New words – 18 January 2021

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

half-tourist noun [C]
UK /ˈhɑːf.tʊə.rɪst/ US /ˈhæf.tʊr.ɪst/
someone who travels to a different city or country and spends part of the time working remotely while they are there

Ed Francis … is among a new breed of remote workers, or “half-tourists”. After giving up his office in Soho during lockdown, he spent July and August living and working in Palma, Mallorca, with his girlfriend, and is now considering a permanent move. “It took me a while to settle into doing things differently,” he said. “I had to free myself from the nine-to-five mindset.”
[theguardian.com, 25 September 2020]

schoolcation noun [C]
/ˌskuːl.ˈkeɪ.ʃᵊn/
a family holiday during which the children receive online schooling

As the school year for most U.S. children begins remotely, the schoolcation has evolved from a social media hashtag into a full-blown phenomenon embraced by major vacation brands such as Four Seasons, Playa Hotels & Resorts and more. Interested? As someone who has recently returned from a schoolcation in Sun Valley, Idaho, here are a few tips to help parents plan.
[travelpulse.com, 9 September 2020]

revenge travel noun [U]
/rɪˈvendʒ.ˈtræv.ᵊl/
the activity of travelling and going on holiday more than usual as a reaction to not having been able or allowed to do so for a period of time

Revenge travel is this sinister buzzword that has been doing the rounds in the last few months to describe the angsty and bottled-up demand for travel that many of us are currently feeling. But is revenge as sweet as we’d like? The jury is still out on that.
[outlookindia.com, 15 August 2020]

About new words

New words – 11 January 2021

Romilly Lockyer / The Image Bank / Getty

chat bench noun [C]
/ˈtʃæt.bentʃ/
a long seat in a public place where strangers are encouraged to sit and talk to each other

In a bid to fight loneliness, Avon & Somerset Police set up a scheme in May to create “chat benches”. Marked with a sign that reads: “Happy to chat bench. Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello,” the seats break down invisible social barriers. Chat benches have since popped up across the globe.
[redonline.co.uk, January 2020]

joy strategist noun [C]
UK /dʒɔɪ.ˈstræt.ə.dʒɪst/ US /dʒɔɪ.ˈstræt̬.ə.dʒɪst/
someone whose job is to help people to be happier

Deeply driven by a sense of social responsibility, Harry, 50, works as a “joy strategist,” helping everyday people and artists like Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill connect their emotional dots. “I have a lot of friends that are healers, therapists, and life coaches, and I realized, that’s not what I want to do — I want to create a strategy around people finding joy and having joy be their North Star,” says Harry.
[Vogue, 23 October 2020]

social recession noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.rɪˈseʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.rɪˈseʃ.ᵊn/
a period when there is very little contact between all the people in a society

Typically, in moments of stress, we reach out to people. We spend time with people we love. And now we’re being asked not to do that, at least in physical terms. So I worry that we may incur what I think of as a social recession, with profound consequences for our health, for our productivity in the workplace, for how our kids do in school.
[mckinsey.com, 9 June 2020]

About new words

New words – 4 January 2021

katleho Seisa / E+ / Getty

vaccine stamp noun [C]
/ˈvæk.siːn.stæmp/
a mark made in a passport to show that the holder has been vaccinated against the covid-19 virus

The new “vaccine stamps” would allow tourists to avoid being held up at borders if the international travel industry starts to pick up in the middle of next year as the pandemic subsides. The stamps are being considered by ministers at the Department for Transport (DfT) as a significant way to boost the aviation industry by giving a degree of certainty to travellers planning overseas holidays next summer.
[telegraph.co.uk, 29 November 2020]

Blursday noun [C]
UK /ˈblɜːz.deɪ/ US /ˈblɝːz.deɪ/
a humorous way of referring to any day of the week in the time of the covid-19 pandemic, from the fact that it is sometimes difficult to know which day it is

Blursday is a term that’s being tossed around on social media right now to describe the merging of minutes, hours and days since COVID-19 shut so much of the world down … Days, at least for the last couple months, have been flowing into each other with no line delineating one from the other. … Blursday posts might be funny on Facebook, but Blursday is a dangerous space for many people.
[lunarecovery.com, May 2020]

V-Day noun [S]
/ˈviː.deɪ/
the day when the vaccination programme against the covid-19 virus was launched in the UK

A 90-year-old woman has become the first person to receive an approved Covid-19 vaccine in the western world—the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved last week for emergency use in the U.K.—as the nation’s National Health Service (NHS) embarks on “V-Day,” a term ministers are using to describe the biggest immunization campaign in the organization’s history.
[forbes.com, 8 December 2020]

About new words

New words – 28 December 2020

Henrik Sorensen / DigitalVision / Getty

pub desk noun [C]
/ˌpʌb.ˈdesk/
a table in a pub that someone can use as a desk instead of working at home, usually in return for an hourly or daily payment

After seven months of working from home the cabin fever is starting to set in for many people … Now savvy pub and hotel owners who are facing a huge crisis in the hospitality industry have hit on a new trend to revive their coffers and our flagging attention spans – pub desks. Why camp out with your laptop in the spare bedroom when you could be in a cosy pub with snacks and drinks on hand and probably significantly better wifi than you have at home?
[www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk, 29 October 2020]

chumocracy noun [C]
UK /tʃʌ.ˈmɒk.rə.si/ US /tʃʌ.ˈmɑː.krə.si/
the situation in which someone important gives jobs to friends rather than to independent people who have the necessary skills and experience

Cronyism. Chumocracy. One rule for them, another for everyone else. Describe it however you want, but the past few months has painted a damning picture of the Tories’ slapdash approach to governing – one that is wasting taxpayers’ money and ignoring due process, all while placing favours for their friends above delivering for our local communities.
[www.independent.co.uk, 22 November 2020]

chronoleadership noun [U]
UK /ˌkrɒn.ə.ˈliː.də.ʃɪp/ US /ˌkrɑː.nə.ˈliː.dɚ.ʃɪp/
a way of organizing your working hours around the times of day when you naturally feel most awake

Flexible work schedules are currently not the norm, but sleep experts believe they should be. For 15 years, Camilla Kring has run B Society, which advises companies around the world on how to implement “chronoleadership” – the idea that they should adapt their work patterns to suit the sleeping schedules of their employees, rather than the other way around.
[The Observer Magazine, 31 May 2020]

About new words

New words – 21 December 2020

Bloomberg Creative Photos / Getty

black sky event noun [C]
/ˌblæk.skaɪ.ɪˈvent/
a serious event, such as a cyberattack or a natural disaster, that causes a widespread power cut

The National Commission on Grid Resilience, … convened to assess our ability to prevent or respond to a so-called black sky event, concludes in a report released Thursday that the country has fallen behind. The danger of a nation gone dark is rising.
[washingtonpost.com, 15 August 2020]

the Internet of Behaviour noun [S]
UK /ˌɪn.tə.net.əv.bɪˈheɪ.vjəʳ/ US /ˌɪn.t̬ɚ.net.əv.bɪˈheɪ.vjɚ/
a way of using the internet to connect computing devices and use the data from them to track people’s activities

The research and advisory firm says that by 2023, 40 percent of people worldwide will likely be having their individual activities tracked digitally by this Internet of Behaviour. “The Internet of Behaviour captures the ‘digital dust’ of people’s lives from a variety of sources, and that information can be used by public or private entities to influence behaviour,” says Gartner.
[istart.com.au, 29 October 2020]

digital republic noun [C]
UK /ˌdɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl.rɪˈpʌb.lɪk/ US /ˌdɪdʒ.ə.t̬ᵊl.rɪˈpʌb.lɪk/
a country whose citizens can access almost all government services on the internet

In Estonia, the only public service not available online is marriage. Dubbed the “digital republic”, Estonia has the most advanced e-government in the world and nurtures a vibrant start-up community. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how … this digital republic is navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.

[Harvard Business Review, 20 April 2020]

About new words

New words – 14 December 2020

Westend61 / Getty

comfort spending noun [U]
UK /ˈkʌm.fət.ˌspendɪŋ/ US /ˈkʌm.fɚt.ˌspendɪŋ/
the act of buying nice things for yourself in order to feel better when you are stressed or unhappy

Now it’s almost fall, and we’ve graduated from hoarding toilet paper to making midnight online purchases that WalletHub calls “comfort spending.” It helps, somehow, to know that choices, even frivolous ones, are still possible. Maybe you can’t control a virus, but you can control Amazon Prime.
[houstonchronicle.com, 10 September 2020]

shecession noun [C]
/ʃiːˈseʃ.ᵊn/
an economic recession that affects mostly women

One of the unique aspects of the current recession is the way it’s impacting women: though men are more likely to die of Covid-19, the pandemic’s toll on employment is heavier for women. While the 1970s marked the start of “mancession” periods in industries like construction, the current “shecession” is heavily affecting sectors like hospitality and retail.
[www.bbc.com/worklife, 27 October 2020]

mortgage prisoner noun [C]
UK /ˈmɔː.gɪdʒ.ˌprɪz.ᵊn.əʳ/ US /ˈmɔːr.gɪdʒ.ˌprɪz.ᵊn.ɚ/
someone who is unable to transfer their mortgage to a lender that offers lower interest rates because the rules for borrowing have become stricter or their house is worth less than they owe

Mortgage prisoners are customers who have previously been unable to switch mortgages despite being up-to-date with their payments. The FCA changed its rules last year to allow lenders to assess affordability based on a mortgage prisoner’s track record of making mortgage payments if they are not looking to move house, or borrow more.
[ftadviser.com, 26 October 2020]

About new words

New words – 7 December 2020

BSIP / Universal Images Group / Getty

super pea noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.piː/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.piː/
a type of pea that is thought to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control blood sugar levels

A type of wrinkled ‘super pea’ may help control blood sugar levels and could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests a new study. The research … suggests incorporating the peas into foods, in the form of whole pea seeds or flour, may help tackle the global type 2 diabetes epidemic.
[imperial.ac.uk, 26 October 2020]

polypill noun [C]
UK /ˈpɒl.i.pɪl/ US /ˈpɑː.li.pɪl/
a pill that contains several different drugs

A “polypill” packed with four different medications to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by up to 40 per cent when taken with aspirin, a study has suggested.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 14 November 2020]

inflammageing noun [U]
/ˌɪn.fləˈmeɪ.dʒ.ɪŋ/
a quickening of the ageing process caused by inflammation in the body

If you’re stressed, your diet is out of whack, and your skin is feeling the effects of the colder weather, chances are you might be “inflammageing”. The beauty buzzword describes how an excess of inflammation – the body’s natural immune response to external aggressors – accelerates the skin’s ageing process.
[vogue.co.uk, 11 October 2020]

About new words

New words – 30 November 2020

Julia Davila-Lampe / Moment / Getty

awe walk noun [C]
UK /ˈɔː.wɔːk/ US /ˈɑː.wɑːk/
a walk outdoors during which the person walking makes a conscious effort to look at the objects, views etc. around them

Consciously watching for small wonders in the world around you during an otherwise ordinary walk could amplify the mental health benefits of the stroll, according to an interesting new psychological study of what the study’s authors call “awe walks.” In the study, people who took a fresh look at the objects, moments and vistas that surrounded them during brief, weekly walks felt more upbeat and hopeful in general than walkers who did not.
[nytimes.com, 1 October 2020]

bee broker noun [C]
UK /ˈbiː.brəʊ.kəʳ/ US /ˈbiː.brəʊ.kɚ/
someone who organizes the moving of bees from where they are kept in their hives to where they will be needed to pollinate trees and crops, and to ensure this is done safely

The Monsons don’t own these bees. The father-and-son team are bee brokers who serve as the middle men between beekeepers scattered throughout the eastern states and almond growers, facilitating the rental of hives for almond pollination, representing beekeepers to ensure their hives are safe and, when required, chauffeuring them from one job site to the next.
[junctionjournalism.com, 20 October 2020]

wildbelt noun [C, usually singular]
/ˈwaɪld.belt/
an area of land where building and other development is not allowed, so that nature can be protected and restored

A new “wildbelt” designation protecting land that is being restored for nature must be included in the UK government’s planning reforms, it has been urged … This wildbelt designation would enable new land that currently does not do much for wildlife to be protected, so efforts to create or restore natural habitat or rewild the area are secure from future changes to land use.
[theecologist.org, 17 September 2020]

About new words

Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2020

Our Word of the Year 2020 is… quarantine. Our data shows it was one of the most highly searched words on the Cambridge Dictionary this year.

Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for both search spikes  and overall views (more than 183,000 by early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen the week of 18-24 March, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of COVID-19. Continue reading “Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2020”

New words – 23 November 2020

VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty

genetic scissors noun [plural]
UK /dʒəˈnet.ɪk.ˈsɪz.əz/ US /dʒəˈnet̬.ɪk.ˈsɪz.ɚz/
a method of cutting the DNA in a cell so that it can be repaired

Researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks.
[nobelprize.org, 7 October 2020]

lyfe noun [U]
/laɪf/, /lɔɪf/
any form of life, including but not limited to the human, animal and plant life we are aware of

“Lyfe” is a recent scientific coinage defined as any system that combines four processes: “dissipation, autocatalysis, homeostasis, and learning”. Life in the familiar sense is merely “the instance of lyfe that we are familiar with on Earth”, but other much weirder types might exist.
[www.theguardian.com, 6 August 2020]

gigafactory noun [C]
/ˌgɪg.ə.ˈfæk.tᵊr.i/
a very large factory where batteries for electric vehicles are made

A £1.2bn project to build Britain’s first ‘gigafactory’ to supply electric batteries for the UK car industry could unravel without changes to UK state aid rules, according to the company’s chief executive.
[telegraph.co.uk, 4 October 2020]

About new words