New words – 25 May 2020

metamorworks / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Zoombombing noun [U]
UK /ˈzuːm.bɒm.ɪŋ/ US /ˈzuːm.bɑː.mɪŋ/
the act of joining a meeting on the Zoom videoconferencing platform without having been invited, with the aim of disrupting it, often by posting inappropriate content

After Zoom announced it was halting product development to focus on fixing its security, the first changes appear to have arrived. The video messaging service has boomed since the coronavirus outbreak but users have fallen victim to a particular type of attack called Zoombombing.
[metro.co.uk, 9 April 2020]

zumping noun [U]
/ˈzʌm.pɪŋ/
the act of ending a relationship by telling the other person during a video call

Social distancing, self-quarantining and shelter-in-place orders have separated some hopeless romantics from potential partners amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it has also created a terrible new breakup trend for those who hope to part ways with someone they started seeing before pandemic began, but are unable to do so in person: zumping.
[foxnews.com, 15 April 2020]

teletherapy noun [U]
/ˌtel.iˈθer.ə.pi/
the treatment of mental illness by discussing someone’s problems with them using videoconferencing rather than in person

The transition to teletherapy has been more of a tidal wave than a trickle, with therapists, who generally prefer person-to-person interaction, saying that it’s a safer way to serve their clients.
[Chicago Tribune, 7 April 2020]

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New words – 18 May 2020

Makidotvn / iStock / Getty Images Plus

infinity recycling noun [U]
UK /ɪnˈfɪn.ə.ti.ˌriːˈsaɪ.klɪŋ/ US /ɪnˈfɪn.ə.t̬i.ˌriːˈsaɪ.klɪŋ/
a way of recycling plastic that never reduces its quality, which means it can be recycled an unlimited number of times

Through infinity recycling we are able to fully regenerate plastic waste, making recycled plastic identical to virgin. This is the first time that certified recycled plastic coming from this technology has been used in premium beauty packaging and is opening a future where plastic can be infinitely recycled without losing its quality, hence the name.
[renskincare.com, 7 February 2020]

forever chemical noun [C]
UK /fəˈre.və.ˈkem.ɪ.kᵊl/ US /ˈfɔːˈrev.ɚ.ˈkem.ɪ.kᵊl/
one of a group of chemicals that do not break down in the environment or in the human body

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 5,000 fluorinated compounds whose nickname as “forever chemicals” comes because they don’t naturally break down and there is no known way to destroy them. The ubiquitous compounds are used to make products water- and stain-resistant.
[theguardian.com, 3 February 2020]

eco-guard noun [C]
UK /ˌiː.kəʊ.gɑːd/ US /ˌiː.koʊ.gɑːrd/
someone whose job is to protect wild animals, especially those that are endangered

His experience in the forest makes him particularly well-suited to the work given his knowledge of the terrain and endurance for long patrols. He enjoys being an eco-guard, saying that it has given him a good understanding of the environment and why it is important to keep animals alive rather than killing them for money.
[www.awf.org, 23 May 2019]

About new words

New words – 11 May 2020

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coronnial noun [C]
UK /kəˈrəʊ.ni.əl/ US /kəˈroʊ.ni.əl/
someone who was born around the time of the covid-19 pandemic

There’s still a debate whether “coronnials” include babies born during the pandemic. If they’re conceived prior to quarantine, do they still count? Do we really want to ask people when they were conceived? We might as well include all the babies born in 2020 in the “coronnials” generation since some are practically born wearing face shields.
[esquiremag.ph, 17 April 2020]

quaranteen noun [C]
UK /ˈkwɒr.ən.tiːn/ US /ˈkwɔːr.ən.tiːn/
a teenager in the time of the covid-19 lockdown

Is your “quaranteen” giving you a hard time about social distancing (as mine was)? Have them watch the news for one hour (or more). My college freshman’s attitude completely changed after watching coronavirus coverage on TV.
[collegiateparent.com, March 2020]

covidivorce noun [C]
UK /ˌkəʊ.vɪ.dɪˈvɔːs/ US /ˌkoʊ.vɪ.dɪˈvɔːrs/
the process of ending a marriage as a consequence of the couple spending a large period of time together in lockdown during the covid-19 pandemic

Couples whose marriages are fraying under the pressures of self-isolation could be heading for a “covidivorce.”
[nytimes.com, 27 March 2020]

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New words – 4 May 2020

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social bubble noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈbʌb.ᵊl/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈbʌb.ᵊl/
a small group of family and friends who are permitted to see each other as the COVID-19 lockdown measures are gradually eased

Under the social bubble proposal, people would be allowed to combine their household with one or two others, up to a maximum of 10 people. A cautious version of the plan would probably mean that the vulnerable such as the over-70s and those with underlying health conditions would be advised to keep isolating and not merge with other households.
[theguardian.com, 29 April 2020]

corona corridor noun [C]
UK /kə.ˌrəʊ.nə.ˈkɒr.ɪ.dɔːʳ/ US /kə.ˌroʊ.nə.ˈkɔːr.ə.dɚ/
an area that people are allowed to travel through to reach a particular destination as the COVID-19 lockdown measures are gradually eased

The Czech Republic is easing its strict lockdown after declaring the virus to be “under control”, and its travel associations have now proposed creating a “corona corridor” to allow holidaymakers to reach Croatia. About 800,000 Czechs took holidays in Croatia last year, most of them on the country’s spectacular Adriatic coast and islands.
[irishtimes.com, 23 April 2020]

covexit noun [U]
UK /ˌkəʊ.ˈvek.sɪt/ US /ˌkoʊ.ˈveg.sɪt/
the process of easing the restrictions on public life imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic

Nick Jones pointed out that just trying to keep up with the changes and run a business at the same time was challenging enough for most employers. However, with the conversation turning gently towards ‘covexit’, and some on-site work still taking place, it’s not too early for employers to start planning ahead.
[gregglatchams.com, 24 April 2020]

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New words – 27 April 2020

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functional fitness noun [U]
/ˌfʌŋk.ʃᵊn.ᵊl.ˈfɪt.nəs/
physical exercises involving movements used to perform everyday tasks

Functional fitness has made trend lists for several years now, and 2020 is no exception. According to both canfitpro’s report and a worldwide survey by The American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Health & Fitness Journal, functional fitness will remain part of Canadians’ workout routines in the new year … Functional fitness makes it easier for people to carry out common tasks outside of the gym.
[globalnews.ca, 16 January 2020]

incidental fitness noun [U]
UK /ˌɪn.sɪˈden.tᵊl.ˈfɪt.nəs/ US /ˌɪn.sɪˈden.t̬ᵊl.ˈfɪt.nəs/
the condition of being physically strong and healthy as a result of being more active in one’s daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift

But if you really want to next-level your incidental fitness, you might want to think about swerving the bus, car or train on your morning commute in favour of your bike. The health rewards are astonishing.
[Metro, 22 November 2019]

HIIPA noun [U]
/ˈhiːpə/
abbreviation for high-intensity incidental physical activity: physical activity that is done as part of one’s normal daily life and not as part of an exercise or fitness programme

Integrating more HIIPA-style movements—such as adopting a brisker walking pace, carrying heavier loads like laundry or groceries up stairs, and vigorously scrubbing out your fridge—may help cut down on the amount of more structured workouts you need to do for the same cardio results. They can also bridge the gap on weeks where your training might be a little more sparse than usual, too.
[runnersworld.com, 4 March 2019]

About new words

New words – 20 April 2020

Philip Lee Harvey / Cultura / Getty Images

fem den noun [C]
/ˈfem.den/
a room in a house, or a small building near a house, where a woman can go to get away from the other people in the house and do the things she wants to do

Additionally, this property includes double centralized kitchens both complete with gas cooktops, range hoods and island bench, adjoining to the rear of the property that leads out to your own courtyard with storage shed that could be transformed into a fem den or man cave, as well as a right of way car space.
[raywhitebrunswick.com.au, 16 March 2019]

granny pod noun [C]
UK /ˈgræn.i.ˌpɒd/ US /ˈgræn.i ˌpɑːd/
a very small house, built in the garden of a relative’s house, where an old person lives

Think of granny pods as guest houses with lots of high-tech medical extras. MEDCottages are pre-fabricated and designed to be installed in the backyard behind the main home (zoning laws permitting, of course).
[www.countryliving.com, 13 December 2018]

collab house noun [C]
/ˌkəˈlæb.haʊs/
a large house in which people who work in social media live and work together

So-called collab houses, also known as content houses, are an established tradition in the influencer world. Over the last five years they have formed a network of hubs across Los Angeles. In 2014 members of an early collab channel called Our Second Life lived and worked together in what they called the 02L Mansion. The next year, nearly all the top talent on Vine moved into a large apartment complex at 1600 Vine Street.
[New York Times, 3 January 2020]

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New words – 13 April 2020


seksan Mongkhonkhamsao / moment / Getty

fearware noun [U]
UK /ˈfɪə.weəʳ/ US /ˈfɪr.wer/
a type of cyber attack that exploits an existing sense of fear among people and encourages them to click on a link that will harm their computer

Cyber criminals are exploiting fears surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to spread dangerous malware and hack government computer systems. Security experts have labelled the new trend “fearware”, warning that victims may be more susceptible to be tricked or scammed during times of global uncertainty.
[independent.co.uk, 14 March 2020]

xenobot noun [C]
UK /ˈzen.ə.bɒt/ US /ˈzen.ə.bɑːt/
a type of very small robot that can move independently, created from living cells

This week scientists announced that they had created the first living robots by building machines using stem cells taken from African frogs. So far they cannot do anything useful, such as delivering Amazon packages, but they do glory in a new name: “xenobots”.
[theguardian.com, 16 January 2020]

bracelet of silence noun [C]
/ˌbreɪ.slət.əv.ˈsaɪ.ləns/
a device worn around the wrist that prevents smart devices from listening to the conversations of the person wearing it

How worried are you about technology listening to your conversations? Have you ever had an experience that made you think your phone, computer or smart home device was eavesdropping on you? This “bracelet of silence,” developed by two computer science professors and an assistant professor, emits ultrasonic signals when activated, preventing nearby microphones from listening to the wearer’s conversations.
[nytimes.com, 5 March 2020]

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New words – 6 April 2020

Alan Hopps / Moment / Getty

mob grazing noun [U]
UK /ˌmɒb.ˈɡreɪ.zɪŋ/ US /ˌmɑːb.ˈɡreɪ.zɪŋ/
a type of farming that involves moving a large number of animals into a small area of land for a very short time before moving them to a new area and leaving the grass to recover

Chapman, who manages 300 cattle at East Hall Farm in Hertfordshire, says mob grazing has led to hugely improved soil, healthier cattle and lower costs due to an extended grazing period, reduced inputs and lower vet bills. “It’s been a transformation,” he says.
[soilassociation.org, 12 June 2018]

sandscaping noun [U]
/ˈsænd.skeɪpɪŋ/
the activity of adding a large amount of sand to an existing beach to try to prevent or reduce the erosion of the coastline

Sand added to a stretch of north Norfolk beach in a recent £19m sandscaping project has been washed away in just one month. Pictures show a blunt drop in the sand levels at Walcott and Bacton, where the UK’s first sandscaping project took place.
[Eastern Daily Press, 1 October 2019]

regenerative agriculture noun [U]
UK /rɪˈdʒen.ə.rə.tɪv.ˈæg.rɪ.kʌl.tʃəʳ/ US /rɪˈdʒen.ə.rə.t̬ɪv.ˈæg.rə.kʌl.tʃɚ/
a method of farming that focuses on improving and maintaining the health of the soil

Regenerative agriculture practices increase soil biodiversity and organic matter, leading to more resilient soils that can better withstand climate change impacts like flooding and drought … Importantly, regenerative agriculture practices also help us fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.
[climaterealityproject.org, 2 July 2019]

About new words

New words – 30 March 2020

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blue space noun [U]
/ˌbluː.ˈspeɪs/
any body of water or the area around it

The benefits of “blue space” – the sea and coastline, but also rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even fountains – are less well publicised, yet the science has been consistent for at least a decade: being by water is good for body and mind.
[theguardian.com, 3 November 2019]

blue mind noun [U]
/ˌbluː.ˈmaɪnd/
a calm state of mind caused by being close to water, for example when looking at the ocean or swimming

According to scientific studies, water has a calming effect on our brains. Author and Marine Biologist Wallace Nichols spoke to our Robert Santos about “blue mind” and the science of how being in close proximity to water – be it the ocean, a lake, or a river – can lower stress and improve our health.
[news.mongabay.com, 13 February 2020]

blue acceleration noun [U]
/ˌbluː.əkˌsel.əˈreɪ.ʃən/
the increase in humans’ use of resources found in the world’s seas and oceans

A new study highlights a sharp uptick in marine activity and defines the “blue acceleration” as the unprecedented rush for food, material and space taking place in the ocean.
[news.mongabay.com, 13 February 2020]

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New words – 23 March 2020

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smishing noun [U]
/ˈsmɪʃ.ɪŋ/
an attempt to trick someone into giving personal information by text message that would allow someone else to take money from them, for example by taking money out of their bank account

People across the U.S. are receiving text messages that claim to be from FedEx and ask you to set “delivery preferences.” It’s a new example of a growing scam called “smishing”, in which fraudsters send unsolicited messages from well-known companies or reputable sources to try to obtain phone access and personal information from their targets. The scheme is similar to phishing, long a source of scam email, only it’s powered by the short message service, or SMS, technology used in texting.
[cbsnews.com, 24 January 2020]

burglary tourism noun [U]
UK /ˌbɜː.glᵊr.i.ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌbɝː.glɚ.i.ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
the activity of going to another country to burgle someone’s home

Thieves ransacked his home while he and his wife were away in October last year. The gang stole more than £33,000 worth in belongings, including a gold Rolex watch. It’s believed he was the latest target of “burglary tourism” which involves foreign criminals flying to the capital to target luxury homes. The thieves are difficult to track because they are missing from police databases and usually flee the country soon after the raid.
[itv.com/news, 15 January 2020]

climate criminal noun [C]
UK /ˌklaɪ.mət.ˈkrɪm.ɪ.nᵊl/ US /ˌklaɪ.mət.ˈkrɪm.ə.nᵊl/
a person or organization whose actions make the climate emergency worse

Toni Vernelli, the head of communications at the Veganuary campaign, which encourages people to go vegan for the month of January, claimed that coffee chains still charging extra for plant milks were “climate criminals”. She said: “Animal farming is responsible for more than half of all food-related greenhouse gases and cows are the prime cause”.
[The Times, 18 January 2020]

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