Term for Los Angeles makes it into the Oxford Dictionary

I’ve never cared much for the term “la-la-land” as it was ‘most always used in a derogatory manner.  How dare you disparage the city I love in that manner.  Well the Oxford Dictionary folks have taken it a step further and given the term credibility without noting in the definition its a “derogatory” noun.  Their exact definition:

la-la land n. can refer either to Los Angeles (in which case its etymology is influenced by the common initialism for that city), or to a state of being out of touch with reality—and sometimes to both simultaneously.

What say you on this addition to the dictionary?  More power to the haters or are you non plussed over the addition?

Pic by me of the L.A. iconic palms in Venice Beach, taken with my beloved “che-ez snap” that shoots in all of .3 megapixels.

9 Replies to “Term for Los Angeles makes it into the Oxford Dictionary”

  1. when I lived in Los Angeles I would use the term in the context of living in La-La Land myself. I just saw it as gently poking fun of myself and my weird and wonderful city. now I don’t use the term because I don’t want it to come across as “those people over there in La-La Land”, which definitely sounds derogatory.

    *sigh* I miss L.A.

  2. Well, staying true to my roots, I was ditzy/air-headed and had to look up ‘initialism’, initially thinking it was some philosophy term, you know?, and then I’d have find a book on the subject at the Bodhi Tree and compare and contrast those ideas with Kant’s and/or Alan Watts’.
    But, yeah, whatever. And I hardly use the term as well. I think I’d only use it to make someone who’s overwhelmed feel more comfortable about the area, you know?, because the city can be too big, initially, to wrap one’s head around.

  3. I refer to it sometimes as that and I don’t mean it in a negative way at all. I lived there for a bit and I think it is a bit of a bubble living there and it feels a bit like a fantasy land but in a positive way. Don’t be so sensitive, loads of people I know refer to it that way and still love LA

  4. if you don’t already know that LA is a wacky town with weirdos (which makes it great) then you are not a true los angeleno – where have you been living, under a rock? but that is exactly what makes it such a fantastic cultural city – I love the fact that this is now part of the dictionary, been telling people I will see you in LA-LA-LAND for years and it’s always meant with joy and endearment – you need to embrace the LA-LA part of living in LA, the sun fries your brain but I wouldn’t have it any other way…I LOVE LA…

  5. I can’t say I’m impressed with that little “milestone”. Being an LA native from the meaner streets (South Central & South East LA respectively) I had never heard of the term La-La-Land until well into adulthood. I remember being greatly offended when some “transplant” introduced me to someone else as being from La-La-Land and they proceeded to ask what it was like to be from such a stupid city.

    Being proud of who I am, my intelligence & my blue collar roots I set that person straight on media portrayal vs the true diversity of the city and dared him to accompany me to Jim Dandy Fried Chicken or King Taco (whatever his preference) to experience the neighborhoods. He settled down.

    I still find the term offensive/derogatory & if Oxford feels it has sufficient merit to make it into it’s pages they should at least identify it as such so as to fully round out it’s definition.

  6. I never, ever heard a California native call Los Angeles that (doesn’t mean none of them HAVE, just that I’ve never heard one use it) …Which speaks volumes, to me. It could be awfully fun to be able to choose derogatory nicknames for cities/areas one isn’t from and have them inserted into the Dictionary, but hardly fair. I’m not a native (moved here in 1984), but I’d never call my chosen home that. There’s far more to southern California and Los Angeles, than outsiders’ assumptions.

  7. I think all of these new words deserve to be incorporated into the dictionary. The vocabulary of English is constantly enriched by new expressions and if these trends were stopped I’m afraid it would be the real death of our language.

  8. I’m a native Angelena and I don’t like it when I hear the term. I think the speaker is both uninformed and prone to using catchy cliches instead of being truly clever. But language takes on a life of its own and there’s no telling how this term will resonate beyond its original derogatory intention. If there really is a LaLa Land, it doesn’t exist here any more than any other place in this increasingly vacuous consumption-driven country…

  9. I don’t think we should take it too personally. As Marcy suggested, I’ve only ever heard tourists refer to L.A. as la la land (its usage almost guarantees the person is a non-native/non-resident). It always strikes me as their misguided attempt to be cool.

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