Communities around the world have ushered in the New Year, tying up the loose ends of 12 months filled with both great losses and great growth. One, perhaps unsuspecting, 2022 event to reflect on? English dictionary updates. The Oxford English Dictionary added a total of 18 new LGBTQ+ related words in 2022 — an effort to acknowledge the diverse communities of LGBTQ+ people around the world, their shared and conflicting histories, and the new ways individuals speak to, write about and organize around their identities.
The dictionary added several new LGBTQ+ related terms, including “gender-affirming”, “demisexual”, and “enby”. The dictionary also shared definitions for new words “gender expression” and “gender presentation”. The site even added more cultural slang terms, like the LGBTQ+ definitions of “top” and “bottom.” Surprisingly, the acronym “LGBTQ” itself was among a new group of words introduced in September 2022.
In addition, the reference site introduced specific English terms relevant to the indigenous perception of gender and sexuality. “Brotherboy” and “Sistergirl” are two new entries referring to gender presentation and identity in Australian Aboriginal communities, while “Muxe” is a gender identity phrase used by Zapotec communities in southern Mexico. The dictionary now includes additional definitions of “gender-critical” and “TERF”, as well as “anti-gay” and “anti-homosexual.”