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No homo has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary

Jasmine Andersson April 3, 2018
Dictionary (Pixabay)

PALERMO, ITALY - AUGUST 13: The first free Library in the open sky founded by Pietro Tramonte library that originally numbered about five thousand books, and now there are more than 50,000 books, all different from each other: there you can find antique books also of the '700, to those modern, to dictionaries, up to comics books. The formula to take the books is simple and it is that of barter or sale to which anyone can contribute by giving or taking in texts loan. Mr. Pietro donated ten books of sicilian poets at the libray of Alexandria in Egypt and at the library of Congress in Washington. Mr. Pietro with its library is located in Palermo in Piazza Monte S. Rosalia in the city center on August 13, 2016 in Palermo, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images)

Although the Oxford English Dictionary has included a series of LGBT+-inclusive terms to their dictionary, there is one definition that the LGBT+ community could perhaps do without.

Aside from adding the likes of trans* (with the asterisk), ambisexual, asexual and bi-gender to the lexicon, the dictionary makers have added one phrase that is somewhat jarring – no homo.

According to the Urban Dictionary – the only other place the phrase is listed – no homo means a phrase used after one inadvertently says something that sounds gay.

And we don’t know about you, but we’re not *entirely* sure what gay sounds like either… just like, um, existing?

In a world where the word gay is still used as a pejorative, it’s somewhat eyeroll-inducing that something like no homo would be added to the dictionary in the same sitting as trans and same-sex marriage.

Trans* has been added to the dictionary’s fold for the first time this year.

PALERMO, ITALY – AUGUST 13: The first free Library in the open sky founded by Pietro Tramonte library that originally numbered about five thousand books, and now there are more than 50,000 books, all different from each other: there you can find antique books also of the ‘700, to those modern, to dictionaries, up to comics books. The formula to take the books is simple and it is that of barter or sale to which anyone can contribute by giving or taking in texts loan. Mr. Pietro donated ten books of sicilian poets at the libray of Alexandria in Egypt and at the library of Congress in Washington. Mr. Pietro with its library is located in Palermo in Piazza Monte S. Rosalia in the city center on August 13, 2016 in Palermo, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images)

The OED definition of trans* states that it was “originally used to include explicitly both transsexual and transgender, or (now usually) to indicate the inclusion of gender identities such as gender-fluid, agender, etc., alongside transsexual and transgender.”

Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary of 1934 featured the gender-neutral pronoun “thon” – short for “that one” – and continued to include the word until 1961.

In an article releasing the definitions on its site, the dictionary also rebuked those who make “one of the most common complaints” about English, pointing out gender-neutral pronouns exist in its pages.

The term asexual was also added to the dictionary, which has been widely used since 2001.

In the OED, the term is defined as “without sexual feelings or associations.”

However, the way that the dictinary chooses to describe the word can be seen as problematic.

“It’s the sort of garment that nuns would approve of, as it renders a woman completely asexual,” says one example of usage.

More: new words added to dictionary, no homo, OED, Oxford English Dictionary

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