Vuvuzela & TweetUp Make It Into the Oxford Dictionary of English

August 20, 2010, By Alex Ion

Were you annoyed by the ever-present hum of the vuvuzela during the World Cup 2010 in South Africa? Folks, that’s not the last you’ll hear from it, as we just heard the “vuvuzela” made its way into the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English.

vuvuzela south africa
Credits: James Whatley/Flickr

The Oxford Dictionary of English is the largest single-volume English dictionary, based on how language is really used. It was first published in 1998 and then updated in 2003. Its latest edition released on August 19 has added more than 2,000 new words and 200 new phrases.

Climate change, the credit crunch and the Internet have all left their mark on the way we talk. The latest crop of new words includes:

  • vuvuzela: an elongated plastic instrument that football fans blow to make a loud noise similar to the trumpeting of an elephant
  • tweet-up: a meeting arranged through Twitter
  • defriend: removing someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site
  • the interweb: the internet
  • paywall: which restricts website access to subscribers
  • cheeseball: lacking taste
  • chillax: calm down and relax
  • wardrobe malfunction: an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position
  • overleveraged: having taken on too much debt
  • quantitative easing: the introduction of new money into the money supply by the central bank
  • staycation: a holiday spent in one’s home country
  • bargainous: costing less than usual, also reflect the hot topic of belt-tightening among consumers during the economic downturn

So how would you guys define the Vuvuzela? Here’s our take on it:

Vuvuzela,(vuːvuːˈzɛlə), noun: a pain in the butt plastic horn (that makes one of the most irritating sounds on Earth) designed to ruin the World Cup.

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