New words – 18 November 2019

facial fingerprint noun [C]
UK /ˌfeɪ.ʃᵊl.ˈfɪŋ.gə.prɪnt/ US /ˌfeɪ.ʃᵊl.ˈfɪŋ.gɚ.prɪnt/
the pattern of lines and other markings on someone’s face that is different in every person and can be used for identification purposes

Unless you have an unshakeable faith in the incorruptibility of our own state – which, judging by the wider mood, most of us don’t – it seems bafflingly reckless to offer up your face to be logged. Yet more than 150 million people, so far, have downloaded FaceApp. Millions more have handed over their facial fingerprints in order to unlock their smartphones more easily, or to activate Apple’s cute little Animojis.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 18 July 2019] Continue reading “New words – 18 November 2019”

New words – 11 November 2019

Dougal Waters / DigitalVision / GettyImages

breatharian noun [C]
UK /breθ.ˈeə.ri.ən/ US /breθ.ˈer.i.ən/
someone who believes that by doing a special type of breathing exercise they can get all the nutrients they need from air and do not have to eat solid food

Audra Bear identifies as a breatharian and claims she fasts for up to 97 days because food gets in the way of her enjoyment of life. Despite the dangers and lack of any scientific backing whatsoever that it works, Audra, 25, insists that it is good for her. She has tried various diets over the years including being a vegan then a raw vegan for four years before taking on so-called pranic living and breatharianism.
[Metro, 28 June 2019] Continue reading “New words – 11 November 2019”

Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019

Our Word of the Year 2019 is . . . upcycling.

This word was chosen based on the Word of the Day that resonated most strongly with fans on the Cambridge Dictionary Instagram account, @CambridgeWords. The word upcycling – defined as the activity of making new furniture, objects, etc. out of old or used things or waste material – received more likes than any other Word of the Day (it was shared on 4 July 2019). Continue reading “Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019”

New words – 4 November 2019

Morsa Images / DigitalVision / GettyImages

microworker noun [C]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.wɜːkəʳ/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.wɝːkɚ/
someone whose job is to carry out a number of small but important tasks online that need human input and cannot be done by a computer

Two years ago she swapped her dental practice for online work as part of the global army of hidden “microworkers” – performing tasks that machines alone cannot. Think of a day in your “digital life”. Whether it’s your phone’s search engine recommending relevant restaurants or a music app’s suggested playlist – none of this would be possible without microworkers.
[www.bbc.co.uk/news, 2 August 2019]

slashie noun [C]
/ˈslæʃ.i/
someone who has several different jobs at the same time, from the use of the slash (/) in, for example, writer/dog walker/barista

Sam Gray is a so-called “slashie” … She’s a former teacher living in Torquay, and currently works five different jobs. In addition to her own dog-grooming business, Toodles, Sam works as a private tutor, teaches crochet and sells patterns, works security for nightclubs and bars and works two 12-hour night shifts at a local arcade.
[www.bbc.co.uk/news, 22 April 2019]

micro-bonus noun [C]
UK /’maɪkrəʊ.ˌbəʊnəs/ US /’maɪkroʊ.ˌboʊnəs/
a small amount of money made available by a company for employees to give to their colleagues as a reward for good work

Former employees of businesses that use the micro-bonus peer-to-peer system aren’t quite of the same opinion, with claims it’s “open to abuse”, as well as the fact that it can result in a popularity contest and diminish the value of the work you do, by making it seem like you’re purely working for tips.
[www.executivegrapevine.com, 17 May 2019]

About new words

New words – 28 October 2019

Marco Bottigelli / Moment / Getty

undertourism noun [U]
UK /ˌʌn.də.ˈtʊə.rɪ.zəm/ US /ˌʌn.dɚ.ˈtʊr.ɪ.zəm/
the situation when a city or other holiday destination does not receive many tourists or enough tourists

But a new phenomenon is developing. “Undertourism” is the increasingly common marketing tactic being used by less-frequented destinations. Come here, they say, because we’re not as rammed as the neighbours. Visit us, and you won’t have to queue for your Instagram likes.
[www.nationalgeographic.co.uk, 12 August 2019]

DNA trip noun [C]
/ˌdiː.enˈeɪ.trɪp/
a holiday taken by someone who has taken a DNA test to trace their ancestry, to a destination where their ancestors came from, according to that test

But to really dive into your DIY DNA trip, you will want a full-featured travel web site. Travel sites started out more than 20 years ago as search engines for the cheapest airline tickets or bargain hotel rooms. Thankfully for the DNA traveler, things have come a long way since those days.
[www.bestonlinereviews.com, 27 March 2019]

begpacker noun [C]
UK /ˈbeg.pæk.əʳ/ US /ˈbeg.pæk.ɚ/
someone who goes on holiday and begs for money from local people

Authorities in Thailand, Indonesia, and other countries are cracking down on “begpackers”: usually young Westerners who ask locals for money to help fund their journeys. Some of the travelers sell photographs or perform songs on sidewalks, while others simply ask for quick handouts… The locals to who give begpackers money are often poorer than the travelers.
[www.businessinsider.com, 25 July 2019]

About new words

New words – 21 October 2019

PeopleImages / E+ / Getty

serial returner noun [C]
UK /ˌsɪə.ri.əl.rɪˈtɜːnəʳ/ US /ˌsɪr.i.əl.rɪˈtɝːnɚ/
someone who buys a lot of clothes online and returns all or most of them, usually because the company allows them to do this for free

I have always been a serial returner. I order clothes, try them on and send them back. I am not alone. Now stores, which have attracted consumers with generous pledges of free delivery and returns, have begun to tighten their policies.
[www.theguardian.com, 15 May 2019]

crow noun [C]
UK /krəʊ/ US /kroʊ/
someone who is invited to attend a fashion show and sit in the front row, usually because they work in fashion or are a famous singer, actor, etc.

At the recent month of fashion shows, front-rowers – known as “the crows” for their attachment to wearing black – were instead clad head to toe in shades of chocolate, caramel and mahogany.
[The Times, 20 October 2018]

pre-clashed adjective
/ˈpriːˌklæʃt/
(of a single piece of clothing) featuring different patterns, such as spots and stripes

Fashion is having an ambivalent moment and, with shoppers apparently unwilling or unable to choose between two distinct designs, the trend for “pre-clashed clothes” is growing. At high street retailer Zara, there are dresses with ditsy prints alongside big swirling florals, as well as wrap dresses in contrasting colour blocks, usually with a vertical split.
[www.theguardian.com, 1 February 2019]

About new words

New words – 14 October 2019

Looking through...
sanjeri / iStock / Getty Images Plus

property noir noun [U]
UK /ˌprɒp.ə.ti.ˈnwɑːʳ/ US /ˌprɑː.pɚ.t̬i.ˈnwɑːr/
a style of crime fiction where the plot involves the people who live in a particular neighbourhood and the houses they live in

A clever enjoyable follow-up to Our House, Candlish’s award-winning first venture into property noir, this is scarily plausible.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 1 November 2018]

yarden noun [C]
UK /ˈjɑː.dən/ US /ˈjɑːr.dən/
a small yard behind a house that has been turned into a garden

I wanted my yarden to be a quiet place of refuge, somewhere to relax in a slouchy chair after work, with a beer and a book, somewhere to get lost in my slippers on a Sunday morning and, after tweaking out a few weeds, discover that my cup of tea was stone cold and a couple of hours had passed… And as well as a marvellous, lush space, I also wanted to grow my own produce.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 9 February 2019]

Dimby noun [C]
/ˈdɪmbɪ/
abbreviation for develop in my back yard: someone who sells their house or land they own to a property developer

Of course, becoming a Dimby won’t work for everyone struggling to sell – you’ll usually need land on which to develop, and it helps if you have a single-storey property among taller buildings, or a detached home in a built-up area.
[Sunday Times, 27 May 2018]

About new words

New words – 7 October 2019

The silhouette of a passenger plane flying in sunset.
Moostocker / iStock / Getty Images Plus

flight shaming noun [U]
/ˈflaɪt.ʃeɪ.mɪŋ/
the act of making someone feel guilty about travelling by air because of the impact on the environment

Yet with growing pressure and heightened concern around global heating – plus potentially higher taxes in future on flights, to counter carbon emissions, and the social effect of “flight shaming” – it is possible there will be a more substantial shift in the coming years in the way holidaymakers travel.
[www.theguardian.com, 9 June 2019]

Green Friday noun [C]
/ˌgriːn.ˈfraɪ.deɪ/
an alternative to Black Friday, when consumers are encouraged to shop less and/or to buy sustainable products instead

Blind consumerism is clearly a huge problem. Often times, the customer will settle on a product that lacks an ethical supply chain or a positive impact in the interest of getting the best deal. By celebrating Green Friday, we’re offering our customers a chance to get a killer deal on some great products made from sustainable materials with an ethical supply chain AND plant 10 trees for each item purchased.
[www.tentree.com, 16 November 2018]

net zero adjective
UK /net.ˈzɪə.rəʊ/ US /net.ˈzɪə.roʊ/
describes a situation where the amount of carbon emissions put into the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed, thereby not allowing climate change to get worse

Theresa May has sought to cement some legacy in the weeks before she steps down as prime minister by enshrining in law a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so. The commitment … would make the UK the first member of the G7 group of industrialised nations to legislate for net zero emissions, Downing Street said.
[www.theguardian.com, 11 June 2019]

About new words

New words – 30 September 2019

Ceneri / E+ / Getty Images

panda parenting noun [U]
UK /ˌpæn.də.ˈpeə.rᵊn.tɪŋ/ US /ˌpæn.də.ˈper.ᵊn.t̬ɪŋ/
a way of raising children that involves encouraging them to be independent and behave responsibly from a young age and allowing them to make mistakes in order to learn

Wojcicki credits the success of her three grown-up daughters to Panda Parenting. As children they could swim independently at two, went to the shops on their own at four, and walked to school alone at five. As adults they are the CEO of YouTube, a professor of paediatrics, and co-founder of genomics company 23andMe who’s worth around $440million.
[kidspot.com.au, 16 May 2019]

frankenbee noun [C]
/ˈfræŋ.kən.biː/
a bee that has had some of its genes changed scientifically so that it is resistant to dangers such as pesticides and viruses

So, what can be done about the pollination of crops that might cost farmers all over the world billions of dollars in losses? For many, the answer is to build a more resilient bee. Frankenbees, or genetically modified superbees, would be less susceptible to viruses, mites, and, yes, even pesticides.
[www.earthlyperspective.com, 1 November 2018]

therapet noun [C]
/ˈθer.ə.pet/
an animal, usually a dog, that is specially trained to calm people who are stressed or anxious, or to visit ill or elderly people

The therapets … will be easy to spot in their high-vis jackets and bandanas. They will mingle with passengers and staff to work their animal magic, both landside and airside throughout the terminal. The crew are already regular visitors to nursing homes, schools, prisons and universities, where they have helped improve mental health and well-being, alleviate stress and calm nerves.
[www.eveningexpress.co.uk, 29 April 2019]

About new words

New words – 23 September 2019

Westend61 / Getty Images

Whexit noun [C]
/ˈweksɪt/
the act of leaving a Whatsapp group, usually because you are annoyed with one or more of the other members

Finally … there’s always the possibility of making a Whexit – a well-timed “[insert name here] has left the group” is the equivalent of throwing a cocktail in someone’s face and flouncing out of the room, and just as fabulous.
[Grazia, no date]

edgelord noun [C]
/ˈedʒ.lɔːd/
someone who says offensive or controversial things on social media in order to shock people

What’s different about ProZD, who’s otherwise known as the voice actor and YouTuber SungWon Cho, is how everything he makes is just nice. … “I think I’m just a nice guy,” says Cho. “I don’t feel the need to be a sort of edgelord, who tries to offend people — that’s just not in my nature,” he says. “I just make what I like to make.”
[www.theverge.com, 12 July 2019]

offence archaeology noun [U]
UK /əˈfens.ˌɑː.kiˈɒl.ə.dʒi/ US /əˈfens.ˌɑːr.kiˈɑː.lə.dʒi/
the act of searching through someone’s old posts on social media websites to find offensive comments they have made in the past

Regardless of who it is directed at, offence archaeology is an ugly practice. It assumes the worst in people and unscrupulously takes comments out of context. One line taken from a conversation or a joke between friends may bear little relation to its intended meaning. Ransacking social media in search of something outrageous allows those pointing the finger to avoid difficult arguments while simultaneously assuming the moral high ground.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 25 June 2019]

About new words