Monday, May 12, 2008

Open Dictionary - New Words

I was surprised to discover that boogie board and kiteboarding were not considered part of the English lexicon, at least as defined by dictionary entries.

The Open Dictionary is a place to record new or specialized words or old words with new meanings, and some of the more intriguing new words and expressions submitted to the Open Dictionary at make it into this semimonthly roundup at the Britannica Blog. Some of these words are being used in active English but have not yet found their way into the pages of print dictionaries. Others are clever or useful coinages.

These new entries were included in the Open Dictionary this month:

boogie board (noun): a board smaller than a surfboard that is typically ridden in a prone position

Example of use: Cameron jumped into the pool and floated around on his boogie board.

kiteboarding (noun): a water sport in which a surfboarder uses the lift and pull of a large kite to move and perform maneuvers

Example of use: Kiteboarding can be done in nearly any location in the world, with nothing but wind and gear that can easily be packed down to the size of a golfing bag.

longliner (noun): one who fishes using a longline

Example of use: Halibut prices took a dip from the record prices Alaska longliners enjoyed at the docks last year.

Any ideas for other words that should be added to the dictionary?

When you notice a new word — on the radio, in a book or magazine, or online — and discover that it’s not in the dictionary, then it’s a good candidate for Merriam-Webster’s Open Dictionary. Some words catch on, some don’t. It usually takes a few years for a word to enter the language and be used by many people in many different places. Lexicographers collect the evidence of new words used in print to determine when they are to be entered in the dictionary.

If you know a word not listed in the dictionary, submit it to the Open Dictionary, at this link.

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