Here on About Words, we frequently publish posts on phrasal verbs. This week, just for a change, we’re looking instead at a group of nouns that are formed from phrasal verbs. Some of these nouns are usually written with a hyphen between the verb and particle and some are written as one word.
rooftoppernoun [C] UK /ˈruːf.tɒp.əʳ/ US /ˈruːf.tɑːpɚ/ someone who climbs onto the roof of a high building to take photographs, often putting themselves in physical danger
This is the heart stopping moment a daredevil rooftopper climbs a New York skyscraper. The dizzying snaps show stunning scenes across the Big Apple from high up on the top of the concrete jungle’s landmark skyscrapers. [www.storytrender.com, 29 March 2017]
experience economynoun [U] UK /ɪkˈspɪə.ri.əns.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /ɪkˈspɪr.i.əns.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/ an economic system that is based on people doing things, such as taking part in sporting activities and visiting places, rather than buying things
A series of studies is revealing strange things about our spending habits. They call it the “experience economy”, which gives it the sense of a grand theory. And there is science behind it, but it’s also very simple: regardless of political uncertainty, austerity and inflation, we are spending more on doing stuff, choosing instead to cut back on buying stuff. [The Guardian, 13 May 2017]
tombstone touristnoun [C] UK /ˈtuːm.stəʊn.ˈtʊə.rɪ.st/ US /ˈtuːm.stoʊn.ˈtʊr.ɪ.st/ someone who visits the graves of famous people for enjoyment
Visiting a graveyard for enjoyment is not everyone’s cup of tea. But tombstone tourists – or “taphophiles” – are increasingly to be found wandering through cemeteries, examining headstones, and generally enjoying the sombre atmosphere. [www.bbc.co.uk/news, 7 May 2017]
We all have times when we want to give advice to someone or to make a suggestion about something they could do to solve a problem. However, it’s not always easy to do that without giving offence, so this post looks at a range of language you could use in this situation.
The most obvious words to use for giving advice are the modal verbs should and ought to:
procrastination nannynoun [C] UK /prəˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃᵊn.næn.i/ US /proʊˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃᵊn.næn.i/ a person whose job is to encourage you to do tasks that you have been putting off
Speaking of acting like children, the latest Stateside trend is to get yourself a ‘procrastination nanny’ aka a professional motivator who sits with you and keeps you on track with tasks that you might not feel like doing. Oh grow up and get on with it, I say! [barbaradaleyhair.co.uk, 1 May 2017]
air nannynoun [C] UK /ˈeəʳ.næn.i/ US /ˈer.næn.i/ a woman whose job is to take care of a particular family’s children during a flight
The air nanny will do everything for the children from keeping them entertained to making the flight pass smoothly, to preparing the child/children for bed and sleep. Air nannies will ultimately make the flight enjoyable for the entire family. And frankly, who in their right mind wouldn’t want that? [www.edenprivatestaff.com, 1 April 2017]
nanny camnoun [C]
/ˈnæn.i.kæm/ a camera hidden in a home that films the activities of the people employed to look after the children
Some nanny cams don’t look like cameras at all. They are meant to go undetected. Some nanny cams look like teddy bears while others look like cameras and are meant to be placed in a household object to hide it. [asecurelife.com, 3 February 2017]
Last month I wrote about laziness and doing nothing, but this month, when most people are back at work and school begins again (in the UK at least), the topic is the opposite: hard work and being busy.
avocado handnoun [U] UK /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.dəʊ.hænd/ US /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.doʊ.hænd/ an injury that results when you use a knife to try to remove the stone from an avocado and cut your hand instead
Simon Eccles, secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, explained how he now treats up to four people a week for avocado hand. When slippery fruit meets sharp knife and hard stone, intricate surgery is often required to mend the deep lacerations. [The Telegraph, 15 May 2017]
/kjuː/ a chewy texture typical of food from Taiwan
Q is a springy, chewy texture … it’s a cornerstone of Taiwanese cooking so revered it appears repeatedly throughout the day in dishes both sweet and savory, hot and cold, and even in drinks. [www.roadsandkingdoms.com, May 2017]
/rʌntʃ/ a run that you do for exercise during your lunch break
For many trail runners, “runch” is the most important meal of the day. Running at lunch provides a predictable window of opportunity to conquer some miles. Most office jobs involve about an hour of lunch, which is enough time to get a solid aerobic stimulus before sitting in front of a computer for a few more hours. [www.trailrunnermag.com, 16 May 2017]
A few weeks ago we looked at cooking words – specifically the range of verbs that describe cooking with the use of an oven. Today we’re focusing on words for cutting up and mixing food.
Let’s start with the cutting. There are various verbs for cutting, each with a particular meaning. If you peel fruit or vegetables, you remove the skin using a knife or other sharp object: I’m just peeling the potatoes. To core a piece of fruit is to remove the hard part inside that contains the seeds: Peel and core the pears. If you slice a piece of food, you cut it into thin, flat pieces: Could you slice the bread? / sliced tomatoes. The verb carve, meanwhile, is usually used for cutting cooked meat. You carve meat when you cut thin pieces from a large piece: Dan carved the chicken.Continue reading “What’s cooking? (Cutting and mixing food)”→
guideshopnoun [C] UK /ˈgaɪd.ʃɒp/ US /ˈgaɪd.ʃɑːp/ a shop where customers can see and try products then order them to be delivered to their home, but which does not stock them for sale
By letting customers try out products but not stocking apparel for sale, Bonobos can cut costs with smaller stores, offer a wider selection of styles and fits, and focus on customer service rather than inventory management, Dunn said. He declined to comment on the company’s growth or revenues but said the guideshops are profitable. [Chicago Tribune, 20 April 2016]
/ˌriː.teɪlˈteɪn.mənt/ the use of sound, lighting and entertaining activities to encourage shoppers to buy things
Chinese shoppers can expect to see more emphasis on retailtainment that falls into the health and fitness category, reflecting a growing consumer interest in healthy lifestyles. Not only does this mean malls are likely to make space for more sport facilities, but also that developers will set aside retail space for niche brands trying to make it into the China market. [www.luxurysociety.com, 3 February 2017]
community mallnoun [C] UK /kəˈmjuː.nə.ti.mɔːl/ US /kəˈmjuː.nə.t̬i.mɑːl/ a small, open-air shopping mall, usually with plants, trees and an outdoor seating area
There are at least two dozen “community malls” in Bangkok, often opened by small businesses … rather than the development giants whose outlets attract the likes of Prada, Cartier and Gucci. They also target a specific demographic, even if they are technically open to all. [The Guardian, 3 April 2017]
It’s August, and for many people that means holiday time (vacation time if you’re a US English speaker), so in this post I thought I’d make some suggestions for words and phrases connected with being lazy and not doing much.
ecotherapynoun [U] UK /ˈiː.kəʊ.θer.ə.pi/ US /ˈiː.koʊ.θer.ə.pi/ a method of improving someone’s well-being by engaging them in outdoor activities such as gardening and conservation work
Mind has funded 130 ecotherapy projects and helped more than 12,000 people in the process. One such project uses gardening and growing food to help people with mental health issues improve their sense of wellbeing. Green exercise therapy – walking in nature – has also proven to be effective. [www.mindfood.com, 16 December 2016]
clean meatnoun [U]
/ˈkliːn.mi:t/ meat that has been grown in a laboratory from self-reproducing cells
There are concerns about clean meat however. Some people wonder whether meat eaters will even want to eat it. They might be so stuck in their ways that the thought of eating animal products produced by a radical new method will seem weird and disgusting to them. Some meat eaters I’ve spoken to are repulsed by the idea of eating “meat grown in a lab”, even after I remind them that all processed foods start in a lab before they are mass produced in a factory. [The Guardian, 18 April 2017]
FODMAPnoun [C] UK /ˈfɒd.mæp/ US /ˈfɑːd.mæp/ abbreviation for ‘fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols’: one of a group of naturally occurring sugars that are said to be a possible cause of stomach pain and problems with digestion
In one trial, avoiding foods with FODMAPs was shown to reduce IBS symptoms in 76% of sufferers. This isn’t easy – lots of foods have FODMAPs, including anything containing wheat, dairy, fruits like apples, pears and peaches, and vegetables including onions. [Sainsbury’s Magazine, April 2017]