When it comes to words and their meanings, The Oxford English Dictionary is the Holy Grail. Almost every word in creation is in there and if it’s not, then it probably doesn’t exist. To keep up with current vocab and word trends, the Oxford English Dictionary adds new vocabulary often. Their most recent quarterly update happened this month and the new word additions were announced. One of the words to make it to the big book was, ‘woke’.
The word ‘woke’ has been around for as long as I can remember. The past tense of “wake up”, I think I learned the word in 1st grade. As time passed, a different meaning of the word presented itself. ‘Woke’ is also used to describe someone who is socially aware. Even though this meaning has been around since the 60s, its popularity recently resurfaced. Given the presence of Black Lives Matter and current events, it’s almost mandatory to ‘Stay Woke’ at all times. Oxford recognizes the increased use in the word and added the meaning to the dictionary.
According to Oxford, ‘woke’ is an adjective: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in ‘Stay Woke’. Given the tone of the world today, the word ‘woke’ will continue its running heavy rotation. We’ve seen it everywhere from hashtags to tees to mugs to protest signs. It’s only right that it’s added to the big book.