Meet the new last word in English: zyzzyva

Meet the new last word in English: zyzzyva

In its latest update, the Oxford English Dictionary identified more than 600 words, phrases and senses that have entered common parlance. Over the years, when they gain popularity and it is understood that they are here to stay, they are added to the dictionary.

The OED has a strict criterion for new words, which includes several independent examples of the word being used, and also evidence that the word has been in use for a reasonable amount of time.

The original meaning of woke is to awaken after sleep but the word now has a political meaning after being taken up by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The update also included a new sense of the noun “thing”. “In the past decade, that meaning has been catapulted into mainstream use”, the statement added.

The quarterly update includes “post-truth”, previously announced by the OED as its word of the year for 2016 following Britain’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s presidential victory. It means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

In recent years, the word has become more ubiquitous and is used to describe people with the aforementioned awareness of “discrimination and injustice”.

Until now, the last alphabetic entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was zythum, a kind of malt beer brewed in ancient Egypt.

A genus of tropical weevils native to South America and typically found near palm trees will today make its debut in the Oxford English Dictionary, and in some style.

Drink enough gin daisies and you may well be overcome by hygge, the Danish term for “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”.