New words – 17 December 2012

jigsaw family noun a family in which two or more sets of children from previous relationships live together

When she was asked to write a sequel to a classic children’s book, Jacqueline Wilson said no. But then she saw the fun she could have with the wish-granting fairy and a modern jigsaw family.

[ 10 Aug 2012]

momshell noun informal a very attractive and glamorous new mother, usually a celebrity

Call them ‘momshells’ (mother-as-bombshell) for bouncing back after having a baby and jumping right back into their busy Hollywood careers looking svelte and stylish with no signs of baby weight.

[ 20 Aug 2012]

three-parent IVF noun a form of in vitro fertilization in which the egg of a third person is used to provide a shell into which an embryo is planted

Accusations of ‘medical consumerism’ and ‘scientific fetishism’ are levelled at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority today as it seeks the views of the public on the controversial technique known as three-parent IVF.

[The Independent (UK broadsheet) 17 Sept 2012]

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2 thoughts on “New words – 17 December 2012

  1. Luc 007

    I am rather puzzled as to how “three-parent IVF” can work as described in your definition. An embryo is actually the result of the encounter between an egg (ovule) and a sperm : when those two meet, the cell division process begins and the embryo starts a life of its own, so how is it possible to “plant” an embryo into another egg ? I think you may want to refine your definition, as it does not seem to have the level of accuracy you have accustomed us to. Perhaps you should specify “in which the outer membrane of a third person’s egg, deprived of its own nuclear genetic material, is used etc.” This would seem to me to reflect more accurately the three-parent IVF process.

    1. Harry

      I agree that the definition is ineptly phrased. I assume that the term refers to the process of fertilizing the egg of one woman, then implanting the resulting embryo in the uterus of another woman, usually called a “surrogate mother.” This process usually occurs when when a woman is, for medical reasons, unable to carry a pregnancy to term, or when a gay male couple wishes to conceive, rather than adopt a child.

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