a businesswoman working at her desk looks worried as she is approached by a colleague

New words – 5 December 2022

Nattakorn Maneerat / iStock / Getty Images Plus

desk-bombing noun [U]
UK /ˈdeskˌbɒm.ɪŋ/ US /ˈdeskˌbɑː.mɪŋ/
the activity of suddenly going to talk to someone who is working at their desk, rather than phoning them or sending them an email, seen by some people as impolite

On “desk-bombing”, Trehan goes on: “One explanation is that workers grew accustomed to going solo during the lockdowns and, once back in-office, felt uncomfortable interacting with colleagues and clients face-to-face. But, if so, surely surprise Zoom calls are much the same thing. Those who’d rather be left alone in the office treat desk-bombing as if it was some kind of HR issue or breach of contract”.
[hrgrapevine.com, 25 October 2022]

Sunday scaries noun [plural]
UK /ˌsʌn.deɪ ˈskeə.riz/ US /ˌsʌn.deɪ ˈsker.iz/
a feeling of stress or anxiety experienced by someone on a Sunday before they have to go back to work the next day after the weekend

Sunday is often a chance to catch up with friends, lost sleep, and recover from last night’s hangover. But for many of us, by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, a feeling of intense anxiety and dread sets in – often referred to as the “Sunday scaries.” It’s hardly surprising the Sunday scaries are so common. After all, research shows Sunday is our unhappiest day of the week – with Saturday being the peak. There are a number of reasons why the Sunday scaries happen, and how you spend your weekend can play a big role.
[cnn.com, 14 August 2022]

quiet hiring noun [U]
UK /ˌkwaɪ.ət ˈhaɪə.rɪŋ/ US /ˌkwaɪ.ət ˈhaɪr.ɪŋ/
the activity of employing someone who already works in the company in a different role, often someone who is already doing many of the tasks that the new position demands

More specifically, Google is using an under-the-radar recruiting strategy of quiet hiring. It’s part of what enables it to identify the brightest minds (internally and externally) and place the best candidates into its open positions. And Google isn’t the only company that uses some form of quiet hiring. In fact, it’s a tried-and-true method that many businesses, large and small, employ.
[inc.com, 8 September 2022]

About new words

New words – 28 November 2022

lucigerma / iStock / Getty Images Plus

thermal tourism noun [U]
UK /ˌθɜː.mᵊl ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌθɝː.mᵊl ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
travel to a warmer country to spend the winter months there in order to avoid the cold weather and higher heating bills in your own country

Tourism operators in Southern European countries are hoping to capitalise on cold winters and energy bills elsewhere on the continent by advertising their warmer climates as winter approaches. Destinations including Greece, southern Spain and the Canary Islands are taking advantage of “thermal tourism”, a trend in Britain for flying to cheaper, warmer climates to escape the winter and the cost of living crisis in the UK.
[independent.ie, 11 October 2022]

African plume noun [C]
/ˌæf.rɪ.kən ˈpluːm/
a long, thin mass of warm air that moves upwards from Africa, causing warmer weather in more northerly parts of the world

Parts of the UK could be in for a rare Indian summer this month – with temperatures rising as high as 22C. An “African plume” will push temperatures up across the country over the next two weeks, with some forecasters suggesting that the mild spell will last up to Halloween on October 31.
[mirror.co.uk, 17 October 2022]

warm bank noun [C]
UK /ˌwɔːm ˈbæŋk/ US /ˌwɔːrm ˈbæŋk/
a place such as a library, museum or other public building where someone can go to get warm in the winter if they cannot afford to heat their home, run as a public service by a town council, charity etc.

If you were in any doubt about the scale of the cost of living crisis devastating the UK, the fact councils and charities are preparing to open “warm banks” should tell you everything you need to know … The charity New Beginnings Reading is setting up Reading’s first warm bank this winter, hosted in an old refurbished pub. It will keep its heating on around the clock, and act as a social place where people can enjoy a hot drink and soup together.
[bigissue.com, 16 September 2022]

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a man wearing earbuds asleep in bed

New words – 21 November 2022

a man wearing earbuds asleep in bed
monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

brown noise noun [U]
/ˌbraʊn ˈnɔɪz/
a type of sound that resembles a low rumble or the noise the sea makes, thought by some people to encourage sleep and relaxation

Welcome to the cult of brown noise, a sometimes hazily-defined category of neutral, dense sound that contains every frequency our ears can detect. Brown noise is like white noise but has a lower, deeper quality … There have been few studies on using brown noise as a sleep aid, though one of the claims floating around TikTok is that it can help you nod off.
[nytimes.com, 23 September 2022]

motion pillow noun [C]
UK /ˈməʊ.ʃən ˌpɪl.əʊ/ US /ˈmoʊ.ʃən ˌpɪl.oʊ/
a type of pillow that automatically adjusts the position of the sleeping person’s head when it detects that they are snoring

With innovative sleeping technology like a motion pillow, individuals suffering from chronic snoring enable uninterrupted nasal breathing. When this device detects snoring, it inflates and gently adjusts the user’s head without causing disturbances to alleviate snoring slowly. In turn, the person can avoid releasing annoying sounds at night and enable a restful sleep for their roommates.
[healthtechzone.com, 31 August 2022]

nap box noun [C]
UK /ˈnæp ˌbɒks/ US /ˈnæp ˌbɑːks/
a type of narrow cupboard designed for someone to stand in while they have a short nap, the inside having special shelves to support the person’s head and body

The workforce in Japan is apparently so overwhelmed that two companies are partnering up to create new upright “nap boxes.” Illustrations of the new design show neutral, innocuous-looking tubes with midcentury-inspired wooden legs. The shelves inside act like full-body armrests — helpful for preventing users from falling over as they doze off between meetings.
[futurism.com, 15 July 2022]

About new words

2022 Word of the Year

Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2022

2022 Word of the YearOnce again, it’s the time of year when the Cambridge Dictionary team looks back over the past twelve months to choose a word that represents what the dictionary, and what the English language, means to its users. This year’s word might surprise you, so read on to find out why the Word of the Year 2022 is… homer! Continue reading “Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2022”

a close-up photograph of one person passing a handful of bank notes to another - only their hands are visible against a black background

New words – 14 November 2022

a close-up photograph of one person passing a handful of bank notes to another - only their hands are visible against a black background
naruecha jenthaisong / Moment / Getty

Great Wealth Transfer noun [S]
UK /ˌgreɪt ˈwelθ ˌtræns.fɜːʳ/ US /ˌgreɪt ˈwelθ ˌtræns.fɝː/
the gradual movement of money from baby boomers (people born in the mid-1940s to mid-1960s) to younger generations, either given as gifts or passed on through inheritance

Ultimately, while the specific impacts at this stage remain relatively unknown, it’s important to acknowledge that the Great Wealth Transfer won’t just be about passing down money to adult children. It’s clear the transfer will redefine many aspects of the economy. So, what can you do today to stay ahead of the economic changes coming?
[entrepreneur.com, 27 September 2022]

effective altruism noun [U]
UK /ɪˌfek.tɪv ˈæl.tru.ɪ.zᵊm/ US /əˌfek.tɪv ˈæl.tru.ɪ.zᵊm/
a movement and area of research that aims to work out the best way of helping other people and solving the world’s problems

In a few short years, effective altruism has become the giving philosophy for many Silicon Valley programmers, hedge funders and even tech billionaires. At its core, effective altruism is devoted to the question of how one can do as much good as possible with the money and time available to them.
[nytimes.com, 8 October 2022]

thriftifarian noun [C]
UK /ˌθrɪft.əˈfeə.ri.ən/ US /ˌθrɪft.əˈfer.i.ən/
someone who is well off but pretends they have to spend less money and not buy certain things so that they appear to be in the same situation as most other people

I came up with a name for a similar group of people: “thriftifarians”. These are middle- or upper-class people who take virtuous pleasure in the selective economies they don’t need to make, especially during times of recession. It seems the thriftifarian is back, only this time what matters most is signalling your fictitious need to economise, whether you actually do so or not.
[theguardian.com, 17 October 2022]

About new words

a group of four young people on a boat smiling at the camera

New words – 7 November 2022

a group of four young people on a boat smiling at the camera
AscentXmedia / iStock / Getty Images Plus

liveaboard noun [C]
UK /ˈlɪv.əˌbɔːd/ US /ˈlɪv.əˌbɔːrd/
someone who lives permanently on a boat

The couple are currently in Greece, “a seagoing nation” they adore for its free mooring and the warm welcome extended to liveaboards. They dropped anchor on the small island of Meganisi when Covid struck but plan to cruise on towards Turkey. “Loads of liveaboards want to lap the world in five years or whatever,” Natalie says. “But we like to get to know new places rather than mindlessly circumnavigating the globe.”
[theguardian.com, 28 August 2022]

flying ferry noun [C]
/ˌflaɪ.ɪŋ ˈfer.i/
a large boat that can travel quickly above the surface of the water, used for taking passengers and often vehicles from one place to another

Three feet above the waves, with only its hydrofoils cutting through the water, the boat leaves virtually no wake, noise, or emissions—a sea change from the hulking diesel-powered ferries that currently haul commuters through the archipelago that makes up the Swedish capital. The aim is to have the flying ferry form a part of Stockholm’s public transport fleet.
[wired.co.uk, 14 July 2022]

GOAT noun [C]
UK /gəʊt/ US /goʊt/
abbreviation for Greatest Of All Trips: used to refer to or describe the best, most expensive, most adventurous etc. holiday that someone has ever taken

More than two-thirds of Americans are planning to go big on their next trip. Expedia is calling this new “no-regrets” style of travel the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Trips) mindset … In the coming year, American travelers are going after their GOAT by stepping outside their comfort zone and immersing themselves in a destination, culture, and experiences completely different to their own.
[hospitalitynet.org, 1 December 2021]

About new words

a bathtub with red and yellow petals floating in the water

New words – 31 October 2022

a bathtub with red and yellow petals floating in the water
courtneyk / iStock / Getty Images Plus

spiritual bath noun [C]
UK /ˌspɪr.ɪ.tʃu.əl ˈbɑːθ/ US /ˌspɪr.ə.tʃu.əl ˈbæθ/
a ritual that involves having a bath to encourage wellbeing, with oils, herbs, flowers etc. added to the water and in a relaxing environment, for example with candles and soft music

A souped up version of the bubble bath, spiritual baths are an art form. Replete with petals, candles, various elixirs and some seriously aesthetically pleasing decor, they’re designed to be blissfully drawn out, contemplative, great for your mental health and truly indulgent.
[glamourmagazine.co.uk, 22 August 2022]

wearapy noun [U]
UK /ˈweərə.pi/ US /ˈwerə.pi/
the activity of wearing particular clothes as a form of therapy, with the clothes chosen to make the wearer feel happy or comforted etc.

While you can use fashion to boost your mood and make you feel powerful, Forbes-Bell also wants us to consider the emotional importance of what we wear – something she calls “wearapy”. “It’s about understanding the emotional significance and attachment your clothes have,” she explains. “Within that, it’s asking you to understand when you’re putting something on, not just thinking, does this look good? But also, how does this make me feel?”
[independent.co.uk, 15 September 2022]

scream pot noun [C]
UK /ˈskriːm ˌpɒt/ US /ˈskriːm ˌpɑːt/
a type of clay pot that you can scream into as a way of releasing negative emotions such as anger and frustration

Golkar started making his scream pots in 2011, seeking both to expand his practice with clay – and an outlet for his own repressed emotions. “It’s really difficult to pinpoint what the origins of those frustrations were,” he says, “but suffice to say, they must have been piling up for a while.”
[theguardian.com, 23 September 2022]

About new words

extreme close-up photograph of a nose overlaid with a translucent zig-zag line representing the sense of smell

New words – 24 October 2022

extreme close-up photograph of a nose overlaid with a translucent zig-zag line representing the sense of smell
artpartner-images / The Image Bank / Getty

super-smeller noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pəˌsmeləʳ/ US /ˈsuː.pɚˌsmelɚ/
someone whose sense of smell is so powerful that they can smell things most other people cannot

From petrol and perfume to Parkinson’s disease, super-smellers can detect scents others are oblivious to … One of the most extreme cases of a super-smeller to emerge in recent years is a Scottish woman who noticed a certain “musty smell” on her husband in the years preceding his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. It was only once she walked into a support group for people living with Parkinson’s that she realised the scent was common among them.
[theguardian.com, 22 January 2022]

tomato flu noun [U]
UK /təˈmɑː.təʊ fluː/ US /təˈmeɪ.t̬oʊ fluː/
an infectious disease found in children that usually causes red blisters to form on the skin

Ever since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, people have been more concerned than ever about potential disease threats. The newest of these is called “tomato flu,” and has affected over 100 children in India, according to a recent correspondence in The Lancet. The authors report that tomato flu, likely a viral disease, was first identified in the Kollam district of Kerala, India on May 6, 2022.
[www.healthline.com, 26 August 2022]

milestone anxiety noun [U]
UK /ˌmaɪl.stəʊn æŋˈzaɪ.ə.ti/ US /ˌmaɪl.stoʊn æŋˈzaɪ.ə.t̬i/
a condition in which someone feels frightened or very worried because they have not achieved the same things in life as other people of the same age

Sometimes it seems like everyone but you is reaching the traditional milestones – getting married, buying a house, having a baby, getting a promotion or starting a new business. The strain of not hitting these landmarks by a certain age can negatively impact wellbeing … Counsellors say that milestone anxiety is increasingly cropping up in therapy sessions, and that family, friends and social media can add to these feelings of inadequacy.
[linkedin.com, 16 September 2022]

About new words

a group of young people posing together for the camera

New words – 17 October 2022

a group of young people posing together for the camera
Diamond Dogs / iStock / Getty Images Plus

centennial noun [C]
/senˈten.i.əl/
someone who was born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s

From baby boomers, to generation X, all the way up to millennials, each age group has their own characteristics and their distinct way to act. That also applies for one of the youngest generations: centennials. But, is it really all that important? Yes! It is important in a context where centennials will make up to 27% of the job market by 2025.
[talent2win.com, 19 July 2022]

silver exodus noun [S]
UK /ˌsɪl.vər ˈek.sə.dəs/ US /ˌsɪl.vɚ ˈek.sə.dəs/
a trend in the employment market beginning in 2021 that has seen a much larger number of older people than usual stop working

If you thought it was only young people fleeing the workforce, think again. The UK is currently seeing a large number of over-50s resigning en masse from the workforce at a startling rate – known as a “silver exodus”. According to The Times newspaper, around 300,000 more workers aged between 50 and 65 are now considered “economically inactive” than before the pandemic, meaning that these older workers are neither employed nor seeking a job.
[managementtoday.co.uk, 1 June 2022]

nepo baby noun [C]
UK /ˈnep.əʊ ˌbeɪ.bi/ US /ˈnep.oʊ ˌbeɪ.bi/
the child of an actor, a musician etc. who achieves success because of their famous parent

They would just like to add that Hollywood nepotism is more complicated than it appears, and just because one is born a nepo baby does not mean they aren’t also human beings with emotions and nuanced inner lives as they navigate a harsh spotlight in the social media era and try to live up to enormous expectations.
[washingtonpost.com, 1 August 2022]

About new words

a smartly dressed, smiling woman sitting with a laptop at a hotel reception desk

New words – 10 October 2022

a smartly dressed, smiling woman sitting with a laptop at a hotel reception desk
praetorianphoto / E+ / Getty

director of first impressions noun [C]
UK /dɪˈrek.tər əv ˌfɜːst ɪmˈpreʃ.ᵊnz/ US /dɪˈrek.tɚ əv ˌfɝːst ɪmˈpreʃ.ᵊnz/
someone who works in an office or hotel and whose job is to welcome and help visitors

While directors of first impressions may work under various job descriptions, they must invariably succeed at one common goal: To set a warm, friendly and competent tone for all future interactions. As the first and most public face of a company, a director of first impressions knows better than anyone that it’s not always easy to make a great first impression. It’s the unfavorable impressions that you and your staff want to avoid.
[smallbusiness.chron.com, 25 March 2022]

disco nanny noun [C]
UK /ˈdɪs.kəʊ ˌnæn.i/ US /ˈdɪs.koʊ ˌnæn.i/
someone whose job is to look after a family’s children overnight during a holiday, while the parents go out to parties and nightclubs

The 21-year-old hasn’t been partying in the island’s superclubs, but working as a “disco nanny” – a growing cohort in luxe European hotspots who watch holidaymakers’ children while the parents cut loose into the small hours. And beyond: Roig often finds herself at charges’ homes until noon the following day, when they are finally ready to face the world – and their own offspring – again.
[telegraph.co.uk, 2 September 2022]

luxury detective noun [C]
UK /ˈlʌk.ʃər.i dɪˌtek.tɪv/ US /ˈlʌk.ʃɚ.i dɪˌtek.tɪv/
someone whose job is to find rare and very expensive handbags, watches, jewellery etc. for other people to buy

From a barn in Hertfordshire, the luxury detectives at Xupes can source whichever collectible designer accessory you desire – for a price … When luxury detective Reece Morgan tells me about sourcing [a handbag] and describes how “she” was so beautiful and her presence so “alluring”, I think he must be talking about the highly demanding, wealthy customer who gets to use it. “No, I mean the bag,” he says, like I’m the mad one.
[thetimes.co.uk, 13 August 2022]

About new words