On March 24, 2011, the Oxford English Dictionary announced the changes and terms added to its latest edition. The popularity of Internet speak became obvious with additions such as “LOL” and “OMG.” Another added term, made popular by Seinfeld, is “muffin top.”
“LOL” is the text abbreviation for “laughing out loud” and “OMG” means “oh my God.” Muffin top has two definitions. The most obvious definition is the top part of an actual muffin. The second definition, equally used today, refers to a “protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers.”
The Star reports the dictionary's senior editor for new words, Katherine Martin, said, “It’s purely based on what people are using in English as we study it, It’s the English-speakers of the world who determine what we put in the dictionary. We’re just recording it.”
A variety of other popular terms made it to the new Oxford English Dictionary including:
-The heart symbol, which is the first symbol to ever appear in this dictionary, as in “I (heart) New York.”
-WAG, another text abbreviation, which stands for “wives and girlfriends.”
-“Taquito” is a crispy fried Tex Mex snack and another food inspired term is “second rule” which allows you to eat a tasty morsel that fell to the floor, as long as it is picked up in a second.
-“Tinfoil hat” is suggested head wear that protects the wearer from surveillance or mind control, a term often used to designate people as delusional or paranoid.
-“Smack talk” refers to insulting or boastful banter.
-“Couch surfing” is spending the night on other people's couches rather than finding permanent housing.
“La la land” referring either to Los Angeles of the state of being out of touch.
“Wassup” which stands for the term “what's up.”
Adding a symbol was a surprising first time occurrence for the Oxford English Dictionary. Martin explains, “The ‘I “heart” New York’ ad campaign began in the 1970s using the heart symbol, but in the ’80s, people started alluding to the symbol by using the verb ‘heart’ in a joking way. Eventually that became divorced from the bumper-sticker context and worked its way into everyday use.”
Martin's personal favorite was muffin top, saying, “It’s a cute word for something that isn’t really very cute at all. It actually has two meanings. The one we’re adding refers to the fat that protrudes above the waistband of a tight pair of pants.”
The Oxford English Dictionary determines words are worthy for including by scouring pop culture such as the Internet, newspapers, databases and young literature. The March update is the third edition of the dictionary.