Thanks, Miley Cyrus! “Twerking” Lands In The Oxford Dictionary
Twerk, twerk, Miley, Miley, twerk!
Miley Cyrus twerked her favorite dance into the mainstream this summer. And now, the 20-year-old may be responsible for getting the racy dance gyration added to Britain’s Oxford Dictionaries. The singer, who performed the move in her video for arguably the song of the summer, “We Can’t Stop,” and onstage at Juicy J’s concert, took things one step further when she grinded her derriere on R&B crooner Robin Thicke this past weekend onstage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
Just days later the word now has a place in Oxford Dictionaries Online and across the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. Listed as a verb, “twerking” has been defined as a “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”
While Cyrus may have popularized the move, twerking was around long before Miley decided she couldn’t stop. “There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,” Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin told The Huffington Post. “We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to `work it.’ The `t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch.”
For example Beyonce sang “dip it, pop it, twerk it, stop it” on 2006′s “Check On It,” off the Pink Panther soundtrack.
Watch Miley twerk below. Can we all agree that twerking is now officially over?