The best film buff phrases just added to Oxford English Dictionary

Publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary describe it as “the definitive record of the English language”, and that’s not just self-congratulatory. A third edition of the dictionary has been underway since 2000, and is estimated to double in size the already-immense 21,728 page-long second edition, published across 20 volumes in 1989.

Sometime around 2037 the third edition is expected to be completed. Until then, as their website helpfully explains, “every three months the entire OED database is republished online, with new words added for the first time and older entries revised”. Which is why you see news stories proclaiming the addition of words like “hangry”, “butthurt” and “LOL” over the years.

This week, the OED has boosted its stock of film terms, adding “words derived from all areas of the industry: cinematography to criticism, film scripts to film-makers”.

The full list of additions can be found at the bottom of this page, but before considering them collectively, allow us to share a few of our faves, and demonstrate how you can use them in conversation.

cinematography n.

We say: Wait, this wasn’t in the dictionary already?

You can say: “You know, I think what truly makes Bio-Dome a classic is how Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin’s performances are framed—nay, enhanced—by the cinematography.”

giallo n.

We say: This is timely, with the pending release of Suspiria (2018), but they have had plenty of time to add it since Suspiria (1977), not to mention the decade-plus of Italian thriller-horrors preceding it, arguably commencing with 1963’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

You can say: “My favourite kind of movie snack is a killer gelato to go with my giallo killer.”

gorefest n.

We say: Patriotic citizens of the nation that birthed Braindead and Deathgasm means we are suckers for the gory stuff. Congratulations, gorefest!

You can say: “Bring on the third in the An Inconvenient Truth series for a real Al Gore-fest.”

idiocracy n.2

We say: It’s good to see Mike Judge’s dystopian satire Idiocracy move from box office bomb (after being abandoned by 20th Century Fox) to cult hit, and now influencing the OED. The term has been around for a while, but its use popularised by the film of the same name is what has earned its spot.

You can say: “Stop saying ‘it’s just like Idiocracy‘, the world isn’t just like Idiocracy, Donald Trump doesn’t look anything like Terry Crews, and until I get my toilet couch it isn’t ‘just like Idiocracy‘, ok?!”

Nollywood n.

We say: Nigeria’s film industry’s growth over the past couple of decades has been significant—evolving from a turn-of-the-century home video boom that saw up to 200 video films released monthly—and now worth US$5.1 billion, the third most valuable film industry in the world thanks to multi-million-dollar budgets and increased filmmaking chops.

You can say: “Is it too late to build the Wellywood sign but get it to say Nollywood instead?”

Oscar bait n.

We say: We’ll get back to you after seeing A Star Is Born tonight.

You can say: “Now that summer’s almost here, I can’t wait to spend the next few months in a dark room watching Oscar bait.”

stoner n.1

We say: Again, this wasn’t in the dictionary already? And is it 4:20 yet? Ok, let’s just celebrate the addition of this essential cinematic character type.

You say: “[cough cough]”

Tarkovskian adj.

We say: It’s hard to pick from the many adjectives about directors added. Mostly we’re just happy to be able to describe one thing like its the work of a filmmaker correctly, ie Lynchian, Tarantinoesque, Scorsesean, etc.

You can say: “Of all of Taika Waititi’s films, it’s difficult to decide which is the most comically Tarkovskian.”

(up) to eleven phr.

We say: Pretty much all of This is Spinal Tap is quotable, it almost deserves a dictionary of its own to preserve its genius, probably with a cover that is none more black. This expression is probably the most-used, though, a welcome part of our vocabulary that equally celebrates excess and folly.

You can say: “Just when you think the insanity of American politics is up to eleven…”

XXX adj.

We say: Also in the OED as “triple-X”, this is not anything do to with the Vin Diesel/Ice Cube franchise. Now synonymous with adult content, the XXX rating emerged off the back of the MPAA’s X-rating as distributors emphasised their films’ content as being especially “adult”, XXX denoting hardcore pornography.

Peaches can say: “I’m only double A but I’m thinking triple X”

A full list of the film additions, and entries to which new senses have been added:

  • Academy ratio n.
  • action comedy n.
  • AD n.
  • aerial shot n.
  • AFI n.
  • Altmanesque adj.
  • anthology n.
  • arc shot n.
  • BBFC n.
  • Bergmanesque adj.
  • BFI n.
  • blink and you’ll miss it phr.
  • blooper reel n.
  • Bressonian adj.
  • bridging shot n.
  • Bunuelian adj.
  • Capraesque adj.
  • chanchada n.
  • cineliteracy n.
  • cineliterate adj.
  • Cinema Novo n.
  • cinematography n.
  • clapboard n.2
  • craft service n.
  • crawl n.1
  • cut n.2
  • diegetic adj.
  • straight (also direct) to DVD phr.
  • director of photography n.
  • director’s chair n.
  • DoP n.
  • DP n.
  • Dutch angle n.
  • edge-of-your-seat phr.
  • Eisensteinian adj.
  • end credits n.
  • flashforward adj. and n.
  • Foley n.
  • Fordian adj.
  • front projection n.
  • gag reel n.
  • giallo n.
  • glass shot n.
  • Godardian adj.
  • gorefest n.
  • gorehound n.
  • Groundhog Day n.
  • Hammer n.4
  • hanging miniature n.
  • hard R adj. (and n.)
  • Hawksian adj.
  • Hays n.
  • Herzogian adj.
  • horror n.
  • idiocracy n.2
  • in-camera adv.2
  • Indiana Jones n.
  • J-horror n.
  • jump scare n.
  • kaiju n.
  • kaiju eiga n.
  • Keatonesque adj.
  • Kubrickian adj.
  • Langian adj.
  • Lynchian adj.
  • match cut n.
  • microbudget n. and adj.
  • mise-en-scène n.
  • Mrs Robinson n.
  • mumblecore n.
  • no-budget adj.
  • Nollywood n.
  • non-diegetic adj.
  • not in Kansas anymore phr.
  • omnibus adj.
  • one-sheet n.
  • Oscar bait n.
  • peplum n.
  • portmanteau n.
  • post n.13
  • post-credit adj.
  • principal photography n.
  • production code n.
  • schlock horror n.
  • Scorsesean adj.
  • scream queen n.
  • second unit n.
  • sex comedy n.
  • shaky cam n.
  • shaky camera n.
  • short film n.
  • short subject n.
  • Sirkian adj.
  • spec adj.
  • Spielbergian adj.
  • stock footage n.
  • stoner n.1
  • sword-and-sandal n.
  • table read n.
  • Tarantinoesque adj.
  • Tarkovskian adj.
  • tentpole adj. and n.
  • three-shot n.
  • tilt shot n.
  • torture porn n.
  • travelling shot n.
  • triple-X adj.
  • (up) to eleven phr.
  • VFX n.
  • visual effect n.
  • voice acting n.
  • voice actor n.
  • voice actress n.
  • walla int. and n.
  • Wellesian adj.
  • XXX adj.


For more on the new OED additions, they’ve published a blog post about them.