'Adorkable,' anyone? Tweet a new word into the dictionary

Collins English Dictionary turns to the collective wisdom of Twitter to pick a new word for its next edition.

Dog with an iPad
Dog + iPad = adorkable. Amanda Kooser/CNET

The Oxford English Dictionary made news late last year by naming "selfie" as its official word of the year. Not to be outdone, the Collins English Dictionary wants to promote one word from popular Internet use into its mainstream dictionary, and it's letting word fans decide.

Collins has called for a Twitter vote to pick a new word. There are nine candidates up for vote: adorkable, fatberg, gaybourhood, felfie, duckface, vaguebooking, fracktivist, Euromaidan, and nomakeupselfie. Here's a quick refresher on what those words mean:

Adorkable: adorable and dorky all at once.

Fatberg: A collection of fat and grease large enough to threaten the Titanic. Known to haunt sewer systems and cause blockages.

Gaybourhood: A gay-friendly neighborhood.

Felfie: A farmer-selfie. Yes, apparently this really exists.

Duckface: Squeezing your lips together to make a duck-like expression. Often appears in selfies. May be accompanied by sucking in your cheeks.

Vaguebooking: Posting up vague missives on Facebook or other social media platforms. For example, writing a status update that reads "Great sorrow cast upon my shoulders today..." with no further explanation.

Fractivist: Anti-fracking activist.

Euromaidan: The name given to pro-Europe protests in the Ukraine.

Nomakeupselfie: A selfie taken without makeup, sometimes as a charity-related endeavor.

Votes will be tallied from the number of tweets that include those words as hashtags. In the spirit of creating new words from old ones, Collins is calling this project a "Twictionary." Voting continues through May 28.

Personally, I'm rooting for "felfie," just because it's strange and the most likely to create confusion in future generations long after the whole selfie craze has died down. However, I'm guessing "adorkable" will have the highest degree of name recognition. If I were a betting woman, I would expect "adorkable" to take the win.

(Via The Telegraph)

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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