LONDON -- The Concise Oxford Dictionary, a portable and authoritative guide to the English language, embraces drug-oriented youth cults in its latest edition.
"Acid house," "ecstasy," "smack," "ghetto blaster" and "street credibility" are now considered sufficiently common parlance to deserve a place in the worthy tome.
The entry for "acid house" reads: "A kind of synthesized music with a simple repetitive beat often associated with the taking of hallucinogenic drugs."
Besides "ecstasy's" definition as "an overwhelming feeling of joy or rapture," it is listed as "methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a powerful stimulant and hallucinogenic drug."
"Smack" is still "a sharp slap or blow," but for the first time it is also "a hard drug, especially heroin, sold or used illegally."
A "ghetto blaster" is "a large portable radio, especially used to play loud pop music," while street credibility is "familiarity with a fashionable urban subculture."
There are more than 20,000 new entries in the eighth edition, whose 120,000 words will present a substantially retouched picture of the English language when it is launched today.
Yuppie accessories such as the car phone and Filofax find a place in the latest version of the dictionary, which contains double the number of words in its first edition in 1911.
Other new words to reflect the 1990s lifestyles include "aromatherapy," "foodie," "glitzy," "kissogram," "leg warmer," "satellite dish," "videodisc" and "Jacuzzi."
Perestroika and glasnost come as no surprise, but several entries show new interest in foreign food, such as adzuki (Japanese for bean), basmati (a strain of Indian rice), guacamole (a Mexican dish) and dim sum (Chinese snacks).
The latest scientific and technical vocabulary is represented by "bootstrap," "hacker" and "bubble memory," from computing, and "CFC," "ozone friendly," "global warming" and "greenhouse effect," illustrating environmental concerns.
Among other aspects of modern life now listed are AIDS, sick building syndrome, bag lady and anabolic steroid.