More new English words!

Here is a screenshot from the English/Svenska dictionary application on my iPhone. It allows you to search for a word in English or Svenska, or to scroll through the alphabetical list.

As I mentioned a few days ago, sometimes when I look up a Swedish word, the English translation is a word I have never seen before in my life. I took this screenshot when I happened upon an entire screen of English words I had never seen before. Yes, these are English words!

Just now, I was going to say that “bacciferous” seems vaguely familiar, but as I was typing it, my Mac underlined it – meaning that “bacciferous” is not in the spell-checker dictionary on my computer. I also ran it through the proper dictionary on the Mac, which is based on the Oxford American Dictionary, and it also wasn’t in there. Where is SlovoEd getting these words?

As an experiment, I looked up all the “English” words from this screenshot:

bacchanalia: drunken revelry, from the Roman festival of Bacchus
bacchanalian: characterized by drunken revelry, riotously drunken
bacchante: a female priestess or follower of Bacchus
bacchic: another name for the Greek mythological character Dionysus
bacciferous: (no entry)
bacciform: (no entry)
baccivorous: (no entry)
baccy: British informal term for tobacco (Really? That sounds made-up.)

So it looks like I happened upon the section of the dictionary that would be super useful if you run into a Swede who is really into talking about Roman festivals and Greek mythology. That’s reassuring that I’m not completely crazy or forgetting my English vocabulary. The Oxford American Dictionary hasn’t heard of three of these words either.

FYI: If you have an iPhone and want to take a screenshot, just press both buttons at once. Your screen will flash and it will save the image in your photo album.

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One comment on “More new English words!
  1. Yes, baccy is still in common usage in England, and the rest of the UK.

    You have to remember that the swedes didn’t learn their English from the americans in the first instance, they learnt it from the English/British.

    And yes, they do have coffe bars, but so do the British and the French, and that Wayne is an old English name. As is Dean. I love your blogs, though. I’m working my way through them backwards!

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