24 March 2019
"Surfing the internet can be a colossal time suck." Photo: Bloomberg
"Surfing the internet can be a colossal time suck." Photo: Bloomberg

Somebody may want to “ship” you two for a good cause

When you hear a friend say she is “shipping” you and another friend, she doesn’t mean she will send you two away by sea.

The word’s relationship-linked meaning has just been officially recognized by the Oxford Dictionary in its latest edition.

“Ship” is short for relationship, and refers to “a romantic relationship between two characters in a fictional series, though often one that is supported by fans rather than depicted in the series itself”.

It could be used both as a noun or a verb. For example, most “shippers” want to “ship Sherlock Holmes and Molly Hooper” in the Sherlock Holmes TV series.

The Oxford Dictionary also adds a new meaning to the far-from-new word “thing”. Describing something as a thing is now used informally to indicate that something is “an established or genuine phenomenon or practice, often registering surprise or incredulity”.

For example, when a person tells you somebody looks like he’s wearing boxers underneath his trunks, you may respond by saying “Is that a thing?”

“Time suck” has also received Oxford’s blessing. It figuratively means to suck up time. Example: “Surfing the internet can be a colossal time suck.”

Several words from the world of cycling are included in the dictionary’s May update. The adjective “bikeable” is used to describe an environment which is suitable or safe for cyclists, while “sportive”, “gran fondo” and “audax” can now be used to refer to a long-distance road cycling event.

For food, “white pizza” now means a pizza without tomato sauce, and “omakase” is a meal consisting of dishes selected by a chef in a Japanese restaurant. The word “snacky” can now be used to describe the food suitable for eating between meals, and also to mean slightly hungry.

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight reporter

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe