Miley Cyrus' signature dance move - the twerk - has made it to the list of words added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online. The definition, , reads: "The twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."
This particular dance move has garnered significant publicity over the past few days, following the singer's performance during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA). The 20-year-old has come under severe criticism for a provocative performance in a skin-tight and flesh-tone costume that included very suggestive displays of "the twerk".
According to the Guardian, an American organisation called Parents Television Council has issued a strong protest to MTV against the raunchy nature of the awards night. In the statement, the advisory board of the council (which counts Miley Cyrus' father, Billy Ray Cyrus, as a member) said:
"MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-coloured bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"
Meanwhile, there are a few other terms that have also found place in Oxford's dictionaries. "Selfie" and "digital detox", meaning a self-shot camera phone photograph and time spent offline. It should be noted, though, that the word "twerk" has actually been in use for quite some time, although it did not previously refer to Cyrus' dance move.
"By last year, it [the twerk] had generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list, and by this spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English," Katherine Connor Martin from Oxford Online explained.