I recently learned that Oxford Dictionaries online added several new words to the dictionary database that are derived from technical jargon and media-based slang.  Here’s my favorite:

“mwahahaha (mwa|ha|ha¦ha) Pronunciation: /ˈmwɑːhɑːhɑːhɑː/(also muahahaha, muwahahaha, buahahaha)

Definition: exclamation used to represent laughter, especially manic or cackling laughter such as that uttered by a villainous character in a cartoon or comic strip: World domination, at last, is at hand. Mwahahaha” 

When I hear this word, I instantly picture Inspector Gadget’s arch nemesis, Dr. Claw.  Or He-man’s enemy, Skeletor.  Or Gargamel from the Smurfs.  Or the “Old Man Jenkins” type character from just about every Scooby-Doo episode ever made.

If you want to see the complete list, check out this blog post from Oxford Dictionaries online.

I doubt my daughter’s great-grandmother would recognize any of these recently added words. This made me think about how the English language changes over the decades, and how common jargon speaks to the newer generations.  Historically, Shakespeare’s works were for the masses.  They were created to entertain the common people, and were not considered lofty or highbrow or even “proper”.  Interesting to contemplate where our language is headed, now that words like “lolz” and “tweeps” are in the dictionary.  Kind of a scary thought, actually. Am I even going to understand half of what’s being said when I’m ninety?  Maybe not.  But I promise you this, I will still be able to steeple my fingers together and say, “Mwahahaha!”  because that word is a classic.

About Tara Sheets

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6 Responses to Mwahahaha!

  1. Stefan says:

    I totally Agree with you.. A fantastic inventory.. Used a lot by an ancient collegue of me. I loved it! Stefan

  2. What does it mean that my first thought was now I have to spell mwahahaha “correctly”? Loved micropig too. Although some of the “new” words have been around for a long time. Vote off the island is probably 15 years old. I suppose it takes time for slang to reach the Oxford Dictionary crowd. Great post Tara.

    • Tara Sheets says:

      I know! I can’t tell you how many times I had to correct myself with the spelling. And I didn’t even know there were micropigs. The word made me think of a bunch of Microsoft guys, sitting around with empty potato chip bags, soda cans, and crumbs all over their desks and keyboards. Micro-pigs?

  3. Reblogged this on J.D. Sullivan | Author | PM and commented:
    Check out this awesome blog posting by Tara Sheets (@tara_sheets)!

  4. Chris Caldwell says:

    And then of course I wondered if ‘mwahaha’ (that sure is fun to type) has language-specific variations, analogous to animal sounds. Spanish dogs bark, “Guaw, Guaw” so a Spanish villain would sneer, “Jua-ja-ja”?
    Thanks for the distracting post, Tara. Just what I needed.

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