Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

March 2007 Update

On 15 March 2007 the alphabetical range Prakrit-prim was added to the New Edition: every word in this range has been thoroughly revised and updated. Below are listed all the new words in the range. We have also added a further list of new words from across the alphabet.

The OED's chief editor, John Simpson, provides some observations on the revision of this section of the alphabet, and Graeme Diamond comments on some of the most interesting new words in the batch.

Revisions

The revised range of the OED published on 15 March 2007 runs from Prakrit to prim. It contains 2,693 entries (8,756 subsenses, including compounds, etc.). This brings the total number of main entries in the OED to 259,487 (containing 684,542 subsenses).

The prefix pre- dominates the newly revised range

The dominant feature of this release is the sequence of words beginning with pre-, which follows its counterpart post- in the alphabet in the same contradictory way as before follows after. Pre- dominates the range both in numbers and in meaning. The main entry for pre- itself contains 701 words to which pre- is prefixed, and it is immediately followed by 2,263 main entries most of which involve the use of pre- as a prefix. Semantically, the presence of pre- means that most of the terms in this release are involved with something happening or being placed before something else. So we have preadapt, pre-AIDS, pre-announcement, pre-arm, prebiotic, prebuttal, etc. pre- turns out to be the prefix with the longest entry so far in the Third Edition of the OED, appearing in the rankings just ahead of two other recently revised prefixes, non- and over-.

Set (the verb) no longer the longest entry in the OED

For many years the verb to set has been cited as the longest entry in the OED. But a recheck shows that it has at last been toppled from this position. The longest entry in the revised matter is represented by the verb to make (published in June 2000). However, it is quite possible that set will regain its long-held position at the top of the league of long words when it comes itself to be revised.

In ranking order, the longest entries currently in the online Third Edition of the OED are: make (verb - revised), set (verb), run (verb), take (verb), go (verb), pre- (revised), non- (revised), over- (revised), stand (verb), red, and then point (the noun - revised).

Some other features of this range

Other than pre-, the range does not contain another ‘big’ word, but it does contain a large number of smaller, important terms. The following list includes many of the more significant terms published in their revised form here:

pram prance prank prat prattle pray prayer pre- preach preamble prebendary precaution precede precinct precious precipitate precise predecessor predestination predicate predominant pre-empt preface prefect prefer prefix pregnant prehistoric prejudice preliminary prelude premature premeditate premier premise premiss premium preoccupy prep preparation prepare presbytery prescribe presence present preserve preside president press pressure prestige presume presuppose pretence pretend pretty prevail prevaricate prevent preview previous prey price prick pride priest prig prim

Subscribers can follow the links to see some of the full entries highlighted above or elsewhere on this page. Some typical examples of revised and updated entries are found under praline, precipice, and preppy.

If the range contains a cluster of important terms from a particular area of life, then it is probably from religion and the Church, represented by preach, prebendary, presbytery, priest, and a number of other terms.

Descriptive versus prescriptive lexicography

The previous edition of the OED regarded the pair of words descriptive and prescriptive (both of which have been used to describe styles of lexicography) as originating in the mid eighteenth century, at a period noted for its admiration for order and discipline in the arts. Descriptive was first recorded by OED1 from one of Samuel Johnson's Rambler essays right in the middle of the eighteenth century, in 1751. The word prescriptive preceded this by three years, being first recorded in volume seven of Richardson's Clarissa in 1748. One hundred years later, the picture has changed somewhat. The certainty of mid eighteenth-century prescriptivism (sense 1) has been shaken in OED3 as examples of prescriptive (sense 1) have come to light from 1734 and then again, even earlier, from 1663.

Much the same happens in the second major sense of prescriptive (in this case in legal contexts). The previous edition of the OED again regards the meaning as originating in the mid eighteenth century (1765, in Blackstone's Commentaries); OED3 is also able to take this sense back to the 1660s.

The final major sense of prescriptive (from anthropology) was dated from 1958 by the Supplement to the OED (and consequently by OED2), whereas new research shows that it can be documented at least from 1922.

preverbal communication

Similar ground-shifting events have happened to the term preverbal. The pre- here can relate to time (a ‘preverbal child’) or to place (in the grammatical use ‘positioned before a verb’). OED3 takes the first sense back from 1931 to 1891, and the second from 1948 to 1908.

Republication of published entries

 

One of the advantages of publishing the OED online is that entries can be updated even after they have been originally published in their revised form. Changes evident in the current republication occur outside the newly revised range Prakrit - prim, and include:

ossicule (in anatomy and zoology): modern quotation provided, and so the term is no longer marked as obsolete

overshoe: antedated from 1832 to 1770

pair royal: prile forms moved to a new main entry

party work added at the entry for party (noun)

The editors would like to thank the many users of the Dictionary who have supplied further information of this nature.

The march of the Thin Red Line

Thanks should also go to those who have risen to the challenge of the ‘thin red line’. In 1986 Yvonne Warburton, at the time a researcher on the OED and now managing the online publication of the Dictionary, published an article describing research she had conducted for the OED on the phrase thin red line. This research was conducted before the advent of large searchable databases of historical text. The article was republished some time ago as part of the OED Online site. Her research back in 1986 had resulted in the expression being dated back to 1877 - although the term was widely associated with the Crimean War (1854-6). She ended with the plea: ‘If you ever see thin red line earlier than 1877, let us know!’

Sure enough, users of the OED Online have been busy hunting out earlier examples, with quotations being supplied from 1873 back to 1859 (two different quotations from different readers). And finally (for now) the expression has been uncovered in The Times of 24 January 1855, citing a debate about the distribution of ‘Crimean medals’ in the House of Lords the previous evening at which the Earl of Ellenborough had said:

“Nor were the services performed by the gallant 93d Regiment..to be forgotten - the services of that ‘thin red line’ which had met and routed the Russian cavalry.”

Unless, of course, you know better.

 

New words

The quarterly batches published on OED Online have two main intersecting aims: to revise thoroughly a section of the alphabet, and to add new entries from across the alphabet. This means that the updates do not cover only a single range, such as March’s Prakrit to prim, but also take a full A to Z sweep of additional items. In this way, the Dictionary is not only revised in the sense of having existing entries improved, but also keeps up to date with new developments and stays at the forefront of recording new vocabulary. Below are a few notes on some items of particular interest this quarter.

Subscribers can follow the links to see the full entries.

ixnay v.

Pig Latin, a systematically altered form of English used as a sort of code, especially by children (commonly produced by transferring the initial consonant or consonant cluster of each word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable, usually /eI/), by its nature tends to give rise to ad-hoc formations with no permanent place in the language; so it is interesting to see the continued use of this word (itself formed on another slang word, nix) back to 1937, fully justifying a place in the Oxford English Dictionary.

n. and adj.

Although much more mundane in derivation, this word is characteristic of a key element of the current release of new and revised material to OED Online, the prefix pre-, which continues to give rise to new formations as rapidly as ever.

ta-da int.

A different sort of interesting etymology: an evocative and familiar word (evocative and familiar enough to form the title of a recent Scissor Sisters album) arising from the noise made by a musical instrument.

virtualize v.

Although one might expect this word to be appearing, associated as it is with computers and 'virtual reality', it's interesting to note that another sense of the word enjoyed years of usage in philosophical circles before the advent of these recent phenomena.

wiki n.

This joins a small but distinguished group of words which are directly or ultimately borrowings into English from Hawaiian. It has been suggested that in some ways the OED itself resembles a wiki: its long tradition of working on collaborative principles means it has welcomed the contribution of information and quotation evidence from the public for over 150 years.

List of new words

  • pranam, n.
  • prang, n.1
  • pranic, adj.
  • pranker, n.2
  • prannet, n.
  • pranny, n.
  • prasinophyte, n.
  • Pratt, n.1
  • pravastatin, n.
  • praziquantel, n.
  • preactivate, v.
  • preactivated, adj.
  • preactivation, n.
  • pre-advised, adj.
  • pre-AIDS, n. and adj.
  • preassumed, adj.
  • Preb., n.
  • prebait, v.
  • prebiotic, n. and adj.2
  • pre-board, v.2
  • preboarding, n.2 and adj.
  • preborn, adj. and n.
  • prebuttal, n.
  • precancel, n.
  • precancel, v.
  • precancellation, n.
  • precancelled | precanceled, adj.
  • prechamber, n.
  • prechordate, n. and adj.
  • precip, n.
  • precipitato, adv., n., and adj.
  • pre-Clovis, adj.
  • precocene, n.
  • pre-code, adj.
  • precode, v.
  • precoded, adj.
  • precognizance, n.
  • precolumn, n. and adj.
  • precoma, n. and adj.
  • pre-Confederation, adj.
  • pre-contact, n. and adj.
  • pre-coordinate, adj.
  • precopulatory, adj.
  • predated, adj.
  • predecessing, adj.
  • predeliberate, v.
  • predoctoral, adj.
  • Pre-Dorset, adj. and n.
  • pre-Dreadnought, adj. and n.
  • pre-drill, v.
  • pre-drilling, n.
  • pre-embryonic, adj.
  • preener, n.
  • pre-exceptional, adj. and adv.
  • pre-exceptionals, adv.
  • prefacing, adj.
  • prefaded, adj.2
  • prefader, adj., n., and adv.
  • pre-feminist, adj.
  • preference, v.
  • preferencing, n.
  • preferendum, n.1
  • preferendum, n.2
  • prefetch, n.
  • prefetch, v.
  • prefetching, n.
  • prefixoid, n.
  • prefocusing, adj.
  • pregnanolone, n.
  • pregnate, v.
  • pregravid, adj. and n.
  • pre-head, n. and adj.
  • pre-imagined, adj.
  • pre-in, n.
  • pre-install, v.
  • pre-intended, adj.
  • pre-interview, adj. and n.
  • preiotated, adj.
  • pre-K, n. and adj.
  • pre-kindergarten, adj. and n.
  • prelingually, adv.
  • pre-loved, adj.
  • premade, adj.
  • premie, n.2
  • premier division, n.
  • première, adj.
  • premier league, n.
  • pre-modernism, n.
  • pre-modernist, adj. and n.
  • premodified, adj.
  • premycotic, adj.
  • prenol, n.
  • pre-nomination, adj.
  • prenup, n.
  • prenyl, n.
  • prenylation, n.
  • preon, n.
  • preoperating, adj.
  • pre-order, n.
  • prep., n.1
  • pre-package, v.
  • prepend, v.2
  • preplace, v.
  • prepondering, adj.2
  • prepone, v.1
  • prepone, v.2
  • pre-press, adj. and n.
  • pre-register, v.
  • Presa Canario, n.
  • pre-sale, adj. and n.2
  • pre-season, adj. and n.
  • presentient, adj.2
  • pre-set, n.
  • presidente, n.
  • presoak, v.
  • presoaking, n.
  • pre-speech, adj. and n.
  • press copying, n.
  • pressé, n.2
  • pressured, adj.
  • pressureless, adj.
  • pressurizer, n.
  • presto change, int., n., adj., and adv.
  • presto changeo, int., adj., n., and adv.
  • preta, n.
  • pretarsus, adj.
  • pretendress, n.
  • pretensioner, n.
  • pre-text, n.3
  • pretextual, adj.
  • Pretorian, adj. and n.
  • prettyprint, v.
  • pretzel, v.
  • pretzelled | pretzeled, adj.
  • prevailancy, adj.
  • prevailant, adj.
  • prevailency, n.
  • prevailent, adj.
  • prevent, n.
  • prevert, n.
  • pre-visualization, n.
  • pre-visualize, v.
  • previtamin, n.
  • pre-warning, adj.
  • pre-wash, v.
  • pre-washed, adj.
  • pre-wire, v.
  • pre-wired, adj.
  • prezactly, adv.
  • Pribnow box, n.
  • pribumi, n. and adj.
  • prill, v.3
  • prilled, adj.
  • prilling, n.
  • Prim, n.6

In addition to these new entries, a number of new subordinate entries were added to existing entries. These included:

  • (Under prancing, adj.)
    • prancingly
  • (Under prat, n.3)
    • prat boy
    • prattish
  • (Under pratique, n.)
    • pratique master
  • (Under prawn, n.)
    • prawn cracker
  • (Under prayer, n.1)
    • prayer cap
    • prayer group
    • prayer leader
  • (Under praying, adj.)
    • praying Indian
    • praying mantid
  • (Under preacher, n.)
    • preacher bench
  • (Under pre-advertise, v.)
    • pre-advertised
  • (Under pre-announce, v.)
    • pre-announced
  • (Under prebiotic, adj.1)
    • prebiotic soup
  • (Under pre-, prefix)
    • pre-baked
    • precompiled
    • prefogged
    • prefogging
    • premastering
    • pre-clearance
    • precoding
    • pre-come
    • pre-ejaculate
    • pre-flash
    • pre-out
    • prepattern
    • pre-roll
    • pretravel
    • pre-carcinogen
    • pre-carcinogenic
    • pre-ceramic
    • precompetitive
    • predecimal
    • pre-electoral
    • pregalactic
    • prehypertension
    • preimmune
    • preinvasive
    • preleukaemia
    • preleukaemic
    • premetamorphic
    • premortal
    • pre-Petrine
    • preproenkephalin
    • preprohormone
    • prequark
    • presupernova
    • pretectonic
    • pre-ulcerous
    • prevocational
    • prezygotic
    • pre-baby
    • pre-close
    • pre-consumer
    • pre-credit
    • pre-IPO
    • pre-main-sequence
    • pre-need
    • prepoll
    • pre-sales
    • precapillary
    • prementum
    • prepontine
    • preboiled
    • pre-booked
    • pre-build
    • pre-built
    • preadvertisement
    • premalignancy
    • pre-bid
  • (Under precautionary, adj. and n.)
    • precautionary principle
    • precautionarily
  • (Under precess, v.)
    • precessing
  • (Under precipice, n.)
    • precipice bond
  • (Under precipitation, n.)
    • precipitation-hardened
  • (Under precision, n. and adj.)
    • precision-guided
    • precision tool
    • precision-tooled
  • (Under preclusion, n.)
    • preclusion order
  • (Under predation, n.)
    • predation pressure
  • (Under predatory, adj.)
    • predatory pricing
  • (Under predial, adj. and n.)
    • predial larceny
    • predial thief
  • (Under predictive, adj.)
    • predictive dialler
    • predictive dialling
    • predictive medicine
    • predictivity
  • (Under pre-drill, v.)
    • pre-drilled
  • (Under pre-engaged, adj.)
    • pre-engaged starter
  • (Under pre-existing, adj.)
    • pre-existing condition
  • (Under preferred, adj. and n.)
    • preferred lie
    • preferred partner
    • preferred provider
    • preferred provider organization
  • (Under prefetch, v.)
    • prefetched
  • (Under preformation, n.)
    • preformationary
  • (Under pregenital, adj.)
    • pregenitality
  • (Under prehistoric, adj. and n.)
    • prehistoric man
  • (Under pre-install, v.)
    • preinstalled
  • (Under pre-kindergarten, adj. and n.)
    • pre-kindergartner
  • (Under premature, adj., adv., and n.)
    • premature ageing
  • (Under premenstrual, adj.)
    • premenstrual syndrome
  • (Under premillennial, adj.)
    • premillennial tension
  • (Under premium, n. and adj.)
    • premium rate
  • (Under preparing, adj.)
    • preparing grace
  • (Under prep, n.3)
    • prep chef
    • prep cook
  • (Under preplace, v.)
    • preplaced
  • (Under prerogative, n.)
    • prerogative of mercy
    • prerogative copyright
  • (Under presbyterial, adj. and n.)
    • presbyterial society
  • (Under presenile, adj.)
    • presenile dementia
  • (Under presentative, adj. and n.)
    • presentative-representative
  • (Under present, adj. and adv.)
    • present participle
  • (Under present, n.2)
    • present-silver
  • (Under preserved, adj.)
    • preserved pension
  • (Under preserving, n.)
    • preserving glass
  • (Under preset, v.)
    • presettable
  • (Under president, n.)
    • president-for-life
  • (Under presidential, adj.)
    • presidential year
    • presidential year
  • (Under press, n.1)
    • press brake
    • press aide
    • press association
    • Press Bureau
    • press handout
    • press junket
    • press person
    • press-shy
  • (Under pressure, n.1)
    • pressure angle
    • pressure balance
    • pressure bomb
    • pressure cap
    • pressure crack
    • pressure ice
    • pressure-log
    • pressure palsy
    • pressure release
    • pressure release valve
    • pressure relief
    • pressure relief valve
    • pressure switch
    • pressure washer
  • (Under presumption, n.)
    • presumption of innocence
  • (Under pretermitted, adj.)
    • pretermitted custom
  • (Under pretextual, adj.)
    • pretextual arrest
  • (Under prettyprint, v.)
    • prettyprinter
    • prettyprinted
    • prettyprinting
  • (Under prevent, v.)
    • prevent defence
    • prevent zone
  • (Under preventing, adj.)
    • preventing grace
  • (Under preventive, adj. and n.)
    • preventive custody
    • preventive diplomacy
  • (Under preview, v.)
    • previewing
  • (Under price, n.)
    • price band
    • price book
    • price buster
    • price cap
    • price capping
    • price code
    • price commission
    • price-driven
    • price fix
    • price lining
    • price-maker
    • price point
    • price relative
    • price-taker
    • price bracket
    • price increase
    • price label
    • price setter
    • price sticker
  • (Under prick, n.)
    • a spare prick (at a wedding)
    • prick-bar
    • prick test
  • (Under prickle, n.1)
    • prickle-machine
  • (Under prickly, adj.)
    • prickly comfrey
    • prickly glasswort
    • prickly saltwort
    • prickly sculpin
    • prickly shield fern
    • prickly tang
    • prickly-leaved
  • (Under prim, adj.)
    • prim and proper

Out-of-sequence new entries

15 March 2007 also saw the publication of the the following new entries from across the alphabet:

  • adobo, n.
  • allophone, n.2
  • andrology, n.
  • Anglais, n.
  • antivenom, n.
  • archicerebellar, adj.
  • archicerebellum, n.
  • arch-rival, n.
  • asswipe, n.
  • asystolic, adj.
  • bad boy, n.
  • bad girl, n.
  • Bangla, n. and adj.
  • bathorhodopsin, n.
  • begrudger, n.
  • bench press, n.
  • bench press, v.
  • Bikram, n.
  • Bikram yoga, n.
  • bimbette, n.
  • blokey, adj.
  • blondie, n. and adj.
  • boardercross, n.
  • Bryophyta, n.
  • cannonball, v.
  • Cantopop, n.
  • capoeira, n.
  • capoeirista, n.
  • caramelized, adj.
  • cardiothoracic, adj.
  • Chaumes, n.
  • chef, v.
  • cheffing, n.
  • chelicerate, adj. and n.
  • chrysomelid, n. and adj.
  • citron pressé, n.
  • claymation, n.
  • couply, adj.
  • crème fraîche, n.
  • cryptozoological, adj.
  • cryptozoology, n.
  • C-section, n.
  • cuneus, n.
  • différance, n.
  • Dijon, n.
  • djembe, n.
  • dog pile, n.
  • dog-pile, v.
  • durene, n.
  • edamame, n.
  • exaptation, n.
  • facety, adj.
  • facey, adj.
  • fricking, adj. and adv.
  • fuck-off, n.
  • fusilli, n.
  • garburator, n.
  • ghaghra, n.
  • gilia, n.
  • go-fast, adj.
  • go-faster, adj.
  • gold star, n. and adj.
  • hair band, n.2
  • Herbert, n.
  • high profile, adj. and n.
  • hijab, n.
  • hormesis, n.
  • Infobahn, n.
  • ipsative, adj.
  • irritainment, n.
  • ixnay, v.
  • ixnay, adv. (and int.)
  • jaffle, n.
  • Jua Kali, n.
  • kheer, n.
  • kiasu, n. and adj.
  • klezmer, n. and adj.
  • Kumina, n.
  • lactotroph, n.
  • leccy, n.
  • leccy, adj.
  • lightstick, n.
  • livebearer, n.
  • malware, n.
  • non-precedential, adj.
  • pig pile, n.
  • pig-pile, v.
  • ponzu, n.
  • prechordate, n. and adj.
  • RICO, n. and adj.
  • sangeet, n.
  • scooby, n.
  • Shaolin, n.
  • shit-eater, n.
  • snakehead, n.2
  • stylee, n.
  • ta-da, int.
  • Tae-Bo, n.
  • technopreneur, n.
  • telomerase, n.
  • tighty-whities, n.
  • Tohono O'odham, adj. and n.
  • toodles, int.
  • toro, n.2
  • trepidatious, adj.
  • tweener, n.
  • undelete, n.
  • undelete, v.
  • undeleted, adj.
  • up-armoured | up-armored, adj.
  • upsell, v.
  • upselling, n.
  • Vajrayana, n.
  • vid, n.
  • virtualize, v.
  • Wagyu, n.
  • wiki, n.
  • yuzu, n.
  • zip, n.3
  • zipperhead, n.

In addition to these new entries, the following out-of-sequence subordinate entries were added:

  • (Under Afro, adj. and n.)
    • Afrobeat
    • Afropop
  • (Under average, adj.)
    • average Joe
  • (Under basal, adj. and n.)
    • basal pinacoid
  • (Under big, adj.)
    • big enchilada
  • (Under blood, n.)
    • blood-chilling
  • (Under bottom, n.)
    • bottom feeder
    • bottom-feeding
  • (Under buzz, n.1)
    • buzzkill
  • (Under candy, n.1)
    • candy bar
  • (Under chase, n.1)
    • chase scene
  • (Under commensal, adj. and n.)
    • commensally
  • (Under cut, adj.)
    • cut lunch
  • (Under cyto-, comb. form)
    • cytoplasmic inheritance
  • (Under dilation, n.2)
    • dilation and evacuation
  • (Under dime, n.)
    • dime bag
    • dime note
  • (Under drag, n.)
    • drag king
  • (Under drinking, n.)
    • drinking game
  • (Under English, adj. and n.)
    • English mustard
  • (Under faith, n.)
    • faith-based
  • (Under false, adj., adv., and n.)
    • false molar
  • (Under French, adj. and n.)
    • French mustard
  • (Under game, n.)
    • game face
    • to have on one's game face
  • (Under H, n.)
    • HDTV
  • (Under hæmo- | hemo- | hæm- | hem-, comb. form)
    • haemopneumothorax
  • (Under I, n.)
    • IDP
  • (Under intact, adj.)
    • intact dilation and evacuation
  • (Under Jell-o | Jello, n.)
    • Jello shot
  • (Under kangaroo, n.)
    • kangaroo care
  • (Under liquid, adj. and n.)
    • liquid smoke
  • (Under reflex, n.)
    • reflex hammer
  • (Under sandwich, n.2)
    • sandwich cookie
  • (Under service, n.1)
    • service flag
  • (Under shady, adj.)
    • shadily
  • (Under slog, n.)
    • slog-sweep
  • (Under soul, n.)
    • soul patch
  • (Under sweet, adj. and adv.)
    • sweet bursaria
  • (Under sword, n.)
    • sword-tail
  • (Under tax, n.1)
    • tax preparer
  • (Under technical, adj. (and n.))
    • technical area
  • (Under tilt, n.2)
    • tilt switch
  • (Under trap, n.1)
    • trap play
  • (Under triple, adj. (and adv.))
    • triple sec
  • (Under whammy, n.)
    • whammy bar
  • (Under whole, adj., n., and adv.)
    • whole enchilada

Finally, new meanings were added to the following entries:

  • ahead, adv. (and prep.)
  • alley, n.
  • ambient, adj. and n.
  • apple, n.
  • aviator, n.
  • back, n.1
  • back-hand, v.
  • bad, adj., n., and adv.
  • baggie, n.
  • band, n.2
  • banging, adj.
  • bring, v.
  • cannon-ball, n.
  • catcall, n.
  • centred | centered, adj.
  • closure, n.
  • cross, v.
  • cross-over, n.
  • dime, n.
  • eat, v.
  • embed | imbed, v.
  • escort, n.
  • excite, v.
  • excited, adj.
  • fatigue, n.
  • flamer, n.
  • flaming, adj.
  • float, v.
  • giggle, n.
  • guilt, v.
  • heirloom, n.
  • hormetic, adj.
  • hot spot, n.
  • ice, v.
  • icing, n.
  • internally, adv.
  • leggings, n.
  • lighten, v.1
  • see, v.
  • signify, v.
  • slide, n.
  • spectroscopic, adj.
  • stroker, n.
  • stuff, v.1
  • stuffing, n.
  • suck, v.
  • take-away, n. and adj.
  • thing, n.1
  • trap, n.1
  • well, v.1
  • window, n.