The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) makes it a point to constantly update itself to include new words, phrases, and senses. Last August, popular Internet slangs such as “bitch face”, “rage-quit”, “Redditor”, “brain fart”, and “mic drop” were officially introduced as part of the English language.
And because the English language will continue to evolve, we can expect to see more and more additions in time to come.
In its March quarterly update, OED added more than 500 new entries in its lexicon. What’s interesting is that the update saw the inclusion of a number of words from Malaysian English (Manglish), Singapore English (Singlish), and Hong Kong English.
Malaysian and Singaporean words such as “wah” and “lepak” are now considered as part of the English language after being given legitimacy by OED. OED explained that words like “wah” are usually used at the beginning of the sentence to express admiration, encouragement, delight, surprise, etc. “Lepak“, according to OED, is the practice of loitering aimlessly or idly; loafing, relaxing, hanging out.
OED also explained that the terms “lepak” and “teh tarik” (sweet tea with milk), are characteristics of both Singlish and Manglish, while “wet market” (a market for the sale of fresh meat, fish, and produce) is used not just in Singapore and Malaysia, but all over Southeast Asia.
Other new senses of common English words include “blur” (slow in understanding; unaware, ignorant, confused), “ang moh” (a light-skinned person, esp. of Western origin or descent; a Caucasian), “shiok” (cool, great; delicious, superb).
Check out the full 19-item list and their individual definitions below:
- ang moh
- char siu
- chilli crab
- Chinese helicopter
- hawker centre
- killer litter
- lepak, n.
- lepak, v.
- sabo, n.
- sabo, v.
- sabo king
- teh tarik
- wet market
Source: Oxford English Dictionary.