New words – 16 January 2023

a young girl waves at the camera from the passenger seat of a car that is being driven by her mother
Rafael Ben-Ari / Photodisc / Getty

chauffeur mum noun [C]
UK /ˈʃəʊ.fə ˌmʌm/ US /ʃoʊˈfɝː ˌmʌm/
a mother who lives in an area with little or no public transport and spends a lot of time driving her children to and from school and other places

Chauffeur mums are a well-known Australian phenomenon. A lack of convenient transport options coupled with gendered roles has made many suburban women (and their children) car-dependent, whether they like it or not. And, more often than not, the demands of household chores and child rearing fall more heavily on women.
[, 8 November 2022]

sittervising noun [U]
UK /ˈsɪt.ə.vaɪ.zɪŋ/ US /ˈsɪt̬.ɚ.vaɪ.zɪŋ/
the activity of watching your children while they play on their own

Sittervising may sound obvious once you realize what it is (sitting while supervising your kids). But think about it: How often do you sit on the park bench while your child plays on the playground? Exactly. The goal of sittervising is to let your kids hang independently while you take a minute (or two) to yourself.
[, 31 August 2022]

jellyfish parent noun [C]
UK /ˈdʒel.i.fɪʃ ˌpeə.rᵊnt/ US /ˈdʒel.i.fɪʃ ˌper.ᵊnt/
a mother or father who is not very strict with their children and often spoils them

Other styles of parenting have been developed over the years inspired by animals: jellyfish parents are more lenient and permissive in their parenting. They have few rules for their children and can often overindulge them. Studies have shown that children raised by jellyfish parents show a lack of impulse control. Jellyfish parents prioritise connection and love over setting rules and boundaries. They very rarely use punishments to discipline their children.
[, 27 April 2022]

About new words

4 thoughts on “New words – 16 January 2023

  1. I had known about “Mum’s taxi” for some time.

    And chauffeur-mothers was an extension of that.

    Another word which could be in the Cambridge Dictionary of the future would be “lieversing” [as in lying down and supervising]

    [or LAYING down and supervising].

    [there was an 18-month-old and her parent who got good at this game called “Tucking In” – Emily Oster’s WINS WOES AND EARLY WEEKS].

    A lot of pregnant and birthing parents find themselves doing this.

    And always remember – jellyfish have STINGS!

    [This is what I like to tell people when they talk about “spineless jellyfish”].

    You don’t need a spine to be a powerful parent.

    Interesting words/quotes from

    I wondered if that was from their Early Childhood section? Or perhaps GCSE or A-level psychology or a NQT [newly qualified teacher] learning piece?

    I looked for “jellyfish parent” and they have been talked about since 2011 in Sharon Selby’s 8 July piece. Barbara Coloroso first developed and named the concept – a form of permissive parenting.

    And hanging independently is what monkeys [and indeed lots of other primates – gorillas and chimpanzees] do.

    I am getting a picture in my head about gibbons and bonobos sittervising.

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