PARENTS

Mums And Dads Invited To Contribute New Parenting Words To The Oxford English Dictionary

What words would you add?

02/03/2017 13:38 GMT

Parents around the UK are being invited to contribute to the Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) research into the language of parenting. 

Users of the parenting site Mumsnet, will have the opportunity to tell the OED, on a forum, about parenting terms they regularly use.

Editors hope that this will help them to improve the dictionary’s coverage of the vast language of pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and childcare.

“Every parent knows that when you have a child you also begin to speak another language,” said Fi Mooring, senior editor on the OED.

“It’s not just baby talk; there’s a whole new vocabulary to be learned, from labour and childbirth procedures to words describing how to wean your infant.” 

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A spokesperson for OED told The Huffington Post UK words such as rainbow baby, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), TTC (trying-to-conceive), baby-led-weaning and babymoon have already come to their attention.

However, no official decisions have been made about what will be included.

We think common Mumsnet acronyms could also be on the list of suggestions, including BF for breastfeeding, CC for controlled crying and EMCS for emergency caesarean. 

Mooring added: “Many of these terms - which quickly become the stuff of everyday communication for millions of parents - are relatively recent coinages, so weren’t included in earlier editions of the OED.”

Mumsnet users will have free online access to the OED throughout March 2017. The dictionary editors will consider any pregnancy, childbirth, parenting or childcare term that users think is important and which is not yet in the OED.

As with all candidates for inclusion in the dictionary, suggestions by Mumsnet users will go through an assessment process to review how long, how frequently, and how widely a word has been used.

The OED is revised regularly with quarterly updates published online, and editors sometimes focus on vocabulary within a particular subject area, in order to identify any gaps or developments. 

The first added words on the theme of pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, and childcare will be published online in December 2017.

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