a quick word lesson

While I was writing my earlier post, I wondered if “googled” was a word or not. I know (from my bowling class) that google has been used since the early 1900′s to describe the way a ball is bowled, but I wanted to know if “Googled” had become a recognized word in relation to the search engine. I am proud to report that “Google” is now a verb (two technically). According to the Oxford English Dictionary (my favorite reference book and the definitive record of the English language) “Google” became a commonly used intransitive verb (don’t worry about it) in 1999 and a transitive verb (the way I used it) in 2000. If I worked for Google, I’d be proud.

Since I was searching the OED anyway, I looked up “wonky;” a word I’ve always wondered about.When I was in high school my friends and I started using “wonky” thinking it was a cool new word. I was shocked to read that “wonky” has been a common word since 1919 and merely regained popularity in 2003.  The first recorded use of “wonky” meant studious or nerdy – not the way we use it now. Since 1978 “wonky” has been used the way we use it now. My head shakes. We thought we were so cool. Though, I think the OED might be updating the meaning yet again when they reach the w’s (they were still in the beginning of “re” words in June, so it might be a while).