Anti-vaxxer, willy-waver and Wagwan among new Oxford dictionary words – see list

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Long Covid, snackette and bath bombs are also among the new entries in the Oxford English Dictionary but it is the pandemic that has had a big effect on the language this year

Anti-vaccine protests at Clapham Common

The word anti-vaxxer entered the Oxford English Dictionary, but it took 209 years and a pandemic to get there.

Long Covid has also done this, but it’s only been around since May 2020, when it was first used in a tweet.

The 837 new entrees also include the funniest snack, for a bite, and bath bombs, another old one, that American stores were selling in 1927.

But an OED spokeswoman said: “World events have a big impact on the language and this update is no exception.”

Anti-vaxxer is used to describe someone who refuses the Covid vaccine, but it was invented in 1812 by Edward Jenner when his smallpox injection met with fierce opposition.

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Disaster capitalism, to profit from disasters, suppressing voters, preventing people from going to the polls, and the once taboo subject of menstrual poverty are also new entries.

The OED spokeswoman said: “They all, somewhat depressingly, saw enough evidence of use for them to fit into the dictionary.”

Wagwan?

Anti-vaxxer – a person opposed to vaccination

Bants – short for joking and denotes teasing or upbeat remarks used in social circles

Bath Bomb – a scented, shaped bath product that dissolves in water

Big-tech – a collection of large multinational technology companies

Brown nose – suck someone and stroke them to gain their favor

Disaster capitalism – exploitation of natural or man-made disasters such as extreme weather events, war and epidemics




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Ghosting – being masked on social media and not receiving a response to messages, signaling the sudden end of a friendship or relationship

Long Covid – persistence of symptoms linked to Covid-19

Love locks – a padlock attached to a bridge, railing or fence by a couple as a symbol of their love and commitment

Noise reduction – a device such as a headset that has technology to suppress background noise and chatter

Menstrual poverty – not having the means to buy sanitary products

Snackette – a small snack




Snooze – to activate the snooze function on an alarm clock or device

Elimination of voters – to prevent people, especially those belonging to certain demographic groups, from voting in elections

Wagwan – a short way to ask “what’s going on? “

Willy-waver – a boastful, self-proclaimed badass who shows inordinate amounts of machismo


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