December 7 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Twerking, the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards, is among the words and phrases included in an update of the Oxford dictionary.
The move, which the US singer and actress showed off with the help of singer Robin Thicke at the weekend, has been included in the latest revision of Oxford Dictionaries Online.
New technology has also provided a large number of new words and phrases for the site, including “selfie” for a camera-phone self-portrait, “digital detox” for time spent offline, the online currency Bitcoin, the shopping phrase “click and collect” and “hackerspace”.
Katherine Connor Martin, from Oxford Dictionaries Online, said “twerk” was around 20 years old and seemed to have been coined as part of the “bounce” hip-hop scene in the United States.
She said: “By last year, it had generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list, and by this spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English.
“There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure.
“We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to ‘work it’. The ‘t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch.
“The current public reaction to twerking is reminiscent in some ways of how the twisting craze was regarded in the early 1960s, when it was first popularised by Chubby Checker’s song, the Twist.
“Only time will tell if twerking will similarly be embraced by the general public.”
The dance style’s listing reads: “The twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”
Twenty-year-old Cyrus, who first rose to fame as the lead in Disney children’s show Hannah Montana, made headlines with the risque performance in a nude PVC bikini at the awards in New York on Sunday.
The show saw her perform a medley of her party song We Can’t Stop and Thicke’s summer hit Blurred Lines while twerking furiously with the singer-songwriter.
The quarterly update for the site also includes words from the worlds of food and drink and fashion.
From the former come “street food”, “pear cider” and the result of too much of both - the swollen gut known as a “food baby”.
From the latter comes “double denim” and “geek chic”.