New words – 17 July 2017


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. 
[, 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.
[, 13 January 2017]

About new words

New words – 10 July 2017

Andrzej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library/Getty

uncanny valley noun [S or U]
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.
[, 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.
[, 19 November 2016]

transhumanism noun [U]
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

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

New words – 26 June 2017

macielphoto-MF/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty
asperitas noun [U]
UK /æsˈpe.rɪ.təs/ US /æsˈpe.rɪ.t̬əs/
a type of cloud that forms a thick layer in the shape of waves

The asperitas cloud is among the stars of the World Meteorological Organization’s scarcely published International Cloud Atlas.
[USA Today, 24 March 2017]

dark sunshine noun [U]
UK /ˌdɑːkˈsʌn.ʃaɪn/ US /ˌdɑːrkˈsʌn.ʃaɪn/
a substance thought to exist inside the sun that gives off a special type of light

While scientists continue looking skyward to find more insight into the mysteries of dark matter, some have begun looking to our sun for “dark sunshine.”
[Astronomy magazine, 25 May 2016]

red geyser noun [C]
UK /redˈgiː.zəʳ/ US /redˈgaɪ.zɚ/
a galaxy that contains a large number of very large black holes and where no new stars are able to form

Today, astronomers … are announcing the discovery of a new class of galaxies called “red geysers” that harbor supermassive black holes with winds that have the power to keep dormant galaxies quiet.
[Astronomy magazine, 25 May 2016]

About new words

New words – 19 June

F rating noun [U]
UK /ˈef.reɪ.tɪŋ/ US /ˈef.reɪ.t̬ɪŋ/
a classification awarded to a film written or directed by a woman, or with important female characters

The F rating was created in 2014 by Bath film festival executive director Holly Tarquini to “support women in film and change the stories we see on screen”.
[The Guardian, 7 March 2017]

the Paula principle noun [C]
UK /ˈpɔːl.ᵊ.prɪn.sə.pᵊl/ US /ˈpɑːl.ᵊ.prɪn.sə.pᵊl/
a theory that most women have a job that does not allow them to fulfil their competence

The Paula principle applies as much to the clerk who does not apply for a supervisor’s job because she does not have the confidence, as it does to the deputy CEO blocked from the top job by covert discrimination or male cliquery.
[The Observer, 12 March 2017]

sologamy noun [U]
UK /səˈlɒg.ə.mi/ US /səˈlɑː.gə.mi/
the act of marrying oneself in an unofficial ceremony

Love or hate sologamy, it seems to capture the public imagination, begging a variety of glib questions that people can’t wait to ask: “Does that mean if you don’t get on you’ll have to divorce yourself?”
[Huffington Post, 27 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 12 June 2017

Lana Pfeifer/EyeEm/Getty

ambient tea noun [C and U]
a type of tea served at room temperature, usually with food

Ambient tea … feels appropriate for service with fine food as it can be poured from a bottle or decanter into glasses at a temperature that creates no condensation on the glass and is pleasant to hold in one’s hands.
[, 14 December 2016]

golden milk noun [C and U]
UK /ˈgəʊl.dᵊn.mɪlk/ US /ˈgoʊl.dᵊn.mɪlk/
a type of drink made with coconut milk, turmeric and sometimes other ingredients

Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, golden milk is a combination of the powerful spice turmeric, coconut milk, and sometimes coconut oil.
[, 21 June 2016]

mindful drinking noun [U]
the activity of consuming little or no alcohol at social events

Forget pub crawls – increasing numbers of young people are replacing beer and wine with “mindful drinking” – where abstinence, not alcohol, is all the rage.
[The Observer, 26 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 5 June 2017

Astronaut Images/Caiaimage/Getty
gigamansion noun [C]
a very large and expensive house

Gigamansion is the term we must now use to describe the new breed of homes that are landing like alien motherships on the fragrant hills of Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills.
[The Times, 18 February 2017]

furnitecture noun [U]
UK /ˈfɜː.nɪ.tek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˈfɝː.nɪ.tek.tʃɚ/
furniture that is part of the structure of a house or other building

The property … contains some fantastic examples of “furnitecture” – furniture that’s integrated into the architecture. Murphy has only four pieces of furniture because everything else – seating, beds, bookshelves, wardrobes – is part of the fabric.
[The Telegraph, 27 February 2017]

sky pool noun [C]
a swimming pool suspended in the air between two buildings

The developers say the transparent ‘sky pool’ will be the first of its kind in the world, giving swimmers the ability to look 35 metres down to the world below, with only 20cm of glass between them and the outside world.
[Cosmopolitan, 13 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 29 May 2017

Zave Smith/Image Source/Getty

Instagirl noun [C]
UK /ˈɪn.stə.gɜːl/ US /ˈɪn.stə.gɝːl/
a female model who has a large number of followers on Instagram, a social media site for sharing photographs

US Vogue coined the term “Instagirl” to describe the new crop of models whose careers and Instagram platforms are effectively one and the same.
[The Observer, 5 March 2017]

shelfie noun [C]
a photograph that someone takes of the books and other objects on their shelves and then publishes on a social media site

Instagram has a lot to answer for. While most us are just beginning to get to grips with the selfie, the ‘shelfie’ movement has been gaining digital ground.
[The Telegraph, 3 February 2017]

surroundie noun [C]
a 360-degree photograph taken with a special camera

Forget selfies – 2017 is all about 360° cameras and ‘surroundies’, which capture the entire scene around you.
[Elle, January 2017]

About new words

New words – 22 May 2017

SamuelBrownNG/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

sensitivity reader noun [C]
UK /ˌsen.sɪˈtɪv.ə.ti.riː.dəʳ/ US /ˌsen.səˈtɪv.ə.t̬i.riː.dɚ/
someone who reads a book not yet published in order to check the content for anything that may offend certain groups of people

It’s not clear that authors are equally free to ignore the censoriousness of “sensitivity readers”, to whom some American editors are currently sending unpublished work for review.
[The Observer, 19 February 2017]

breath coach noun [C]
UK /ˈbreθˌkəʊtʃ/ US /ˈbreθˌkoʊtʃ/
someone who you pay to give you advice about how to breathe correctly

I am lying on the floor with one hand on my belly, which I am trying to inflate like a balloon as I breathe in. I inhale through my mouth, try to send the air right down to my abdomen, exhale, then repeat. “Now connect each breath, like a wave,” instructs … my breath coach.
[The Times, 4 February 2017]

wine detective noun [C]
someone whose job is to prove that wine is counterfeit

While Mr Moulin’s official job title is “fine wine and authentication manager”, he is in fact BBR’s head wine detective, tasked with preventing any counterfeit bottles entering the facility.
[BBC News, 30 March 2017]

About new words

New words – 15 May 2017

DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

neo-generalist noun [C]
UK /niː.əʊˈdʒen.ᵊr.ᵊl.ɪst/ US /niː.oʊˈdʒen.ᵊr.ᵊl.ɪst/
an employee who has both general and specialist skills

First know that neo-generalists have always been here. We just have failed to recognize them. In a society that focuses on one skill or talent, all too often we miss those who criss-cross varying degrees of skills and talents in multiple realms.
[, 7 February 2017]

returnship noun [C]
UK /rɪˈtɜːn.ʃɪp/ US /rɪˈtɝːn.ʃɪp/
a period of time during which someone works for a company or organization in order to get experience of returning to employment after taking time off

And her placement wasn’t a graduate traineeship but a “returnship”: a paid position aimed at bringing women like her – who were once senior in the workplace but have taken significant breaks to raise children or care for elderly relatives – back into employment.
[Telegraph, 23 January 2017]

supertasker noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.tɑːs.kəʳ/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.tæs.kɚ/
someone who is very good at doing more than one thing at the same time

Supertaskers can juggle multiple tasks because their brains are wired for more efficiency. It would be a mistake to think that more brain activity always means better. The more they had to do, the more efficient they became.
[, 13 February 2017]

About new words