New words – 4 September 2017

TSchon/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

avocado hand noun [U]
UK /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.dəʊ.hænd/ US /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.doʊ.hænd/
an injury that results when you use a knife to try to remove the stone from an avocado and cut your hand instead

Simon Eccles, secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, explained how he now treats up to four people a week for avocado hand. When slippery fruit meets sharp knife and hard stone, intricate surgery is often required to mend the deep lacerations.
[The Telegraph, 15 May 2017]

Q noun [U]
/kjuː/
a chewy texture typical of food from Taiwan

Q is a springy, chewy texture … it’s a cornerstone of Taiwanese cooking so revered it appears repeatedly throughout the day in dishes both sweet and savory, hot and cold, and even in drinks.
[www.roadsandkingdoms.com, May 2017]

runch noun [C]
/rʌntʃ/
a run that you do for exercise during your lunch break

For many trail runners, “runch” is the most important meal of the day. Running at lunch provides a predictable window of opportunity to conquer some miles. Most office jobs involve about an hour of lunch, which is enough time to get a solid aerobic stimulus before sitting in front of a computer for a few more hours.
[www.trailrunnermag.com, 16 May 2017]

About new words

New words – 28 August 2017

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guideshop noun [C]
UK /ˈgaɪd.ʃɒp/ US /ˈgaɪd.ʃɑːp/
a shop where customers can see and try products then order them to be delivered to their home, but which does not stock them for sale

By letting customers try out products but not stocking apparel for sale, Bonobos can cut costs with smaller stores, offer a wider selection of styles and fits, and focus on customer service rather than inventory management, Dunn said. He declined to comment on the company’s growth or revenues but said the guideshops are profitable.
[Chicago Tribune, 20 April 2016]

retailtainment noun [U]
/ˌriː.teɪlˈteɪn.mənt/
the use of sound, lighting and entertaining activities to encourage shoppers to buy things

Chinese shoppers can expect to see more emphasis on retailtainment that falls into the health and fitness category, reflecting a growing consumer interest in healthy lifestyles. Not only does this mean malls are likely to make space for more sport facilities, but also that developers will set aside retail space for niche brands trying to make it into the China market.
[www.luxurysociety.com, 3 February 2017]

community mall noun [C]
UK /kəˈmjuː.nə.ti.mɔːl/ US /kəˈmjuː.nə.t̬i.mɑːl/
a small, open-air shopping mall, usually with plants, trees and an outdoor seating area

There are at least two dozen “community malls” in Bangkok, often opened by small businesses … rather than the development giants whose outlets attract the likes of Prada, Cartier and Gucci. They also target a specific demographic, even if they are technically open to all.
[The Guardian, 3 April 2017]

About new words

New words – 21 August 2017

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ecotherapy noun [U]
UK /ˈiː.kəʊ.θer.ə.pi/ US /ˈiː.koʊ.θer.ə.pi/
a method of improving someone’s well-being by engaging them in outdoor activities such as gardening and conservation work

Mind has funded 130 ecotherapy projects and helped more than 12,000 people in the process. One such project uses gardening and growing food to help people with mental health issues improve their sense of wellbeing. Green exercise therapy – walking in nature – has also proven to be effective.
[www.mindfood.com, 16 December 2016]

clean meat noun [U]
/ˈkliːn.mi:t/
meat that has been grown in a laboratory from self-reproducing cells

There are concerns about clean meat however. Some people wonder whether meat eaters will even want to eat it. They might be so stuck in their ways that the thought of eating animal products produced by a radical new method will seem weird and disgusting to them. Some meat eaters I’ve spoken to are repulsed by the idea of eating “meat grown in a lab”, even after I remind them that all processed foods start in a lab before they are mass produced in a factory.
[The Guardian, 18 April 2017]

FODMAP noun [C]
UK /ˈfɒd.mæp/ US /ˈfɑːd.mæp/
abbreviation for ‘fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols’: one of a group of naturally occurring sugars that are said to be a possible cause of stomach pain and problems with digestion

In one trial, avoiding foods with FODMAPs was shown to reduce IBS symptoms in 76% of sufferers. This isn’t easy – lots of foods have FODMAPs, including anything containing wheat, dairy, fruits like apples, pears and peaches, and vegetables including onions.
[Sainsbury’s Magazine, April 2017]

About new words

New words – 14 August 2017

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hack day noun [C]
/ˈhæk.deɪ/
an event at which employees of a company meet to discuss problems or ideas

Online property marketplace Hubble used an internal hack day as a team-building exercise and also to identify and fulfil new opportunities. With a hearty breakfast to get the creative juices flowing, and celebratory beer and pizzas afterwards, the chance to spend a day away from regular activities got the company’s 20 employees enthusiastic about taking part.
[The Telegraph, 10 March 2017]

crowdspeaking noun [U]
/ˈkraʊd.spiː.kɪŋ/
a marketing activity where each follower of a person or company on social media sends out an identical message at the same time

Social media is an easy way to say something, but it’s a difficult way to be heard. Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.
[help.thunderclap.it, 26 March 2017]

self-disruption noun [U]
/self.dɪsˈrʌp.ʃᵊn/
a major change made by a company to its traditional activities

For obvious reasons, reducing the number of insurance claims seems like a negative thing for insurance companies. If technology can prevent accidents from happening, then insurance companies will suffer. Fewer accidents means fewer claims, so why on earth has Direct Line embarked on a policy of self-disruption?
[disruptionhub.com, 20 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 7 August 2017

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ube noun [C, U]
/ˈuːbeɪ/
a purple variety of sweet potato

Also known as ‘purple yam’, this bright purple vegetable features in increasingly popular Filipino cuisine and looks especially amazing in desserts. New Yorkers went crazy for ‘ube doughnuts’ last year, and the UK is hot on its heels.
[Sainsbury’s Magazine, January 2017]

soup dumpling noun [C]
/suːp.ˈdʌm.plɪŋ/
a Chinese dish consisting of a small ball of dough filled with soup

One of my favourite Chinese dishes is soup dumplings. The first time I tried them was in New York after a mate went on and on about them – and for good reason. Soup dumplings are everything you want in a small parcel – succulent and bursting with flavour.
[Grazia, 3 April 2017]

salad cake noun [C, U]
/ˈsæl.əd.keɪk/
a food that is designed to look like a sweet cake but is actually made of savoury ingredients such as soy and vegetables

Imagine biting into a beautiful cake, but instead of a sugary rush you get the fresh flavors of celery, carrot and red cabbage. Salad cakes – a new craze in Japan – offer exactly that experience … These sinless sweets substitute cream “frosting” for that made out of tofu, a “sponge” base for one of soy powder, eggs and vegetable oil, while the rainbow hues that decorate the “icing” come from natural vegetable colorings such as red beetroot juice.
[CNN.com, 13 March 2017]

About new words

New words – 31 July 2017

Adriana Marteva/EyeEm/Getty

smellscape noun [C]
/ˈsmel.skeɪp/
a collection of the different smells associated with a particular place

“A smellscape is the olfactory equivalent of a landscape,” she says. “We spend most of our time walking around, we see things and we take about 80% of our information from that. But we’ve got four other senses, all of which contribute. And smell’s one of those senses that we pay very little heed to, but forms a huge part of how we absorb and how we know the world.”
[Sky News, 17 April 2017]

sun pillar noun [C]
UK /ˈsʌn.pɪl.əʳ/ US /ˈsʌn.pɪl.ɚ/
a narrow column of light that extends upwards or downwards from the Sun

“We cannot forecast optical phenomena,” a spokesperson said. “Sun pillars look very pretty if you are lucky enough to spot one. They are formed by the light reflecting off the ice crystals in high wispy clouds. The formation has to be just right for it to take place and we cannot predict it.”
[The Telegraph, 6 April 2017]

thundersnow noun [U]
UK /ˈθʌn.də.snəʊ/ US /ˈθʌn.dɚ.snoʊ/
a thunderstorm with snow instead of the more usual heavy rain

Thundersnow occurs far less frequently than a normal storm. This is because it is only able to occur during a couple of months of the year. It is incredibly rare in the UK. In the US, it is more common – they have an average of 6.3 instances of thundersnow a year.
[The Telegraph, 17 January 2017]

About new words

New words – 24 July 2017

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volcano boarding noun [U]
UK /vɒlˈkeɪ.nəʊ.bɔː.dɪŋ/ US /vɑːlˈkeɪ.noʊ.bɔːr.dɪŋ/
the activity of moving down the side of a volcano while standing, sitting or lying on a board similar to a snowboard

Lakes, volcano [sic] and beaches dot the landscape of Nicaragua, set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in Central America. While searching for things to do there, we ran across volcano boarding. Maybe not the most thrilling experience you will have around an active volcano, but a distinctive one to say the least.
[www.tourismontheedge.com, 3 March 2017]

blob jump noun [C]
UK /ˈblɒb.dʒʌmp/ US /ˈblɑːb.dʒʌmp/
an activity in which one person sits at one end of an inflated airbag that is floating on water and one or more other people jump onto the other end from a platform in order to send the person flying into the air

Yaiza travelled to Ibiza along with 20 other Spanish applicants to battle it out for the two places available for Spaniards. They would be taking part in a blob jump. When it was Yaiza’s turn, she flew much further than expected, slamming into the water face first wearing a home-made astronaut suit.
[www.thelocal.es, 20 April 2016]

swimrun noun [C]
/ˈswɪm.rʌn/
a competition in which the people competing must swim and run a certain distance without stopping between events

Forget triathlons. The latest fitness trend and fashionable Scandi import is the “swimrun”, a fusion of cross-country running and open-water swimming – essentially a triathlon without the cycling. Originating in Sweden, it is gaining converts here, with thousands of people set to take part in the UK this year.
[The Times, 4 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 17 July 2017

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awareable noun [C]
UK /əˈweə.rə.bᵊl/ US /əˈwer.ə.bᵊl/
a device worn on the body that uses computer technology and connects to the internet, and is used to monitor and decrease stress

This year sees the launch of a range of therapeutic tech bracelets designed to pick up on your stress levels and offer techniques to calm you down. Think of them as Fitbits for your brain or, as the tech industry is calling them, “awareables”. Unlike activity trackers and smartwatches, these gadgets prioritise emotional wellbeing over your step count.
[The Sunday Times, 12 March 2017]

holoportation noun [U]
UK /ˌhɒl.ə.pɔːˈteɪ.ʃᵊn/ US /ˌhɒl.ə.pɚˈteɪ.ʃᵊn/
a technology that allows three-dimensional models of people to be created and sent over the internet

Holoportation … is a virtual form of connecting people together and allowing them to interact as though they were in the same location. The benefit to this, over verbal communication, or even video-based communication, is the ability to read body language. 
[hololens.reality.news, 13 February 2017]

OLED noun [U]
UK /ˌəʊ.el.iːˈdiː/ US /ˌoʊ.el.iːˈdiː/
organic light-emitting diode: a type of device that produces a light, especially on electronic equipment

OLED … maybe you’re unsure exactly what it means and, more importantly, why it’s so important to home entertainment lovers. In short: OLED truly is the next big thing in home entertainment and it’s finally at a price where the average consumer can buy one of their own. It offers better image quality (think blacker blacks and brighter whites), reduced power consumption and fast response times over traditional LED TVs.
[www.techradar.com, 13 January 2017]

About new words

New words – 10 July 2017

Andrzej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library/Getty

uncanny valley noun [S or U]
/ʌnˈkæn.iˈvæl.i/
the uncanny valley effect occurs when something that looks human, such as a robot, causes a feeling of unease

The uncanny valley is a well known problem in robotics. It is the moment when something not human closely resembles a real person, but just isn’t quite there yet, which makes its unhuman elements stick out.
[www.digitalsignagetoday.com, 17 March 2017]

biohacking noun [U]
UK /ˈbaɪ.əʊ.hæk.ɪŋ/ US /ˈbaɪ.oʊ.hæk.ɪŋ/
using the principles of biology to make your body work more efficiently

Biohacking has become an umbrella term for all kinds of interventions in biochemistry to improve health and performance. But for most, it’s simply a way to optimise their own bodies through new discoveries in nutrition, supplementation, exercise and more extreme measures such as cryotherapy and epigenetics.
[www.inews.co.uk, 19 November 2016]

transhumanism noun [U]
/trænzˈhjuː.mən.ɪ.zᵊm/
using advanced science and technology to enhance the human body’s capabilities

Transhumanism … is already a living reality for many people, to varying degrees. Documentary-maker Rob Spence replaced one of his own eyes with a video camera in 2008; amputees are using prosthetics connected to their own nerves and controlled using electrical signals from the brain; implants are helping tetraplegics regain independence through the BrainGate project.
[Wired, 15 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 3 July 2017

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Generation Me noun [U]
UK /ˌdʒen.əˈreɪ.ʃᵊnˈmiː/ US /ˌdʒen.əˈreɪ.ʃᵊnˈmiː/
a way of referring to the group of people born around the year 2000

A leading private school headmaster is bringing in empathy lessons and calling for others to follow suit — warning that “Generation Me” has less understanding of other people than any generation in recent history.
[The Sunday Times, 5 March 2017]

generational nomad noun [C]
UK /dʒen.əˌreɪ.ʃᵊnᵊlˈnəʊ.mæd/ US /dʒen.əˌreɪ.ʃᵊnᵊlˈnoʊ.mæd/
someone who was born on the dividing line between two different generational groups

For those, like me, in the upper age bracket of millennials (who are aged, roughly, between 18-36), yet not quite old enough to be firmly in Generation X (aged 37-52), the disconnect is most glaringly evident on social media. Welcome to life as a generational nomad.
[The Sunday Times, 29 January 2017]

micro-influencer noun [C]
UK /ˌmaɪ.krəʊˈɪn.flu.ənsəʳ/ US /ˌmaɪ.kroʊˈɪn.flu.ənsɚ/
someone who has a small number of followers on social media and who influences what people buy through the products they write about

We’re all familiar with the names of Instagram’s top millennial female influencers. But the social platform is also home to a huge number of “micro influencers,” or users who might command just a few thousand followers yet whose style and brand affiliations are closely followed — and emulated — by their dedicated fans.
[Adweek, 19 March 2017]

About new words