Oxford English Dictionary Adds ‘Twerk’ and ‘Cisgender’

By Maryann Yin 

Oxford DictionariesThe Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has announced the addition of approximately 500 new words. Some of the newly added words include twerk, cisgender, FLOTUS, jeggings, and totes.

Click on this link to check out the full list of new words. Katherine Connor Martin, the head of the United States Dictionaries, wrote an article about the newly added words.

Here’s an excerpt from Martin’s piece focusing on the word twerk: ”

The use of twerk to describe a type of dancing which emphasizes the performer’s posterior originated in the early 1990s in the New Orleans ‘bounce’ music scene, but the word itself seems to have its origins more than 170 years before. It was in use in English as a noun by 1820 (originally spelled ‘twirk’), referring to ‘a twisting or jerking movement; a twitch’: ‘Really the Germans do allow themselves such twists & twirks of the pen, that it would puzzle any one’ (Charles Clairmont, Letter, 26 Feb. 1820). Verbal use is first attested just a few decades later, and the ‘twerk’ spelling had come about by 1901. The precise origin of the word is uncertain, but it may be a blend of twist or twitch and jerk, with influence from quirk n.1 at the noun and from work v. in reference to the dance.

(via The Independent)