The Simpsons help get new word “meh” into the Oxford English Dictionary

OED experts say the show popularised the word, which is joined by 500 new entries also including 'twitterati', 'twerk', 'fo’ shizzle' and 'hot mess'

It may be an expression indicating indifference or a lack of enthusiasm but we’re pretty excited by the news that the word “meh” has finally made it into the Oxford English Dictionary – with a little help from Homer Simpson and co.


“Meh” is one of 500 new entries in the dictionary and although it was already in use online in 1992 – two years before first featuring in the show – OED experts admit it “was probably popularized by the cartoon series The Simpsons”, which must call for a celebratory Duff beer.

It takes at least ten years of common usage before the Oxford English Dictionary will consider a word for inclusion but another of the “new” entries has actually been around for almost 200 years.

Despite the widespread view that it began with Miley Cyrus circa 2013, the word “twerk” (originally spelled twirk) was actually in use as an English noun by 1820.

Back then it meant simply ‘a twisting or jerking movement; a twitch’, with its current spelling coming in around 1900 and the modern meaning of ‘a type of dancing which emphasizes the performer’s posterior’ having its roots in 1990s New Orleans ‘bounce’ music scene. Sorry Miley.


Also on the list of new entries is ‘twitterati’ – referring collectively to users of the social networking site, and especially those with high numbers of followers – ‘webisode’, “a short video, especially an instalment in a drama or comedy series, which is presented online rather than being broadcast on television”, ‘fo’ shizzle’, short for “for sure” and ‘hot mess’, which has changed meaning from a warm meal to “a slang term for something or someone in extreme confusion or disorder”. Not unlike Homer Simpson…