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A new dictionary in the works

The Oxford Dictionary of African American English is to be published by 2025 from a partnership between the Oxford University Press and the Hutchins Center. The editor-in-chief will be Henry Louis Gates Jr, historian and director of Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, who is popularly known for writing and presenting a number of high-profile television programmes in both the USA and UK.

“Words with African origins such as ‘goober’, ‘gumbo’ and ‘okra’ survived the Middle Passage along with our African ancestors,” Gates Jr is quoted as saying by ABC News. “And words that we take for granted today, such as ‘cool’ and ‘crib’, ‘hokum’ and ‘diss’, ‘hip’ and ‘hep’, ‘bad’ meaning ‘good’ and ‘dig’ meaning ‘to understand’ – these are just a tiny fraction of the words that have come into American English from African American speakers … over the last few hundred years.”

One that will no doubt be on many people’s pre-order list.

Image courtesy of Photo: Peter Simon
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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