Oxford Dictionary adds 'Brexit' and 'get your freak on'

Missy Elliot sings 'Get Ur Freak On' (Missy Elliott/YouTube)
Missy Elliot famously sang 'Get Ur Freak On' 15 years ago (Missy Elliott/YouTube)

The term Brexit is officially in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The term has been around for less than five years, but its popularity and the fact it filled an empty space in the English language was noticed by the dictionary.

"The speed with which it became widely used and recognised was impressive, fuelled by the fact it filled an empty space in our language, and the growing importance of the phenomenon it described," the dictionary said on its website.

"Foreign-language newspapers used it on their front pages to report on the referendum, knowing that readers in Italian, French, and Polish would understand. By late 2016 it was a global word."

The official definition of the noun is "the [proposed] withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it".

Also in the dictionary is Grexit - the same as Brexit, but for Greece.

Britons narrowly voted to leave the European Union earlier this year, surprising pollsters who'd picked it to go the other way.

Other phrases added to the Oxford English Dictionary include:

  • "get your freak on", meaning to both "engage in sexual activity, especially of an unconventional or uninhibited nature" and "dance, especially in an uninhibited, wild, or exuberant fashion"
  • "glam-ma", a "glamorous grandmother"
  • "YouTuber", a "frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site"
  • out-strategise "outmanoeuvre (an opponent, rival, etc.); to outdo in strategising".