‘Woke’ and ‘post-truth’ added to Oxford English Dictionary

The OED says 'woke' refers "to being 'aware' or 'well informed' in a political or cultural sense", while 'post-truth' was 2016's word of the year

The Oxford English Dictionary has revealed details of its latest update, with the words ‘woke’ and ‘post-truth’ among the most high-profile new additions.

The two new words enter the renowned reference book after taking on substantial meaning and usage following the political and social events of last year, with ‘post-truth’ in particular recognised as the ‘word of the year’ in 2016.

According to the OED, ‘woke”s inclusion is due to its “extension figuratively to refer to being ‘aware’ or ‘well informed’ in a political or cultural sense.”

Discussing ‘woke”s inclusion in their latest update, the OED referred to the likes of the Black Lives Matter movement in terms of the word’s increased significance in recent times.

“In the past decade, that meaning [of woke] has been catapulted into mainstream use with a particular nuance of ‘alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice’, popularised through the lyrics of the 2008 song ‘Master Teacher’ by Erykah Badu, in which the words ‘I stay woke‘ serve as a refrain, and more recently through its association with the Black Lives Matter movement, especially on social media.”

‘Post-truth’, meanwhile, is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

Earlier this month, the word ‘Stan’ also entered the Oxford English Dictionary – a word coined by Eminem in the 2000 song of the same name.