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...which may help our legal profession

Posted by TheFallen on June 08, 2003

In Reply to: 'Bling-Bling' Makes New Oxford Dictionary posted by Bruce Kahl on June 07, 2003

: 'Bling-Bling' Makes New Oxford Dictionary

: Jun 6, 9:17 PM (ET)

: LONDON (AP) - Khazi, minging, bling-bling? Not some crazy new dialect, but standard British vocabulary, according to the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, published Friday.

: The publishers said they have added almost 6,000 new words and phrases that reflect 21st century life, including the frowner's favorite, Botox, passion-enhancing drug Viagra and sambuca, the aniseed liqueur served with a flaming coffee bean.

: Among the 187,000 definitions in the latest edition, published by Oxford University Press, there is also bevvy - British slang for a beer; head-case, referring to a person who exhibits irrational behavior; and bling-bling, a reference to elaborate jewelry and clothing, and the appreciation of it.

: Half-inch, Cockney rhyming slang for pinch, or steal, also makes it into the dictionary this time around.

: Some of the new terms, including cut-and-paste, screensavers and search engines, reflect the growing influence of computers, while hands-free phones and phreaking, the expression for hacking into phone systems for free calls, acknowledge developments in telecommunications.

: Other corporate-speak considered established enough for inclusion in the dictionary includes dot-coms, or Internet companies, and blipverts, subliminal TV adverts of just a few seconds' duration.

: And J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional world in "The Lord of the Rings" is also recognized. Orcs are defined as "members of an imaginary race of ugly, aggressive human-like creatures." The dictionary says the word probably comes from the Latin orcus meaning hell, or the Italian orco, meaning monster.

: Getting down to basics, the new dictionary now makes it all right to describe the khazi (toilet) as minging (disgusting).

Bling-bling (showy jewellery onomatopoeically named for the sound it makes when it clanks together) is a term fromm the world of hip-hop and rap. The following story is from BBC News of 6th June. One can see why our judges might hope that the OED updated a little faster, but I certainly wish I'd been in the court's public gallery that day.

BBC News On-line Fri 6th June 2003.

Rap lyrics confound judge
A High Court judge has had to do his own research to learn the meaning of rap lyrics such as "shizzle my nizzle" so he could rule in a copyright case.
Judge Lewison was presiding over a case in the
High Court brought by UK garage composer Andrew Alcee who accused a rap outfit of "derogatory treatment" of his work.

Mr Alcee believed the Heartless Crew had taken his number one single Burning, recorded under the name the Ant 'ill Mob, and used it on their album adding violence and drug connotations.

But in dismissing Mr Alcee's case, Judge Lewison said the Heartless Crew's lyrics were not necessarily offensive but might just as well have been "a foreign language".

The judge researched the bizarre-sounding terms in an urban dictionary on the internet.

"This led to the faintly surreal experience of three gentlemen in horsehair wigs examining the meaning of such phrases as 'mish mish man' and 'shizzle my nizzle'," the judge said.

Urban slang - and what it means
Sala - an idiot
Waffy - warm and fluffy
Scampi - a very attractive man
Slevered - intoxicated
Iswas - very dislikeable person
Bizzurd - bizarre and absurd

"Some definitions carried sexual connotations. The most popular definitions were definitions of the phrase 'fo' shizzle my nizzle' and indicated that it meant 'for sure'. There were no entries for 'mish mish man'," he added.

The judge said Mr Alcee's complaint that he had suffered prejudice because of the violent tone of the Heartless Crew's lyrics was not valid because he had seen him in the Ant 'ill Mob music video dressed as a gangster.

He also added that a flaw in Mr Alcee's case was there was no evidence in court that his reputation had been damaged.