Vuvuzela?  Staycation?  Toxic debt?  Fussbudget?  National Treasure?  Social media?  Defriend?  Exit Strategy? What do these words have in common?

Answer: They are among the 2,000 new words that recently have been added to the Oxford Dictionary of English (note: not the Oxford English Dictionary).

A “vuvuzela” is the musical instrument that gained fame or notoriety during the World Cup games.  From our economic hard times come “toxic debt” -debt that has a high risk of default, and “staycation” -a holiday spent at home.  A “fussbudget” (we all know one of those fussy people who obsess over everything!)  and who would probably not be a candidate  as a “National Treasure” – someone or something that represents a nation’s cultural heritage. From the realm of social networking come “social media” and “defriend”.  And foreign policy gives us “exit strategy”.

Isn’t it amazing how our language changes and how all aspects of life contribute to its growth?   If you would like to see more, a list of the new words can be found at Time magazine’s website.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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