New words – 16 January 2017

ALLVISIONN/iStock/Getty Images Plus
ALLVISIONN/iStock/Getty Images Plus

escape room noun [C] UK /ɪˈskeɪp ˌruːm/ US /ɪˈskeɪp ˌrʊm/
an activity that involves locking people in a room and giving them a set amount of time to escape by solving a series of puzzles

Escape rooms are very much the trendy way to gather your friends and family for a night out. You can put their puzzle skills to the test as the clock counts down every last second of your frantic attempts to emerge victorious from a locked room.
[Daily Record 22 October 2016]

night czar noun [C] UK /ˈnaɪt.ˌzɑʳ/ US /ˈnaɪt.ˌzɑːr/
a person who has been given special powers by the government to deal with a city’s night-time activities and events

Newly appointed London night czar Amy Lamé has described the challenge of reducing the number of live venue and nightclub closures as her “total priority” in a conversation with Music Week. 
[www.musicweek.com 7 November 2016]

micro-adventure noun [C] UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.ədˌven.tʃəʳ/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.ədˌven.tʃɚ/
a short, exciting activity, such as a trip or experience

Bored of the 9 to 5? A micro-adventure could be just the thing.
[www.adaptnetwork.com 22 November 2016]

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New words – 9 January 2016

LittleBee80/iStock/Getty
LittleBee80/iStock/Getty

breadcrumber noun [C] UK /ˈbred.krʌməʳ/ US /ˈbred.krʌmɚ/
someone who contacts another person very infrequently

For anyone who’s ever dated, or maintained any kind of relationship in the digital age, you have probably known a breadcrumber. They communicate via sporadic non-committal, but repeated messages – or breadcrumbs – that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be.)
[New York Times 10 July 2016]

inconvenience fee noun [C] UK /ˌɪn.kənˈviː.ni.əns.fiː/ US /ˌɪn.kənˈviː.n.jəns.fiː/
an amount of money paid to make up for causing someone problems or trouble

Mariah Carey is demanding a $50 million dollar inconvenience fee from her ex-fiancé James Packer. Now that the couple has broken up, Mariah feels as though she wasted her time with the Australian businessman and wants to be compensated for the time she lost.
[www.celebdirtylaundry.com 31 October 2016]

sleep divorce noun [U] UK /ˈsliːp.dɪ.vɔːs/ US /ˈsliːp.dɪ.vɔːrs/
an arrangement where a couple chooses to sleep in separate beds or bedrooms

Relationship counsellor Dr Nandini Roy says, “I’ve seen many women and men say that though they love their partners a lot, sometimes they … would love to sleep separately. To keep your relationship going, you should consider sleep divorce whenever you feel the need to sleep alone.”
[The Times of India 23 March 2016]

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New words – 2 January 2017

baona/E+/Getty
baona/E+/Getty

adulting noun [U] UK ‘æd.ʌlt.ɪŋ US ə’d.ʌlt.ɪŋ
doing things that are associated with being an adult

A few nights ago, I got home from work and sat on my bed, scrolling through Twitter. I didn’t get far in my timeline before I saw a tweet from a twentysomething who said she was “adulting” because she cooked herself dinner. Ugh.
[Cosmopolitan 20 June 2016]

bird’s nest parenting noun [U] UK ˌbɜ:dz.nest.ˈpeə.rən.tɪŋ US ˌbɝ:dz.nest.ˈper.ən.t̬ɪŋ
an arrangement where the children of a couple who have separated remain in the family home and their parents take it in turns to live with them there

Instead of moving the children each weekend or each month, ‘bird’s nest parenting’ sees the mother and father do the rotating in and out of the home – while the children remain the constants.
[www.dailymail.co.uk 17 October 2016]

sharenting noun [U] UK ‘ʃeə.rənt.ɪŋ US ‘ʃe.rənt.ɪŋ
using social media excessively to share information about one’s children

In the United States, according to a survey, 90 per cent of two-year-olds have a presence on social media … The UK is going the same way. There is a commensurate rise in concern that sharenting — obsessive peacocking about your offspring’s looks, sporting achievements and toilet-training schedule — could be damaging. 
[The Times 05 November2016]

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New words – 26 December 2016

coreylynntucker/RooM/Getty
coreylynntucker/RooM/Getty

Broga™ noun [U] UK ˈbrəʊ.gə US ˈbroʊ.gə
a type of yoga designed to appeal to men

Men who crave the benefits of yoga, but recoil at sharing the experience with a room full of women are turning to Broga, a rugged take on the 3,000-year-old practice of movement and breath.
[www.reuters.com 27.04.2015]

AFOL noun [C] UK eɪ.ˌef.əʊ.’el US eɪ.ˌef.oʊ.’el
abbreviation for adult fan of Lego™: an adult who enjoys building models from Lego™

Chrys B. of Heathcote, Australia had an interest in LEGO in her early teens but endured a Dark Age that lasted a number of decades until she discovered the Star Wars LEGO range. It was after attending Brickvention 2012 that she decided she really was an AFOL.
[www.thebrickroomblog.com August 2016]

droneboarding noun [U] UK ‘drəʊn.bɔːd.ɪŋ US droʊn.bɔːrd.ɪŋ
the activity or sport of moving over snow standing on a snowboard and being pulled by a drone

Droneboarding is the newly developed practice of using a drone to drag around someone on a snowboard. [A] video filmed in late January shows a standard-sized human being dragged around on a snowboard by a very large drone.
[www.yahoo.com 03.02.2016]

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New words – 19 December 2016

cyano66/iStock/Getty Images Plus
cyano66/iStock/Getty Images Plus

the internet of me noun [S]
UK ˌɪn.tə.net əv ‘miː US ˌɪn.t̬ɚ.net əv ‘miː
a system of objects with computing devices in them that are able to connect to each other using the internet and exchange personal data about their owner

eBay’s founder has invested in a startup that claims to use data aggregation to create the “internet of me” … The startup’s app collects data from its users’ social networks, including pictures and posts.
[www.wired.com 27 September 2016]

device mesh noun [S] dɪˈvaɪs meʃ
a network of electronic devices that can find information and communicate with other people and organizations using the internet

We’re still using mobile devices, but we’ve now added tablets and smart watches to the ever-multiplying list of end-points we use to access applications and information. [Analyst company] Gartner refers to this trend as ‘the device mesh’…
[www.itproportal.com 30 April 2016]

trust score noun [C] UK ‘trʌst ˌskɔː US ‘trʌst ˌskɔːr
a way of communicating with a computer to prove who you are without the need for a password

Google wants to get rid of your password. The company has proposed a system it calls “trust scores” to remove the need to remember usual numerical and linguistic credentials using a ‘Trust API’ … The API would factor in a number of personal identifiers including the way your voice sounds, facial recognition, location in relation to known Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices and typing speed. 
[www.wired.com 25 May 2016]

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New words – 12 December 2016

andresr/E+/Getty
andresr/E+/Getty

FOLO noun [U] UK ˈfəʊ.ləʊ US ˈfoʊ.loʊ
abbreviation for “fear of living offline”: the feeling that you have to post attractive photos of yourself on social media to make your life seem interesting

This year however it’s all about FOLO (fear of living offline) which is the need for us to digitally validate anything we do (likes, shares and comments) otherwise it feels like it never took place.
[www.linkedin.com 18 January 2016]

digital divorce noun [C or U] UK ˌdɪdʒ.ɪ.təl dɪˈvɔːs US ˌdɪdʒ.ə.t̬əl dɪˈvɔːrs
an online process to end a marriage legally

The new process of digital divorce will allow couples to end their marriages online, without the need for either the couple in question or the judge to physically attend court in relation to the case.
[www.divorcemagazine.com 12 April 2016]

social eating noun [U] UK ˌsəʊ.ʃəl ‘iːt.ɪŋ US ˌsoʊ.ʃəl ‘iːt.ɪŋ
a practice that involves filming yourself while you eat and posting or streaming it on a social media website

There is a new way to connect on social media: Watching people eat. Social Eating is a live streaming platform on Twitch … Twitch’s public relations director [said] social eating has been a popular part of South Korean culture for years. 
[CBS New York 22 September 2016]

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New words – 5 December 2016

Westend61/Getty
Westend61/Getty

nutricosmetics noun [plural] UK/ˌnjuː.tri.kɒzˈmet.ɪks/ US /ˌnuː.trikɑːzˈmet̬.ɪks/
substances, especially in the form of a liquid or a pill, that are intended to improve your appearance

Nutricosmetics – beauty products you ingest rather than apply – promise everything from firmer skin to thicker hair. That’s the future, according to trend forecasters … these powders, drinks and pills are set to radically change our beauty routines.
[Stylist 21 June 2016]

blood spa noun [C] /ˈblʌd ˌspɑː/
a place where blood is analysed and special beauty treatments given according to the results

Blood spas aren’t as gory as you’d think. While blood is at the heart of the treatment, your plasma and platelets won’t actually be used in your facial or massage – at least not all the time.
[www.brit.co 13 October 2016]

microblading noun [U] /ˈmaɪ.krə.bleɪd.ɪŋ/
a method of making eyebrows look thicker that uses a special tool to inject ink under the skin

Eyebrow trends come and go, from thin and sharp to bold and bushy à la Cara Delevingne and basically every other model who’s been hot in the past few years. But the latest trend we can’t get enough of is microblading, a new tattoo technique that fills brows out or reshapes them by drawing on tiny lines that look like individual hairs.
[www.today.com 05 September 2016]

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Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2016

Veronaa/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Veronaa/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s that time again, when publishers reveal the word or words that they believe encapsulate the year. As many readers will know from previous years, we like to base our word on what our millions of users worldwide have been looking up over the course of the year. And what a year it’s been: in June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, causing great uncertainty in the UK and across Europe (even now, the only certainty we have is that Brexit means Brexit); then, in November, after a vicious and divisive campaign, the people of the United States elected businessman Donald Trump as President ahead of politician Hillary Clinton, in one of the most extraordinary political stories of modern times. Add to this the ongoing backdrop of a bloody civil war in Syria, several terrorist attacks around the world and numerous celebrity deaths, and there can be no denying that it has been an eventful and worrying year.

As ever, global events are reflected in the words you look up on our site. So what single word has had the biggest increase in searches over the whole year? Ladies and gentlemen, the Cambridge Dictionary Word of the Year for 2016 is . . . paranoid.

Why paranoid? Searches have risen hugely this year, over four times more than in 2015. We cannot, of course, know exactly why users are searching for a particular word, but it suggests perhaps a feeling that the institutions that have kept us safe can no longer be trusted, that the world feels more uncertain than it did a year ago. When we look at other words that have shown similar increases, we can build a fuller picture: anxiety, chaos; a feeling that societies are breaking down; increases in prejudice, bigotry and bullying; and people feeling nostalgic for what are perceived as simpler times.

But perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom: another word that has seen a big increase in searches is adorable – maybe our users are comforting themselves with videos of cute animals, and trying to think happier thoughts?

New words – 28 November 2016

OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images Plus
OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images Plus

glass wall noun [C usually singular] UK /ˌglɑːs ˈwɔːl/ US /ˌglæs ˈwɑːl/
a barrier to becoming accepted or included at work, usually affecting women or minority groups

The ‘glass wall’ that divides men and women they argue, is the new glass ceiling. Women aren’t just being overlooked for the next promotion; they are being shut out behind a glass wall by male-oriented office culture.
[Marie Claire 07 September 2016]

brass ceiling noun [C usually singular] UK /ˌbrɑːs ˈsi:lɪŋ/ US /ˌbræs ˈsi:lɪŋ/
a point after which someone, usually a woman, cannot reach a higher position in the military

Mariette Kalinowski, a former Marine, writes in the New York Times that while the “brass ceiling” is cracked, it is not gone because the military culture of hypermasculinity has not yet changed.
[www.linkedin.com 09 February 2016]

man tax noun [C or U] /ˈmæn ˌtæks/
a tax that has to be paid only by men

Owners of a New York City independent pharmacy recently imposed a one-day, 7% “man tax” in their efforts to raise awareness of the ongoing nationwide debate over taxes on feminine hygiene products and the gender inequality women experience when purchasing personal health products.
[www.pharmacytimes.com 21 October 2016]

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New words – 21 November 2016

Richard Newstead/Moment/Getty
Richard Newstead/Moment/Getty
sneakerhead noun [C] UK /ˈsniː.kə.hed/, US /ˈsniː.kɚ.hed/
someone who owns, buys and sells sneakers (UK= trainers), especially those with rare or unusual designs

With celebrities from Kanye West to Pharrell Williams now designing their own styles for Nike and Adidas, respectively, sneakerheads have gone from a subculture to dominating the culture.
[Newsweek 21 May 2016]

glunge noun [U] /glʌndʒ/
a type of fashion that combines glamour and grunge

What do you get if you merge glamour with a dose of grunge a la X Factor’s Rita Ora? Glunge, duh!
[Reveal 04 January 2016]

shacket noun [C] /ˈʃæk.ɪt/
a light jacket, similar to a shirt

Step forward the shacket: the shirt-come-jacket. The shacket … is heavier than a cotton shirt but lighter than say, a denim or utility jacket.
[The Telegraph 15 March 2016]

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