Balut, Kare-Kare, Lechon and Other Filipino Words Now Included in the Oxford English Dictionary

At least 11 Filipino words are now included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), based on their September 2016 update. These Filipino foods and terms were only among the 1,200 words people can now find in the said dictionary. This latest Oxford dictionary marked the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl, and the publication of Oxford’s Roald Dahl Dictionary.

As noted in the long list of new words at OED, the Filipino words that were added includes six Pinoy favorite foods such as balut, pancit, puto kare-kare, leche flan, lechon, and lechon asado. Also added are arnis, bayanihan, lolo, lola, tabo and yaya. Balut was described as a fertilized duck egg, while puto was described as a steamed rice cake.

Meanwhile, kare-kare was described as a stew of oxtail, tripe, meat, and vegetables, cooked in a thick, peanut-based sauce and colored with annatto. Lechon was described as a whole pig roasted on a spit, usually over coals; a dish or portion of this; while leche flan was described as a custard made with condensed milk and egg yolks and toppled with caramel.

On the other hand, among the English words included at OED include Cheeseball (someone or something lacking taste, style, or originality), moobs (used to describe unusually prominent breasts on a man, aka man’s boobs); Gender-fluid (a person who doesn’t identify with a single fixed gender); and the acronym YOLO, which means You Only Live Once.

But how does a word be included in the OED, and who makes the decision? According to OED senior assistant editor Jonathan Dent, their new-words team consists of 15 researchers who work year-around to track words online, and materials from the public. In most cases, they wait for 10 years of evidence before adding that particular word.

Note however, that Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries are not the same. According to OED, OED shows how words and meanings have changed over time, while Oxford Dictionaries focuses on the current language and practical usage. Nevertheless, both of them are very helpful resources in describing the meaning of words .