New to "Oxford English Dictionary": Masshole, Meh and E-Cigarette

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An English dictionary is accompanied by a thesaurus. Catherine Benson/Reuters

Surly New Englanders can now name-check a familiar term in the Oxford English Dictionary: On Thursday, the dictionary announced that it would be adding a slew of new words and terms, including Masshole and hot mess, to its lexicon. In addition to zeitgeisty terminology, the OED is recognizing terms reflective of socially progressive norms for addressing race and gender, as it included the likes of cisgender among the 500 new words it added.

Other historic and social media-age additions include twitterati, denoting an elite group of well-known or much-followed Twitter users; e-cigarette, a smoking device that emits vapor instead of smoke; sext, meaning a saucy text with sexual implications; twerking, a jerky style of a hip-shaking dance associated with pop star Miley Cyrus, but that has existed long before she popularized it—since 1820, in fact, when the word was denoted as "twirk" and was used to describe a twitch, according to the OED blog.

The OED also recognized a word that's long been popular, fo'shizzle, slang for the term "for sure," as well as a universal expression of indifference, meh, whose etymology traces back to 1992 but was likely popularized by The Simpsons. As for Masshole, the official definition of the noun is "a contemptuous term for a native or inhabitant of the state of Massachusetts."

The dictionary made a point to note the significant changes in how our culture addresses the language of gender and race in prefacing its additions of the progressive terms cisgender, in relation to how identity relates to assigned sex at birth, and intersectionality, meaning the "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage."

New to "Oxford English Dictionary": Masshole, Meh and E-Cigarette | Culture