Friday 23 March 2007

New English expressions (BBC)

'Ruby Murray' officially English


"Rocking up" to a restaurant for a "Ruby Murray" are now official phrases with the terms making it into the Oxford Dictionary of English.

The latest edition defines rock up as arrive, or turn up, and Ruby Murray as rhyming slang for a curry.

Other new words to make the cut include "lush" - meaning very good - and "phishing", sending fraudulent emails to get hold of personal information.

The old rhyming slang for tea, "Rosie Lee", also makes it for the first time.

And "chav" appears, an increasingly used derogatory word to describe a "young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of [real or imitation] designer clothes".

New words being added simply reflect the fact that the language naturally keeps expanding, said researchers at the Oxford Dictionary of English.


"To suit the pace of lifestyle there is even a growing tendency to mix words together to make entirely new ones called blends," they said.

A person who approaches passers-by in the street looking for donations or subscriptions to a charity is now officially a "chugger" - a mixture of charity and mugger.

A type of English used by speakers of Hindi - "Hinglish" - is another new entry this year.

And Lollywood joins Bollywood in the English language, this time describing the Pakistani popular film industry based in Lahore.

Scene from BBC3's Little Britain

Musical references like "beatbox", "Europop", "J-pop" (Japanese pop music), and "sing-jay" (a Dj who raps and sings) also make the grade.

On the technology front, "chip and pin" (a new way of paying for goods by debit or credit card) makes it into the dictionary, as does "gamepad" (hand-held controls for video games).

"Podcast" (digital recording of a radio broadcast made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player) is also included.

Patootie, peach or Venus are among the 50 words describing an attractive woman, but good-looking men have inspired only 20 such tributes.

But there are almost 10 times as many ways to express negative feelings as positive ones, researchers say.

The revised second edition of the dictionary, which focuses on contemporary English, provides 350 useful insults, such as ning-nong, chucklehead or muppet, but only 40 complimentary expressions.

And while there are 30 ways to call someone mad, a mere six terms are given to explain that you are sane.

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