How are new words added to the lexicon?
The coming months are going to see a lot of football chatter, thanks to the World Cup in Qatar. It’s time to brush up on your gaming lingo. Even the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is catching up. As part of its quarterly update, the dictionary has recognized two iconic footballing phrases given to us by two of its most influential managers – Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Ferguson’s ‘squeaky bum time’ and Mourinho’s ‘park the bus’ are two of 15 football-related terms now found in the dictionary.
“While the OED already covered a slew of footballing terms, from catenaccio to nutmeg to water carrier, this batch of selected additions fills in some gaps in our training,” the dictionary said. in a press release.
What does “squeaky ass time” even mean?
The term was coined in 2003 during a press conference when Ferguson, then manager of Manchester United football club, was looking to put pressure on the team’s English Premier League (EPL) rivals Arsenal.
“They have a replay against Chelsea and if they win it they will face a semi-final three days before they play us in the league,” Ferguson said. “But then they said they were going to win the treble, right? It’s a tough time and now we have the experience to deal with it.
The dictionary defines “butt squeaking time” as “a particularly tense period of time, especially one leading up to the climax of a competition or event.” It is a “reference to the sound of someone constantly moving around on plastic seats during the tense closing phases of a contest”.
What about Mourinho’s “park the bus”?
Mourinho has managed several top European clubs including Real Madrid, United, Chelsea and Tottenham and is now the current manager of AS Roma. It was when he was with Chelsea in the 2004–05 season that he first coined the phrase ‘park the bus’ as he slammed Tottenham’s tactical setup against his side.
According to the OED, ‘parking the bus’ involves ‘playing very defensively, usually having the majority of outfield players close to their own goal and showing little attacking intent’.
“As they say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal,” Mourinho said after Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Tottenham in 2004, reports CNN.
“I would have been frustrated if I had been a fan who paid £50 to watch that game because Spurs came to defend. I’m really frustrated because there was only one team looking to win, they only came to not cash in. It’s not just for the football we played.
What other football terms have made the cut?
Other football-centric words and phrases that have been included in the latest dictionary update are total football (a brand of possession-based attacking football often credited in the Netherlands), false nine (a player who starts in a forward position but goes deeper down the pitch), the Z row (the seat furthest from the touchline in a stadium) and Trequartista (an Italian expression describing a player who plays in the spaces between the midfield field and attackers), reports CNN.
Gegenpressing is another new entrant which is defined as a “style of play in which a team, after losing possession, exerts immediate and intensive pressure on the opponent, even deep in the opponents’ half, in the goal of winning the ball back at the first opportunity, preventing the opposing team from capitalizing on possession and forcing errors into dangerous positions”. He would be favored by several German managers like Ralf Rangnick, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, reports Daily mail.
Tiki-taka, best score, outfield, over-the-top, zone marking, Cruyff turn, Rabona and Panenka are also now in the dictionary.
So how did these terms end up in the dictionary?
The OED has a “watch list” database, to which contributions come from several sources – the OED Reading Program, calls for crowdsourcing, and automated database monitoring and analysis. massive data on the language used, says the dictionary website.
OED editors review these suggestions, and words, which are widely used, are assigned to an editor. They begin by looking at the information collected for the assigned word before beginning their research to trace its evolution. They turn to newspapers and magazines, online forums, studies, law treatises, cookbooks, or social media for published evidence of the word. They can also enlist the help of OED’s network of researchers, who are based in institutions around the world, to track down this elusive example, according to the website.
Once an editor has gathered a detailed picture of the word, they begin writing the dictionary entry to save it in the OED. For words that have an existing entry, they start with the keyword, which is the main word at the top of an entry, and include its pronunciation, forms, etymology, definition, example citations, and more .
In addition to the word editor, there are pronunciation editors, which create the audio files, and bibliographers, which review citations to ensure sources are cited accurately.
Once each of these teams approves the dictionary entry, it is passed to the finalization team, which includes the editor and deputy editor. They are the ones who give the final green light, says the OED website.
With contributions from agencies
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