Beloved British author Roald Dahl is known both for his works of children’s literature and his utterly Dahl verbiage. Books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach are littered with fanciful, made-up words that have been repeated by both kids and adults in the years since they were published, despite the fact that, well, they weren’t real words. Until now.
To honor what would have been the author’s 100th birthday, the quarterly update to the Oxford English Dictionary includes a range of revised and newly drafted entries connected to Dahl and his writing. Among those revisions are updates to words such as scrummy, scrumptious, and splendiferous, as well as handful of new entries.
Those new additions include scrumdiddlyumptious, arguably the best word Dahl ever created and made famous in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. According to the OED, its official definition is "extremely scrumptious; excellent, splendid; (esp. of food) delicious." The colloquialism human bean was also added and is defined as "a humorous alteration or mispronunciation of human being."
Below, a handful of other food words we can all thank Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the book and its film adaptations) for:
Everlasting Gobstopper: A candy that lasts forever. According to Willy Wonka, "you can suck 'em and suck 'em and suck 'em, and they'll never get any smaller."
Snozzberry: A mystery fruit that turns up in flavored wallpaper (and some claim is actually a really dirty euphemism).
Eggdicator: A machine that discriminates between bad eggs and good eggs.
Veruca Salt: An incredibly high-maintenance girl who, as her name suggests, tends to act rather salty.
Eatable: Another, more fun, word for edible. "Everything in this room in eatable," says Wonka.
In May, the Oxford University Press published a dictionary devoted entirely to the author, complete with 8,000 words and phrases he devised. It is, as we can now officially say, positively Dahlesque (another new entry in the OED, as of September 12).
• New Words Notes September 2016 [OED]