Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Meet the new last word in English: zyzzyva

Meet the new last word in English: zyzzyva

"The original meaning of adjectival woke (and earlier woke up) was simply "awake", but by the mid-20th century, woke had been extended figuratively to refer to being "aware" or "well informed" in a political or cultural sense", Oxford explains.

If you need to look up any of those words, the unofficial custodian of the English language now has the answers.

Wading into the political waters, the Oxford English Dictionary announced it will be including the words "woke" and "post-truth" in its latest update.

Zyzzyva's first use is understood to have been by entomologist Thomas Lincoln Casey Jr in a book that was published in 1922.

The new word replaces zythum, which is an ancient Egyptian malt beer.

"In any case, zyzzyva owes much of its currency in English to its notoriety as the last entry in various dictionaries, the ranks of which now include the OED", it said.

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"Post-truth" has been chosen as the OED's word of 2016 - to reflect a year that included political shocks such as the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union and the U.S. election of President Donald Trump.

Following this update, there is now a new word at the end of the dictionary.

In addition to those two words, the word "thing" was given a new meaning as "a genuine or established phenomenon or practice".

Fans of television series The West Wing may be pleased to hear that "thing" is now a thing.

There are also 50 new terms relating to tennis, such as "tennis mom" and "tennis dad" to describe parents who encourage their children to play the sport. It also included doenjang, a paste made from fermented soya beans used in Korean cookery.

A gin daisy is a cocktail made with gin, lemon juice and (usually) grenadine. If you're wondering what could possibly come after, you'll want to sound and spell this one out.

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