The terms “Hongkonger” and “Hong Kongese” have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in recognition of Hong Kong’s local identity.
Oxford University Press also added a new sub-entry for Hong Kong Chinese along with 900 other words in its most recent quarterly update .
Both Hongkonger and Hong Kongese are defined as “a native or inhabitant of Hong Kong”, while Hong Kongese can also be used as an adjective to describe anything related to the city or its residents.
The new entries, of course, come amid continually heightening tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland as many Hong Kong residents have taken to the streets to protest Beijing’s political intervention in their politics and to voice anti-mainland sentiment, aimed specifically at mainland tourists who come to Hong Kong and “hog its resources”.
“The inclusion of Hongkonger and Hong Kongese in the dictionary is definitely prompted by the city’s ‘anti-mainlandisation’ campaign which has raised international attention over the past years,” Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching told SCMP.
“We are trying to differentiate ourselves from mainlanders – not just the people are different, but also our cultural spirit and political identity,” she added. Another critic said that the new entries showed that the city has international influence.
The world Hongkonger can be traced back to 1870, when the Daily Independent newspaper in California used it to describe inhabitants of the then-British colony.
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