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PANTS: Brit. slang. Rubbish; nonsense. Freq. in pile (also load) of pants.; DICTIONARY PICKS MIRROR WORD.

Byline: LORRAINE FISHER

THE word The Mirror used to sum up the lacklustre British election campaign has now officially entered the English language.

Just days after the front page declared the contest Pants, its new meaning has been used for the first time in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The experts defined the word as British slang for rubbish or nonsense. And they praised the Mirror for getting its new meaning exactly right in our Pants front page.

The dictionary's assistant editor Graeme Diamond said: "We noticed your article saying 'It's official, the election is PANTS'. It was quite witty."

Pants has been included in the on-line version of the OED, because the new printed edition is not due out for 10 years. Other new words include full monty, boy band, clubbing, six-pack and ladette.

Bad hair day was first used towards the end of the nineties to mean a period where everything goes wrong.

Serial monogamy also gets a mention, as does new man - for a guy "in touch" with his feminine side - retail therapy and go malling.

Other new arrivals include cybercriminal, name and shame, mullet, Homer Simpson's catchphrase Doh!, millennium bug, .com, spam, information superhighway, channel surfer and off-message.

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SPOT ON: The Mirror's London edition
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2001
Words:209
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