This Dreaming Cat Will Make You Squee

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) each year announces its list of new word entries for the latest edition of the esteemed dictionary.  A team of fifteen staff members tracks words through digital text collections to identify new words that are spreading in use.  

Typically, evidence about a word’s adoption are tracked for ten years before gaining acceptance by OED (More: How do they choose new words for the Oxford English Dictionary?).

A sleeping gray tabby on top of a sherpa blanket.
Sleeping cats are just so incredibly cute. Squee!

Listed in the September 2016 list are new definitions of the word squee.  The noun and injection have been used since the 1860s to defined the high-pitched sound produced by musical instruments and animals.   The word is now has added definitions to reflect the proliferation of the word on the Internet and squee as a verb has been added .  

All three of the newly entered definitions are focused on the action or the state of expressing delight or excitement.  The earliest iteration of the word is the injection which first appeared in 1998.  In this usage, people on the Internet started writing “Squee!” to indicate their excitement or happiness about something.

 Starting in 2003, it was noted that squee was being used as a verb to indicate the actions of being excited.  Finally, in 2004, the usage as a noun was recorded for an expression of excitement.

The utter cuteness of animals snoozing are always a squee moment.  The reaction to this sleeping cat is a perfect demonstration of wanting to squee.  Cozily spread out on a sofa, the cat seems to be enjoying a pleasant dream judging by the slight smile on its face.  As someone gently pets its belly, it shows its enjoyment by stretching mid sleep.

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