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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

American Heritage Makes Some Hefty Additions

Get Wordified (not yet in the new dictionary)! This is Robin Young's portrait, as generated by the American Heritage Dictionary's Web site "You Are Your Words."

Get Wordified (not yet in the new dictionary)! This is Robin Young's portrait, as generated by the American Heritage Dictionary's Web site "You Are Your Words."

Ten years in the making, weighing in at seven and a half pounds, with 10,000 new words on its 2,084 pages, the Fifth Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language hits bookstores this week.

In addition to the print dictionary, costing about $60, the dictionary is also available as an iPhone app and online.

Some of the new words you’ll find:

back•ro•nym (băk’rə-nĭm′)
n.
An acronym coined from an existing word or name. For example, wiki is a backronym when used for what I know is because wiki is a word whose original meaning is “collaborative website.”

egg•corn (ĕg ′ kôrn)
n.
A series of words that result from the misunderstanding of a word or phrase as some other word or phrase having a plausible explanation, as free reign for free rein, or to the manor born for to the manner born (from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet).

ol•lie (ŏl′ē)
n. 1. A skateboarding maneuver in which the rider lifts the board into the air by pressing down on it with the rear foot, raising the front foot, and then raising the rear foot.
2.
A similar maneuver in snowboarding in which the rider lifts the front foot and then the rear foot to spring into the air without going off a ramp.

u•vu•lo•pal•a•to•pha•ryn•go•pla•sty (yvyə-lō-pălə-tō-fə-rĭng′gə-plăstē)
n.
A surgical procedure for treating severe obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airway at the back of the throat is widened by the removal of excess soft tissue including the uvula, tonsils, and part of the soft palate.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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