New words – 8 February 2016

February 8, 2016


farecasting noun predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app

A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

[www.nytimes.com 14 September 2015]

unsend noun the action of deleting an email after it has been sent

Gmail had heard our prayers and officially launched an unsend function.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 18 July 2015]

digital diet noun a deliberate reduction in the amount of time spent on the Internet

With our Internet habit being blamed for a spike in our stress levels, some techies are putting themselves on a ‘digital diet’.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 17 August 2015]

About new words


Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)

February 3, 2016

by Liz Walter​
doctor_patient2My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s.

Read the rest of this entry »


Indian imports and exports

February 2, 2016

by Colin McIntosh​

IndiaEnglish has spread far beyond its original home. Now spoken on almost every continent, it has evolved into many varieties that are mostly mutually comprehensible, given a little knowledge of some local vocabulary and expressions. The Cambridge dictionary has an international readership, and this is reflected in many of the new additions to the dictionary. This week we look at some of those new additions from India.

We will start with the word swadeshi, which is used to mean “made and sold or used in India”:

The ministry has launched the commercial sale of swadeshi diesel with the aim of reducing oil imports.

Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 01 February 2016

February 1, 2016


awesomesauce noun slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable

Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

[http://katch.me/ 03 August 2015]

Sensei Yu is basically the totally best ever awesomesauce.

[themostexcellentandawesomeforumever-wyrd.com 18 August 2015]

Here’s a list of some of her famous, awesome-sauce relatable characters throughout her career (and sorry I’m not going to mention her Bring It on Again no matter how much you try to make me …. I just won’t).

[www.themarysue.com 10 September 2015]

weak sauce noun slang the state of being inferior or disappointing, or someone or something that is inferior or disappointing

Sorry, Joe Negron, but this latest ploy for Senate Presidency is weak sauce.

[floridapolitics.com 26 August 2015]

My lucid dreams are weak sauce. Need help please!

[http://ld4all.com/ 26 August 2015]

nothing burger noun informal something that has no substance or meaning

It’s then that we’ll find out if the putative agreement is, in the words of a senior negotiator, a ‘nothing-burger’.

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 09 September 2015]

It’s frustrating to show her the statistics that say DCIS is a nothing burger but not be able to make her doubt the advice of her ‘expert’ doctor.

[https://market-ticker.org 25 August 2015]

About new words


David Bowie, 1947-2016

January 27, 2016

by Kate Woodford
bowieDavid Bowie, pop star, actor and style icon, died on Sunday January 10th, 2016. Over five decades, he released 26 albums, starred in numerous films, and was one of the most revered and successful stars in the world. News of his death has elicited tributes and eulogies like almost no-one else before.

Read the rest of this entry »


Peak beard has been reached

January 26, 2016

by Colin McIntosh​

beardBy definition, the most cutting-edge fashions cannot be too popular. Being different from the rest of the herd is what marks out the true trendsetter, and once the trends he or she has espoused become ubiquitous, he or she needs to move on to the next new thing. In this bewildering world of change, the Cambridge dictionary is there at the cutting edge to bring you the latest trends in the English language.

Anyone who has lived in or visited a city in the western world over the past five years cannot fail to have noticed the bizarre popularity of beards. Whereas before beards were derided by fashionistas as the province of grandaddies, now a cult has grown up around them. But their very ubiquity is now their downfall. We have now, it seems, reached peak beard: the tipping point where their popularity means that they are no longer an indicator of being in the vanguard. Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 25 January 2016

January 25, 2016

kickskicks plural noun slang trainers

You can be wearing wavy garms or wavy kicks.
[Heard in conversation (UK teens) 05 July 2015]

From crop flares with tennis shoes to grunger-girl baggies with thick-soled skate kicks, here are three sneaker-flare formulas you need to know now.
[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 13 July 2015]

ear jacket noun a type of earring with a decorative part that curves under the lobe from behind

It’s all about an ear jacket, like the purple, £124 Missoma beauties.
[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 22 August 2015]

slashkini noun a one-piece swimsuit with lots of cut-outs, giving the appearance of having been slashed

Would YOU wear a slashkini? Millie Mackintosh, Vogue Williams and Nadia Forde lead summer’s hottest swimwear trend (but just imagine the tan lines!)
[www.dailymail.co.uk 17 July 2015]

About new words

Cambridge Conversations

Commenting on developments in the English language


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