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Tell Your Bestie: The OED Has New Words





BLOCK: If I said to you I need a do-over with the honky-tonker I interviewed the other day, I was kind of wackadoo, would you know what I was saying?

SIEGEL: Sort of.

BLOCK: Well, for those who aren't quite as savvy as you are, the words do-over, honky-tonker and wackadoo are all now officially in the Oxford English Dictionary.

KATHERINE CONNOR MARTIN: I love the word wackadoo.

SIEGEL: Who doesn't? That's Katherine Connor Martin, head of U.S. Dictionaries at Oxford University Press and she has this OED definition of wackadoo.

MARTIN: Crazy or eccentric or it can be used as a noun to refer to a crazy or eccentric person.

BLOCK: The OED considers itself the definitive record of the English language and Martin says since English is always evolving, so is the OED. It's actually revised four times a year.

SIEGEL: This time, the word honey gets a lot of attention. I guess that means the editor did some work in the H section.

BLOCK: There's honey-blonde, honey jar, honey mustard, honey parrot, honey trap, even honey-bunny.

MARTIN: A term of endearment, like sweetheart or darling, although people also use it with reference to their children. That seems to be the first usage we have from 1887, a reference to you precious little honey-bunny boy.

SIEGEL: Ethnopharmacological has also been added to the OED. That's of or relating to ethnopharmacology, of course.

BLOCK: Of course. And there's also Coney Island and scissor-tailed flycatcher. That's a bird. You knew that, Robert.


BLOCK: And bestie.

SIEGEL: Bestie. That's a BFF. Melissa, back to how we started all of this. I hope that that honky-tonker becomes your bestie after that do-over.

BLOCK: I hope so, too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.