‘Modilie’? Oxford Dictionary denies adding ‘fake’ word after opposition’s jab at Indian PM


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The Oxford English Dictionary decided to step in amidst the Indian election and set the record straight after the leading opposition party chief claimed that it had listed a new word for ‘lying’.

Earlier this week, Rahul Ghandi, who leads the largest opposition party in the parliament, the Indian National Congress, claimed there was a new word in English for ‘lying’ – ‘Modilie’. This was an obvious jab at his chief opponent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As ‘proof’, Ghandi posted what was supposedly a screenshot from the Twitter account run by the Oxford English Dictionary. It said that ‘Modilie’ means “to lie incessantly and habitually,” or to lie “without respite,” and can be used in phrases like “He is such a Modiliar.”

The tweet was published amidst the ongoing parliamentary election, with the last round of voting scheduled for Sunday.

It was not clear whether the politician was serious or more tongue-in-cheek in his comments, but the Oxford Dictionary decided to clarify. “We can confirm that the image showing the entry ‘Modilie’ is fake,” the dictionary wrote in a comment to Ghandi’s tweet the next day, adding that no such word exists on its pages.

Ghandi, meanwhile, continued to insist that the word has “become popular worldwide,” and provided a link to what he said was a website listing “the best Modilies.”

The opposition politician’s tweets were blasted by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with one official saying that the Oxford Dictionary had “slapped” Ghandi by rejecting his claim.

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