Language experts at the Oxford English Dictionary have been monitoring words and phrases catching on during the coronavirus lockdown like kitchie, Cookie Monster and banana bread.

Staff at Oxford University Press in Walton Street - lexicographers - have been compiling the dictionary for decades and there is now an online version which is updated at frequent intervals.

In their September update, in which there are 650 new entries, they have been reflecting on popular words during lockdown, with restrictions forcing people to spend more time at home.

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OUP spokeswoman Kate Shepherd said: “For those of us with time on our hands, lockdown was a time to get creative in the kitchie (a room, building, or area in which food is prepared and cooked).

Oxford Mail:

Cookie Monster, right is in Sesame Street

“ So it’s appropriate that the September OED update includes a tasty dollop of baking-related words.

“Let’s start with lockdown showstopper, banana bread, a sweet cake made with mashed ripe bananas.

“While the cake as we know it today became more noticeable in periodicals in 1930s America and 1950s Britain and Ireland, OED’s earliest citations for the phrase are references to bread made from flour ground from green, dried bananas – once a common staple and a cheaper alternative to wheat flour in some parts of the world, especially West Africa and Jamaica.”

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Dictionary staff said cooking has been a big source of new words including kitchenalia (cooking utensils and other items associated with the kitchen).

Oxford Mail:

A young volunteer for Bletchingdon Bakers

People are also asking if their equipment is bakeable (suitable for being baked; that can be heated to high temperatures, or to a particular temperature). And half-baken (baked only half way to completion) is a new phrase.

Oxford Mail:

A cake made for NHS staff

Lockdown must have created lots of new Cookie Monsters, according to dictionary staff, defined as a person or thing who is voraciously hungry or insatiably greedy, just like the Sesame Street character of the same name.

Baking has taken off during lockdown and volunteers including Bletchingdon Bakers, including Sammy Robins, 11, have been taking practical steps to support NHS staff.

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Their cakes have been appreciated by staff at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals and in other locations where care staff work.