Oxford English Dictionary has dropped its definition of bikers as “long-haired in dirty denims” after outrage from British motorcyclists who claimed the description was outdated.
Oxford University Press (OUP), which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, bowed to the pressure from Britain’s two-wheeled community.
The on-line version of the dictionary previously defined a biker as: “A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang: a long-haired biker in dirty denims.”
Figures, however, show that far from the “long-haired and dirty denim” stereotype, fewer than one in 10 male bikers now has long hair (9 per cent), the ‘Telegraph’ reported.
Also, almost half of UK bikers (42 per cent) are totally free of tattoos, piercings, facial hair or gang markings.
OUP has now changed the Oxford Dictionary’s on-line definition of biker to: “A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group: a biker was involved in a collision with a car.”
Almost 74 per cent people believe the old definition was inaccurate, with 21 per cent saying they are “outraged and offended” by it, a study by insurance firm Bennetts found.
As many as 65 per cent of motorcyclists spend the majority of their time riding alone, and not as a “member of a gang.”
A huge 60 per cent said the old definition was “dated and irrelevant”, and just 2 per cent said it was “correct and accurate”, the poll of 524 bikers found.
According to the data from Bennetts, today’s biker is most likely to be aged over 35, middle class, working in IT or telecoms and likely to ride a Honda.
It said when the term “biker” was used in the 60s and 70s, it described gangs of long-haired, leather-clad trouble makers. They generally drove at dangerously high speeds, often to confront rival gangs elsewhere.