The word “YouTuber” has been officially recognised as a word by the Oxford English Dictionary in their December 2016 new words list.
The noun has been added to the dictionary alongside words like “hackable”, “Birminghamising”, and the term “rag-doll” used as a verb. The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the most widely recognised dictionaries in the world, and contains over 170,000 words in current use.
The dictionary has cited the first use of “YouTuber” as being in 2006, and includes the example sentence, “From Zoella to KSI, hit YouTubers keep it real, even as they squeeze out kajillions of pounds from their online empires”, taken from a 2015 article in The Guardian.
“YouTuber” is defined by the OED as “a frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site”.
However, this caused some controversy, with New York Magazine tweeting to bemoan the word’s addition:
A sure sign of the impending apocalypse, the Oxford English Dictionary now contains the word YouTuber https://t.co/Mj50F5pU6Z
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) December 29, 2016
In an article, the magazine describes the definition as “just plain wrong” and argues that “a YouTuber is a content creator, not just a content consumer”.
The OED’s recognition of the noun has led to positive reactions from the YouTube community:
THE WORD YOUTUBER IS NOW IN THE OXFORD DICTIONARY THIS IS NOT A DRILL CONGRATULATIONS WE EXIST pic.twitter.com/z8DSVIOgrm
— Caspar Lee (@Caspar_Lee) December 28, 2016
— Lee Kemp (@LeeExplores) December 29, 2016
Canadian YouTuber MoirenTV also noted:
Next time someone tells you doing videos on Youtube isn't a real job point them to the dictionary. Youtuber as added to the OED Dec 2016.
— Moiren (@Sniklefras) December 16, 2016
The OED adds on average approximately 1,000 new words every year from a wide range of sources. An explanation of how words are approved can be found here.