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Oxford Dictionary Adds Fo'shizzle and Other Not-real Words

Oxford Dictionary Adds Fo'shizzle and Other Not-real Words:

It’s that time of year again. Once more, the Oxford English Dictionary will add hundreds of new words to its latest edition, and goofy slang or not, this officially makes the words part of the English language. That means words like “vaping,” “Masshole,” “koozie,” “sext,” and yes, even “fo'shizzle” are legit now, for better or worse. TIME has more on what made the cut for 2015.

half-ass (v., 1954): to perform (an action or task) poorly or incompetently; to do (something) in a desultory or half-hearted manner. One can also insult someone by calling them an “ass,” referring to the horse-like creature who has appeared in stories as the type who is clumsy or stupid since the time of the Greeks.

stanky (adj., 1972): having a strong (usually unpleasant) smell. The OED editors offer the comparison to skanky, which means unattractive or offensive, as well as janky, which refers to something that is untrustworthy or of poor quality.

fo’ shizzle (phr., 2001): in the language of rap and hip-hop this means “for sure.” Shizzle, as a euphemism for sh-t, dates back to the ’90s. One can also be “the shizzle,” which is the best or most popular thing.

Leave it Oxford to make Snoop Dogg’s creative genius sound drier than sand.

Among the additions is “twerk,” a word that the fine folks at OED say has been in use since the 1800s (even though your mom only found out about it by Googling Miley).

Twerk, another new addition, might have been made famous by Miley Cyrus and a foam finger in 2013, but the editors traced its meaning back to 1820, when twirk referred to a twisting or jerking movement. The precise origin of the word is uncertain, the editors say, but it may be a blend of twist or twitch and jerk. Their definition: “To dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance.”

Sounds like twerking to us. The BBC asked Oxford about the word’s inclusion and its surprising origins.

Twerk may have been a blend of the words twist or twitch and jerk, the dictionary says.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford English Dictionary, said: “We are confident that it is the same origins as the dance.

"There has been constant use up into the present day to mean that same thing. I think it’s quite spectacular, the early origins for it. We were quite surprised.”

We’re also surprised, and maybe a bit scared, that “twerk” is a thing that’s apparently going to stick around forever. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to enrage nerds by grabbing the triple word score in Scrabble with “Fo'Shizzle.”

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