'Chuggers' infiltrate the Oxford English Dictionary

Graham Willgoss

The word 'chugger', a derogatory term used to describe street fundraisers, is among the newest additions to the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Chugger, short for 'charity mugger', is defined as "a person who approaches passers-by in the street asking for donations or subscriptions to a charity".

Susan Brumpton, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, said the inclusion indicated how the press, not the general public, perceives street fundraisers.

"They're the politest muggers I've ever met," she said. "It is not a term we will be endorsing."

The Oxford University Press decides which words to include by checking on their usage from a database that draws on everything from scientific journals to scripts from The Office.

"Our general rule is that if a word has appeared in at least three different sources in those databases over two or three years, it is considered for inclusion," said Catherine Soanes, project manager at the OUP.

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