Definition of a Biker
February 26, 2013 - San Diego, CA
Motorcyclists have always gotten a certain kind of reputation. Chap wearing, beard cultivating, burly men. It's a stereotype that has stuck for decades, but is far from the truth of what it really means to be a biker. Still, even the Oxford English Dictionary, considered the "most comprehensive dictionary of the English language," has stuck with that stereotype by defining a biker as a "motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang: a long-haired biker in dirty jeans."
Now, I'm not sure about you, but as a biker, I may be long-haired, which might have to do with being female, but my jeans were just washed yesterday and the closest thing that I have ever come to being in a gang is going to a book club. In fact, according to The Daily Telegraph, a poll of 524 British bikers found 74% saying the old definition was inaccurate while 21% say they were "outraged and offended." Just 2% of the riders polled say the old definition was "correct and accurate" while 60% say it was "dated and irrelevant."
In an attempt to get with the times, the OED has officially changed the definition of a biker to be a little more like this: "a motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group: a biker was involved in a collision with a car." So, we're still thought to be more of pack animals than lone rangers, but at least they give us the group option in case we don't make the cut to be in the local gang.
"This change has been made to reflect a minor shift in contemporary use of the word 'biker'," Nicola Burton, a spokesperson for the Oxford University Press which publishes the OED explains to the Daily Telegraph. "Our research suggests 'biker' is now more closely aligned with 'motorcyclist' than words such as 'hell's angel'."
This switch was made on February 22, 2013.
Do you think this is a more accurate definition of a "biker"? Let us know in the comments below.