It’s Official: Budgie Smugglers Enters the Dictionary

Use a slang or colloquial term enough, maybe it’ll go mainstream. Then if that happens, it could become a proper word, so to speak, officially recognised by dictionaries. At which point, those who originally used it will probably stop using it, even as the rest of the population hitches a ride on the bandwagon. Thumbing through it like the secret thesaurus of a cunning linguist. This has now happened for the phrase-cum-word “budgie smugglers” which has been in use in Australia since roughly the 1990s, being officially recognised and included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as a sub-entry in the new words list June 2016. With budgie smugglers now officially in the dictionary, as opposed to the dictionary being in the budgie smugglers (usually sneakily so around aquatic spelling bees), it doesn’t take much to define that it could be somewhat disturbing. Whether it has something to do with ...

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French Baccalaureat Students Not Coping with the Word “Coping” in Exam

Students sitting the French Baccalauréat (Bac), which marks the end of high school, were left more than a bit perturbed by the word “coping” in the English exam. Apparently that one word made the exam impossible. In le Bac, in Question M, French pupils were presented with a passage from Atonement (2001) by Ian McEwan. They were then asked two questions about one of the book’s characters, Robbie Turner: What are three of his concerns about the situation? How is Turner coping with the situation? It turns out the word “coping” was the veritable Waterloo for many French students. With many pupils subsequently taking to social media with #BacAnglais with claims of sacrebleu, but in words the French actually use. One student even went so far as to create an online petition to cancel the Question M. So far, it’s still short of its 15,000 signatures goal. Which may be ...

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