Adorkable new words make new Collins dictionary

  • 23 October 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Media captionThe latest print edition of the Collins English dictionary contains 50,000 newly-added words including selfie, onesie and photobomb

The latest print edition of the Collins English dictionary contains 50,000 newly-added words, including selfie, onesie and photobomb.

It also contains the word "adorkable", which was voted in by Twitter users from a shortlist of emerging words.

Collins, which began life in Glasgow in 1819, has been publishing dictionaries in the city from its earliest days.

The new edition, which contains 722,000 words and phrases, is the largest single volume dictionary in print.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Jim Parsons plays the adorkable Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory

Collins English Dictionary says adorkable is slang for "socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way" and is a blend of adorable and dork.

Data from Collins's database, which is compiled in its offices in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, reveals that adorkable was first used on Twitter in March 2007, peaked in January 2012 and has now settled into a steady pattern of use.

Other new words include:

  • al desko - (a meal, esp lunch) at one's desk at one's place of work
  • Bitcoin - a system of open source peer-to-peer software for the creation and exchange of (payment in) a certain type of cryptocurrency.
  • kawaii - a Japanese artistic and cultural style that emphasizes the quality of cuteness, using bright colours and characters with a childlike appearance
  • meme - an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation
  • photobomb - to intrude into the background of a photograph without the subject's knowledge
  • preload - to consume alcoholic drinks at home before going to a social gathering
  • textonym - one of two or more words that can be generated by pressing the same key combinations on a mobile phone: 'kiss' and 'lips' are textonyms
  • twerking - a provocative dance performed by moving the hips rapidly back and forth while standing with the feet apart and raising and lowering the body in a squatting motion
  • vape - to inhale nicotine vapour (from an electronic cigarette). Thus vaping, and vaper (one who vapes).

In the introduction to the new dictionary, Mark Forsyth, author of The Etymologicon, said: "There are few pastimes in life as pleasurable and profitable as reading the dictionary.

"The plot is, of course, rather weak, and the moral of the whole thing slightly elusive; but for my money there isn't another book that comes close to it.

"In any case, all other books are simply rearrangements of this one, and partial rearrangements at that."