New words – 15 January 2018

DreamPictures/Blend Images/Getty

latte levy noun [C]
UK /ˈlæt.eɪˌlev.i/ US /ˈlɑː.t̬eɪˌlev.i/
a tax paid on disposable, non-recyclable coffee cups the aim of which is to encourage customers to bring their own cup and therefore reduce waste

MPs on the Environment Audit Committee have argued that a so-called latte levy should apply to disposable cups with the revenue used to pay for improved recycling facilities. 
[, 4 January 2018]

raw water noun [U, C]
UK /rɔːˈwɔː.təʳ/ US /rɑːˈwɑː.t̬ɚ/
water that is unfiltered and untreated, thought by some people to be a healthier alternative to tap water

Thinking of buying some “raw water”? Well, first of all, congratulations. Money is obviously not a major constraint for you if you can afford to spend $36.99 or more on a 2.5 gallon jug of water. … Secondly, as with all products, caveat emptor (or buyer beware). After all, raw water is a completely new thing (or actually a very old thing from [the] 1800s back when life expectancy was 40 years or below), and regulations have yet to catch up to this new fad.
[, 7 January 2018]

super coffee noun [U, C]
UK /ˈsuː.pəʳˌkɒf.i/ US /ˈsuː.pɚˌkɑː.fi/
coffee that has had ingredients such as seeds, oats and spices added in order to increase its health benefits

Turns out ordering a skinny latte is so 2015. Instead in 2018, your go-to barista is going to be inundated with orders for ‘super coffee’ with saves up 218%. Think adding protein powders and superfoods like maca to your caffeine hit.
[, 15 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 8 January 2018


up lit noun [U]
/ˈʌp lɪt/
a literary genre comprising books that make the reader feel optimistic

A bruising year dominated by political and economic uncertainty … has, publishers say, kickstarted a new trend they have have branded “up lit”. In contrast with the “grip lit” thrillers that were the market leaders until recently, more and more bookbuyers are seeking out novels and nonfiction that is optimistic rather than feelgood. 
[The Guardian, 2 August 2017]

book doula noun [C]
/ˈbʊk duː.lə/
a person whose job is to help a would-be author get their book published and to offer advice and support throughout the process

Distinguishing themselves from agents and editors, book doulas offer a sort of coaching service, a kind eye to reassure nervous authors who are having trouble getting their book published. Ariane Conrad, who calls herself an “editorial coach and consultant, AKA book doula”, refers to her services as “bookbirthing”.
[The Guardian, 6 September 2017]

BookTuber noun [C]
UK /ˈbʊk.tʃuː.bəʳ/ US /ˈbʊk.tuː.bɚ/
someone who posts videos of book reviews on the social media site YouTube

Print reviewing and vlogging are two very different things. BookTubers make excellent reading guides and they’re happy to chat about the sort of stuff usually ignored by print critics such as the look (and even feel) of books. There’s a great deal of bookish fun to be had out there on YouTube.
[The Times, 11 August 2017]

About new words

New words – 1 January 2018


flashpacking noun [U]
a type of backpacking (travelling or camping while carrying everything you need in a backpack) that is more comfortable and luxurious than traditional backpacking

However, this notion that spending more and travelling with state-of-the-art technological paraphernalia makes a traveller somehow ‘elite’ or ‘flashier’ might not really be relevant any longer … the concept of a clear divide between ‘flashpacking’ and regular backpacking doesn’t really apply any more. It would seem that nowadays, with the world so hyperconnected and once-revolutionary technology now easily accessible, almost all global wanderers are ‘flashpackers’.
[, 11 May 2017]

bleisure noun [U]
UK /ˈbleʒ.əʳ/ US /ˈbliː.ʒɚ/
the activity of combining business travel with leisure time

While bleisure travel isn’t growing in a huge way, this study shows nearly half of millennial business travelers add leisure to business trips. Those young travelers could cut back as they get older — or employers might need to better adjust to a rise in bleisure down the road.
[, 9 June 2017]

honeyteer noun [C]
UK /hʌn.iˈtɪəʳ/ US /hʌn.iˈtɪr/
a honeymoon spent doing voluntary work, usually abroad

Choosing a honeyteer means you and your new spouse could work together to build houses in Belize for orphaned children, teach English to the fisherman of Zanzibar … or head to the Brazilian Amazon to research and monitor pink river dolphins in the Mamirau? So if you are ready to roll up your sleeves after you take off your wedding gown, a honeyteer could be the perfect fit for you and your honey.
[, 14 April 2017]

About new words

New words – 25 December 2017

Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Caiaimage/Getty

slow gifting noun [U]
UK /sləʊ ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/ US /sloʊ ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/
the activity of shopping carefully and thoughtfully for gifts, and buying high-quality, often hand-made items from small shops or individual sellers

[S]low gifting has been hailed as one of this year’s top Christmas trends. Personal shoppers are reporting a surge in popularity of gifts from small independent brands. They claim their clients are increasingly looking for products that tell a story, and they are willing to spend big.
[The Times, 19 November 2017]

Christmas creep noun [U]
the act of advertising and selling Christmas-related goods before the traditional start of the Christmas season

The phenomenon of Christmas creep is nothing new, of course. It’s been a cultural touchpoint at least since Charlie Brown walked into a department store during a 1974 Easter special to find that the aisles were already decked with wreaths. But the migration to online shopping has upped the stakes in recent years and made the final months of the year on which retailers rely most all the more crucial.
[, 1 November 2017]

reverse advent calendar noun [C]
UK /rɪˈvɜːs ˈæd.vent ˌkæl.ən.dᵊr/ US /rɪˈvɝːs ˈæd.vent ˌkæl.ən.dɚ/
an activity that involves putting aside one food item per day during December and then taking all the items to a food bank on Christmas Eve to help people in need

Increasingly, ideas such as the reverse advent calendar are gaining in popularity. It’s a simple concept that encourages the public to give, not receive as they count down to Christmas. People collect one food bank item each day and, on Christmas Eve, the whole calendar is donated … Reverse advent calendars are a great idea, and yet another example of how local communities are taking action to stop their neighbours going hungry.
[The Guardian, 1 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 18 December 2017

Guido Mieth/DigitalVision/Getty

kittenfishing noun [U]
UK /ˈkɪt.ᵊn.fɪʃ.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkɪt̬.ᵊn.fɪʃ.ɪŋ/
the activity of exaggerating your positive qualities in an online profile

Essentially a light version of ‘catfishing’ – when you pretend to be a totally different person online – kittenfishing can be as simple as using profile photos that are out-of-date or heavily edited … An act that we’ve probably all experienced or even been guilty of at some point, kittenfishing comes as the world of dating becomes more and more competitive.
[, 2 July 2017]

finsta noun [C]
a second account on the social media site Instagram, to which a limited number of people have access

The latest development in the world of social media is the concept of a “finsta,” a slang term meaning “fake insta.” Essentially, a finsta is a private social media account a person uses in addition to their public profile to post potentially contentious content.
[, 15 May 2017]

click farm noun [C]
UK /ˈklɪk fɑːm/ US /ˈklɪk fɑːrm/
a place where a team of workers is hired to increase a person or company’s social media profile by clicking on content

Footage has emerged of a giant “click farm” that uses more than 10,000 mobile phones to give product ratings and pages on social media websites phoney “likes”. Companies reportedly pay thousands to get their apps more likes by using services like this massive plant offers.
[Daily Mirror, 15 May 2017]

About new words

New words – 11 December 2017


omurice noun [C]
UK /ˈɒm.jə.raɪs/ US /ˈɑː.mjə.raɪs/
a Japanese dish consisting of an omelette filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup

A 23-year-old Japanese omurice seller who goes by Kuya Omurice on his Facebook page is a college student who sells the yummy ketchup-drizzled omelets with rice by announcing where he’s going to be for the day and carrying his goods with him in an ice bucket.
[, 28 July 2017]

birch water noun [C and U]
UK /bɜːtʃ ˈwɔː.tᵊr/ US /bɝːtʃ ˈwɑː.t̬ɚ/
a drink made from the sap of the birch tree, said to have health-giving properties

What, you haven’t heard of birch water? Because coconut water, aloe water, maple water and cactus water are so passe, there were several companies at Fancy Foods hawking water made from the sap of birch trees. Companies like Absolutely Wild claim that the water is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes, has “detoxifying and restorative properties” and “strengthens your body’s immunity.” 
[The Washington Post, 30 June 2017]

vegducken noun [C]
UK /vedʒ ˈdʌk.ən/ US /vedʒ ˈdʌk.ən/
a cooked dish consisting of three different types of vegetables placed inside each other

There’s no shame in not eating turkey at Thanksgiving, or ham at Christmas—that is, when you have Butternut Squash Vegducken. This vegetable stunner of an entrée is an entirely meatless take on turducken, with butternut squash, eggplant, and zucchini filling in for the usual suspects.
[, October 2015]

About new words

New words – 4 December 2017

Dan Dalton/Caiaimage/Getty

Black Fiveday noun [C, usually singular]
/blæk ˈfaɪv.deɪ/
the five-day period around Thanksgiving, when shops reduce the price of goods in order to attract customers

But part of the reason for the soaring spending figures is because retailers are stretching the November promotional period for longer than ever before. Last year saw the introduction of the ghastly “Black Fiveday” to festive vocabulary as retailers started to discount from five consecutive days from the Thursday before to “Cyber Monday”.
[Sunday Telegraph, 19 November 2017]

doorbuster noun [C]
UK /ˈdɔː.bʌs.təʳ/ US /ˈdɔːr.bʌs.tɚ/
an article that is sold very cheaply in order to attract customers into a shop and make them buy other, more expensive, things

This year, in-store deals may not be quite as limited because Walmart has more than tripled the number of products available compared with last holiday season. The retailer has even done away with the wristband system used to manage its high-demand, low-supply doorbuster items.
[Yahoo! Finance, 21 November 2017]

golden quarter noun [C]
UK /ˌgəʊl.dᵊn ˈkwɔː.təʳ/ US /ˌgoʊl.dᵊn ˈkwɔːr.t̬ɚ /
the three-month period from October to December when retailers usually make the most profit

“October marked yet another reversal of fortunes for retailers, reinforcing just how volatile consumer spend has been,” said Paul Martin, head of retail at KPMG. “Despite the positive picture last month, these latest figures will be a real disappointment and not the start to the golden quarter retailers had hoped for.”
[, 7 November 2017]

About new words

New words – 27 November 2017


screen fatigue noun [U]
/ˈskriːn fəˌtiːg/
the situation where people feel they spend too much time reading text on an e-reader, tablet, etc.

Britons are abandoning the ebook at an alarming rate with sales of consumer titles down almost a fifth last year, as “screen fatigue” helped fuel a five-year high in printed book sales. 
[The Guardian, 27 April 2017]

Rovable noun [C]
UK /ˈrəʊvə.bᵊl/ US /ˈroʊvə.bᵊl/
a very small robot that can be worn on your body and carry out a number of different tasks

In the future, the researchers imagine that Rovables might shrink to the size of a fingernail. Picture lots of robots scurrying around your clothes on a programmed routine: onto your limbs to track your movements at the gym, up to your neck to let you take an incoming call, then over to your back to flash lights while you bike home from work in the dark.
[, 21 October 2016]

digital notepad noun [C]
UK /ˈdɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl ˈnəʊt.pæd/ US /ˈdɪdʒ.ə.t̬ᵊl ˈnoʊt.pæd/
a small computer with a special screen you can write or draw on, using a type of pen called a stylus

The ReMarkable digital notepad produced by a Norwegian company is a revolution on the tablets market … The first digital paper tablet for reading, writing and sketching was produced. ReMarkable has a digital paper display without screen glare, and a higher-friction surface. 
[, 1 June 2017]

About new words

New words – 20 November 2017

Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

femoir noun [C]
a book or other piece of writing based on a female writer’s personal knowledge and experiences, written from a feminist viewpoint

Tracey Spicer says women must speak up on entrenched gender discrimination, take charge of personal finances and shun gruelling beauty routines. The esteemed journalist and author of the self dubbed ‘femoir’ The Good Girl Stripped Bare has shaken off internet trolls and continues to call out sexism in the workplace.
[, 27 April 2017]

equel noun [C]
a book that features some elements of a previous book, such as characters and places, but tells a separate story that is not connected

So … is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, The Book of Dust is… an ‘equel’. It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it. It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognise, and characters they’ve met before.
[, 14 February 2017]

flybrary noun [C]
UK /ˈflaɪ.brər.i/ US /ˈflaɪ.brer.i/
a collection of books at an airport or on an aeroplane that people can borrow to read during their flight

Easyjet is placing thousands of children’s classics on planes during the summer holidays … in an initiative it calls “flybraries” … Kids can read the books on the flight (let’s hope, for a change, for delays, so they can finish) and, when they land, download free samples of other classics for the beach.
[The Sunday Times, 23 July 2017]

About new words

New words – 13 November 2017

Degui Adil/EyeEm/Getty

macroscope noun [C]
UK /ˈmæk.rə.skəʊp/ US /ˈmæk.rə.skoʊp/
a system of computer programs and mathematical instructions that will enable very large amounts of data about the world to be analysed and understood

In five years, we will use machine-learning algorithms and software to help us organize the information about the physical world to help bring the vast and complex data gathered by billions of devices within the range of our vision and understanding. We call this a “macroscope” – but unlike the microscope to see the very small, or the telescope that can see far away, it is a system of software and algorithms to bring all of Earth’s complex data together to analyze it by space and time for meaning.
[, January 2017]

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