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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Any Coincidence? 'Bikini Wax' and 'Comeback Kid' (Bill Clinton) Enter OED Today

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Wonder if the Oxford dons/lexicographers who keep track of the mother tongue see any irony? The Oxford English Dictionary updated its online version today with 2,700 new words, including ''comeback kid," and "bikini wax." Thus, President Clinton's political nickname has entered the lexicographic Big Leagues alongside a word coined to describe the action of gussying up a human female's nether region.

Somehow, it seems an appropriate action, considering the former ladiesman-in-chief's undisputed interest in such anatomical destinations.

Other words that went in this week are "chill pill," "islamofacism," "sleeper cell" and "scratch and sniff.''

Jesse Sheidlower, the editor in chief, said "Our editors are constantly going through the entire alphabet bit by bit, writing new entries and revising existing ones in order to stay current. It's a massive job and will take years, if not decades, to complete -- at which point we'll start over again."

The dictionary publisher's announcement of the latest updates points out that the English language changes and evolves constantly. CNN's news archives from 2001 recount how Clinton's New Hampshire presidential primary showing placed him on the road to the White House. As governor of Arkansas, Clinton was battling allegations of marital infidelity. He won the primary and earned his sobriquet.

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