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New words – 4 July 2011

July 4, 2011

lactivism noun active support for breastfeeding

I see that Rob has written a post about formula milk, regulation, and so-called lactivism.
[http://www.allaboutthevoluntary.com 19 February 2011]

tiger mother noun an ultra-strict mother who demands academic and behavioural excellence in her child and regulates every aspect of her child’s life to this end

A hugger or a tiger mother: battle of the baby-rearing strategies [www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle 16 January 2011]

manther noun an older man who serially dates much younger women

IDEO: Creepy ‘Manther’ Moment from American Idol Thursday
[http://imc.tv/videos/ 28 January 2011]

bunga bunga noun informal sexual entertainment

She is one of a string of women who are alleged to have taken part in naked ‘bunga bunga’ parties at the prime minister’s villa.
[www.dailymail.co.uk 25 February 2011]

About new words

6 comments

  1. “Tiger mother” has become a very very hot term in the US, thanks to the book, BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER by Amy Chua. There has long been a popular belief that Asian-American children do better in school than other ethnic groups. This book, by an Asian-American professor at Yale University, has reinforced the stereotype. Professor Chua has spent most of her time in interviews explaining that she was far less strict with her own two daughters than she describes in the book. Given the ambitions of most immigrant families, however, I expect that the term will remain useful into the foreseeable future.


    • WRT, “bunga bunga”, it looks it is a word that has been already used by the Bloomsbury Group during the Dreadnought hoax. That is not a new word at all!


      • It’s certainly true that “There’s nothing new under the sun.” But I think our friends at Cambridge do a great job of tracking words and phrases that have recently become common in the English-speaking media — even if they appeared there in an earlier era or under different circumstances. The word “gay,” for instance, has stimulated no end of debate.


      • This is true, and an interesting and amusing story that I wasn’t previously aware of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnought_hoax . However, the word was certainly not used in the sense given above, as has been popularised by allegations surrounding Silvio Berlusconi.


  2. I have not heared about such strange words as an English learner


    • English is known for its “magpie” vocabulary. The magpie is a bird known for collecting bright and shiny objects — scarps of foil, bits of plastic, etc — to incorporate in its nest. English tends to collect colorful words from other languages and colorful coinages from native speakers and add them to the language. Each new expression may prove to be a “flash in the pan” — a brief phenomenon, soon forgotten — or it may make its way into the major dictionaries. This may sound discouraging to an English language learner, but rest assured that before long you will discover a familiar expression from your native language in English.



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