Did Miley Cyrus help 'twerk' land in the dictionary?

6:29 AM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) If you haven't seen enough of Miley Cyrus twerking at Sunday's MTV VMAs, be forewarned -- you might be seeing her picture next to the word "twerk" in a dictionary one day.

Quartz reports that Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) is including "twerk" in its latest update of words and phrases that have recently come into general use. ("Twerk" won't go in the Oxford University Press' venerable Oxford English Dictionary just yet, Quartz reports, but it's only a matter of time, right?)

The ODO defines "twerk" as a verb meaning to "dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance," which pretty much nails Cyrus' performance at the VMAs.

However you define it, there's no denying that Cyrus has been pushing the dance into the public's consciousness since March, when a video of her twerking in a unicorn costume went viral.

Of course, she wasn't the first person to twerk. Headline News has a brief history of the dance and the word, which AP says has been in circulation for about 20 years.

Trey Barrineau, USA TODAY

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