Concise Oxford rings in a riot of new words

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – I didn’t know that a cougar is an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man, but now I do, thanks to the new Concise Oxford Dictionary, which keeps us up to date on the language we’re using. Clearly, I lead a dull life, as I haven’t needed to use “sextings”, either (nothing to do with people over 60, like sexagenarians).

CNN sent me scurrying to the OUP (Oxford University Press) blog post on the 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary to see what other gems we’ve recently invented. The Concise Oxford is celebrating its 100th birthday with the new edition.

Even better than finding new words was my discovery of the pleasure of the Oxford Words Blog itself, where I’ve just learned that the word “riot” meant an extravagent lifestyle during its first 100 years, which makes me wonder what “retweet” will mean in 2711.

And then there’s Italy’s contributions to our food vocabulary. And I’m sure the list of phobias will come in handy one of these days, maybe when I have to write about my fear of them. Palms are getting sweaty as a I write, the shakes are coming over me. Oh no! It’s phobophobia, I think!