New words – 8 June 2020

Prapass Pulsub / Moment / Getty

cleanliness theatre noun [U]
UK /ˈklen.li.nəs.θɪə.təʳ/ US /ˈklen.li.nəs.θiː.ə.t̬ɚ/
the practice of cleaning public buildings and other places in a very obvious way so that the users of those buildings and places feel reassured about how clean they are

Housekeeping will play a pivotal role for numerous hotels in the years to come, so please consider how you can utilize the concept of cleanliness theatre so guests can see and appreciate all the hard work you’ve done to ensure their safety.
[hoteliermagazine.com, 4 May 2020]

air bridge noun [C]
UK /ˌeə.ˈbrɪdʒ/ US /ˌer.ˈbrɪdʒ/
a flight route between two countries where the covid-19 virus is well controlled, enabling people to travel without having to go into quarantine afterwards

The possibility of going abroad for a summer holiday this year has been ambitious at best, but Brits have now been given renewed hope thanks to the prospect of “air bridges” .
[scotsman.com, 21 May 2020]

double bubble noun [C]
/ˌdʌb.əl.ˈbʌb.əl/
the people from two separate households who are allowed to see each other as part of the gradual easing of restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic

In particular, social bubbles are a way to support Canadians experiencing mental-health issues due to the loneliness of isolation as well as parents who are desperate for help with childcare. But even if you fall into neither of those groups, a double bubble means some long-awaited social interactions.
[refinery29.com, 13 May 2020]

About new words

7 thoughts on “New words – 8 June 2020

  1. aleov

    Creo que no debemos recordar la historia, con los nombres de las desgracias bacteriológicas o virulentas, que son batallas ganadas con valor esfuerzo y dinero, no hay razón para recordar la era de covid.19, el mundo después del covid 19, la historia del covid.19 etc, etc, n1h1 SAR…mucho menos, tener nuevas palabras basadas en sus nombres, como si rindiéramos honor a estos bichos. No debemos pensar en que llega la “nueva normalidad”, no hay ninguna nueva normalidad, la normalidad es y ha sido siempre la misma, la recuperamos, mas no es nueva. Saludos

    1. 1949moranta

      There is no need to be so strict. This pandemic has affected the whole world and whether we like it or not the name will be remembered for many years to come. As an example, the Spanish flu started at the beginning of the last century (1918-1920) and is still remembered. Nevertheless, it cost the lives of between 50 and 100 million people but it is also certain they never had many resources to combat the disease.

  2. ALLAN

    I don’t think it’s good to change the meaning of long established words just to fit in with a (hopefully) temporary pandemic. Double bubble is already in use for being paid double pay (for working on bank holidays for example), and an airbridge is what you WALK along to get from an airport terminal building to the aircraft.

  3. Claudette

    I really enjoy taking the quizzes and participating in the voting of new words for Cambridge Dictionary. However, I would like to recommend that another (a fourth) option to the answers be added to the “new words” quiz because I, and others may want to say “yes” to the new word because it’s fitting, cool, fashionable, etc., but have not heard or seen it used before, nevertheless, to select yes, we are also agreeing that we have heard, or seen the word used before. Would you please include a “yes” option, and a “no” if possible? Thanks very much. C.

    1. Hi Claudette

      Thanks for your suggestion. We only give the option of adding a word that you have seen or heard a lot because that’s part of our additions process. You can find out more here: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/help

      We don’t add words just because they are cool, because sometimes these words disappear very quickly. We need to find evidence of a word appearing over time in writing and speech: in news, TV shows, or online. If you really like a word, the best thing to do is use it and encourage others to use it too. Once its use has increased and we think the word is here to stay, we will add it too the dictionary.

      All the best

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