How to Use Oxford Dictionary’s New Words in Boston

Oxford Dictionary has added words like "YOLO," "bro hug," and "cray" to their dictionary this month. Here are some ways to use these new terms—locally.

A few times a year, the Oxford Dictionary announces that it’s officially added a bunch of new words to its endless database. But actually, the announcement more or less just serves to shock the American people with how much we’ve butchered the English language since the birth of the Internet and/or millennials.

This month, the Oxford Dictionary added words like “catfish,” “YOLO,” “fratty,” “amazeballs,” and more. As if none of us don’t know what these terms actually mean, we took a second to give them some local context—with some extra help from Time’s extra detailed definitions, too.

Ready? Here we go.


amazeballs (adj.): very impressive, enjoyable, or attractive.

Living legend and ex-boyfriend-bashing extraordinaire Taylor Swift stopped by Boston Children’s Hospital earlier this month to pay a visit to some patients. She took pictures with them, sang to them, and even sang with them. T-Swift, that’s what I call amazeballs.


bro hug (n.): a friendly embrace between two men.

Here is David Ortiz doing a Red Sox version of a bro hug with Koji Uehara.




cray (adj.): crazy, but without that time-consuming extra syllable.

That time an axe flew through a person’s windshield on the I-95. WTF, that was cray, amirite?

Image courtesy of Mass. State Police

Image courtesy of Mass. State Police


douchebaggery (n.): obnoxious or contemptible behavior.

This Newburyport doc recently said Michelle Obama needs to “lose a few” on Fox News. Low blow, dude, low blow.


fandom (n.): the fans of a particular person, team, series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.

Well, we all know what it’s like to be a Boston sports fan. Our fandoms are not exactly well-liked—although, we aren’t the most hated fans in the country now, are we? (Hey, Yankees!) A prime example of what a Boston sports fandom is like can be found in this very video of a Red Sox fan’s response to the Derek Jeter commercial. We’re one of a kind, and we like it that way. Also, in a different context, One Direction was here last week and their fandom is a phenomenon within itself (also see: “cray”).

Screenshot via YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube


FML (abbrev.): (vulgar slang) f— my life! (used to express dismay at a frustrating personal situation)

Last month, a truck just casually crashed into Boston Common over near Beacon Hill. I mean, talk about a frustrating personal situation. Nobody was hurt, but at least we got a few Transformers jokes out of it.

Photo Courtesy of JP Lowenthal on twitter

Photo Courtesy of JP Lowenthal on twitter


hot mess (n.): a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered.

We’ve all heard of Southie Rules. #ICYMI, this was A&E’s wicked-awful scripted show about a family living in Southie doing things that no normal and/or sane human would do. The show was the biggest hot mess, in its purest form, that television has ever seen since Bad Girls Club. But then VH1 came along with a new disaster of a reality show about Boston called Wicked Single because VH1 hates you.




ICYMI (abbrev.): in case you missed it.

In case you missed it (but you absolutely, most definitely did not miss it), everyone and their mother’s lapdog is doing the #IceBucketChallenge. That includes Marty Walsh, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, and even one of our own Boston writers. But like I said, if you missed it, you’re definitely not doing the Internet right.


Boston Magazine


neckbeard (n.): growth of hair on a man’s neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming.

Although the #GetBeard era is basically over, the best way to describe neckbeard in Boston is obviously in the context of the Red Sox.


throw shade (phr.): publicly criticize or express contempt for someone.

WEEI’s Kirk Minihane threw mad shade at sports journalist Erin Andrews a few weeks ago, and the media was just not having it. He said, “What a bitch. I hate her. What a gutless bitch. Seriously, go away. Drop dead. I mean seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?” Haters gon’ hate, my friends.


YOLO (abbrev.): you only live once (expressing the view that one should make the most of the present moment).

#FBF to that time Mayor Menino just didn’t care what anyone thought anymore. Menino to journalist: “What! I don’t care anymore. I can do anything I want. Anything you say about me, who cares?” #YOLO