'Twerking' bounces into Oxford dictionary - KMSP-TV

'Twerking' bounces into Oxford dictionary

Posted: Updated:
LONDON (AP) -

Twerking, the rump-busting up-and-down dance move long beloved on America's hip-hop scene, has officially gone mainstream. It's got the English dictionary entry to prove it.

Britain's Oxford Dictionaries said the rapid-fire gyrations employed by U.S. pop starlet Miley Cyrus to bounce her way to the top of the charts had become increasingly visible in the past 12 months and would be added to its publications under the entry: "Twerk, verb."

Although Cyrus's eye-popping moves at Monday's MTV Video Music Awards may have been many viewers' first introduction to the practice, Oxford Dictionaries' Katherine Connor Martin said "twerking" was some two decades old.

"There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure," Martin said. "We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to 'work it.' The 't' could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch."

"Twerk" will be added to the dictionary as part of its quarterly update, which includes words such as "selfie," the word typically used to describe pouty smartphone self-portraits, "digital detox" for time spent way from Facebook and Twitter, and "Bitcoin," for the nationless electronic currency whose gyrations have also caught the world's eye.

Oxford Dictionaries is responsible for a range of reference works, including Oxford Dictionaries Online, which focuses on modern usage, and the historically-focused Oxford English Dictionary, which probably won't be adding "twerk" to its venerable pages any time soon.

The definition: "Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."

___

Online:

http://oxforddictionaries.com/

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:58:51 GMT
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices