Zeitgeist 101: ‘Twerking’ and ‘Selfie’ Officially Added to the Oxford Dictionary

Meghan Blalock

miley cyrus twerking

Let’s make one thing clear: twerking existed long before Miley Cyrus started doing it. But there’s no doubt she brought the gyrating dance into the mainstream, and now Miley has done for “twerking” what Beyoncé did for “bootylicious”: The term has officially been added to the Oxford dictionary.

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“To dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance,” was one of 65 new words added to the dictionary in the just-announced quarterly update, alongside another popular cultural term of the moment, “selfie.”

Too bad it took the appropriation of Miley Cyrus for the folks over at Oxford to deem the word worthy of its own entry considering hip-hop folks have been twerking for ages, but nonetheless: it’s arrived. Along with some other trés zeitgeist-y terms like “badassery,” “jorts,” and even the modern tech-y term “bitcoin.” Don’t know what those mean? Look ’em up.

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Head over to Oxford’s blog to see the full list now.