New words – 3 August 2020

Peter Cade / Stone / Getty

revenge spending noun [U]
/rɪˈvendʒ.ˈspen.dɪŋ/
the activity of shopping more than usual as a reaction to not having been able or allowed to do so for a period of time

The burst of sales has created a new retail term for the post-lockdown rebound: “revenge spending.” The idea is that consumers were shopping starved during their quarantine and are overcompensating by splurging more than usual.
[cnbc.com, 13 May 2020]

social commerce noun [U]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈkɑː.mɝːs/
the use of social media websites to buy and sell products and services

The sheer amount of time spent by people, especially younger generations, on social media apps has positioned social commerce as the indisputable market breakout trend for e-commerce in the coming years … One of the primary drivers of the success of social commerce has been the shift of preference by Generation Z and Millennials away from Facebook and towards platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.
[forbes.com, 25 June 2019]

spendemic noun [C]
/spenˈdem.ɪk/
a sudden tendency for people to spend money, usually on unnecessary things

Call it a spendemic. “I’ve bought an area rug, a coffee table, prints for the walls, a mirror and plants,” says Jackson Isaacson, 27, who estimates he’s spent nearly $4,000 since self-isolating due to the novel coronavirus outbreak a month ago.
[nypost.com, 20 April 2020]

About new words

New words – 27 July 2020

Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty

Generation Alpha noun [U]
/ˌdʒen.əˈreɪ.ʃᵊn.ˈæl.fə/
a way of referring to the group of people who were, or will be, born in the 2010s and 2020s

A picture of Generation Alpha, if a blurry one, is starting to emerge. In various articles about its members, analysts have stated that they are or will grow up to be the best-educated generation ever, the most technologically immersed [and] the wealthiest.
[theatlantic.com, 21 February 2020]

anti-natalism noun [U]
UK /ˌæn.tiˈneɪ.tᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌæn.tiˈneɪ.t̬ᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/
the belief that it is morally wrong to have children

More people, millennials specifically, are drawn to a similar idea that suggests that procreation is problematic. It’s called “anti-natalism,” and proponents believe it’s the environmentally friendly and morally ethical thing to do.
[refinery29.com, 14 August 2019]

boomsplain verb
/ˈbuːm.spleɪn/
to give someone an unnecessary or unwanted explanation of something; used when someone of the baby boomer generation explains something to a younger person

Let me boomsplain: All parents are out of touch. Ours were about (hello again) Vietnam, women’s rights and racism (some things never change). Gen Xer Will Smith had a huge hit in 1988 called “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
[sfchronicle.com, 19 December 2019]

About new words

New words – 20 July 2020

Sam Edwards / OJO Images / Getty

hyflex adjective
/ˈhaɪ.fleks/
a way of learning in which lessons are given face to face in classrooms and also made available on the internet

Any in-person activities will be offered in a hybrid/flexible (hyflex) model, meaning that students will have the choice to participate in real-time, either in-person or remotely. These hyflex learning opportunities may take the form of group projects, workshops, or social activities.
[professional.uchicago.edu, 1 July 2020]

STEAM noun [U]
/stiːm/
abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (as subjects of study)

STEAM is a way to take the benefits of STEM and complete the package by integrating these principles in and through the arts. STEAM takes STEM to the next level: it allows students to connect their learning in these critical areas together with arts practices, elements, design principles, and standards.
[educationcloset.com, 14 January 2020]

Shape noun [U]
/ʃeɪp/
abbreviation for Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy (as subjects of study)

A national fight to restore the balance between rival academic disciplines and give back lost weight to subjects such as history, foreign languages, geography and English literature, will start this week with the unveiling of Shape, a “rebranding” drive to promote the humanities and social sciences
[The Observer, 21 June 2020]

About new words

New words – 13 July 2020

Westend61 / Getty

cottagecore noun [U]
UK /ˈkɒt.ɪdʒ.kɔːr/ US /ˈkɑː.t̬ɪdʒ.kɔːr/
a lifestyle based on traditional rural activities, or a way of dressing that suggests that lifestyle, usually adopted by people who live in cities

Cottagecore activities such as baking, gardening and making your own clothes have all boomed during the pandemic. Now menswear is taking note. Monthly searches for the staples of so-called “grandad style” have increased.
[The Guardian, 4 July 2020]

anti-fit adjective
UK /ˈæn.ti.fɪt/ US /ˈæn.t̬i.fɪt/
Anti-fit clothes are deliberately designed to fit the wearer’s body very loosely

Anti-fit clothing isn’t partywear. So, keep the vibe cool and comfortable even when it comes to shoes or accessories,” says Bollywood costume designer Rick Roy, who has worked with actors like Vidya Balan and Sonam Kapoor.
[hindustantimes.com, 15 February 2020]

Zoomwear noun [U]
UK /ˈzuːm.weəʳ/ US /ˈzuːm.wer/
a style of dressing that involves wearing clothes suitable for the office above the waist and casual clothing below the waist

Zoom Shirts are really the first and last word in Zoomwear. Zoom Jackets, I quickly discovered from looking around large Zoom calls in the early pandemic weeks, are vestimenta non grata. Zoom Ties look even more ridiculous. Everyone knows you have your laptop set up on the dining room table, with dishes just out of sight.
[New York Times, 29 June 2020]

About new words

New words – 6 July 2020

Donald Iain Smith / Getty

virtual being noun [C]
UK /ˌvɜː.tʃu.əl.ˈbiː.ɪŋ/ US /ˌvɝː.tʃu.əl.ˈbiː.ɪŋ/
a computer program that takes the physical form of a human being and uses artificial intelligence to behave in a way that mimics a real person

According to Samsung, Neon is a “computationally created virtual being” which acts and looks like a “real human,” with the ability to “show emotions and intelligence.” Okay. Samsung is vehement in a press release that Neon is not a virtual assistant, helper app, or bot, but rather some kind of artificially intelligent digital “being” which can interact with real people in an unrehearsed and spontaneous manner.
[inputmag.com, 6 January 2020]

myco-architecture noun [U]
UK /ˌmaɪ.kəʊ.ˈɑː.kɪ.tek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˌmaɪ.kəʊ.ˈɑːr.kə.tek.tʃɚ/
the art and practice of designing and making buildings out of fungus

NASA researchers are investigating the potential of mycelia – the nutrient-absorbing, underground threads that make up a fungus’s main bulk – to help construct outposts on the moon and Mars … With the right conditions, say the researchers, they can be coaxed into making new structures, ranging from a material similar to leather to the building blocks for a Mars habitat. The NASA researchers call it myco-architecture.
[earthsky.org, 22 January 2020]

Gigabit City noun [C]
UK /ˌgɪg.ə.bɪt.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌgɪg.ə.bɪt..ˈsɪt̬.i/
a city that uses fibre optic technology to provide everyone who lives or works there with extremely fast broadband

The Stirling Gigabit City project forms part of CityFibre’s £2.5bn Gigabit City investment programme to bring full fibre to five million homes and businesses by 2025. … Councillor Scott Farmer, Leader of Stirling Council, said: “We are proud Stirling is well on its way to becoming the nation’s first completed Gigabit City project and believe it is the start of a huge digital opportunity for businesses and residents in the area.”
[cityfibre.com, 24 September 2019]

About new words

New words – 29 June 2020

Fly View Productions / E+ / Getty

flexi-schooling noun [U]
/ˈflek.si.ˌskuːl.ɪŋ/
the teaching of children partly at home, usually by their parents, and partly at school

After checking with the local authority, she was able to authorise flexi-schooling as long as her school still “oversaw” Esme’s education. Basically, we had to keep St John’s informed of Esme’s “day off” so they could check she was safe and learning.
[telegraph.co.uk, 21 May 2020]

microschool noun [C]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.skuːl/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.skuːl/
a private school with a very small number of pupils in each class

The push toward smaller, less institutionalized learning environments may also be a boost for the burgeoning microschool movement. Microschools usually operate out of homes or local community organizations and typically have no more than a dozen K-12 students, of varying ages.
[forbes.com, 11 May 2020]

adversity score noun [C]
UK /ədˈvɜː.sə.ti.skɔːʳ/ US /ədˈvɝː.sə.t̬i.skɔːr/
a number of points assigned to a student applying to go to university or college representing their social and economic background, designed to show the university or college what difficulties the student has overcome

The College Board has continually tried to revamp the SAT, attempting last year to introduce an “adversity score” that would take into account factors like a student’s neighborhood environment. The organization later pulled the plug after backlash.
[marketplace.org, 22 May 2020]

About new words

New words – 22 June

Adam Hester / The Image Bank / Getty

digital nutrition noun [U]
UK /ˌdɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl.njuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌdɪdʒ.ə.t̬əl.nuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/
the process of making sure that using mobile phones, computers etc. is not harmful for your physical and mental health

Unplugging won’t solve the root problem. It’s like doing a juice cleanse – you deny yourself and then you’ll go back online and eat a burger … Instead, think of your digital nutrition the same way you think of regular nutrition: instead of worrying about calories or minutes, concentrate on the quality of what you’re consuming.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 6 January 2020]

infodemic noun [C]
UK /ˌɪn.fəʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/ US /ˌɪn.foʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/
a very large amount of information that is published about a particular problem, some of which is untrue, therefore making it more difficult to find a solution

The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.
[who.int, 2 February 2020]

phygital adjective
UK /ˈfɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl/ US /ˈfɪdʒ.ə.t̬ᵊl/
using a combination of physical and digital elements to sell and market a product

In light of lockdown the idea of ‘phygital’ strategy is being turned on its head. It’s no longer about splicing a digital element into physical experiences. More challenging perhaps, it’s now about bringing real physical connection to digital experiences.
[newdigitalage.co, 29 April 2020]

About new words

New words – 15 June 2020

jim Schlett / iStock / Getty Images Plus

super bloom noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.bluːm/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.bluːm/
the appearance of an unusually high number of wild flowers in a particular season

NASA has released a stunning series of images of a massive orange poppy super bloom in USA’s Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. The wildflowers have blossomed in such a massive scale that they are now visible from space.
[news18.com, 16 May 2020]

moon garden noun [C]
UK /ˌmuːn.ˈgɑː.dᵊn/ US /ˌmuːn.ˈgɑːr.dᵊn/
a garden that has been designed to be enjoyed at night

Night pollinators such as moths, native bees and bats are attracted to plants in a moon garden with white and pale-colored flowers that are intensely fragrant and produce a lot of nectar. As you walk through the moon garden, you can watch these varied and industrious third-shift pollinators as they go about their important work.
[familyhandyman.com, 14 May 2020]

vegan gardening noun [U]
UK /ˌviː.gən.ˈgɑː.dᵊn.ɪŋ/ US /ˌviː.gən.ˈgɑːr.dᵊn.ɪŋ/
the practice of growing plants without using any animal products

In vegan gardening, you have to be mindful of what you put on your crops. Animal manures used to help plants grow can be contaminated with infectious diseases such as E coli and listeria, as well as persistent herbicides.
[guardian.com, 26 January 2019]

About new words

New words – 8 June 2020

Prapass Pulsub / Moment / Getty

cleanliness theatre noun [U]
UK /ˈklen.li.nəs.θɪə.təʳ/ US /ˈklen.li.nəs.θiː.ə.t̬ɚ/
the practice of cleaning public buildings and other places in a very obvious way so that the users of those buildings and places feel reassured about how clean they are

Housekeeping will play a pivotal role for numerous hotels in the years to come, so please consider how you can utilize the concept of cleanliness theatre so guests can see and appreciate all the hard work you’ve done to ensure their safety.
[hoteliermagazine.com, 4 May 2020]

air bridge noun [C]
UK /ˌeə.ˈbrɪdʒ/ US /ˌer.ˈbrɪdʒ/
a flight route between two countries where the covid-19 virus is well controlled, enabling people to travel without having to go into quarantine afterwards

The possibility of going abroad for a summer holiday this year has been ambitious at best, but Brits have now been given renewed hope thanks to the prospect of “air bridges” .
[scotsman.com, 21 May 2020]

double bubble noun [C]
/ˌdʌb.əl.ˈbʌb.əl/
the people from two separate households who are allowed to see each other as part of the gradual easing of restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic

In particular, social bubbles are a way to support Canadians experiencing mental-health issues due to the loneliness of isolation as well as parents who are desperate for help with childcare. But even if you fall into neither of those groups, a double bubble means some long-awaited social interactions.
[refinery29.com, 13 May 2020]

About new words

New words – 1 June 2020

Kemter / E+ / Getty

superforecaster noun [C]
UK /ˌsuː.pə.ˈfɔː.kɑː.stəʳ/ US /ˌsuː.pɚ.ˈfɔːr.kæs.tɚ/
someone whose job is to predict what certain events or situations are going to be like in the future, and who can do this very accurately

One of the subjects which a group of superforecasters is tackling now is the total number of Covid-19 infected, and the mortality rate, of the virus a year from now … Here’s what the group of superforecasters … think the figures will be by end March 2021: total global infected population below 7 per cent (with many estimates below 4 per cent), with a case fatality rate of one per cent.
[businesstimes.com.sg, 18 April 2020]

hyperleader noun [C]
UK /ˈhaɪ.pə.ˌliː.dəʳ/ US /ˈhaɪ.pə.ˌliː.dɚ/
the leader of a political party who is more popular than the party they lead and who uses social media to engage with their supporters

These modern “hyperleaders” invert the relationship between politician and party. In contrast to the representative model of democracy where politicians were figureheads and parties were the true repositories of power, the hyperleader may have a far larger social media base than their organisation. They float above the party, lifting it into the air through their personal visibility.
[www.newstatesman.com, 8 March 2019]

edupreneur noun [C]
UK /ˌedʒ.u.prəˈnɜːʳ/ US /ˌedʒ.ə.prəˈnɝː/
an entrepreneur who works in the field of education

Edupreneurs are now offering educational opportunities through online courses, mastermind groups, digital apprenticeships, bootcamps, coworking retreats and all kinds of other innovative ways teachers are dreaming up to get results for their students.
[diygenius.com, 24 July 2019]

About new words