wind turbines and solar panels in a field

New words – 14 February 2022

wind turbines and solar panels in a field
P. Steeger / The Image Bank / Getty

greenflation noun [U]
/ˌgriːn.ˈfleɪ.ʃᵊn/
an increase in prices resulting from the move to a green economy

Vaibhav Chaturvedi, a fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), sees “greenflation”, or the costs associated with going green, as a concern, especially in the short-term. “Underlying commodity prices are rising everywhere in the world,” he said. Prices of metals such as tin, aluminium, copper, nickel-cobalt have risen by up to 91 per cent this year. These metals are used in technologies that are a part of the energy transition.
[euronews.com, 22 November 2021]

cyan shopper noun [C]
UK /ˌsaɪ.ᵊn ˈʃɒp.əʳ/ US /ˌsaɪ.ᵊn ˈʃɑː.p.ɚ/
someone who tries to buy only environmentally friendly products

From rubbish-filled oceans to depleted forests, consumers have never been more aware of the world’s eco challenges. And it’s this wide-ranging environmental concern of “cyan shoppers” (blue for the ocean and green for trees) that will increasingly drive their purchasing decisions.
[springwise.com, 26 November 2021]

smog tower noun [C]
UK /ˌsmɒg.ˈtaʊəʳ/ US /ˌsmɒg.ˈtaʊɚ/
a tall, narrow structure that uses fans and filters to clean the air in an area where there is a lot of air pollution

India’s capital New Delhi has opened its first “smog tower”, aimed at reducing the air pollution blamed for thousands of premature deaths every year, but experts are sceptical … The tower cost $2m and critics say erecting a sufficient number to clean the air substantially across the city would cost huge amounts of public money, and that efforts would be better directed at the sources of the smog.
[aljazeera.com, 23 August 2021]

About new words

a dog in a police harness

New words – 7 February 2022

a dog in a police harness
HowardOates / iStock / Getty Images Plus

digi-dog noun [C]
UK /ˈdɪdʒ.ɪ.dɒg/ US /ˈdɪdʒ.ɪ.dɑːg/
a dog trained by the police to use its sense of smell to find digital devices that have been used by criminals

Whether it’s a Sim card from a drug gang’s burner phone, a key fob for a getaway car, a terrorist’s mobile phone [or] a laptop in a fraud case … Jake and his fellow “digi-dogs” can sniff it out. “On every digital storage device there is a chemical that has a very specific scent,” explains the instructor, one of three dog handlers who have been spearheading the Met’s digi-dog training scheme.
[thetimes.co.uk, 12 December 2021]

shellfish hotel noun [C]
UK /ˈʃel.fɪʃ həʊˈtel/ US /ˈʃel.fɪʃ hoʊˈtel/
a place where shellfish that will be sold for food are kept in conditions that are as close as possible to the natural environment where they usually live

Not just a restaurant, Hackney’s The Sea, The Sea is also a seafood processing lab … On site are live lobster and crab, housed in a high-tech “shellfish hotel” made up of specialist filtration tanks that mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible, keeping these delicious decapods relaxed and serene.
[globetrender.com, 23 September 2021]

flockdown noun [U, C]
UK /ˈflɒk.daʊn/ US /ˈflɑːk.daʊn/
a period of time in which captive birds, especially chickens, must be kept indoors to stop avian flu from spreading

UK birds to enter “flockdown” in response to bird flu threat. UK-wide housing measures will be introduced to protect poultry and captive birds against avian influenza, the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed.
[Farmers Guardian, 24 November 2021]

About new words

a laptop computer on a table, with an email inbox displayed on the screen

New words – 31 January 2022

a laptop computer on a table, with an email inbox displayed on the screen

Nipitphon Na Chiangmai / EyeEm / Getty

clean inboxer noun [C]
UK /ˌkliːn ˈɪn.bɒk.səʳ/ US /ˌkliːn ˈɪn.bɑːk.sɚ/
someone who reads and takes action on every email they receive when they receive it, so that there are never any unread emails in their inbox

As a fellow clean inboxer, I’ll give you the same advice a former boss gave me after a 4-week medical leave: “Delete it. Delete it all. If it’s important, they’ll email again.”
[Leigh Morgan, twitter.com, 22 February 2020]

tattleware noun [U]
UK /ˈtæt.ᵊl.weəʳ/ US /ˈtæt̬.ᵊl.wer/
software that allows an employer to monitor the activity of someone who is working from home, in particular to make sure the employee is working when they are supposed to be

A growing cottage industry of what some managers call “tattleware” now caters to company leaders wanting some way to peer over workers’ shoulders and confirm their productivity. Several time-tracking and employee-monitoring companies … told The Washington Post they have seen their customer base and revenue soar since the pandemic pushed many companies remote.
[washingtonpost.com, 30 April 2020]

DAO noun [C]
UK /ˌdiː.eɪˈəʊ/ US /ˌdiː.eɪˈoʊ/
abbreviation for decentralized autonomous organization: an organisation or company that exists online and is managed according to a set of rules that exist in the form of computer code, with financial transactions being carried out by members using cryptocurrency

DAOs can come in all shapes and structures, but simply put, “a DAO is an internet community with a shared bank account,” Cooper Turley, an investor and builder of several popular DAOs, tells CNBC Make It. “Basically, a small group of people come together to form a chat group, and then they decide to pull capital together, [typically] using an Ethereum wallet,” Turley says. From there, they decide how to fund their DAO’s mission collectively, he says.
[cnbc.com, 25 October 2021]

About new words

an ornate analogue watch with a decorated face

New words – 24 January 2022

an ornate analogue watch with a decorated face
jinjo0222988 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

dial artist noun [C]
UK /ˈdaɪ.əl ˌɑː.tɪst/ US /ˈdaɪ.əl ˌɑːr.t̬ɪst/
someone who is paid to alter a watch by painting it, engraving it etc. in a unique design

It’s hard to escape the current trend for personalisation … And now watches have got in on the act. When it comes to watch customisation there are two distinct routes: either go official and buy from a brand that is already offering the service, or go rogue and purchase from dealers and “dial artists” who can reinvent your Rolex and pimp your Patek so it’s truly a one-off.
[thetimes.co.uk, 21 November 2021]

neck mess noun [C]
/ˈnek ˌmes/
an arrangement of necklaces of different lengths and styles all worn at the same time in a way that is deliberately untidy

If you’re looking for an easy put-together layered look this Christmas, then the neck mess is for you. But what exactly is a neck mess? The latest take on necklace layering, it is a perfectly imperfect assemble of your favourite necklaces. An artful arrangement of pendants, chains, and chokers, styled with a thrown together attitude. A trend with its own hashtag – #neckmess, this new, popular take on jewellery styling already has a devoted following.
[blog.scarletocean.com, 18 October 2021]

demi-fine adjective
/ˌdemiˈfaɪn/
Demi-fine jewellery is made from precious metals like gold and silver but is not as expensive as fine jewellery

In the world of Zoom, Teams and Google Meet, a wave of young consumers are investing in demi-fine pendants, earrings and chains to elevate their everyday wear on screen — without the fine jewellery price tag … While the jewellery market declined 18 per cent from 2019-2020 according to Euromonitor, demi-fine brands like Missoma, Catbird, Monica Vinader and Maria Black have seen double-digit growth.
[voguebusiness.com, 20 January 2021]

About new words

puppy eating from a food bowl

New words – 17 January 2022

puppy eating from a food bowl
Stefan Cristian Cioata / Moment / Getty

carbon pawprint noun [C]
UK /ˌkɑː.bᵊn ˈpɔː.prɪnt/ US /ˌkɑːr.bᵊn ˈpɑː.prɪnt/
a measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere produced through activities relating to owning a pet

Our dogs’ carbon pawprints are largely related to their diets, with carbon-intensive ingredients such as meat being the main contributing factor … It has been estimated that the carbon pawprint associated with owning a medium sized dog is roughly twice that of running a typical SUV car, and the dogs in the USA are responsible for emissions equivalent to 13 million cars, or 64 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
[vetchef.com, 9 March 2021]

planetarian noun [C]
UK /ˌplæn.əˈteə.ri.ən/ US /ˌplæn.əˈter.i.ən/
someone who buys, prepares and eats food in a way designed to have the smallest possible impact on the planet

Eating less meat and dairy is one of the ways we can have a positive impact on the future of the planet, as multiple studies on climate change have demonstrated … If you’ve ever tried Meatless Monday, vegan before 6, or any other not-vegan-all-the-time method in an effort to reduce your meat consumption, you’re probably on your way to becoming a planetarian.
[cnn.com, 6 December 2021]

pollution lockdown noun [C]
UK /pəˌluː.ʃᵊn ˈlɒk.daʊn/ US /pəˌluː.ʃᵊn ˈlɑːk.daʊn/
a period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely, because of the high levels of pollution in the atmosphere

Delhi has been engulfed in a shroud of smog for the past few weeks. The air pollution has become so severe in India’s capital city that schools have been closed indefinitely, and work-from-home guidelines were implemented in the nation’s first pollution lockdown.
[newframe.com, 7 December 2021]

About new words

man wrapped in a blanket blowing his nose

New words – 10 January 2022

man wrapped in a blanket blowing his nose
Hiraman / E+ / Getty

supercold noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.kəʊld/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.koʊld/
a cold that has more serious symptoms than most colds and is often mistaken for Covid-19

A pharmacy chain has released advice for people unsure whether they’re suffering from coronavirus or a “supercold” … As the weather gets colder and winter approaches, there has been a surge in cold and flu cases. Some of these feel more aggressive than usual following last winter’s Covid-19 restrictions, leading to the nickname “supercold”.
[cambridge-news.co.uk, 13 November 2021]

holistorexia noun [U]
UK /həˌlɪs.təˈrek.si.ə/ US /hoʊˌlɪs.təˈrek.si.ə/
a mental illness where someone has an extreme obsession with their health and wellness

Hour-long meditations, ever-changing diet fads and an aversion to medical professionals – these could all be signs of so-called “holistorexia”. There’s a warning that some people can get so obsessed with wellness and “all things health” that it can actually make them ill. It can involve “alternative” therapies and practices that can prove time-consuming, expensive and even dangerous for those who take or follow them.
[newstalk.com, 30 June 2021]

vaccine envy noun [U]
/ˈvæk.siːnˌen.vi/
resentment felt by someone waiting to receive the Covid-19 vaccination towards people who have already been vaccinated

Many of us have experienced loss during the pandemic — the loss of loved ones, jobs, routines, and a sense of safety. These losses wear on our patience and our ability to deal with strong feelings. As a result, waiting for a vaccine can seem especially difficult and lead us to vaccine envy. It might even feel like a new kind of loss. But the good news is that there are things we can do to cope while we wait for our shot.
[medium.com, 30 April 2021]

About new words

woman with grey hair, sunglasses and brightly-coloured scarf driving an open-topped car

New words – 3 January 2022

woman with grey hair, sunglasses and brightly-coloured scarf driving an open-topped car
Andreas Kuehn / The Image Bank / Getty

Queenager noun [C]
UK /ˈkwiːnˌeɪ.dʒəʳ/ US /ˈkwiːnˌeɪ.dʒɚ/
a woman of middle age or older who leads a busy life, dresses stylishly and enjoys having fun

On the small screen, it is Queenagers extraordinaires Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin who have rewritten the rules with their hit TV show Grace and Frankie. This comedy is a revolutionary portrayal of two women in their 80s, who despite many obstacles, have no trouble having a good time. In fact, it’s the ultimate Queenage fantasy.
[telegraph.co.uk, 6 June 2021]

silvfluencer noun [C]
UK /ˈsɪlv.flu.ən.səʳ/ US /ˈsɪlv.flu.ən.sɚ/
a middle-aged or elderly person who encourages people to buy items such as clothing and make-up by recommending them on social media, and is paid by companies to do so

The silvfluencers are all about refined eccentricity … Despite having reached an age where they know what suits them, they’re not afraid to make a so-called wardrobe mistake. They mix vintage Yves Saint Laurent with & Other Stories, bright colours with optimistic prints, red lipstick with grey hair. They strike unstudied poses and post refreshingly unedited captions.
[thetimes.co.uk, 9 July 2021]

the Elastic Generation noun [S]
/ðiː əˈlæs.tɪk ˌdʒen.əˈreɪ.ʃən/
the group of women aged between 50 and 70 who are well off and have a broad range of interests, seen by the advertising industry as consumers who are likely to spend a lot of money on products, travel etc.

With the Elastic Generation being fashion and beauty’s biggest spenders right now, it only makes sense that older women should be seen representing their off-runway counterparts in the industry. Naomi Campbell … closed the show at Saint Laurent’s Paris Fashion Week Show last season, an honour not usually reserved for those with 49 years under their belts.
[moda-uk.co.uk, 14 February 2020]

About new words

a line of people in office clothing walking down a staircase

New words – 27 December 2021

Robert Daly / OJO Images / Getty

the Great Resignation noun [S]
/ðə.ˌgreɪt.rez.ɪgˈneɪ.ʃᵊn/
a trend in the employment market during 2020 and 2021 that has seen a much larger number of people than usual resign from their job

More people are quitting their jobs, and it could shake the world of work forever. But are we making incorrect generalisations about the Great Resignation? Workers are quitting their jobs. A lot of them. So many, in fact, we’re still smack in the middle of the so-called Great Resignation … There are several reasons why workers are walking away – poor working conditions, fears of contracting Covid-19 and existential epiphanies among them.
[bbc.com/worklife, 29 October 2021]

returnment noun [U]
UK /rɪˈtɜːn.mənt/ US /rɪˈtɝːn.mənt/
going back to work after a period of time not in paid employment

In 2012, I burnt out and suffered from depression, and when I launched my own business, three years later, it was terrifying. Nobody returned my phone calls because I was dismissed as “just a housewife”, and I felt incredibly lonely. Whether you’ve been out of work for 18 months or 18 years, “returnment” can be challenging – but it’s not always as difficult as it might seem.
[telegraph.co.uk, 19 October 2021]

overemployment noun [U]
UK /ˌəʊ.vər.ɪmˈplɔɪ.mənt/ US /ˌoʊ.vɚ.ɪmˈplɔɪ.mənt/
the practice of a remote worker secretly having more than one full-time job and working just enough hours at each one for their employers not to notice

The overemployment trend has gained steam with the rise of remote work, which has often meant less employer supervision of workers. This means that juggling multiple jobs in secret is usually more feasible for wealthy, white-collar workers since their work can frequently be done remotely, which isn’t often the case for blue-collar workers.
[uk.news.yahoo.com, 17 November 2021]

About new words

two men having a conversation in a room decorated with soft furnishings, plants and books

New words – 20 December 2021

two men having a conversation in a room decorated with soft furnishings, plants and books
Westend61 / Getty

resimercial adjective
UK /ˌrez.ɪ.ˈmɜː.ʃᵊl/ US /ˌrez.ə.ˈmɝː.ʃᵊl/
A resimercial office combines elements of “residential” and “commercial”, with comfortable furniture and design that makes it look more like a room in a home.

Remote work has been extremely stressful for many people but others have grown accustomed to certain domestic comforts … An office-furniture dealer told me that some employers are aware of this. “How do we bridge that gap [and] bring people back to the office? Maybe if we design it in a way that is more resimercial, more homey, they’ll feel a little bit more comfortable in coming back and using the space,” he said.
[theatlantic.com, 21 September 2021]

broken plan adjective
UK /ˌbrəʊ.kᵊn.ˈplæn/ US /ˌbroʊ.kᵊn.ˈplæn/
A broken plan room or space is divided into smaller areas for different activities.

For years the trend of open plan living has reigned supreme, yet a new contender is entering the ring – broken plan living. A twist on open plan, broken plan retains that sense of openness, while also offering more privacy and cosy nooks. It’s a chance to get creative with your home, allowing you to play with shelves, partitions, and even half walls … You don’t need to undertake a massive renovation project to achieve a broken plan space. If you already enjoy an open layout, but you want to divide up space, get creative with your furniture.
[resi.co.uk, 11 March 2021]

probiotic architecture noun [U]
UK /ˌprəʊ.baɪˈɒt.ɪk.ˈɑː.kɪ.tek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˌproʊ.baɪˈɑː.t̬ɪk.ˈɑːr.kə.tek.tʃɚ/
the practice of designing and making buildings that can host certain types of bacteria that help keep people healthy

Richard Beckett is a researcher working in bio-augmented design … His vision is to create buildings which – like the human body – could allow specific microbial communities (also known as ‘the microbiome’) to grow on them and in turn help us to fight infectious disease … He calls the concept “probiotic architecture”. “These indoor microbiomes can influence our health,” says Richard, “and I’m interested in how we might design buildings and their microbiomes to make buildings healthy and more resilient.”
[ribaj.com, 19 January 2021]

About new words

close-up photograph of someone's hand using a smartphone in a dark room

New words – 13 December 2021

close-up photograph of someone's hand using a smartphone in a dark room
Jub Rubjob / Moment / Getty

tappigraphy noun [U]
/təˈpɪg.rə.fi/
the study of how, how often and in what patterns someone taps the keys on their mobile phone, thought to provide information on their behaviour and their physical and mental health

Arko Ghosh is the company’s cofounder and a neuroscientist at Leiden University in the Netherlands. “Tappigraphy patterns” – the time series of my touches – can, he says, confidently be used not only to infer slumber habits (tapping in the wee hours means you are not sleeping) but also mental performance level (the small intervals in a series of key-presses represent a proxy for reaction time), and he has published work to support it.
[theguardian.com, 7 November 2021]

killware noun [U]
UK /ˈkɪl.weəʳ/ US /ˈkɪl.wer/
a type of computer program used illegally to attack someone’s computer system and designed to cause people physical harm

Unlike malware and ransomware, whose sole purpose is financial gain for the attackers, killware has only one goal – causing physical harm. The name killware appeared in the media after the highly publicized cyberattack on a water plant in Oldsmar, Florida … Fortunately, no killware attack has been successful so far. The moniker itself sounds a bit overhyped, and that might be true at the moment. But the reality is that hackers have a way of not only hurting us emotionally but also physically.
[dailyhawker.com, 26 October 2021]

screenome noun [C]
UK /ˈskriː.nəʊm/ US /ˈskriːn.əʊm/
a very detailed record of someone’s activity on their smartphone or tablet

If Byron Reeves has his way, the concept of “screen time” will be a relic. Instead, it will be your “screenome” that’s important … The Human Screenome Project aims to more accurately capture our digital footprint using an eyebrow-raising technique: background software that screenshots a volunteer’s phone every five seconds while it’s activated. A screenome would offer a way to study smartphones and tablets for patterns of use linked to issues such as social-media addiction and mental health problems.
[technologyreview.com, 15 January 2020]

About new words