“Friend zone” was probably a fairly innocuous term at some point or another, merely meant to describe the process of one party insisting on a platonic relationship when the other party wants it to be something more. As of late, the term has become the calling card of a certain type of Internet inhabitant, usually male, who complains about being forever alone, blames women for all the problems and feels somewhat entitled to sex with said women, and may or may not have a gross neckbeard. You may have also seen this person on the Internet commenting on various social media sites, vociferously defending Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar hosting job. The term “friend zone” has also become a key enabling buzzword for awful pickup artist reality shows, web series’ about convention speed dating and other markers of this time and place in which we live.
And with the term’s Internet notoriety comes, for some reason, actual legitimacy. Now, alongside last year’s Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year (“GIF”), “tweetable” and “dumphone,” “friend zone” has become an official word in the Oxford Dictionaries. Maybe “neckbeard” or “brony” will follow in 2014, or something. Out of the gross, desperate t-shirt lines and into actual print lexicon. The Internet, right?
Here is the official definition, in case you’re wondering:
“n. informal. 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”
On the bright side, I guess this settles the debate over the style of the phrase “friend zone?” I’ve seen it written before as “friend-zone” and “friendzone,” and apparently now we know that two separate words would be the correct, Oxford Dictionaries-defined manner of spelling and style. You know, for all the times you’d be using it. Glad that’s settled.