Archive for the ‘New words’ Category


Meerkat meme

September 3, 2015

by Colin McIntosh​
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family groups and eat insects and small reptiles. Their success with the global public is largely due to the documentary series Meerkat Manor, which was shown on TV between 2005 and 2008 and followed the lives of a group of meerkats in the Kalahari Desert. As a result of this exposure, meerkats have topped polls of the public’s favourite animals ever since. Their popularity increased further when a British-based insurance comparison website adopted them for their TV marketing campaigns. These meerkat puppets, with their friendly appearance, cute names, and Russian accents (why?) became so popular for a time that their catchphrase, “Simples!”, was on everyone’s lips. Now that their retirement from the company’s marketing campaign has been reported, the catchphrase thankfully seems likely to disappear, so there is little risk that it will need to be added to the dictionary, but meerkats have now made an appearance in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Read the rest of this entry ?


New words – 31 August 2015

August 31, 2015


parklet noun a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit

Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

[WNYC: Brian Lehrer Show (US news and current events) 15 April 2015]


desire path noun a worn area of grass where people often walk

People create with their own feet what we call desire paths where they just walk on the lawn because there is no sidewalk.

[WNYC: Brian Lehrer Show (US news and current events) 15 April 2015]

DIY urbanism noun small-scale urban improvements such as the installation of street seating outside a cafe or store, undertaken by small local groups or businesses

Well, DIY urbanism is usually done solely by small groups.

[WNYC: Brian Lehrer Show (US news and current events) 15 April 2015]

About new words


Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!

August 27, 2015

by Cambridge Dictionaries Online​

About words

The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes?

We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some are new to our dictionary because they’ve become used much more often – maybe because of political or economic events, social or technological changes, or even a story that has gone viral.

From September 3, a new weekly About Words blog post will reveal how trends and developments in areas as diverse as technology, economics, food, media, fashion, and relationships areas are reflected in the new words and meanings that we have added to the dictionary. Read the rest of this entry ?


New words – 24 August 2015

August 24, 2015


hyperpalatable adjective describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing

In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

[ 11 May 2015]

sirtfood noun a food that is high in sirtuins (a class of protein) and thought to be beneficial to weight loss

So move over low-carb, high-fat cauliflower pizza, it’s the turn of ‘sirtfoods’ to enjoy the nutritional spotlight.

[ 08 May 2015]

Pegan adjective describes a diet that is a vegan variation of the Paleo diet, which is based on foods available to our ancient ancestors,
such as nuts, berries, eggs and meat

Pegan is considered the best of both worlds – offering a plant rich diet that includes protein, good fats and grains, and avoids dairy, gluten and sugar.

[ 18 May 2015]

About new words


New words – 17 August 2015

August 17, 2015


Spinglish noun the euphemistic language used in creating ‘spin’

Until you’ve mastered Spinglish, politicians and corporations […] will continue putting things over on you.

[WNYC: Brian Lehrer Show 15 June 2015]



shy Tory noun a person who secretly voted Conservative in the 2015 UK elections, especially one who claimed to the pollsters to be voting a different way

How ‘shy Tories’ confounded the polls and gave David Cameron victory

[ 08 May 2015]

Milifan noun during the UK general election, a (young) fan of UK Labour leader, Ed Milliband

Hooray for the Milifans. They can change the world for the better

[www.theguardian 22 April 2015]

About new words


New words – 10 August 2015

August 10, 2015

selfie stick

selfie stick noun a stick-like device that allows you to hold the camera away from you when taking a selfie

So your arm’s not long enough to nab the perfect selfie? Have no fear. The ‘Selfie stick’ is here.

[ 15 November 2014]



keepsake password noun a password that embodies a special personal meaning for the person who chose it

But above all, ‘we oppose randomness,’ [Douglas R. Hofstader] said. ‘Keepsake passwords are part of that.’

[New York Times Magazine (US Sunday broadsheet magazine supplement) 23 November 2014]

Keepsake passwords are so universal that they are now part of the fabric of pop culture.

[New York Times Magazine (US Sunday broadsheet magazine supplement) 23 November 2014]

tap-to-pay adjective describes a payment method which involves tapping your phone against a payment device

Combining NFC with the fingerprint-reading Touch ID, it turns your phone into a secure tap-to-pay wallet.

[Stuff (UK innovations magazine) Nov 2014]

About new words


New words – 3 August 2015

August 3, 2015

responsible luxury

responsible luxury noun high-end, green tourism and hospitality

Jumeirah’s ‘responsible luxury’ approach is an example of a sustainable travel experience – future guests will enjoy the environment as much as today’s.

[ 22 October 2014]



bio-bus noun a bus that runs on biomethane gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste

Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.

[ 20 November 2014]

The 40-seater ‘Bio-Bus’, pictured here preparing for its maiden trip from Bristol to Bath, runs on gas generated by the treatment of sewage and food waste at a nearby processing plant. It comes complete with an interesting design on the side of the vehicle.

[ 19 November 2014]

green care noun the therapeutic use of nature, especially for people with mental health issues

Today it is called green care. Though there has been no organized health-care discussion of green care in the U.S. or Canada, in the United Kingdom social and therapeutic horticulture is an increasing part of the health-care portfolio.

[ 31 October 2014]

About new words


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