Oxford Dictionary adds new last word - 'zyzzyva'

It replaces 'zythum'

Scrabble fiends will be interested in the new last word in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED, as it could bag them first place in a game.

'Zyzzyva', a genus of South African weevils found on or near palm trees, is the newest last word added to the dictionary this quarter.

It replaces the previous last word in the OED, 'zythum', an ancient Egyptian malt beer.

"The name of the genus was apparently coined by the entomologist Thomas Lincoln Casey, who described it in a 1922 publication," Katherine Connor Martin, Head of US Dictionaries said.

"The motivation for the name isn’t clear; some sources suggest it is an onomatopoeic reference to the noise made by the weevil, possibly inspired by a former genus of leafhoppers, Zyzza, and perhaps chosen deliberately as an alphabetical curiosity.

"In any case, Zyzzyva owes much of its currency in English to its notoriety as the last entry in various dictionaries, the ranks of which now include the OED."

In this past quarter alone, the Oxford English Dictionary said it has added 600 new words, phrases, and senses, including 'gin daisy', an American cocktail made with lemon juice and gin, and 'chantoosie', a female pop singer.

To see the full list of new additions, click here.

The OED publishes four updates a year. The next update will be added to the dictionary in September 2017.