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Travel words added to the Oxford American dictionary this month

Travel Horizon
Travel Horizon
Lisa TE Sonne (c) 2010

On your last family vacation or “staycation” was it “like herding cats”? Or were you able to “share some moments”? Did you end up in a “fly-over” destination? Did you try “carbon off-setting”? Did anyone have an ”exit strategy”? Or invite a “gal pal” or “bff”? Or enjoy a “bromance”?

If everything in the paragraph above makes sense to you, you can just head to the next airport now with a “TTYL.” But if you would like a little more insight, take a look at some of the phrases, words, and abbreviations that were officially added to the Oxford American dictionary today. When it comes to new language, whether it’s used in “big media” or “social media,” “what’s not to like”?

New additions include:

be all that
informal be very attractive or good: he thinks he’s all that—yeah, God’s gift.

big media
n. [treated as sing. or pl.] the main means of mass communication (i.e., television, radio, and the press), as opposed to blogs or other personal websites.

n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

n. informal a close but nonsexual relationship between two men.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of brother and romance.

carbon credit
n. a permit that allows a country or organization to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions and that can be traded if the full allowance is not used.

carbon offsetting
n. the counteracting of carbon dioxide emissions with an equivalent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

exit strategy
n. a preplanned means of extricating oneself from a situation that is likely to become difficult or unpleasant.

(new usage) informal, derogatory denoting central regions of the US regarded as less significant than the East or West coasts: the flyover states.

gal pal
n. informal a female friend.
“New phrases”

like herding cats
informal used to refer to a difficult or impossible task, typically an attempt to organize a group of people: controlling the members of this expedition is like herding cats.

share a moment
informal experience a joint sensation of heightened emotion: Alan and Barbara shared a moment yesterday after the memorial service.

social media
n. [treated as sing. or pl.] websites and applications used for social networking.

n. informal a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: blend of stay1 and vacation.

abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

what’s not to like?
informal used as a rhetorical expression of approval or satisfaction: cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and mountain views—what’s not to like?

The above copied entries are thanks to the Oxford University Press blog site.

What phrases would you add that aren’t in the dictionary?



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