Roald Dahl and the Additions to the Dictionary

roald-dahl1Well this is fun! Just a few days after I made my last post in which I mused over who would be the next great influence on our language, the Oxford English Dictionary has announced the addition of several words coined by author Roald Dahl.

Revised entries in this range include those for words which many of us encountered for the first time in his books for children (such as the adjectives frightsome, scrummy, scrumptious, and splendiferous, and splendiferousness). The entry for gremlin has received careful attention from the OED‘s researchers, editors, and etymologists, none of whom (following the instructions in Joe Dante’s 1984 film about a very specific later incarnation of these creations) got the entry wet, exposed it to bright light, or added any quotations to it after midnight.

Other entries include Dahlesque, Golden ticket, Oompa Loompa, and a few more.

Although these additions to the Oxford English Dictionary (officially named the Oxford’s Roald Dahl Dictionary) are relatively small in comparison to the contributions of some like Shakespeare, that’s what we ought to be expect at this point it time isn’t it. Incremental change is the name of the game, at least until something comes along and smashes it all to bits.

Oxford makes quarterly updates to their famous dictionary. It’ll be interesting to see what they add in December!



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