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The Oxford English Dictionary’s New Food Word Additions

August 8, 2012

If you needed more proof that recent years have seen food culture creep into public consciousness like never before, then just check out Mental Floss and Houston Press‘ lists of new words recently added to Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Here are some that stick out:

Frankenfood (n): Genetically modified food.

Locavore (n): A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

Affogato (n): an Italian dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso coffee.

Doughnut hole (n): a small ball-shaped doughnut:it’s 9.30 on a wintry Saturday morning, and we’re sipping coffee and eating doughnut holes.

Bibimbap (n): a Korean dish consisting of rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chilli paste, and beef or other meat, sometimes with the addition of a raw or fried egg.

Red velvet cake (n): a rich chocolate-flavoured sponge cake with a distinctive reddish colour, typically with layers of buttercream or cream cheese icing.

Panko (n): breadcrumbs with a light, flaky texture, typically used as a coating for fried or baked food.

Pretty nifty, huh? We did a bit of digging about the origins some of these words, and we found that according to Merriam-Webster, the word “frankenfood” was first used in 1992 and the word “locavore” was first used in 2005. The rest weren’t even in Merriam-Webster’s online system.

The Oxford Dictionaries Online says that it adds “dozens of new words” to its online dictionary every three months. The most recent addition happened in May, but people are just now noticing a bunch of interesting inclusions, including Houston Press‘ Katharine Shilcutt, who said some words left her “surprised [they] weren’t already in the ODO.”

The Oxford University Press publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, which has been around since 1847. Many view it as the premiere dictionary of the English language and contains about 600,000 words.

In case you were wondering how the Oxford English Dictionary picks out which new words to add, watch the publication’s video below.

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