Author Archive


New words – 18 May 2015

May 18, 2015


plyscraper noun a skyscraper made mainly from wood

The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

[ 03 October 2014]


FOG abbreviation fat, oil and grease as poured down the drains in domestic households. It wreaks havoc in the sewers.

Customers pre-ordering a turkey from selected stores will receive free gadgets to help collect the fat, oil and grease (FOG) from their Christmas roast.

[ 03 December 2014]

fugitive emissions plural noun a gas or other product that escapes during a process such as drilling

Cornell environmental engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea […] found newer [gas and oil] wells using fracking and horizontal drilling methods were far more likely to be responsible for fugitive emissions of methane.

[ (website dedicated to climate science) 17 October 2014]

About new words


New words – 11 May 2015

May 11, 2015


mint adjective (informal) nice; cool

Either way, the car looks mint.

[Stuff (UK innovations magazine) Nov 2014]





bae noun (slang) a romantic partner (often used as a form of address)

I have to kill my bae because he is CHEATING ON ME.

[ 13 November 2014]

See ya, bae!

[Heard in conversation (young girl, early teens) 15 December 2014]

neg verb (informal) to insult someone in order to attract theme sexually

I watched JBU this week and nearly choked on my drink when you talked about negging guys to pick them up. Just had to share.

[ 05 November 2014]

About new words


New words – 4 May 2015

May 4, 2015


Evel abbreviation English votes for English laws; the idea that only English (as opposed to Scottish, Welsh or Irish) MPs should be allowed to vote for laws that affect only England

Yet these are the two principal constitutional proposals that have come from the Conservative party in its kneejerk response to Ukip’s English nationalism and an ill-thought-out drive to impose what is commonly called ‘English votes for English laws’ (Evel).

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 18 October 2014]

English votes for English laws, or EVEL as it has amusingly become known (well, amusing to those of us with a penchant for jumping bikes over buses), came to dominate.

[ 14 October 2014]

democratator noun a dictator who is democratically elected and controls a country through manipulation and legal restrictions rather than through

Putin, you mentioned. The late Hugo Chavez was a certainly a leading democratator as well.

[WNYC: Leonard Lopate Show (US news and culture) 19 November 2014]

kludgeocracy noun government that is over-complex and ineffective

Sprawling scale becomes unmanageable; internal complexity culminates in kludgeocracy (to use Steven Teles’s term); our electoral processes seem to produce little real accountability; and interest-group-driven sclerosis chokes off the possibility of reform.

[ 09 November 2014]

About new words


New words – 27 April 2015

April 27, 2015


e-juice noun the liquid content in an e-cigarette, which includes nicotine and may be flavoured in various ways

Contestants…suck on a modified vaper until they’ve filled their chest cavity with enough vaporised nicotine “e-juice” to shoot out a belch of white smoke upwards of 4ft long.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 22 April 2015]


cartomizer noun a disposable cartridge with an atomizer inside, used in e-cigarettes

Cartomizer tanks are like other ecigarette and vaping products in the way that they differ in prices.

[ 28 October 2014]

analog cigarette noun a tobacco cigarette (used to distinguish it from an e-cigarette)

Does even the smell of an analog cigarette make you want to puke nowadays?

[ 11 December 2014]

About new words


New words – 20 April 2015

April 20, 2015


dumbwalking noun walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone

He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

[ 14 July 2014]



tech creche noun a safe where visitors to a place can deposit their mobile phones before exploring that place

The short film sees a young David Attenborough (voiced by impressionist Phil Cornwell) encourage viewers to leave the car at home and store their devices in the Tech Creche, leaving them free to enjoy the region’s majestic woodlands and coastline without digital distractions.

[ 25 July 2014]

vamping noun the activity of remaining awake late into the night, usually while chatting on social networks

‘Social media is about having agency over your own life and vamping is one way to recapture that,’ said Alice Marwick, an assistant professor at Fordham University who studies the Internet and society.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 06 July 2014]

Maybe teenage behavior hasn’t changed, whether it has a new name like vamping or not.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 06 July 2014]

About new words


New words – 13 April 2015

April 13, 2015


bio-inspiration noun the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc.

The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

[ 16 September 2014]


drought shaming noun the public shaming, often through social media, of people or companies guilty of wasting water

All across the state, people are doing their best to conserve water. But, the fight to save water has also given rise to a new phenomenon known as ‘drought shaming.’

[ 30 July 2014]

plastisphere noun the discarded plastic that is now a part of our seas, rivers and lakes and, for better or worse, is developing its own ecosystem

Scientists have even coined a new term to describe it: the ‘plastisphere’ is here. In some oceanic areas the plastic is so thick that organisms have begun evolving there, as if it were a new, toxic, ecosystem. Sadly, our precious Great Lakes may not be far behind.

[ 02 August 2014]

About new words


New words – 6 April 2015

April 6, 2015


nanorobotics noun the use of extremely tiny components (measuring a nanometer or less) to make robots

Nano-robotics is gaining importance in the field of industrial robotics. It is gaining momentum in health care and other niche markets.

[ 03 July 2014]


glass cockpit noun a part of a vehicle filled with computer screens from which the vehicle is controlled automatically, partially or entirely by computer

We have estimates of a glass cockpit in our cars being fairly soon.

[WNYC: Lenard Lopate Show (culture and society, interviews) 30 September 2014]

We already have a sort of glass cockpit, at least in some higher-end vehicles that have adaptive cruise control.

[WNYC: Lenard Lopate Show (culture and society, interviews) 30 September 2014]

screen scraper noun a piece of software that extracts character-based information from other applications and presents it in a more user-friendly format

I was just wondering if I could use some of that data and lacking an API I wrote a little screen scraper that collects name, date and GPS coordinates.

[ 07 July 2014]

About new words


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