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“Twerking” Added as a New Word to the Oxford English Dictionary

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The Oxford English Dictionary is adding new words to its online repository and one of the new words received a big boost of publicity on MTV’s Video Music Awards this week.

When Miley Cyrus performed a controversial move called a “twerk” it not only left linguists a bit confused, it perplexed the viewing public as well. 

It’s “the dance” that has people buzzing.  On the VMA’s this week, Miley Cyrus put the spotlight on “twerking.”

“Who? Twerking..What is exactly is twerking..I’m not familiar with it,” asks Barry Steele.

A lot of people weren’t familiar with it before Cyrus started gyrating.  Even young people not easily shocked were taken aback by that backside bumping.

“I think it’s gross.  It’s very vulgar… people moving their body inappropriately.  I’m pretty conservative,” says Sarah Primack from Springfield.

“I think they went a little over the top the other day as you can see everyone else’s reaction.  Looks like she was at a strip club,” notes Eric Holt who’s from Agawam.

(Stephanie you’re a dance instructor help me out with this.  What the heck is twerking?)

“Good lord? Have you been talking to Miley Cyrus or something?” asks Stephanie Roy, from Chicopee.

Miley might say it’s easy to do.

Tara Giaquinto from Springfield says, “You drop it low and shake it.   I can drop it low can you shake it? (“I’m too old for that,” laughs Tom)

And apparently minimal clothing is needed.

“Gerber onesie with a diaper? (That’s for weekends only) Oh my,” laughs Stephanie.

(Do you think a man my age should be twerking?)  Sarah laughs and says, “I don’t think anybody should be.”

For most people we talked to twerking should be a fad that makes a fast exit.

“MTV should have been shut down a while ago,” says Barry. (Have you ever twerked?) “No”. (Would you ever twerk?) “No,” adds Barry.

Apparently, “twerk” is not a recent creation.  The dictionary editors say the term has been around for 20 years.  Starting out as a variation of “work”.  Some other words making it into the dictionary — “fauxhawk” (foe-hawk), “phablet” (fab-let) and “selfie.”





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