A look at some more new words

If you’ve ever been called Johnny-on-the-spot, you might have beamed with pride. It meant you were, according to Merriam-Webster, “a person who is on hand and ready to perform a service or respond to an emergency.”

Dating back to the 1880s, this term was clearly intended as a compliment — praise for your resourcefulness, dedication and efficacy.

However, as of this year, if someone calls you Johnny-on-the-spot, you might want to ask a few follow-up questions before you thank them. That’s because the Oxford English Dictionary has added another definition for this term: “a small prefabricated structure containing a toilet.”

Last week, we looked at some notable recent additions to the Oxford English Dictionary. But there are lots more, some of which I look at in this recent column.

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