Pwned, SJW among internet slang words added to

If you're butthurt that the English language gets pwned every time some rando at Oxford University Press adds words to the dictionary, I'm here to tell you, bruh, it's NBD, mkay?
The O RLY meme, featuring a snowy owl photo taken by nature photographer John White, helped popularize the abbreviation 'rly' for the word 'really.' (John White)

If you're butthurt that the English language gets pwned every time some rando at Oxford University Press adds words to the dictionary, I'm here to tell you, bruh, it's NBD, mkay? 

If you've spent any time conversing online in the past decade, that sentence will make at least some sense to you.

And if it doesn't, you can now look up any of those unfamiliar words, thanks to an update adding more than 1,000 words to

The free online dictionary of current English usage issued its quarterly update Thursday of new words that have gained widespread currency in the language. 

The list of new words now defined by the website includes many terms and abbreviations used in internet conversations. 

The definitions of the words used in the above sentence are: 

  • butthurt (adj.): overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful. 
  • pwned (v.): utterly defeated. 
  • rando (n.): a person one does not know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour. 
  • bruh (n.): a male friend (often used as a form of address). 
  • NBD (abbrev.): short for no big deal.
  • mkay (excl.): non-standard spelling of OK, representing an informal pronunciation (typically used at the end of a statement to invite agreement, approval, or confirmation). 

Other new words you may have encountered online include: 

  • awesomesauce (adj.): extremely good; excellent. 
  • blockchain (n.): a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. 
  • rage-quit (v.): angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game. 
  • Redditor (n.): a registered user of the website Reddit. 
  • rly (abbrev.): really. (This joins the previous definition of "railway.")
  • social justice warrior (n.): (derogatory) a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views. 
  • spear phishing (n.): the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information. 
  • YouTuber (n.): a frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site. 

Other words in the update to were coined in the media to describe events in the news, such as: 

  • Brexit (n.): a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. 
  • cat café (n.): a café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises. 
  • deradicalization (n.): the action or process of causing a person with extreme views to adopt more moderate positions on political or social issues. 
  • fatberg (n.): a very large mass of solid waste in a sewage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.
  • Grexit (n.): a term for the potential withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone. 
  • manspreading (n.): the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats. 
  • swatting (n.): the action or practice of making a hoax call to the emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.

Angus Stevenson of Oxford Dictionaries said the research methods include monitoring the English language as it's used in a wide variety of sources, including literary novels, newspapers and magazines, as well as blogs, emails and social media. 

"New words, senses, and phrases are added to when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a wide range of sources to be sure that they have widespread currency in the English language," he said in a statement.

"This quarter's update shows that contemporary culture continues to have an undeniable and fascinating impact on the language," said Stevenson. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?