August 28, 2013 10:11
'Twerking' added to Oxford English Dictionary
Raunchy dance move 'generated enough currency' to merit inclusion
The raunchy dance move, which has hit the headlines in recent days due to Miley Cyrus's much-discussed performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, is one of several new words which have been added as part of the dictionary's quarterly update. Other new inclusions include 'omnishambles', which was made famous by sitcom The Thick Of It, and 'selfie'.
Speaking about the decision to recognise the term twerking, Oxford Dictionaries' Katherine Connor Martin told the BBC: "By last year, it had generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list, and by the spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English."
Martin, who said that the word twerk had already been a part of hip-hop culture in the US for 20 years, added: "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. The current public reaction to twerking is reminiscent in some ways of how the twisting craze was regarded in the early 1960s, when it was first popularised by Chubby Checker's song, 'The Twist'."
Cyrus' twerk-happy performance has sparked mass debate around the craze. During a medley of her recent Number One hit 'We Can't Stop' and Robin Thicke's singles 'Blurred Lines' and 'Give It 2 U', Cyrus stripped down to a flesh-coloured bikini and was seen pointing at Thicke's crotch with a foam finger before twerking provocatively against the front of Thicke's striped trousers.
Her performance prompted criticism from America's Parents Television Council (PTC), who said: "MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-coloured bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"
Yesterday (August 26), meanwhile, Diplo revealed he wants to break the world twerking record this weekend. The Major Lazer man is looking to recruit dancers to take part in his 'Twerk Wall' at the Electric Zoo festival in New York, which takes place from August 31 to September 1. He has put out a request to "butts around the world" to help him claim the "world record of having the most people twerking at the same time".
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