‘Hashtag’ makes Oxford English Dictionary debut

Twitter tool’s widespread use leads to OED adoption

Tags: EntertainmentSkypeSocial MediaTwitter IncorporationUSAUnited Kingdom
  • E-Mail
‘Hashtag’ makes Oxford English Dictionary debut
By  Stephen McBride Published  June 15, 2014

The Oxford English Dictionary has adopted the word 'hashtag', popularised by the growth of microblogging platform Twitter, as one of 1,000 new additions in its June 2014 update, the Register reported.

The entry reads: "hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way."

The OED cited a Twitter posting in August 2007 as the birthplace of "hashtag", but the citation is of two words, "hash tag". The OED waits until a word or phrase is either widely used or it becomes of "unquestioned import" before including it in dictionaries.

The OED also noted that the correct name for the "#" symbol is not the "pound" or "number" sign, used in US English, or even "hash" as referred to in British English. It is properly referred to as an "octothorp" or "octothorpe". While the "octo" refers to the eight points on the symbol, "thorp" is described by the OED, merely as coming from the surname "Thorpe".

"Skype" has also made its way into the dictionary, as a verb.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code