Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, the OED, is an authority of English language usage and its history. From time to time, it reflects the expansion of the language, as described in BBC News Online’s ”Moobs and YOLO Among New Words in Oxford English Dictionary, September 12, 2016.


The OED, 1971, micrographic in two volumes. The current second-edition OED runs 20 volumes in non-micro format.

The OED’s complete version is not to be confused with the OED Online website. According to BBC News Online, the full OED contains “almost 830,000 past and present words, senses, and compounds from across the English speaking world.”


Image from

But adding YOLO and Moobs??

YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once. What with James Bond being English and all, I’m surprised there’s not also YOLT.


By the way, in researching this, I learned the difference between an acronym and an initialism. It depends on whether the new concoction is pronounceable as a word. OPEC is an acronym. DVD is not; it’s an initialism.

And, according to the OED, moobs are men’s boobs. I’d think these would not be objects of everyday reference, at least in my part of town.

I will find more use for another OED addition, cheeseball: “someone or something lacking taste, style, originality, or the breaded and deep fried cheese appetiser.” Plus, I’d be tempted to add meatball: “someone short and overweight who’s the brunt of adolescent humor, or a seasoned sphere of meat, sauteed and often sauced.”

The OED addition Westminister bubble reflects another sort of Brit insularity (c.f. Brexit): “An insular community of politicians, journalists, and civil servants, who appear to be out of touch with the experiences of the wider British public.” It’s the Brit analog of the U.S. expression, “inside the Beltway,” referring to Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway that encircles Washington, D.C.


Another new OED entry, fuhgeddaboudit, is defined as “A regional colloquialism especially in New York and New Jersey, meaning forget about it and used to indicate a scenario is unlikely or undesirable.”

Like, maybe, a Sopranos rerun?

Celebrating the centenary of author Roald Dahl’s birth, the OED added Oompa Loompa, scrumdiddlyumptious and the witching hour.


Roald Dahl, 1916–1990, Welsh novelist, poet, screenwriter, fighter pilot.

Dahl didn’t actually invent this last one, as the witching hour originally referred to the time between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., when there’s a laxity of sorts in Roman Catholic Canonical Hours. Dating from the ninth century, these are lauds, (dawn), prime, (7 a.m.), terce, (9 a.m.), sext, (noon), none, (3 p.m.), vespers, (sunset), compline (evening) and vigils, (night watch).


Whereas I may have a quibble here and there with the OED, I applaud wholeheartedly its inclusion of “clickbait.” That’s what today’s title is all about. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2016


  1. skip
    November 6, 2016

    Dennis, with respect, James Bond was not English. Part Swiss and part Scottish according to Flemming’s books. Although I believe this lineage was inspired by Connery making such a favorable impression in the first movie. Incidentally, I’ve recently re-read Flemming’s novels in order, and they are just as readable, enjoyable and surprising credible today as they were back in the day. Perhaps this topic may make it onto your docket sometime?

  2. simanaitissays
    November 6, 2016

    Thanks for the correction. Fleming and Bond have appeared several times at the website (my Estoril, Coward’s Jamaica, the Chitty cars), but never a focus solely on the super spy. A great idea.

  3. Bill Rabel
    November 6, 2016

    Speaking of acronyms, no one outdoes the military. This is from WIRED.

    An F/A-18F Super Hornet from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. VX-23 is conducting tests of the Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies (MAGIC CARPET).

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