The Day I Learned What Friend Zone Means


In spite of working online, I do have a tendency to be the last to know about the latest things to go viral. Remember Gangnam Style? I think my mom know about it before I did! Then there’s Harlem Shake, which I totally don’t get.

“Friend zone” probably takes the cake, though, as I only really learned the “official” definition today, thanks to the February 2013 update of the Oxford Dictionaries. Last year, I was pleasantly surprised with the addition of “Whovian”, Dr. Who fan that I am. Some of you expressed your distaste at certain additions (see the comments in that previous post about the Oxford Online Dictionaries update). Will this year’s additions make you feel the same? Let’s take a look at my picks.


Definition: a cocktail consisting of vodka mixed with apple juice, apple liqueur, or cider: in the absence of margaritas the drink of choice was appletinis.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s about time this was considered a real word!


Definition: a basic mobile phone that lacks the advanced functionality characteristic of a smartphone: there are still six dumbphones out there for every smartphone

If there is such a thing as a smartphone, I suppose a dumbphone is easy enough to grasp. I personally don’t feel comfortable using the term, though. Nokia’s old phones with Snake and Snake 2 may have been dumb, but they were pretty fun and sturdy!

Friend zone

Definition: a situation in which a platonic relationship exists between two people, one of whom has an undeclared romantic or sexual interest in the other: I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys

Actually, I realize that I have known about the underlying concept of the term (probably dating back to high school?). I don’t get how this term has become so popular in recent times, though.


Definition: suitable for posting on the social media site Twitter: the president delivered a great collection of tweetable lines this morning

This term is constantly used in my circles, thanks to having to work online. Have you used this term before? Are you comfortable using it?

To know more words added in quarterly update of the ODO, take a look at the blog announcement. In the meantime, tell us what you think of the words above!

Note: All definitions and images are from ODO.


Noemi Twigg has been writing for Splashpress Media for several years. An English teacher by profession, she has a penchant for words and likes to play around with them. Having been bitten by the travel bug, she aims to discover more languages in the near future as she continues to do what she loves most - writing.


  1. “Friend zone: Actually, I realize that I have known about the underlying concept of the term (probably dating back to high school?). I don’t get how this term has become so popular in recent times, though.”

    The term has received a great deal of attention thanks to feminist critique of Pick Up Artistry concepts, the “Friend Zone” and the idea of the “Nice Guy” being right at the top.
    Bex´s last blog post ..Copy&Paste Thursday: robotic beings rule the world

  2. Elizabeth Rostan says:

    You’re correct that the concept of the “friend zone” has been around for a long time, however; the term “Friend Zone” was first coined by the show “Friends,” when Joey told Ross that he had waited too long and was now “stuck in the friend zone.”

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