Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®: Oxford English Dictionary falls short on definition of ‘biker’.
The word “biker” sure has come a long way. In the 1880’s this word started out as a way to describe those radical individuals who rode bicycles! Yet by the 1950’s the word began to take on a whole new meaning and was used to describe members of motorcycle gangs. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defined it as such. As motorcyclists, we identify ourselves as bikers and many of us resent the implications that we are all dangerous gang members looking for trouble.
Since the 1950’s, the majority of bikers have worked very hard to change this attitude towards motorcycle riders. We are part of fundraisers, charity rides, Toys For Tots, and other important community organizations. We brake for animals, ride respectfully, and obey the traffic laws. In fact, our very own motorcycle lawyer Russ Brown has championed this cause for the last 35 years. Why? Because he knew that changing the public perception about motorcyclists was the first key towards protecting riders against discrimination and unfair legal treatment.
This year, the Oxford English Dictionary decided to redefine the word “biker”. Yet it was not quite the change we were all hoping to see.
“Biker: a motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group”
That’s right. They simply added the word “group” to the old definition. While this is certainly a positive change, I was hoping for a bit more. After all, as bikers–we are a whole lot more. We are women and we are men; we are old, and we are young; we are spirited and we are cautious; we are respectful; we are charitable and we are adventurous—and everything in between. You can no longer judge a biker by his leather clad jacket. Bikers are grandmothers, farmers, beauty queens, and attorneys.
What do you think? Does the new definition of the word biker reflect the majority of the motorcycling community and the way people are using the word today or is it still not quite right? If you were to define “biker” what would your definition be? I’ll tell you what ours is: “someone who has a passion for motorcycling.”
Share your thoughts!
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®