Another batch of new entries – over 1500 of them – went into the OED at the end of September. Some of them – like after-sun, chalkboard, colo(u)r coding, colo(u)r co-ordinating, home delivery, home alone and stitch-up are not necessarily new words – just new to the Dictionary (home alone is first attested in 1885).
The chocolatey desserts popular in the US black bottom, black and white, and blackout cake are new entries. Black is one of the headwords that has been edited this time, so black shoe has also gone in as an entry – black shoes are US surface naval officers (brown shoe – a naval aviator – has gone in too). In a sign of the times, several compounds based on the word ‘terror’ have been added, including terror attack, terror plot, terror suspect and terror threat. The fact that those entries have only just gone into the OED does not mean that they are new phenomena, of course – terror plot was first recorded in print in 1905.
There are already many words relating to Japanese popular culture in the OED, and these have been joined by shonen and shojo, types of manga comics.
One of the way new words are formed is by blending existing words. Examples in this latest OED batch include Britcom, which although seemingly a blend of British and comedy, as on the model of romcom, actually refers specifically to a British situation comedy, so is more like a blend of British and sitcom. Also securocrat, from security, with the –ocrat being an allusion to ‘bureaucrat’. It has two senses - a government functionary who is overly concerned with security (US sense), and a member of the state security apparatus who has become a bureaucrat or wields political influence (South African sense).
Other new entries in the OED are new forms of an existing word, so letter-bomb has entered as a verb and emailed has gone in as an adjective. There are also new senses of existing words, so security now has the computer-related definition “the state of being protected from unauthorized access; freedom from the risk of being intercepted, decoded, tapped, etc.” For reasons of computer security we now have to sign in, sign out, sign on and sign off and these definitions have been added at the phrasal verb entries.
Other new entries are:
kewl: an exaggerated pronunciation of ‘cool’, especially in the language of electronic communications.
ambo: an ambulance; (in Australia) a member of an ambulance crew
frammis: nonsense, jargon (this goes back to the 1940s)
après moi le déluge (also après nous le déluge): used to express complete indifference to what may happen when one is gone.
black swan: something extremely rare
Read more on the public area of the OED site here.