Air Fryers and Porch Pirates: Here Are 20 of the Oxford English Dictionary’s Nearly 700 New Entries

There are some good ones—we pinkie promise.
There are some good ones—we pinkie promise. / Danil Rudenko/EyeEm/Getty Images (Background); CSA Images/Getty Images (Book)

A word doesn’t need a centuries-old history or some lofty Latin pedigree to end up in the Oxford English Dictionary. It just needs to have been around long enough and used frequently enough for lexicographers to recognize that it is—slang or not—part of the English language.

This month, nearly 700 new terms made the grade. Some are completely new entries—like CODA, “a person who has one or more parents or guardians who are deaf or hard of hearing.” The acronym originally referred to the organization Children of Deaf Adults, formed in 1983, but has since broadened in usage and popularity, helped in part by the success of the 2022 Oscar Best Picture winner, CODA.

But not all the “new” terms are quite so modern. Aestel, for example, first showed up in King Alfred’s preface to his 9th-century translation of Pastoral Care, a tome by Pope Gregory I that dates back to the 6th century. Though we technically still don’t know for sure what it means, it’s “now frequently considered to be a pointer, or handle for a pointer, used to follow along or keep one’s place when reading a manuscript,” per the OED.

Other terms have been slotted beneath pre-existing entries. Air fryer, for example, is one of many phrases found on the air page; and tailgate now has a section devoted to tailgate party. Final has one for final girl, which, for non-horror fans, describes the archetypal female character—usually clever and virtuous—who outlasts everyone else in a horror film.

See some of the other new additions below, and learn more about the update here.

  1. aestel: “an artefact ... now frequently considered to be a pointer, or handle for a pointer, used to follow along or keep one's place when reading a manuscript”
  2. agrivoltaics: “the simultaneous use of an area of land for farming and for electricity generation using photovoltaic solar panels”
  3. air fryer: “a small convection oven, typically used to fry foods using very little oil”
  4. Captain Obvious: “(a sarcastic or disparaging name for) someone who makes an obvious or superfluous statement”
  5. CODA: “a person who has one or more parents or guardians who are deaf or hard of hearing”
  6. crash diet: “a diet intended to result in a very rapid weight loss through severe restrictions on calorie intake over a relatively short period of time”
  7. dap: “a casual gesture of greeting, acknowledgement, or affirmation, typically involving slapping palms, bumping fists, or snapping fingers”
  8. final girl: “a stock female character who survives to defeat or evade the attacker after the other characters have been killed, and who is typically portrayed as intelligent, serious, cautious, and chaste”
  9. halfsies: “halves; two equal shares or parts”
  10. jag: Scottish term for “a hypodermic injection, esp. a vaccination”
  11. keep cup: “a reusable cup”
  12. mononym: “a one-word name ... by which someone, esp. a celebrity, is known”
  13. parasocial: “designating a relationship characterized by the one-sided, unreciprocated sense of intimacy felt ... for a well-known or prominent figure”
  14. pinkie promise: “a promise made while linking one's little finger with that of another person, and regarded as especially binding or sincere”
  15. porch pirate: “a person who steals parcels that have been delivered and left unattended outside the intended recipient's home, business, etc.”
  16. sh**housery: “something regarded as despicable, unacceptable, or bad”
  17. superyacht: “an exceptionally large or powerful yacht”
  18. tailgate party: “a party typically held in the car park of a stadium before a sports event ... at which food and drink are served at the open tailgate of a motor vehicle”
  19. tallywacker: “the penis” or “a stupid, annoying, or otherwise objectionable person (esp. a man)”
  20. textspeak: “language regarded as characteristic of text messaging and other forms of electronic communication, often consisting of abbreviations, acronyms, emoticons or emojis, etc.”