”Sexting”, “friends with benefits”, and “date night” are among 1 000 words and phrases that have been added to the latest edition of the Chambers Dictionary.
While “sexting” - the act of sending explicit text messages - and “friends with benefits”, which describes two friends who have a sexual relationship, are perhaps a reflection of the modern world, at least “date night” shows that old-fashioned romance is not dead, The dictionary defines the phrase as when couples with children arrange to go out without them. Prime minister David Cameron even has a weekly date night with his wife Samantha.
There is a further reflection of Britain’s changing attitudes to relationships and sex in the dictionary’s redefinition of the words “marriage”, “husband” and “wife”.
Following the introduction of same-sex marriages, the dictionary has now made them gender-neutral. Marriage is a “ceremony, act or contract by which two people become married to each other”; a husband is “a man to whom someone is married”; and a wife is “a woman to whom someone is married”.
Many of the new words have been popularised by social media, including “YOLO”, short for “you only live once”, and “amazeballs” - something unusually good.
Abbreviated words popularised by the likes of the cast of The Only Way is Essex - ITV’s “scripted reality” soap opera - have made the Chambers list. They include obvs (obviously), soz (sorry), ridic (ridiculius) and totes (totally).
This is the 13th edition of the dictionary, which was first published in 1872. It is known for including more unusual words than other dictionaries and is popular with crossword puzzlers.
The editors believe the list of new words provides a vivid portrait of the English language today and “heralds a word’s acceptance in to formal speech”.
“A word must demonstrate a lasting influence on a language in order to avoid short lived or faddy expressions being admitted,” they said. -Daily Mail