Skip to main content

'Phablet', 'selfie' and other tech terms added to Oxford online dictionary

The next time you tell someone you're going to take a quick 'selfie' with your 'phablet', they might look at you like you're speaking another language, but rest-assured your verbiage is indeed English. If they fight you on that, just direct them to Oxford Dictionaries Online.

The free online dictionary, published by the those behind the lauded Oxford English Dictionary, added a number of tech terms to its lexicon this week, including — you guessed it — phablet and selfie.

We've been using both words here at ITProPortal for some time, but for the uninitiated, a phablet is a "smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer" (aka a phone/tablet hybrid).

A selfie, meanwhile, is defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

Got it? Good. Because there's more. Oxford Dictionaries Online has also added Bitcoin, buzzworthy, digital detox, Emoji, geek chic, hackerspace, Internet of things, space tourism, and TL;DR. Those tech-centric additions join other newly added gems like twerk, srsly, and jorts.

"The additions may have only just entered the dictionary, but we've been watching them for a while now, tracking how and where they are used," according to an OxfordWords blog post.

In fact, the folks behind the online dictionary last year added selfie and phablet to a list of words that they were monitoring for possible inclusion in the future. Around that time, selfie gained steam after Hillary Clinton was said to have used the word in a text message to the owner of the popular Texts from Hillary Tumblr.

The new additions come after the more formal Oxford English Dictionary, which is the accepted authority of the English language, in June added the word tweet. In recent years, meanwhile, the OED has also added Internet shorthand like LOL, OMG, and FYI, as well as words bloggable and sexting.