a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background

Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)

a man wearing a tuxedo and holding a trophy, with stage lights in background
Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

We like positive posts on the About words blog, so this week we’re looking at language connected with success. As there are so many useful words and phrases in this area this post, focusing mainly on nouns, is the first of three. As ever, we’ll look at the most frequent and useful words and phrases. Continue reading “Triumphs and success stories (The language of success, Part 1)”

a group of five young adults laughing and celebrating in a shower of colourful confetti

New words – 29 November 2021

a group of five young adults laughing and celebrating in a shower of colourful confetti
AleksandarNakic / E+ / Getty

business shower noun [C]
UK /ˈbɪz.nɪsˌʃaʊəʳ/ US /ˈbɪz.nɪsˌʃaʊ.ɚ/
a party held to celebrate a new start-up business, usually before its official launch

Some business showers include games, decorations and catering. Some founders even ask for gifts, providing links to business registry websites that have also become popular. Business showers generally differ from launch parties because they occur at the very early stages of a start-up, sometimes when the business is still just gestating as an idea.
[nytimes.com, 15 July 2021]

flippening noun [S]
/ˈflɪp.ᵊn.ɪŋ/
The flippening is an event, expected to take place in the near future, when ethereum will overtake bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency.

For those unaware, the flippening is a hypothetical event in which ETH overtakes Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization. While this hasn’t happened yet, it may not be too far off … ETH is already the top crypto held on the platform in terms of U.S. dollar amount. That could be a sign that the flippening is starting.
[nasdaq.com, 8 July 2021]

emoticonomy noun [U]
UK /ɪ,məʊt.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /ɪ,moʊt.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
an economic system that is based on the activities people and businesses engage in to make the world a better and happier place

But arguing that capitalism should be unfettered and amoral is itself a political position. No business is without its ideals in the new “emoticonomy”. This is not a circumstance created accidentally by political parties, activists or workers, but deliberately, by businesses. It has been going on for some time.
[newstatesman.com, 20 October 2021]

About new words

two women talking and smiling as they sit together on a porch

Passing the time of day and talking shop: talking about conversations

two women talking and smiling as they sit together on a porch
MoMo Productions/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

Talking is one of the most basic things we do. Back in 2019, I wrote a post about collocations connected with communication. This post looks at words that describe various types of conversation. Continue reading “Passing the time of day and talking shop: talking about conversations”

five young women wearing fashionable clothes, smiling and standing with crossed arms

New words – 22 November 2021

Delmaine Donson / E+ / Getty

bounceback wardrobe noun [C]
UK /ˈbaʊns.bæk.wɔː.drəʊb/ US /ˈbaʊns.bæk.wɔːr.droʊb/
all the clothes that someone owns, or wants to buy, for the period of time after lockdown, when they are back at work and going out socially again

Now, with the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the great re-entry, it seems a lot of women are finding that their wardrobes are insufficient, dated, or in some way lacking the polish and pep required for their revived professional and social lives. Women spent, on average, £200 between April and June on their “bounceback wardrobes”, according to the new State of Retail Report.
[telegraph.co.uk, 27 July 2021]

circular fashion noun [U]
UK /ˌsɜː.kjə.lə.ˈfæʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌsɝː.kjə.lɚ.ˈfæʃ.ᵊn/
clothes that are designed and made in such a way that they will last for a long time, can eventually be repaired or redesigned instead of being thrown away, and cause little or no damage to the environment

As it stands, most fashion products are made from new textiles, sold, worn, discarded and sent, eventually, to landfill … or worse, they are incinerated. Circular fashion looks to disrupt that linear trajectory, keeping clothing and materials in use through recycling, repurposing and rewearing, avoiding where possible making completely “new” products and reducing the amount of ecologically harmful waste.
[elle.com, 16 March 2020]

tourdrobe noun [C]
UK /ˈtʊə.drəʊb/ US /ˈtʊr.droʊb/
all the clothes that someone, usually a famous woman, wears when she is on a tour of several different places where she will be seen by the public and the media

And the Duchess of Sussex was also flying the flag for fashion as she brought an expansive tourdrobe to suit every kind of engagement (and her baby bump). Over 16 days in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand we saw the Duchess of Sussex in an array of international designers, from Aussie brands to British labels, and lots of American influence.
[mirror.co.uk, 2 November 2018]

About new words

Close-up of the words 'The End' typed on an old-fashioned typewriter

Conclusions and last hurrahs (Words and phrases meaning ‘end’)

Close-up of the words 'The End' typed on an old-fashioned typewriter
Nora Carol Photography/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In a recent post, we focused on different ways of talking about the start of things. We looked at phrases such as ‘from the get-go’ and considered more formal words for ‘start’ such as ‘genesis’ and ‘advent’. As the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’ and this week, we’re looking at the opposite – words and phrases for the end of things. Continue reading “Conclusions and last hurrahs (Words and phrases meaning ‘end’)”

2021 Word of the Year

Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2021

2021 Word of the Year2021 is almost at an end, and here at Cambridge Dictionary we have been looking back on the past year and what it has meant for you. We wanted to choose a word that represented your experiences as learners of English, and we are happy to announce that our Word of the Year 2021 is… perseverance! Continue reading “Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2021”

woman wearing virtual reality goggles reaches out to touch a screen covered in swirling patterns

New words – 15 November 2021

woman wearing virtual reality goggles reaches out to touch a screen covered in swirling patterns
Qi Yang / Moment / Getty

epidermal VR noun [U]
UK /ep.ɪˌdɜː.mᵊl.viː ˈɑːʳ/ US /ep.əˌdɝː.mᵊl.viː ˈɑːr/
a type of virtual reality (a set of images and sounds, produced by a computer, that seem to represent a place or a situation that a person can take part in) that allows the user to experience the sense of touch

These developments are made possible in part because of recent progress in “epidermal VR”. This thin, wireless system adds a sense of touch to any VR experience, meaning that we may at some point be able to shake hands or high-five a business colleague who is halfway across the world.
[stylist.co.uk, 4 December 2020]

the internet of senses noun [S]
UK /ˌɪn.tə.net.əv.ˈsen.sɪz/ US /ˌɪn.t̬ɚ.net.əv.ˈsen.sɪz/
a way of using computer technology to allow people to experience all five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell) when they are online

Currently, consumers online are restricted by technology that focuses on only two senses, sight and sound. However, all of this is expected to change with the emerging internet of senses … The internet of senses creates a network of sensory events, and is expected to make a multi-sensory experience in the digital realm possible.
[futureofmarketinginstitute.com, 9 May 2021]

affective AI noun [U]
/əˌfek.tɪv.eɪˈaɪ/
a type of artificial intelligence (technology that allows computers to share some of the qualities of the human mind, such as the ability to understand language and solve problems) that can measure and interpret human emotions

The real idea behind artificial intelligence (AI) is to emulate human-like capabilities … Affective AI goes a step further, collecting data from faces, voices, and body languages to measure human emotions. For example, the MIT Media Lab is developing a wearable device to determine a person’s mood by monitoring their heartbeat … If the user is anxious or stressed, the increase in heartbeats will cause the device to emit a scent such as lavender to reduce anxiety.
[morethandigital.info, 6 January 2021]

About new words

finger pressing a button labelled 'start'

Outsets and onsets! (Words meaning ‘start’)

finger pressing a button labelled 'start'
sarayt Thaneerat/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

One of several things that we like to do on this blog is look at the many different ways that we express the same thing in English. This week we’re focusing on nouns and phrases that we use to refer to the start of things. Continue reading “Outsets and onsets! (Words meaning ‘start’)”

a crowd of young people at a music festival on a sunny day

New words – 8 November 2021

a crowd of young people at a music festival on a sunny day
Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty

roséwave noun [U]
UK /ˌrəʊ.zeɪ.ˈweɪv/ US /ˌroʊ.zeɪ.ˈweɪv/
a style of music designed to make the listener think of relaxed summer days and evenings

Last year, of course, we couldn’t stomach celebrating; it felt downright wrong to act carefree about, well, anything. And even though oftentimes the very best pop music can help take our minds off our troubles, roséwave didn’t feel quite right last summer. But, like an old friend, it was waiting right there when we needed it, chilling to be uncorked at just the right temperature.
[aspenpublicradio.org, 9 June 2021]

glitch noun, verb [U]
/glɪtʃ/
a dance, made popular on TikTok, where the dancer moves in a fast, jerky way that makes it look as though the viewer has a bad internet connection, or to dance in this way

“The first video I did wasn’t really a glitch — it was a shoulder dance,” she said. For the second video, she moved in sync with the fast, sputtering beat, which made her look like she was glitching. Within a few days, that video racked up millions of views … Many creators challenged themselves to pull off the moves as seamlessly as Clark, while others invented their own unique glitch maneuvers.
[insider.com, 1 July 2021]

docuality noun [U]
UK /ˌdɒk.jə.ˈæl.ə.ti/ US /ˌdɑː.kjə.ˈæl.ə.t̬i/
television programmes that are part documentary, part reality show, featuring people who are filmed in real situations rather than actors playing a part, and giving facts about a particular subject

Channel 4 is bringing a whole load of entertainment to screens in 2021. From Married At First Sight UK to brand new series, Highlife, there’s no end of reality TV to delve into this year. Dubbed a ‘docuality’ series, Highlife combines documentary-style elements with some reality TV and provides an insight into the lives of a very hardworking and glamorous group of friends.
[realitytitbit.com, 10 September 2021]

About new words

illustration of brightly-coloured hands reaching towards a globe

Stepping up efforts and phasing out coal: words connected with climate change.

illustration of brightly-coloured hands reaching towards a globe
wildpixel/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

As people from all over the world gather in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate change summit, I thought it would be nice to look at language connected with this topic. Back in 2019, I wrote a post about collocations connected with climate change. For today’s post, I have looked at the official COP26 website and picked out a selection of words and phrases that are relevant to the conference but which are also useful in a broad range of situations. Continue reading “Stepping up efforts and phasing out coal: words connected with climate change.”