New words – 4 February 2019

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rosehip neuron noun [C]
UK /ˌrəʊz.hɪp.ˈnjʊə.rɒn/ US /ˌroʊz.hɪp.ˈnʊr.ɑːn/
a type of human brain cell with a distinctive appearance that looks similar to a rosehip (the fruit of the rose plant)

One reason rosehip neurons eluded neuroscientists for so long is likely because the cells are so rare in the brain, Bakken said. Another reason, he added, is because human brain tissue is difficult for scientists to obtain for study. Indeed, in the study, the researchers examined only one layer of the brain. It’s possible, however, that rosehip neurons could be found in other layers, too, Bakken said.
[Live Science, 27 August 2018]

scutoid noun [C]
UK /ˈskjuː.tɔɪd/ US /ˈskuː.tɔɪd/
a three-dimensional shape found in skin cells

What matters is that mathematicians had never before conceived of the scutoid, much less given it a name. What matters even more is that scutoids turn out to be everywhere, especially in living things. The shape, however odd, is a building block of multicellular organisms; complex life might never have emerged on Earth without it.
[The New Yorker, 30 July 2018]

interstitium noun [C]
UK /ɪn.təˈstɪʃ.əm/ US /ɪn.tɚˈstɪʃ.əm/
a human organ made up of spaces filled with fluid situated in and between tissue and other organs

Remarkably, the interstitium had previously gone unnoticed despite being one of the largest organs in the human body … The researchers realised traditional methods for examining body tissues had missed the interstitium because the “fixing” method for assembling medical microscope slides involves draining away fluid – therefore destroying the organ’s structure.
[, 28 March 2018]

About new words

New words – 28 January 2019

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Blue Monday
noun [C]
the third Monday in January, said to be the most depressing day of the year

Arnall devised a literal mathematical formula to arrive at the Blue Monday theory. It factors in weather, debt and time since Christmas, timing of New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the urgent feeling that you need to take action. It also reflects that Monday is regarded as the worst day of the week with many dreading the prospect of returning to work.
[, 15 January 2019]

Continue reading “New words – 28 January 2019”

New words – 21 January 2019

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green screen noun [C]
a large steel grid densely covered with ivy thought to act as a barrier to air pollution

Schools are being pressured into buying expensive ‘green screens’ to shield children from air pollution despite concerns that they are not the best solution and may make little overall difference to health … More than a dozen schools in London, Manchester and Leeds have already installed green screens and at least 30 more have applied to the Greater London Authority for grants of up to £35,000 to buy them after they were recommended by air quality audits.
[The Times, 27 October 2018]

precipitation whiplash noun [U]
UK /prɪˌsɪp.ɪˈteɪ.ʃən.ˈwɪp.læʃ/ US /priːˌsɪp.əˈteɪ.ʃən.ˈwɪp.læʃ/
a period of very dry weather followed by a period of very wet weather, thought to be caused by the effects of climate change

Abrupt transitions in California from a parched winter to a soggy one … will become more common if greenhouse gases continue to increase, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change. This “precipitation whiplash” has implications for both wildfire and flood risk.
[, 23 April 2018]

climate gentrification noun [U]
UK /ˈklaɪ.mət.ˌdʒen.trɪ.fɪˈkeɪ.ʃən/ US /ˈklaɪ.mət.ˌdʒen.trə.fəˈkeɪ.ʃən/
the process by which a place that is thought to be less at risk of the effects of climate change turns from a poor area to a richer one

The study finds considerable evidence of climate gentrification, and for the elevation hypothesis in particular. Properties at high elevations have experienced rising values, while those at lower elevations have declined in value. In fact, elevation had a positive effect on price appreciation in more than three-quarters of the properties and 24 of the 25 separate jurisdictions the authors examined.
[, 11 July 2018]

About new words

New words – 14 January 2019

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anxiety consumerism noun [U]
UK /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.ti.kənˈsjuː.mə.rɪ.zəm/ US /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.t̬i.kənˈsuː.mɚ.ɪ.zəm/
the situation in a society where a large number of products designed to ease anxiety are available to buy

Have you heard of the latest trend hitting the retail industry? It’s called anxiety consumerism … The past few years have seen a jump in sales for products such as adult coloring books and essential oils and diffusers. And more recently, for products like fidget spinners and weighted blankets – this time with marketing aimed more towards the younger group suffering from this mental health condition.
[, 27 September 2018]

magic point of sale noun [C]
a shop or e-commerce site where customers can use new technologies such as augmented reality to browse and test products before they buy them

In 2018, consumers expect to summon retail experiences as they would a genie from a lamp, called forth from a smartphone, personal assistant, smart speaker, or even from the physical environment itself. That means summoning an on-demand magic point of sale that allows them to engage with your brand, browse products, test and purchase in innovative new ways.
[, August 2018]

care commerce noun [U]
UK /keəʳ.ˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /ker.ˈkɑː.mɝːs/
the services offered by companies that allow the products they sell to last longer

Stores will help consumers to preserve their purchases, known as care commerce … Brands are beginning to capitalise on this trend. Nike has installed sneaker dry-cleaning and engraving services in its Moscow flagship and French luxury brand Hermès has popped up around the globe with … laundrettes offering a free dry cleaning and dyeing service for owners of its iconic silk scarves.
[, 21 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 7 January 2019

AlexZabusik / iStock / Getty Images Plus

groomsmaid noun [C]
a female friend of a man who is getting married who has special duties at the wedding

Actress Christina Hendricks has landed an odd job at her former Mad Men castmate Michael Gladis’ upcoming wedding – she’ll serve as a “groomsmaid”. The actress will dress like one of bride-to-be Beth Behrs’ bridesmaids, but take care of all the last-minute things Gladis needs. “I’m sort of there as one of the best men…,” she tells talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
[, 10 April 2018]

buddymoon noun [C]
a honeymoon to which the married couple’s friends are invited

One honeymoon option becoming increasingly popular is the buddymoon, or a honeymoon where you bring your gang along for the ride. And while many brides are hesitant to take the most romantic trip of their lives … with their friends, others are embracing the trend and starting off their new life not only alongside their soulmate, but with the others in closest to them.
[, 24 November 2017]

sten do noun [C]
a party or other celebration for a man and woman who are going to get married, to which both the bride’s and groom’s friends are invited: a blend of ‘stag do’ and ‘hen do’

We are choosing to have a sten do, because our interests lie in similar activities, and we feel that the premise of traditional hen and stag dos is outdated. So many of our friends have reminded us that it’s our last night of freedom. We’re already committed to each other, and living with one another – what would we do on a hen or stag do that we wouldn’t normally do together?
[Metro, 16 May 2018]

About new words

New words – 31 December 2018

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hypebeast noun [C]
a young person who is obsessed with buying the latest expensive designer clothes

For those who do not understand this world, spending hundreds on a white T-shirt with a small logo on it might sound like a vain waste of money, but it is the hypebeasts that might be having the last laugh. Many savvy young teenagers are making a fortune online, often queuing in the rain for hours to buy items on the day they’re released in store … then immediately selling them on at a profit on eBay.
[, 9 January 2018]

bundle buying noun [U]
a way of buying clothes where a number of garments that go well together are personally selected for the buyer and posted out to them

So, does this signal the end of personal style? Not at all. Think of bundle buying instead as saving time and streamlining your wardrobe – deal with the basics and you have more time to be creative.
[Grazia, 13 February 2018]

Zozosuit noun [C]
UK /ˈzəʊ.zəʊ.suːt/ US /ˈzoʊ.zoʊ.suːt/
a close-fitting garment covered in sensors that takes precise measurements of the wearer’s body and can then be used to buy items of clothing custom-made to the correct size

In the first 10 hours after the Zozosuit launched in Japan in November 2017, roughly 230,000 orders were placed and since then there have been more than a million. The company says it expects to distribute up to 10 million suits by March 2019, not entirely unrealistic given that Zozosuit launches in the UK and 72 other countries and regions (including India, China, the US and Brazil) in the coming month.
[, 27 July 2018]

About new words

New words – 24 December 2018

Pete Orelup / Moment / Getty

laze noun [C]
a lava haze: a toxic cloud formed when hot lava flows into cold seawater

Laze plumes can travel with the wind and can change direction quickly, which has prompted authorities to urge the public to avoid the area completely … Even being downwind of the entry point is not advised because the wispy edges of the laze can cause skin and eye irritation and difficulty breathing.
[, 21 May 2018]

firenado noun [C]
UK /faɪə.ˈneɪ.dəʊ/ US /faɪr.neɪ.doʊ/
a fire tornado: a strong, dangerous wind created by a large fire that forms itself into an upside-down spinning cone

Firefighters have captured the moment a “firenado” – a fire tornado resembling a twister – engulfed a plastics factory in Derbyshire. The cyclonic vista was created by a combination of turbulent air and intense heat, and was tackled by officers from services in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
[, 8 August 2018]

Hothouse Earth noun [C, U]
UK /ˌhɒt.haʊs.ˈɜːθ/ US /ˌhɑːt.haʊs.ˈɝːθ/
a situation where it will no longer be possible to control climate change, leading to large areas of Earth becoming uninhabitable

In a Hothouse Earth, global average temperatures would rise 4–5° C (7–9° F) and sea levels will rise 10–60 meters (33–200 feet) above today’s levels. This would be catastrophic for many aspects of modern civilization. Many agricultural regions would become too hot and arid to sustain crops, making it impossible to feed large swaths of humanity.
[, 9 August 2018]

About new words

New words – 17 December 2018

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social jetlag noun [U]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈdjet.læg/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈdjet.læg/
the feelings of tiredness and confusion that people experience when they do not have a regular sleeping pattern, especially when they sleep for longer at weekends

The University of Adelaide sleep specialist Robert Adams said a growing body of research suggested poor sleep was taking a serious toll on Australians’ health and welfare. A study … found that 31% of survey respondents were suffering social jetlag. That is, the time of their sleep on work nights was more than an hour out of sync with sleeps on weekends or other days off.
[, 8 July 2018]

nap bar noun [C]
UK /ˈnæp.bɑːʳ/ US /ˈnæp.bɑːr/
a place where you can pay money to sleep for a short time during the day

Last year, a survey … revealed that Londoners are more sleep deprived than the rest of the UK. Now someone has gone and launched a nap bar where overworked, overtired city dwellers can get some much needed shut-eye.
[Time Out, 6 December 2017]

sleep pod noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp.pɒd/ US /ˈsliːp.pɑ:d/
a space, often a small room with a comfortable chair or small bed, where you can sleep for a short time during the day

Upstairs, on floor two, are seven sleep pods stocked with amenities to lull you into the most restful nap you’ve ever had in New York City. The private rooms have ceilings with twinkling stars, soundproof curtains, live plants, essential oil diffusers, reading lights, noise-canceling headphones, and more. Guests can even upgrade for additional linens.
[, 2 March 2018]

About new words

New words – 10 December 2018

Tim Macpherson / Cultura / Getty

tsundoku noun [U]
UK /tsʊn.ˈdəʊ.kuː/ US /tsʊn.ˈdoʊ.kuː/
the activity of buying a lot of books that you never have time to read

Strictly speaking, the word doku does mean reading, so tsundoku should probably only be used when discussing literature. But you might not be surprised to know some people have applied the term to other aspects of their lives. In a popular post on Reddit’s community dedicated to books, people discussed how this term could explain their relationship with films, television shows and even clothing.
[, 29 July 2018]

wabi-sabi noun [U]
the Japanese concept of appreciating the beauty in old and imperfect things

As we start to emerge from the cosy cocoon of winter, it’s time to embrace wabi-sabi, the spring interiors trend causing a stir. Wabi-sabi is about embracing a way of living that is authentic, simple and close to nature.
[, 11 January 2018]

kakeibo noun [U]
UK /kæ.ˈkeɪbəʊ/ US /kæ.ˈkeɪ.boʊ/
a Japanese approach to managing your money that involves using a journal to plan and monitor your spending each month

Kakeibo is an analog method of budgeting that’s been used in Japanese households for over 100 years. It combines elements of keeping a money journal, a planner, and a ledger all in one. This creates a system that helps you set, track, and achieve savings goals.
[, 13 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 3 December 2018

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cart abandonment noun [U]
UK /ˈkɑːt.əbæn.dən.mənt/ US /ˈkɑːrt.əbæn.dən.mənt/
the practice of adding items to your online shopping cart on an e-commerce site but leaving the site without making the purchase

Without understanding why customers abandon carts, it is impossible to reduce cart abandonment. We’ve collected the top 10 reasons for cart abandonment. We’ll be breaking down each cause in detail, and provide a quick overview of how you can eliminate cart abandonment and recover sales.
[, 28 February 2018]

recommerce noun [U]
UK /ˌriːˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /ˌriːˈkɑː.mɝːs/
the business of buying and selling used items, such as electronics and clothes, on the internet

Recommerce appeals to the aspirational and value-conscious nature of the Indian consumer. The feeling of status elevation by using a better-quality brand or product at a reasonable price point is helping this segment grow. Even more so, the large number of first-time buyers, students, and technophiles who want to upgrade their gadgets find great value in refurbished smartphones.
[, 13 February 2018]

pay-what-you-can adjective
UK /ˌpeɪ.wɒt.jəˈkæn/ US /ˌpeɪ.wɑːt.jəˈkæn/
relating to a way of selling goods that allows the shopper to pay only what they can afford

In a bright, airy Toronto market, the shelves are laden with everything from organic produce to pre-made meals and pet food. What shoppers won’t find, however, is price tags. In what is believed to be a North American first, everything in this grocery store is pay-what-you-can.
[, 25 June 2018]

About new words