Bitcoin is already included in the Oxford Dictionaries Online

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Oxford University Press just announced its latest quarterly update to the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) and Bitcoin is one of the new additions. The free online dictionary of current English got a lot of new words, some of them from the universe of technology.

If you type in the name of your favourite cryptocurrency at the dictionary’s website, you’ll find the following result:

bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank

According to Angus Stevenson, from Oxford Dictionaries Online, “new words, senses, and phrases are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English” and that is Bitcoin’s case.

“Publishing online allows us to make the results of our research available more quickly than ever before. Each month, we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world. We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis. On average, we add approximately 1,000 new entries to Oxford Dictionaries Online every year, and this quarter’s update highlights some fascinating developments in the English language. Portmanteau words, or blends of words, such as phablet and jorts, remain popular, as do abbreviations, seen in new entries such as srsly and apols”, the representative adds.

Some of the other words added were ‘selfie’, ‘hackerspace’ or ’emoji’. For now, it’s a positive sign to see Bitcoin included in this dictionary. Will it be a matter of time until we’re able to see the cryptocurrency definition in the real Oxford English Dictionary?

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Maria Santos

Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

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