New words – 16 September 2019

TARIK KIZILKAYA / E+ / Getty Images

life extensionist noun [C]
/laɪf.ɪkˈsten.ʃᵊnɪst/
someone who tries to find ways of making people live longer to the point when they become immortal

Life extensionists have become a fervent and increasingly vocal bunch. Famously, the community includes venture capitalists and Silicon Valley billionaires … who consider death undesirable and appear to have made so much money they require infinite life in which to spend it.
[The Observer Magazine, 23 June 2019]

patient influencer noun [C]
UK /ˌpeɪ.ʃᵊnt.ˈɪn.flu.ən.səʳ/ US /ˌpeɪ.ʃᵊnt.ˈɪn.flu.ən.sɚ/
someone who is paid by a pharmaceutical company to review or promote its products on social media sites such as Instagram

With respect to Instagram advertising, this can be problematic because a consumer might associate a product with an influencer’s entire feed rather than the information presented in a single ad. To add insult to injury, some patient influencers — who have every financial incentive to promote their products “authentically” — may omit critical health information, thus deceiving potential patients.
[www.vox.com, 15 February 2019]

gender health gap noun [C]
UK /ˌdʒen.də.ˈhelθ.gæp/ US /ˌdʒen.dɚ.ˈhelθ.gæp/
the inequality in the way that men and women experience the healthcare system

The gender health gap is varied and complex — it’s less a case of outright sexism, more entrenched societal values — but, ultimately, the statistics suggest women’s lives are being put at risk.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 22 May 2019]

About new words

New words – 9 September 2019

choja / iStock / Getty Images Plus

hound pound noun [U]
/ˈhaʊnd.paʊnd/
the money that dog owners as a group spend on their pets

Pet-friendly tourism, or the hound pound, is an extremely lucrative market – worth over £4bn and growing all the time. Dog Friendly Perthshire will provide a real opportunity for tourism businesses to expand their pet-friendly potential and boost the area’s tourism.
[scottishfield.co.uk, 27 April 2018]

sleeponomics noun [U]
UK /ˌsliːp.ɪ.ˈnɒm.ɪks/ US /ˌsliːp.ɪ.ˈnɑː.mɪks/
the money that is spent on products, techniques, etc. that are designed to help people sleep better

The latest commodity we’re being persuaded to invest in is products to help us sleep, fuelled by a booming sleeponomics industry in a sleep-deprived South Korea. But while it may seem like we’re getting a lot less shut-eye than we used to in the UK, according to most research we’re not getting any less now than we have done in recent history.
[www.independent.co.uk, 19 September 2018]

homebody economy noun [U]
UK /ˈhəʊm.bɒd.i.iˌkɒn.ə.mi/ US /ˈhoʊm.bɑː.di.iˌkɑː.nə.mi/
the money spent and earned through the production and sale of products, such as takeaway foods, aimed at people who mostly stay at home in the evenings

As you get older, you start to realise that having cool, fun New Year’s Eve plans is overrated. And now brands are starting to realise that, too. As part of a larger effort to capitalise on the “homebody economy” — or millennials who prefer to stay at home and spend money on self-care items rather than go out — services such as Netflix and Domino’s Pizza are launching promotional campaigns on Instagram and Twitter explicitly targeted at the stay-at-home crowd.
[www.businesstimes.com.sg, 29 December 2018]

About new words

New words – 2 September 2019

jacktheflipper / iStock / Getty Images Plus

homework therapist noun [C]
UK /ˈhəʊm.wɜːk.θer.ə.pɪst/ US /ˈhoʊm.wɝːk.θer.ə.pɪst/
someone whose job is to help students with their schoolwork and exams and to help them deal with issues such as stress and anxiety

Homework therapist? Yes, you read that correctly. It is a growing educational trend in the US, with parents paying fees of $150 to $600 (£115 to £465) for regular sessions of up to 75 minutes. In succeed-at-all costs New York, where parents will do almost anything to get their offspring in pole position on the starting grid of life, paying hundreds of dollars an hour for this specialised and individual approach may be no big deal.
[The Times, 8 September 2018]

break-up concierge noun [C]
UK /ˈbreɪk.ʌp.kɒn.sieəʒ/ US /ˈbreɪk.ʌp.kɑːn.siˈerʒ/
a person or company whose job is to help someone after their relationship has ended, such as by finding new accommodation for them

Onward is a break-up concierge – now, you may be asking yourself, what is a breakup concierge? Is it just someone who delivers you ice cream until you’re ready to move on? Well, kind of. There may not be ice cream, but they are dedicated to helping you through a breakup and getting your life started again – and maybe you can request some ice cream on the side.
[www.bustle.com, 25 February 2019]

data humanist noun [C]
UK /ˌdeɪ.tə.ˈhjuː.mə.nɪst/ US /ˌdeɪ.t̬ə.ˈhjuː.mə.nɪst/
someone who presents information in a way that is beautiful to look at and tells a story

The information designer and data humanist Giorgia Lupi describes her profession as “telling stories with data,” which sounds like an oxymoron, until you see her work … Her work, consistent with her upbringing, brings a tactile feel to computer code, and her appointment is an occasion to assess information design — a field located between graphic design and data science — and the possibilities it holds.
[The New Yorker, 25 May 2019]

About new words

New words – 26 August 2019

Wivoca / iStock / Getty Images Plus

tiny house noun [C]
/ˌtaɪ.ni.ˈhaʊs/
a very small home (measuring less than 37 square metres) whose residents are usually supporters of the Tiny House movement, which promotes a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle

Living large is officially a thing of the past. Settling in a tiny house is more than just a trend – it’s a lifestyle choice that people all over the country are happily taking up. Although many structures can measure less than 300 feet, with ideas this stylish and innovative, small-sized homes are anything but a sacrifice.
[Country Living, 9 January 2019]

co-ho noun [U]
UK /ˈkəʊ.həʊ/ US /ˈkoʊ.hoʊ/
abbreviation for co-housing: a system where several people buy neighbouring houses at the same time and start a community where facilities are shared

The “co-ho” concept has many variations; it usually means a group of like-minded people clubbing together to find a site and then designing and building their own homes. Often co-housing developments have shared spaces and may be aimed at a particular interest group.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 8 May 2019]

microflat noun [C]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.flæt/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.flæt/
a very small apartment, usually found in large cities where there is not enough housing for all the people who live there

A first-time buyer has forked out £285,000 on a microflat the size of a caravan in a bid to get on the London property ladder. Lissa Cardell, 32, bought her minuscule apartment in Croydon just over a year ago and says she is happy to compromise on space because it is “completely her own”.
[www.dailymail.co.uk, 11 October 2018]

About new words

New words – 19 August 2019

J.P.Andersen Images / Moment / Getty

Steve noun [U]
/sti:v/
the nickname for a recently discovered natural appearance of purple lights in the sky, similar to the aurora borealis and aurora australis

Featuring an elongated purple stream and sometimes a green, picket fence-like structure, this odd illumination can be seen lingering at latitudes far lower than typical aurorae. Bemused space physicists couldn’t ascertain whether the entity was a genuine aurora, albeit a weirdly shaped one, or something else entirely. Now, research suggests that perhaps neither answer is correct: Steve could instead be an electrical hybrid.[www.nationalgrographic.com, 3 May 2019]

Goldilocks star noun [C]
UK /ˈgəʊl.dɪ.lɒks.ˌstɑːʳ/ US /ˈgoʊl.di.lɑːks.ˌstɑːr/
a type of star that astronomers consider has exactly the right combination of features to support life

Astronomers want to know which stars are the most likely to have habitable planets. These stars can be thought of as Goldilocks stars that are just right – at least in some ways – for potentially life-supporting planets. … A new peer-reviewed study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters … might help to narrow down the search for Goldilocks stars.
[earthsky.org, 17 March 2019]

space grease noun [U]
/ˈspeɪs.griːs/
a particular type of matter found in space made up of molecules of carbon with a greasy consistency

A team of eight scientists recreated and analyzed material similar to interstellar dust, and used it to estimated how many grease-like carbon molecules … are in interstellar space, beyond the bounds of our solar system. The estimated amount of “space grease” in the Milky Way far exceeded expectations: 10 billion trillion trillion tonnes – or enough to fill 40 trillion trillion trillion packs of butter.
[www.cnn.com, 28 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 12 August 2019

Francesco Carta fotografo / Moment / Getty

microstress noun [C]
UK /ˌmaɪ.krəʊ.ˈstres/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.ˌstres/
a small act or event that makes someone feel frustrated or anxious and that can combine with other similar acts or events over time to cause emotional harm

As much as we may be living our lives according to the Big Picture, it is the Small Stuff that tends to come between us… . Those tiny, daily, grrrr-type irritations, that some clever folk at Mind International have labelled microstresses. According to their poll, Brits spend the equivalent of 27 days a year worrying about microstresses – yup, that’s just under two hours a day, every day feeling tense. It’s the small stuff like losing your keys, missing a train, forgetting your gym card, running late for a meeting or your car breaking down.
[www.thinrichhappy.com, 9 February 2018]

rage room noun [C]
/ˈreɪdʒ.ˌruːm/
a room where people can pay to smash up objects with the aim of feeling less stressed afterwards

Before discovering the rage room, I tried all kinds of ways to deal with stress: karaoke, trampoline, dodgeball, the gym. Going to the gym is about getting healthy, looking good, but when I’m smashing up toasters, the intent is different. When I behave like a caveman, I leave any negativity behind.
[www.theguardian.com, 29 March 2019]

pyt exclamation
/pʊt/
a Danish word used in response to a stressful situation to tell oneself or someone else not to worry

Pyt can reduce stress because it is a sincere attempt to encourage yourself and others to not get bogged down by minor daily frustrations. One Danish business leader has suggested that knowing when to say “pyt” at work can lead to more job satisfaction.
[www.popsci.com, 1 March 2019]

About new words

New words – 5 August 2019

Weekend Images Inc. / E+ / Getty

mommune noun [C]
UK /ˈmɒm.juːn/ US /ˈmɑː.mjuːn/
a group of mothers who live together with their children, sharing possessions and responsibilities

And so, more by accident than design, the women hit on a new domestic set-up: the “mommune” … . And for the next two years, the three of them and their six children shared their lives: Vicky in the spare room, Nicola a weekend resident and daily visitor. “We were a family,” Janet says. “We went to the supermarket together, cooked together, ate together, shared childcare. Our parents met.” The children, she adds, “became like siblings”.
[www.theguardian.com, 29 September 2018]

mumsplainer noun [C]
UK /ˈmʌm.spleɪnəʳ/  or momsplainer US /ˈmɑːm.spleɪnɚ/
a mother who gives unwanted advice or explains something about pregnancy, childbirth etc. to someone, often a pregnant woman or new parent, that he or she already understands

Just wondering… Is ‘mumsplain’ a word…. My gripe with this particular mumsplainer is she ONLY interacts with me when it is to criticise.
[twitter.com, 3 April 2017]

birth striker noun [C]
UK /ˌbɜːθ.ˈstraɪ.kəʳ/ US /ˌbɝːθ.ˈstraɪ.kɚ/
a woman who chooses not to have children because she is concerned about the world’s population being too big

My friend … is another “birth striker”, deciding when she was about 21 that she didn’t want to have children. “At the time lots of friends and family told me that as I got older, the biological clock would start ticking,” she recalls. “But actually the opposite has happened. The older I’ve got the more my decision has solidified. There are now a lot of wider issues that I’m passionate about in terms of the planet and climate change that have confirmed that decision for me.”
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 21 April 2019]

About new words

New words – 29 July 2019

zeljkosantrac / E+ / Getty

veggie disc noun [C]
/ˈvedʒ.i.ˌdɪsk/
a type of food similar to a hamburger but not containing meat, made by pressing together small pieces of vegetables, seeds, etc. into a flat, round shape

Veggie burgers are for the chop, a Brussels committee has decreed, to be replaced by the less palatable-sounding “veggie discs” … after a vote in the European Parliament … approved a ban on producers of vegetarian food using nomenclature usually deployed to describe meat.
[www.theguardian.com, 4 April 2019]

motherless meat noun [C or U]
UK /ˌmʌð.ᵊ.ləs.ˈmiːt/ US /ˌmʌð.ɚ.ləs.ˈmiːt/
meat that has been grown in a laboratory from cells and has not come from a live animal

It’s almost certain that if and when the first generation of motherless meats arrive in grocery stores, they will not be steaks, chops, or filets. They will be meatballs, sausages, and extruded nuggets — processed foods that combine laboratory-raised cells with plant proteins, grains, and other ingredients.
[www.newfoodeceonomy.org, 30 July 2018]

bivalvegan noun [C]
/ˌbaɪ.væl.ˈviː.gən/
a vegan who eats certain types of mollusc that do not have a central nervous system and are therefore not considered to have thoughts, feel pain, etc.

Eight years on, and I now live as a bivalvegan … Choosing this diet isn’t a cop out. If I believed for two seconds that eating certain kinds of bivalve was morally wrong and harmful to the planet, I would stop consuming them tomorrow.
[www.earthedupmedia.com, 12 January 2018]

About new words

New words – 22 July 2019

fotostorm / E+ / Getty

mumoir noun [C]
UK /ˈmʌm.wɑːʳ/ US /ˈmʌm.wɑːr/
a book or other piece of writing based on the writer’s personal knowledge of being a mother

Why this sudden rush of “mumoirs” now? What need are they fulfilling in our society in the late 2010s? Perhaps one purpose is an antidote to the pastel-hued fantasies of motherhood on Instagram, the impossible pressure to “have it all” and present an image of unflustered perfection.
[www.independent.co.uk, 19 April 2019]

chat fiction noun [U]
/ˌtʃæt.ˈfɪk.ʃən/
a type of story that is divided into short sections and delivered to the reader by text message

To be sure, people who read chat fiction are generally not reading Game of Thrones–length tales. The average story length on Hooked is around 1,300 words — intentionally short, to be quickly consumed on the go. But they also offer many serialized stories — essentially “chapters” — so you can get a meatier read.
[www.ozy.com, 22 March 2019]

book stuffing noun [U]
/ˈbʊk.stʌf.ɪŋ/
(of a self-published author) the fraudulent practice of adding extra, usually irrelevant content to a book in order to take advantage of a system that pays the author per word read

Book stuffing is when authors take all their works and stuff them into the back of every other book to artificially inflate their page count. Some authors even stuff in newsletters: the goal is to inflate the page count as much as possible, and thus the payout on KU page reads. Said books are usually offered at 99 cents or free, as the author is looking to get all their money out of KU.
[www.madgeniusclub, 8 April 2019]

About new words

New words – 15 July 2019

Kenneth_Keifer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

agritecture noun [U]
UK /ˈæg.riˌtek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˈæg.rə.tek.tʃɚ/
the art and practice of designing and making buildings that are inspired by farm buildings, or this architectural style

Architects are not only converting period barns; they are being asked to design contemporary homes that echo grain silos and storage units clad in undulating tin. The rise of agritecture can be attributed to a rebellion against showy homes. While much of the architecture world wants to go bigger, shinier and more tricksy, some practices are heading in the other direction, where restraint and modesty lead to a home blending in with its location.
[The Times, 6 April 2018]

landscraper noun [C]
UK /ˈlændˌskreɪ.pəʳ/ US /ˈlændˌskreɪ.pɚ/
a very large building that takes up a lot of space on the land

KONE Corporation, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, has won an order to equip Google’s new UK headquarters building, KGX1. The 11-story-tall and 312-meter-long “landscraper” will run parallel to the platforms of London’s King’s Cross railway station in England and will sit at the heart of a campus for 7,000 Google employees.
[news.cision.com, 6 March 2019]

superblock noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.blɒk/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.blɑːk/
a space in a city made up of several blocks, where only local traffic is permitted and the needs of the people who live there are given priority

On Barcelona’s superblocks, local access for motor vehicles is still permitted, but through traffic is not. The streets are designed to make drivers feel like they are visitors, with narrow rights-of-way for cars. Almost all car traffic is local residents or people with personal business on the block. Without dangerous car traffic overrunning the streets, generating noise and pollution, superblocks are full of life.
[vimeo.com, 3 August 2018]

About new words