The term “Brexit” has been around for less than five years. But after the 2016 vote for Britain to exit the European Union, the Oxford English Dictionary decided the word earned an official place in its tome.
The “definitive record of the English language” published a December update on Thursday, announcing the inclusion of “Brexit,” along with its Greek equivalent “Grexit”, “glam-ma,” “verklempt” and more.
“Brexit’s inclusion in the OED December update within five years of being coined is highly unusual,” wrote OED senior editor Craig Leyland. “The speed with which it became widely used and recognized was impressive, fuelled by the fact it filled an empty space in our language, and the growing importance of the phenomenon it described.”
The word went global in 2016, as newspapers around the world used the term to describe the referendum, knowing readers would understand its meaning regardless of their speaking languages, Leyland added.
The dictionary’s official definition of the noun is, “the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it.”
The December update also included Grexit, defined as “a term for the potential withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone monetary union.”
Other new favorites include glam-ma ― a glamorous grandma ― and verklempt, the Yiddish word defined as “overwhelmed by emotion.”
Head over to OED’s website to see the full list of new words.