razzle, v.1
  • Rb, n.1
  • Rb, n.2
  • Rd., n.
  • Re, n.3
  • reachability, n.
  • reacter, n.
  • reactogenic, adj.
  • reader-friendly, adj.
  • readier, n.
  • read-write, adj.
  • ready roll, n.
  • Reagan Democrat, n.
  • reaming dish, n.

In addition to these new entries, a number of new subordinate entries were added to existing entries. These included:

  • (Under ranch, n.2)
    • ranch dressing
    • ranchslider
  • (Under rancidify, v.)
    • rancidified
    • rancidifying
  • (Under random, n., adv., and adj.)
    • random access
    • random-access memory
    • random copolymer
    • random distribution
    • random error
    • random noise
    • random number
    • random number generator
    • random play
    • random process
    • random sample
    • random selection
    • random variable
    • random variate
    • random walk
  • (Under randy, adj. and n.1)
    • randily
  • (Under range, n.1 and adv.)
    • range beacon
    • range change
    • range hood
    • range light
    • range stake
    • range-taker
    • range-clearer
    • range-clearing
    • range block
  • (Under rank, adj. and adv.)
    • rank amateur
  • (Under ransom, n.)
    • ransom bill
    • ransom payment
  • (Under rant, n.)
    • rant line
  • (Under rap, n.2 (and int.))
    • rap metal
  • (Under rape, n.3)
    • rape counselling
    • rape counsellor
    • rape kit
    • rape trial
    • rape victim
  • (Under rapid, adj., adv., and n.)
    • rapid application development
    • rapid deployment
    • rapid deployment force
    • rapid prototyping
  • (Under rapier, n.)
    • rapier belt
    • rapier-sharp
  • (Under rapping, n.1)
    • rapping iron
  • (Under raptorial, adj. and n.)
    • raptorially
  • (Under rare, adj.1, (int.), adv.1, and n.)
    • rare breed
    • rare groove
  • (Under rash, n.4)
    • rash guard
    • rash vest
  • (Under raspberry, n. and adj.)
    • raspberry cane
  • (Under rasp, n.1)
    • rasp-drum
  • (Under raspy, adj.)
    • raspiness
  • (Under rasterize, v.)
    • rasterized
  • (Under ratbag, n.)
    • ratbaggery
  • (Under rat, n.1)
    • rat bait
    • rat fuck
    • rat king
    • rat printing office
    • rat shit
    • to feel rat shit
    • to go to rat shit
    • rat’s nest
    • rat colour
  • (Under ratchel, n.)
    • ratchelly
  • (Under ratchet, n.2)
    • ratchet handle
  • (Under rate, n.1)
    • rate poundage
  • (Under Rathke, n.)
    • Rathke’s cleft
    • Rathke’s cleft cyst
  • (Under ratify, v.)
    • ratifiable
  • (Under rational, adj. and adv.)
    • Rational Christian
    • rational costume
    • rational dress
    • rational-emotive
    • rational-emotive therapy
    • rational-emotive behaviour therapy
    • rational expectations
    • rational formula
    • rational fraction
    • rational horizon
    • rational mechanics
  • (Under rationative, adj.)
    • rationatively
  • (Under ration, n.)
    • ration pack
    • ration stamp
    • ration cart
  • (Under rat pack, n.1)
    • rat packer
  • (Under rat-run, n.)
    • rat-runner
    • rat-running
  • (Under rattle, n.1)
    • rattlepod
  • (Under rattling, adj. and adv.)
    • rattling trap
  • (Under rat trap, n. and adj.)
    • rat-trap cheese
  • (Under raucous, adj.)
    • raucousness
  • (Under raw, adj. and n.1)
    • raw spun
    • raw ‘uns
    • raw-throated
  • (Under raw food, adj.)
    • raw fooder
    • raw foodism
    • raw foodist
  • (Under ray, n.3)
    • ray-mouthed dog
    • ray-mouthed dogfish
  • (Under ray, n.5)
    • raylike
  • (Under ray-trace, v.)
    • ray-traced
  • (Under razorback, n. and adj.)
    • razorback sucker
  • (Under razor-backed, adj.)
    • razor-backed hog
  • (Under razorbill, n.)
    • razorbill auk
    • razorbill puffin
  • (Under razor-billed, adj.)
    • razor-billed auk
    • razor-billed curassow
  • (Under razor, n.)
    • razor ribbon
    • razor wire
    • ‘razory
  • (Under reaction, n.)
    • reaction centre
    • reaction force
    • reaction mixture
    • reaction waterwheel
    • reaction product
  • (Under reactivate, v.)
    • reactivated
  • (Under reactive, adj. and n.)
    • reactive armour
    • explosive reactive armour
    • reactive schizophrenia
  • (Under reactogenic, adj.)
    • reactogenicity
  • (Under read, v.)
    • read-me file
  • (Under reader-friendly, adj.)
    • reader-’friendliness
  • (Under reading, n.1)
    • reading closet
    • reading club
    • reading hall
    • Reading Recovery
    • reading week
    • reading pulpit
  • (Under ready, adj., adv., int., and n.)
    • ready-rolled
  • (Under real, adj.2, n.2, and adv.)
    • real account
    • real books
    • real composition
    • real man
  • (Under reality, n.)
    • reality therapy
  • (Under re-, prefix)
    • refrequent
    • recriminalize

Out-of-sequence new entries

11 December 2008 also saw the publication of the the following new entries from across the alphabet:

  • Aesir, n.
  • Asatru, n.
  • avo, n.
  • back East, adv. and n.
  • bhasha, n.
  • Blairism, n.
  • Blairist, adj.
  • Blairite, adj. and n.
  • bocce, n.
  • bomoh, n.
  • brewski, n.
  • brunie, n.
  • CE, n.2
  • cobot, n.
  • cosplay, n.
  • craic, n.
  • criss, adj.
  • cut-and-paste, adj. and n.
  • Dagbani, n. and adj.
  • de minimis, adv., n., and adj.
  • dirt nap, n.
  • dukun, n.
  • eucatastrophe, n.
  • ew, int.
  • fake-out, n.
  • feartie, n.
  • federales, n.
  • frenemy, n.
  • Ganda, n. and adj.
  • Gitksan, n. and adj.
  • grab-ass, n.
  • grab-ass, v.
  • hydro, adj. and n.3
  • jali, n.2
  • jook, v.
  • kloofing, n.
  • Kobe, n.
  • langar, n.
  • masala, n.
  • metaverse, n.
  • MILF, n.
  • mobo, n.
  • Mumbaikar, n.
  • neurotypical, adj. and n.
  • pimped-out, adj.
  • plus-one, n.
  • pluterpositively, adv.
  • podcast, n.
  • podcast, v.
  • podcaster, n.
  • podcasting, n.
  • po-po, n.
  • public distance, n.
  • Salafi, adj. and n.
  • Salafist, adj. and n.
  • Salafiyya, n.
  • schwag, n. and adj.
  • shapewear, n.
  • shot put, n.
  • sindoor, n.
  • skeeze, n.
  • skeezer, n.
  • skeezy, adj.
  • sleb, n.
  • slow food, n.
  • spec, v.
  • Strat, n.
  • suck-up, n.
  • swag bag, n.
  • sysadmin, n.
  • takaful, n.
  • Tase, v.
  • Taser, v.
  • Tele, n.4
  • time suck, n.
  • tirtha, n.
  • tonsorially, adv.
  • transhumanism, n.
  • transhumanist, n.
  • unitario, n.
  • Vanir, n.
  • Webinar, n.
  • zardozi, n.
  • zawn, n.

In addition to these new entries, the following out-of-sequence subordinate entries were added:

  • (Under B, n.)
    • BME
  • (Under bitch, n.1)
    • bitch tits
  • (Under burial, n.)
    • burial plot
  • (Under capital, adj. and n.2)
    • capital structure
  • (Under car, n.1)
    • car-bomb
    • car-bombed
  • (Under chai, n.)
    • chai latte
  • (Under cheese, n.1)
    • cheese spread
    • cheese wire
  • (Under citizen, n.)
    • citizen journalism
    • citizen journalist
  • (Under click, n.1)
    • clicks and mortar
  • (Under closet, n.)
    • closet drama
  • (Under compound, adj.)
    • compound duple
  • (Under copy, v.1)
    • copy-protected
    • copy protection
  • (Under criterion, n.)
    • criterion-referenced
    • criterion-referencing
  • (Under crow, n.1)
    • crow’s ash
  • (Under cunt, n.)
    • cunt-struck
  • (Under custard, n.)
    • custard cream
  • (Under demob, n. and v.)
    • demob happy
  • (Under eating, n.)
    • eating disorder
    • eating disordered
  • (Under edible, adj. and n.)
    • edible frog
  • (Under fake, v.2)
    • to fake out
  • (Under F, n.)
    • FP
  • (Under field, n.)
    • field hockey
  • (Under firing, n.)
    • firing range
  • (Under fish, n.1)
    • fish and brewis
  • (Under fry, n.2)
    • fry cook
  • (Under full, adj., n.3, and adv.)
    • full-court press
  • (Under great, adj., adv., and n.)
    • Great Roll
  • (Under gross, adj. and n.4)
    • gross domestic product
  • (Under heavy, adj.1 and n.)
    • heavy hitter
  • (Under I, n.1)
    • IED
  • (Under Jane | jane, n.2)
    • Jane Doe
  • (Under key, n.1)
    • keypal
  • (Under limited, adj.)
    • limited-slip differential
  • (Under S, n.1)
    • STF
  • (Under second hand | second-hand, n. and adj.)
    • secondhand smoke
  • (Under special, adj., adv., and n.)
    • special rapporteur
  • (Under staff, n.1)
    • staff weapon
  • (Under suite, n.)
    • suitemate
  • (Under supplemental, adj. (and n.))
    • supplemental jurisdiction
  • (Under sweet, adj. and adv.)
    • sweet roll
  • (Under swinging, adj.)
    • swinging dick
    • big swinging dick
  • (Under system, n.)
    • system administrator
    • systems administrator
  • (Under telephone, n.)
    • telephone soliciting
    • telephone solicitor
  • (Under thin, adj., n., and adv.)
    • thin gruel
  • (Under toddler, n.)
    • toddler group
  • (Under turkey, n.2)
    • Turkey Day
  • (Under U, n.1)
    • USP
  • (Under unique, adj. and n.)
    • unique selling point
    • unique selling proposition
  • (Under variety, n.)
    • variety meat
  • (Under water, n.)
    • water-cooler
  • (Under web, n.)
    • web author
    • web authoring
  • (Under wine, n.1)
    • wine cooler
  • (Under X, n.)
    • X factor
  • (Under young, adj. and n.1)
    • Young Pretender
  • (Under Zen, n.)
    • Zen garden

Finally, new meanings were added to the following entries:

  • accessible, adj.
  • amelioration, n.
  • arse, n.
  • avatar, n.
  • aware, adj.
  • boo | booh, int. (and n.1)
  • central, n.
  • chai, n.
  • chair, n.1
  • cork, n.1
  • countercharge, n.
  • countercharge, v.
  • cut, v.
  • deliverable, adj.
  • detail, v.1
  • detailing, n.
  • dip, n.1
  • disgorge, v.
  • dude, n.
  • fit, adj.
  • flight, n.1
  • furry, adj. and n.1
  • get, v.
  • gun, n.
  • hold, v.
  • hook-up, n.
  • into, prep. and adj.
  • it, pron.
  • jump, v.
  • likely, adj. and adv.
  • lo-fi, n.
  • sappy, adj. (and n.)
  • screwed, adj.
  • share, n.3
  • swag, n.
  • tam, n.1
  • treeless, adj.
  • troll, n.2
  • tweak, v.
  • tweaker, n.
  • U, n.1
  • unvoiced, adj.
  • writerly, adj.