New words – 25 September 2017


frequency patch noun [C]
a small piece of material that can be stuck to the skin, from which particular substances can be absorbed into the body that are said to help with tiredness and some illnesses

Kritzer and her team draw on an alternative healing method called “frequency patches” … that operate under the belief that our bodies work best when we’re vibrating at a specific internal frequency — a sweet spot in the neighborhood of 62-72Hz. The stickers are “programmed” to mimic this optimum level, and Kritzter says you can “replenish any deficiencies” and raise your “vibration to the perfect frequency” by wearing them for a month.
[, 3 November 2016]

heartilage piercing noun [C]
UK /ˈhɑː.tᵊl.ɪdʒ.ˌpɪə.sɪŋ/ US /ˈhɑːr.t̬ᵊl.ɪdʒ.ˌpɪr.sɪŋ/
a hole made in the cartilage of the top of the ear so that a heart-shaped earring can be worn

There’s no denying that it’s difficult to design a unique yet chic cartilage earring simply because of the sensitivity and location on the ear, but a piercing legend in New York City … simply removed the bead from his client’s cartilage ring, turned in the metal ends, and shaped the piercing into a heart. Robbie’s creativity with the heartilage piercing might have been inspired by his frequent heart daith piercings, the innermost area of cartilage, which he often pierces with a beaded heart ring.
[, 9 March 2017]

helix tattoo noun [C]
a tattoo on the top of the outer ridge of the ear

 All over Instagram, people are proudly showcasing a snazzy new tattooing trend: the helix tattoo. As its name suggests, this trend is simply getting a tattoo on the ear’s upper-outer curve. It’s going big recently thanks to Seoul-based tattoo artist Zihee, who’s been creating all kinds of delicate, nature-inspired designs on people’s ears.
[Metro, 26 April 2017]

About new words

New words – 18 September 2017


rooftopper noun [C]
UK /ˈruːf.tɒp.əʳ/ US /ˈruːf.tɑːpɚ/
someone who climbs onto the roof of a high building to take photographs, often putting themselves in physical danger

This is the heart stopping moment a daredevil rooftopper climbs a New York skyscraper. The dizzying snaps show stunning scenes across the Big Apple from high up on the top of the concrete jungle’s landmark skyscrapers.
[, 29 March 2017]

experience economy noun [U]
UK /ɪkˈspɪə.ri.əns.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /ɪkˈspɪr.i.əns.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
an economic system that is based on people doing things, such as taking part in sporting activities and visiting places, rather than buying things

A series of studies is revealing strange things about our spending habits. They call it the “experience economy”, which gives it the sense of a grand theory. And there is science behind it, but it’s also very simple: regardless of political uncertainty, austerity and inflation, we are spending more on doing stuff, choosing instead to cut back on buying stuff.
[The Guardian, 13 May 2017]

tombstone tourist noun [C]
UK /ˈtuːm.stəʊn.ˈtʊə.rɪ.st/ US /ˈtuːm.stoʊn.ˈtʊr.ɪ.st/
someone who visits the graves of famous people for enjoyment

Visiting a graveyard for enjoyment is not everyone’s cup of tea. But tombstone tourists – or “taphophiles” – are increasingly to be found wandering through cemeteries, examining headstones, and generally enjoying the sombre atmosphere. 
[, 7 May 2017]

About new words

New words – 11 September 2017

fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

procrastination nanny noun [C]
UK /prəˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃᵊn.næn.i/ US /proʊˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃᵊn.næn.i/
a person whose job is to encourage you to do tasks that you have been putting off

Speaking of acting like children, the latest Stateside trend is to get yourself a ‘procrastination nanny’ aka a professional motivator who sits with you and keeps you on track with tasks that you might not feel like doing. Oh grow up and get on with it, I say!
[, 1 May 2017]

air nanny noun [C]
UK /ˈeəʳ.næn.i/ US /ˈer.næn.i/
a woman whose job is to take care of a particular family’s children during a flight

The air nanny will do everything for the children from keeping them entertained to making the flight pass smoothly, to preparing the child/children for bed and sleep. Air nannies will ultimately make the flight enjoyable for the entire family. And frankly, who in their right mind wouldn’t want that?
[, 1 April 2017]

nanny cam noun [C]
a camera hidden in a home that films the activities of the people employed to look after the children

Some nanny cams don’t look like cameras at all. They are meant to go undetected. Some nanny cams look like teddy bears while others look like cameras and are meant to be placed in a household object to hide it.
[, 3 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 4 September 2017

TSchon/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

avocado hand noun [U]
UK /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.dəʊ.hænd/ US /ˌæv.əˈkɑː.doʊ.hænd/
an injury that results when you use a knife to try to remove the stone from an avocado and cut your hand instead

Simon Eccles, secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, explained how he now treats up to four people a week for avocado hand. When slippery fruit meets sharp knife and hard stone, intricate surgery is often required to mend the deep lacerations.
[The Telegraph, 15 May 2017]

Q noun [U]
a chewy texture typical of food from Taiwan

Q is a springy, chewy texture … it’s a cornerstone of Taiwanese cooking so revered it appears repeatedly throughout the day in dishes both sweet and savory, hot and cold, and even in drinks.
[, May 2017]

runch noun [C]
a run that you do for exercise during your lunch break

For many trail runners, “runch” is the most important meal of the day. Running at lunch provides a predictable window of opportunity to conquer some miles. Most office jobs involve about an hour of lunch, which is enough time to get a solid aerobic stimulus before sitting in front of a computer for a few more hours.
[, 16 May 2017]

About new words

New words – 28 August 2017

JGI/Tom Grill/Blend Images/Getty

guideshop noun [C]
UK /ˈgaɪd.ʃɒp/ US /ˈgaɪd.ʃɑːp/
a shop where customers can see and try products then order them to be delivered to their home, but which does not stock them for sale

By letting customers try out products but not stocking apparel for sale, Bonobos can cut costs with smaller stores, offer a wider selection of styles and fits, and focus on customer service rather than inventory management, Dunn said. He declined to comment on the company’s growth or revenues but said the guideshops are profitable.
[Chicago Tribune, 20 April 2016]

retailtainment noun [U]
the use of sound, lighting and entertaining activities to encourage shoppers to buy things

Chinese shoppers can expect to see more emphasis on retailtainment that falls into the health and fitness category, reflecting a growing consumer interest in healthy lifestyles. Not only does this mean malls are likely to make space for more sport facilities, but also that developers will set aside retail space for niche brands trying to make it into the China market.
[, 3 February 2017]

community mall noun [C]
UK /kəˈmjuː.nə.ti.mɔːl/ US /kəˈmjuː.nə.t̬i.mɑːl/
a small, open-air shopping mall, usually with plants, trees and an outdoor seating area

There are at least two dozen “community malls” in Bangkok, often opened by small businesses … rather than the development giants whose outlets attract the likes of Prada, Cartier and Gucci. They also target a specific demographic, even if they are technically open to all.
[The Guardian, 3 April 2017]

About new words

New words – 21 August 2017

Blend Images – KidStock/Brand X Pictures/Getty

ecotherapy noun [U]
UK /ˈiː.kəʊ.θer.ə.pi/ US /ˈiː.koʊ.θer.ə.pi/
a method of improving someone’s well-being by engaging them in outdoor activities such as gardening and conservation work

Mind has funded 130 ecotherapy projects and helped more than 12,000 people in the process. One such project uses gardening and growing food to help people with mental health issues improve their sense of wellbeing. Green exercise therapy – walking in nature – has also proven to be effective.
[, 16 December 2016]

clean meat noun [U]
meat that has been grown in a laboratory from self-reproducing cells

There are concerns about clean meat however. Some people wonder whether meat eaters will even want to eat it. They might be so stuck in their ways that the thought of eating animal products produced by a radical new method will seem weird and disgusting to them. Some meat eaters I’ve spoken to are repulsed by the idea of eating “meat grown in a lab”, even after I remind them that all processed foods start in a lab before they are mass produced in a factory.
[The Guardian, 18 April 2017]

FODMAP noun [C]
UK /ˈfɒd.mæp/ US /ˈfɑːd.mæp/
abbreviation for ‘fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols’: one of a group of naturally occurring sugars that are said to be a possible cause of stomach pain and problems with digestion

In one trial, avoiding foods with FODMAPs was shown to reduce IBS symptoms in 76% of sufferers. This isn’t easy – lots of foods have FODMAPs, including anything containing wheat, dairy, fruits like apples, pears and peaches, and vegetables including onions.
[Sainsbury’s Magazine, April 2017]

About new words

New words – 14 August 2017

Morsa Images/Digital Vision/Getty

hack day noun [C]
an event at which employees of a company meet to discuss problems or ideas

Online property marketplace Hubble used an internal hack day as a team-building exercise and also to identify and fulfil new opportunities. With a hearty breakfast to get the creative juices flowing, and celebratory beer and pizzas afterwards, the chance to spend a day away from regular activities got the company’s 20 employees enthusiastic about taking part.
[The Telegraph, 10 March 2017]

crowdspeaking noun [U]
a marketing activity where each follower of a person or company on social media sends out an identical message at the same time

Social media is an easy way to say something, but it’s a difficult way to be heard. Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.
[, 26 March 2017]

self-disruption noun [U]
a major change made by a company to its traditional activities

For obvious reasons, reducing the number of insurance claims seems like a negative thing for insurance companies. If technology can prevent accidents from happening, then insurance companies will suffer. Fewer accidents means fewer claims, so why on earth has Direct Line embarked on a policy of self-disruption?
[, 20 February 2017]

About new words

New words – 7 August 2017

DeeNida/iStock/Getty Images Plus

ube noun [C, U]
a purple variety of sweet potato

Also known as ‘purple yam’, this bright purple vegetable features in increasingly popular Filipino cuisine and looks especially amazing in desserts. New Yorkers went crazy for ‘ube doughnuts’ last year, and the UK is hot on its heels.
[Sainsbury’s Magazine, January 2017]

soup dumpling noun [C]
a Chinese dish consisting of a small ball of dough filled with soup

One of my favourite Chinese dishes is soup dumplings. The first time I tried them was in New York after a mate went on and on about them – and for good reason. Soup dumplings are everything you want in a small parcel – succulent and bursting with flavour.
[Grazia, 3 April 2017]

salad cake noun [C, U]
a food that is designed to look like a sweet cake but is actually made of savoury ingredients such as soy and vegetables

Imagine biting into a beautiful cake, but instead of a sugary rush you get the fresh flavors of celery, carrot and red cabbage. Salad cakes – a new craze in Japan – offer exactly that experience … These sinless sweets substitute cream “frosting” for that made out of tofu, a “sponge” base for one of soy powder, eggs and vegetable oil, while the rainbow hues that decorate the “icing” come from natural vegetable colorings such as red beetroot juice.
[, 13 March 2017]

About new words

New words – 31 July 2017

Adriana Marteva/EyeEm/Getty

smellscape noun [C]
a collection of the different smells associated with a particular place

“A smellscape is the olfactory equivalent of a landscape,” she says. “We spend most of our time walking around, we see things and we take about 80% of our information from that. But we’ve got four other senses, all of which contribute. And smell’s one of those senses that we pay very little heed to, but forms a huge part of how we absorb and how we know the world.”
[Sky News, 17 April 2017]

sun pillar noun [C]
UK /ˈsʌn.pɪl.əʳ/ US /ˈsʌn.pɪl.ɚ/
a narrow column of light that extends upwards or downwards from the Sun

“We cannot forecast optical phenomena,” a spokesperson said. “Sun pillars look very pretty if you are lucky enough to spot one. They are formed by the light reflecting off the ice crystals in high wispy clouds. The formation has to be just right for it to take place and we cannot predict it.”
[The Telegraph, 6 April 2017]

thundersnow noun [U]
UK /ˈθʌn.də.snəʊ/ US /ˈθʌn.dɚ.snoʊ/
a thunderstorm with snow instead of the more usual heavy rain

Thundersnow occurs far less frequently than a normal storm. This is because it is only able to occur during a couple of months of the year. It is incredibly rare in the UK. In the US, it is more common – they have an average of 6.3 instances of thundersnow a year.
[The Telegraph, 17 January 2017]

About new words

New words – 24 July 2017

faracowski/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty

volcano boarding noun [U]
UK /vɒlˈkeɪ.nəʊ.bɔː.dɪŋ/ US /vɑːlˈkeɪ.noʊ.bɔːr.dɪŋ/
the activity of moving down the side of a volcano while standing, sitting or lying on a board similar to a snowboard

Lakes, volcano [sic] and beaches dot the landscape of Nicaragua, set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in Central America. While searching for things to do there, we ran across volcano boarding. Maybe not the most thrilling experience you will have around an active volcano, but a distinctive one to say the least.
[, 3 March 2017]

blob jump noun [C]
UK /ˈblɒb.dʒʌmp/ US /ˈblɑːb.dʒʌmp/
an activity in which one person sits at one end of an inflated airbag that is floating on water and one or more other people jump onto the other end from a platform in order to send the person flying into the air

Yaiza travelled to Ibiza along with 20 other Spanish applicants to battle it out for the two places available for Spaniards. They would be taking part in a blob jump. When it was Yaiza’s turn, she flew much further than expected, slamming into the water face first wearing a home-made astronaut suit.
[, 20 April 2016]

swimrun noun [C]
a competition in which the people competing must swim and run a certain distance without stopping between events

Forget triathlons. The latest fitness trend and fashionable Scandi import is the “swimrun”, a fusion of cross-country running and open-water swimming – essentially a triathlon without the cycling. Originating in Sweden, it is gaining converts here, with thousands of people set to take part in the UK this year.
[The Times, 4 February 2017]

About new words