Posts Tagged ‘English’

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Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

March 4, 2015

by Kate Woodford​​​​
euphemisms
We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and phrases that we use to avoid being offensive or upsetting are called euphemisms and there are a great number of them in the English language. Many euphemisms are known by native speakers of English, but are rarely used. Some are used to be intentionally humorous while others are very much part of normal, current English. Here, we focus on the last set – those euphemisms that genuinely are used by English speakers today to express things more gently or politely.

Not surprisingly, some of the most frequently heard euphemisms relate to death. A lot of people do not like to say that someone has died. It sounds too direct, perhaps even a bit shocking. They prefer instead to use the gentler phrasal verb pass away: I’m afraid her mum passed away yesterday. Another euphemistic way to say that someone has died is to say that you have lost someone: She lost her father only recently. Similarly, when people take a very sick or old pet to a veterinary surgeon in order to have it painlessly killed, they often say they have had the pet put to sleep: We’re all sad today, having had our beloved dog, Daisy, put to sleep. Read the rest of this entry ?

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New words – 2 March 2015

March 2, 2015

snapchat

snapchat verb to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat

We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now [sic] that he’s back home in England, he snapchatted me and he said ‘are you ever coming to England?’

[straightwhiteboystexting.tumblr.com
11 July 2014]

 

But if its true that I am friendzoning myself do I just ignore her and stop texting and snapchatting her altogether?

[www.girlsaskguys.com 17 July 2014]

backie noun informal a selfie that someone takes of their back

The backie. It’s the new selfie; Col. views it as marginally less narcissistic, and therefore an improvement on the orig.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 04 August 2014]

vining noun the practice of posting video loops on the short-form video sharing service Vine

Anyway, they’re trying to crack down on Vining.

[Heard in conversation (man, mid-forties) 02 July 2014]

About new words

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Lies, lies, lies!

February 25, 2015

by Kate Woodford​​​​
lies,lies,lies
According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with relationships, apparently, and helps us to work together as a community. This may sound strange, (surely lying is wrong?), but when we think about it, most of us occasionally say things that are not completely true, and often for the best of reasons. This week, then, we’re looking at the language of lies – big lies and little lies, bad lies and good.

Let’s start with those ‘innocent’ lies. White lies; are those lies that most of us tell in order to be polite or to stop someone from being upset when the truth is bad. People sometimes use the informal noun and verb fib to mean the same thing. ‘Fib’ is defined in the Cambridge advanced Learner’s Dictionary as ‘a small lie that does not cause any harm’. The word is often used by children and the collocation is to ‘tell a fib’. Read the rest of this entry ?

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New words – 23 February 2015

February 23, 2015

showrooming

showrooming noun the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer

Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

[Salon (online general interest news and information) http://www.salon.com 27 September 2014]

jerktech adjective describes controversial apps that allow people to sell things that do not belong to them, for example parking spots and restaurant reservations

BBCtrending: Should #jerktech apps exist?

[www.bbc.co.uk 15 July 2014]

Tesco tax noun a tax on large supermarkets

Some 19 other local authorities back a so-called ‘Tesco tax’ on big retailers, which could raise up to £400m a year.

[www.bbc.co.uk 26 July 2014]

About new words

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New words – 16 February 2015

February 16, 2015

swipe-right

right-swipe verb to move your finger to the right on a screen to show your approval for someone on the Tinder website

How efficient is the ‘right-swipe everyone’ strategy for dudes on Tinder?

[gawker.com 05 September 2014]

Jimmy Fallon wants you to swipe right for Britney Spears.

[www.dailydot.com 10 October 2014]

Tinderella syndrome noun the inability to form romantic relationships other than through online dating sites

In a phenomenon now affectionately referred to as the Tinderella syndrome, psychologists claim we’re damaging our love lives and ability to flirt by spending too much time communicating on screen.

[http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ 29 August 2014]

PUA abbreviation pick-up artist; a person, usually a man, who coaches people, usually men, in the art of chatting up women

Strauss achieved this by joining a sub-culture of pick-up artists (PUAs), namely men who think of themselves as experts in attracting women. I was rapt. If he could do it, why not me? A couple of months later, disgusted by the manipulative tactics outlined, I threw the book in the bin. If only it had stayed there.

[http://www.vice.com 25 July 2014]

About new words

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Oh wow! (Responding in conversation.)

February 11, 2015

by Kate Woodford​​​​
oh_wow
When you are chatting in English, do you always know how to respond? Do you sometimes wish you knew a few more words and phrases to show that you are interested in what the other person is saying? Read on!

To let the speaker know that you have understood them, you can just say Ah. People often say right or okay after this. The phrase I see is also used here:

A: The date is wrong on the letter.

B: Ah, right, I see.

A: So we have to be here by eight o’clock, not nine o’clock.

B: Ah, okay, fine. Read the rest of this entry ?

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New words – 9 February 2015

February 9, 2015

swoll

swoll adjective slang having large muscles as a result of working out

Get Swoll, Brah! A fitness blog dedicated to sharing tips, tricks, gymspiration and support to get the body you’re working for.

[shredripbulk.tumblr.com 20 August 2014]

Soon we will see all of our favorite players returning to their team’s respective training camps showing how ‘swoll’ they got from their offseason workouts.

[http://www.slcdunk.com/ 02 October 2014]

pit bush noun informal a deliberate cultivation of hair in the female armpit

Now the regrowth is spreading north, with ‘pit bush’ officially becoming A Thing.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 18 August 2014]

power paunch noun informal a large stomach on a man worn proudly as a badge of his status

But then, there’s that ‘power paunch’ theory, which posits that some men are so damned magnificent, they can afford to let their bellies expand.

[Gracia (UK celebrity magazine) 04 August 2014]

About new words

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