south african words, dictionary

Photo: Envato Elements

20 South African words have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary

The latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary includes 20 South African words.

south african words, dictionary

Photo: Envato Elements

The Oxford English Dictionary has added more than 650 new words to their latest edition. 20 of the new additions are South African words.

The OED is updated on a quarterly basis and the next update will be added to the dictionary in June 2019.

How are words added?

To be considered for inclusion in the OED, a word must first be added to the dictionary’s ‘watch list’ database. 

The OED will then review these words.

If the words have not yet accumulated enough evidence for permanent record in the OED, it remains on the watch list however if the word passes, it is then assigned to an Editor.

The Editor researches the word and then writes up the dictionary entry.

New words

New additions to the dictionary include words such as MacGyvered and Maltipoo. Macgyvered is an adjective meaning ‘adapted or improvised in an ingenious or expedient way.’ A Maltipoo is a breed of dog. Ad

Further inclusions consist of the more PG-rated skunked, bawbag and titless.

The rise is of awareness around gender identity is reflected by the inclusion of several new words such as  Latin@ as well as words such as misgendered, misgendering, misgender and zir. 

The inclusion of  Cannabusiness and cannabutter reflect the shifting perceptions around the drug and the recent law changes mean that these words are considered worthy of permanent record in the OED.

Local lingo

A few boks may think it was quite dof that the OED has taken so long to include yebo in its updates.

Joburg and Jozi have been added to the list. These are both nicknames for the city of Johannesburg.

The words BEE, Black Economic Empowerment and Black Empowerment have also been included. These words relate to the government programme incentivizing the provision of employment and business opportunities for black people, with the aim of redressing their economic marginalization during apartheid.

Flip through to “I” in the dictioinary you will now find the Zulu words imbizo and isicathamiya. The first word imbizo means a meeting or assembly. The second word isicathamiya is a style of singing amongst rural male choirs.

4 new words which describe living spaces have also been included. These words are hok, hokkie, lapa and lekgotla.

Here is a list of South African words.

  • Bantu Education
  • Black Economic Empowerment
  • Black Empowerment
  • BEE
  • Bok
  • Dof
  • Gramadoelas
  • Hok
  • Hokkie
  • Imbizo
  • Isicathamiya
  • Lapa
  • Lekgotla
  • Makgotla
  • Joburg
  • Jozi
  • Hensopper
  • Kanna
  • Koevoet
  • Yebo

You can read the full list of new here.