New words – 21 June 2021

Tara Moore / Stone / Getty

reverse lie-in noun [C]
UK /rɪˌvɜːs.ˈlaɪ.ɪn/ US /rɪˌvɝːs.ˈlaɪ.ɪn /
a time when you go to bed much earlier than usual then get up early the next morning

I decided I had had enough of being permanently exhausted, and always wishing I could have a lie-in. I had to accept that, as a 40-year-old mother, my days of lie-ins are behind me. So … every day, I have a reverse lie-in. A reverse lie-in, for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, involves going to bed extremely early. And I mean extremely early. Toddler early. We’re talking 8pm here, at the latest.
[, 15 May 2021]

sleepcast noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp..kɑːst/ US /ˈsliːp.kæst /
a podcast containing sounds and voices that are designed to give you a good night’s sleep

And now available on your Headspace app are sleepcasts. Each one offers a tour of a dreamy landscape, with voice actors as guides, providing details in soft, comforting tones … Each sleepcast is set in the evening or at night, and many involve water – lagoons, rain, rivers, ponds, oceans. You can make adjustments within the app to dial up the background ambient noise, make the narration quieter or louder, or turn the narration off completely.
[, 14 May 2020]

sleep sticker noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp.stɪk.əʳ/ US /ˈsliːp.stɪk.ɚ/
a small electronic device that sticks to your chin and records information about the quality of your sleep

Sleep apnoea and sleep disordered breathing affects 49 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women. Step forward the Sunrise sleep sticker, a one-use, certified medical-grade 3g sensor that sits on your chin (yes, really) while you sleep. A big step up from regular sleep trackers, it tracks data [and] compiles a report shared via an app the next day.
[, 6 January 2021]

About new words

New words – 14 June 2021

DronG / iStock / Getty Images Plus

proffee noun [C, U]
UK /ˈprɒf.i/ US /ˈprɑː.fi/
a drink made by mixing cold coffee with protein powder or with a ready-made drink that contains protein

And now, a new caffeine-fuelled trend as spotted by is here to save us from the 3pm slump. Enter ‘proffee’, a drink made with iced coffee or espresso and a protein shake. Loads of TikTokers have uploaded clips of their proffee recipes, most commonly by adding two or three shots of espresso over ice, before pouring over a pre-made protein shake.
[, 18 March 2021]

nolo adjective
UK /ˈnəʊləʊ/ US /ˈnoʊloʊ/
(of a drink) containing no alcohol or a very low amount of alcohol

The global nolo (that’s no- and low-alcohol, for those not in the know) trend has been gaining momentum in recent years, and in Japan, it’s estimated that alcohol consumption has halved over the last decade for people in their 20s and 30s. Forget the stereotypical drunken salarymen – with the exciting range of nolo bars and drinks, it’s a great time to cut out the hard stuff.
[, 26 April 2021]

tea bomb noun [C]
UK /ˈtiː.bɒm/ US /ˈtiː.bɑːm/
tea and other ingredients such as herbs and edible flowers contained within a clear, hard shell that melts when it is put into hot water

The tea bombs trend recently took the centre stage, but people have already come up with flavours and different ways to prepare the goodies-filled delicious beverage. While some prefer tea bombs filled with lavender or chamomile, others opt for simpler versions like green tea. Food bloggers have taken it up a notch with flowers and all sorts of fancy ingredients to make their tea look stunning.
[, 4 February 2021]

About new words

New words – 7 June 2021

Robert Niedring / Alloy / Getty

Everesting noun [U]
UK /ˈev.ᵊr.ɪst.ɪŋ/ US /ˈev.ə.rɪst.ɪŋ/
a sporting challenge where someone cycles (or sometimes runs) up and down the same hill until they have climbed the height of Mount Everest

“Everesting” is straightforward: Pick a hill, any hill, and go up and down it until you attain 29,029 feet of climbing. Friends can support you, but you must do it under your own power and in a single effort — no sleeping. The result is more than double the climbing of the hardest stages of the Tour de France. With most cycling events disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Everesting has become a hot activity for the ultra-endurance set.
[, 13 August 2020]

mental health gym noun [C]
UK /ˌmen.tᵊl.ˈhelθ.dʒɪm/ US /ˌmen.t̬ᵊlˈhelθ.dʒɪm/
a gym that offers activities designed to improve the mental health as well as the physical health of its members

The concept of mental health gyms will also do wonders against the stigma that mental illness makes you weak, as it’s a facility that promotes strength that will also be promoting mental health. Struggling with one’s mental health should be evidence of a person’s strength and resolve rather than the opposite.
[, 17 February 2021]

HILIT noun [U]
abbreviation for “high-intensity low-impact training”: physical training that consists of short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest in between but does not include any exercise that puts pressure on the body’s joints, such as jumping

“The low-impact nature of HILIT reduces the chance of injury, ensuring less stress on the joints and muscles. This method is perfect for beginners or those working through soreness or pain,” says Dr. Kianoush Missaghi … “As a plus, the exercises are quiet and won’t disturb the downstairs neighbours, further making it the perfect at-home workout.”
[, 6 February 2021]

About new words

New words – 31 May 2021

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15-minute city noun [C]
UK /ˌfɪfˈtiːn.ˌmɪn.ɪt.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌfɪfˈtiːn.ˌmɪn.ɪt.ˈsɪt̬.i/
a city that is designed so that everyone who lives there can reach everything they need within 15 minutes on foot or by bike

Moreno, who is also Paris City Hall’s special envoy for smart cities, is regarded as the key theorist behind the recent resurgence in a new model for urban planning that seems almost custom built for this localised future: the ‘15-minute city’ … The 15-minute city requires minimal travel among housing, offices, restaurants, parks, hospitals and cultural venues. Each neighbourhood should fulfil six social functions: living, working, supplying, caring, learning and enjoying.
[, 14 December 2020]

sponge city noun [C]
UK /ˌspʌndʒ.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌspʌndʒ.ˈsɪt̬.i/
a city that is prone to flooding and so has been rebuilt in a way that allows more rainwater to be absorbed back into the ground

The “sponge city” initiative, launched in 2015, is an attempt to … soak up heavy precipitation and release it slowly into the river and reservoirs. Using features such as rooftop gardens, scenic wetland parks, permeable pavements and underground storage tanks, the plan is to eventually absorb or reuse 70% of the rainwater that falls on four-fifths of China’s urban land.
[, 13 August 2020]

linear city noun [C]
UK /ˌlɪn.i.ə.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌlɪn.i.ɚ..ˈsɪt̬.i/
a very long, narrow city built in a straight line

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled plans for a 100-mile-long linear city called The Line. Announcing the project in a new video, the city would include a series of walkable communities for a million people with no cars or streets. The project locates essential facilities within a five-minute walk of housing, connected “modules” linking the Red Sea coast with north-west Saudi Arabia as part of the NEOM city-state.
[, 15 January 2021]

About new words

New words – 24 May 2021

Manjurul / iStock / Getty Images Plus

biofacturing noun [U]
UK /ˌbaɪ.əʊ.ˈfæk.tʃə.rɪŋ/ US /ˌbaɪ.oʊ.ˈfæk.tʃɚ.ɪŋ/
a way of producing goods in a factory that uses microbes (= very small living things that can only be seen with a microscope) to create the raw materials

The natural world is the best manufacturing system there is. It’s been “innovating” for billions of years, and it makes things greener, better, and cheaper than any conventional factory ever could. Biofacturing seeks to partner with nature to make better products in a better way. By combining machine learning, automation, and molecular biology to nature’s insights, biofacturing represents a way to bring breakthrough products to market more quickly and for less cost.
[, 22 January 2021]

decision intelligence noun [U]
UK /dɪˈsɪʒ.ᵊn.ɪnˈtel.ɪ.dʒᵊns/ US /dɪˈsɪʒ.ᵊn.ɪnˈtel.ə.dʒᵊns/
a type of artificial intelligence that analyses large amount of data to allow organizations to make business decisions more easily

“Decision intelligence connects AI and human decision-making to form more intelligent conclusions, which lead to more favorable outcomes,” says Jack Zmudzinski, a senior associate at Future Processing, a custom software development company. “So, rather than a decision made by a human or a decision made by a computer, it’s the best of both worlds.”
[, 23 April 2021]

NFT noun [C]
abbreviation for “non-fungible token”: an entry in a digital database that shows who owns a piece of content on the internet, such as a video, an artwork or a song

NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own. The digital tokens can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
[, 12 March 2021]

About new words

New words – 17 May 2021

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hurry sickness noun [U]
UK /ˈhʌr.i.sɪk.nəs/ US /ˈhɝː.i.sɪk.nəs/
a way of behaving in which someone does everything in a rush because they always feel stressed and anxious about not having enough time to get everything done

“If you find yourself treating even small, everyday tasks like shopping, eating or driving as a race, and any delay causes feelings of anxiety, you might be dealing with hurry sickness,” said Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant … When you’re dealing with hurry sickness, there never seems to be enough hours in a day to accomplish what you need to do. And no matter how much you get done, you always feel like you’re playing catch-up.
[, 26 April 2021]

home separation anxiety noun [U]
UK /ˌhəʊm.sep.ᵊrˈeɪ.ʃᵊn.æŋˌzaɪ.ə.ti/ US /ˌhoʊm.sep.ərˈeɪ.ʃᵊn.æŋˌzaɪ.ə.t̬i/
a feeling of worry and fear about being away from home, especially as a reaction to having spent so much time at home during lockdown

A recent study discovered that 67 percent of employed adults feel anxious at the thought of parting with their homes once society resumes, while 43 percent said they felt more attached to their homes. A large proportion of people have already experienced home separation anxiety, but how do we know if we are affected? And what can we do to reduce the fear and ease ourselves back into the world?
[, 15 April 2021]

coronasomnia noun [U]
UK /kəˌrəʊ.nə.ˈsɒə/ US /kəˌroʊ.nə.ˈsɑːə/
the condition of being unable to sleep because of anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic

As if the novel coronavirus has not already wrought devastation aplenty on the world, physicians and researchers are seeing signs it is doing deep damage to people’s sleep. “Coronasomnia,” as some experts now call it, could prove to have profound public-health ramifications — creating a massive new population of chronic insomniacs grappling with declines in productivity, shorter fuses and increased risks of hypertension, depression and other health problems.
[, 3 September 2020]

About new words

New words – 10 May 2021

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BookTokker noun [C]
UK /ˈbʊk.tɒkəʳ/ US /ˈbʊk.tɑːkɚ/
someone who posts videos on the social media platform TikTok in which they talk about books and reading

Jaysen is an author, blogger, Disney lover, board game collector, AND BookTokker. His videos focus on offering book suggestions, tips on diversifying your bookshelf, and sharing funny stories and reactions about the books he has read. Jaysen primarily reads fantasy novels and YA.
[, 22 April 2021]

Dub-Lit noun [U]
a genre of books written by authors from Ireland and set in present-day Dublin

Hailed as the next big name in Dub-Lit, Naoise Dolan is being touted as the new Sally Rooney following a seven-way bidding war for publishing rights to her debut novel. Exciting Times breathes fresh life into the age-old romantic tale of the love triangle, offering a new perspective on the grass-is-always-greener scenario, alongside a hefty dose of dry wit, raw humour and politically-attuned insight.
[, 23 March 2020]

suburbanoir noun [U]
UK /səˌbɜː.bᵊˈnwɑːʳ/ US /səˌbɝː.bᵊˈnwɑːr/
a style of books, films etc. involving exciting, and often illegal, events that happen in an otherwise quiet neighbourhood

The new genre: suburbanoir … The suburbs haven’t been without drama over lockdown. No wonder the Disney+ Marvel TV show WandaVision has been such a hit. Tune in to the final episode this week. And expect more riffs on the dark side of the picket fence to come: out this week is Silence Is a Sense … described as “Rear Window meets [Mohsin Hamid’s] Exit West”.
[www.the, 28 February 2021]

About new words

New words – 3 May 2021

Jose Luis Pelaez / Photodisc / Getty

sunshine shift noun [C]
a period of time worked by an employee of a café or restaurant that can only open outdoors, and which can be cancelled by the employer if the weather is not good enough to attract customers

Make space in your Covid dictionary for another new entry: the “sunshine shift”, a post-plague play on the zero-hours contract, in which hospitality workers are guaranteed work only when the sun is out. Sunshine shifts will be a reality for bar and waiting staff working at Liverpool venues owned by Natalie Haywood’s Leaf Group … She is resigned to probably operating at a loss until she can open up indoors.
[, 6 April 2021]

human cloud noun [S]
the freelance workers located anywhere in the world who are employed to work on individual tasks that can be done on a computer

The software tools that allow the gig economy to run are called ‘human cloud platforms’. Employers are beginning to see the human cloud as a new way to get work done. Jobs are divided into projects or tasks within a virtual cloud of willing workers all over the world.
[, 6 July 2020]

boffice noun [C]
UK /ˈbɒf.ɪs/ US /ˈbɑːf.ɪs/
a bed used as a workspace by someone who works from home

While the boffice can be used for any kind of work that requires nothing more than a laptop, notebook and phone, it comes into its own for a specific task that requires focus and for which there is a deadline. (Writers need deadlines, even though most of us do our damnedest to avoid them until they are right upon us.)
[, 14 April 2020]

About new words

New words – 26 April 2021

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vaccine hunter noun [C]
UK /ˈvæk.siːn.ˌhʌn.təʳ/ US /ˈvæk.siːn.ˌhʌn.t̬ɚ/
someone who uses the internet to look for and organize covid-19 vaccination appointments on behalf of other people who cannot do this themselves

Some vaccine hunters brag on Facebook about landing 50 or 100 appointments, but every time I add names to my list I worry I won’t be able to find appointments for them since the situation is so challenging, and I feel pressure to deliver quickly.
[, 22 March 2021]

scariant noun [C]
UK /ˈskeə.ri.ənt/ US /ˈsker.i.ənt/
any new variant of covid-19 that people are very worried about because of the way it is reported in the media, despite the lack of scientific evidence to suggest it is any more dangerous than the original virus

Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, says this parade of “scariants” serves more to snag headlines and frighten the public than to further scientific understanding of the coronavirus. On Twitter this week, one of his colleagues … called out news stories about the California and New York variants for “atrocious reporting and sloppy science.”
[, 5 March 2021]

panpanic noun [C or U]
a strong feeling of fear experienced by many people during the covid-19 pandemic, leading to a lack of reasonable thought and action

I am sick to the back teeth of the “panpanic” coronavirus has triggered. It’s time to take a collective breath and get a grip … The panpanic has the capacity to be even more serious and destructive. I am not insensitive to the unfolding tragedy and the thousands of tragedies within it. But it follows that now is not the time for everyone to panic.
[, 1 April 2020]

About new words

New words – 19 April 2021

Westend61 / Getty

gleefreshing noun [U]
the activity of refreshing news websites and social media updates on your phone or other device in order to read positive news stories

There’s also something about the in-betweenness of this moment that really enables the gleefreshing: the second the good news is official, there will still be the Senate, the coronavirus, the Supreme Court, and our broken economy to worry about … Gleefreshing has no real chance of edging out doomscrolling as the definitive experience of 2020.
[, 6 November 2020]

social biome noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈbaɪ.əʊm/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈbaɪ.oʊm/
the system of relationships and interactions you have with other people, thought to be necessary for good mental and physical wellbeing

Just like how your gut microbiome benefits from diverse plant foods and top-ups of fermented stuff … so your social biome thrives when nurtured with an abundance of meaningful connections. Think: a deep chat with your oldest mate about how you’re feeling, a playful conversation with a colleague and checking in on an older family member, to show that you care.
[, 12 November 2020]

happiness economist noun [C]
UK /ˈhæp.i.nəs.iˈkɒn.ə.mɪst/ US /ˈhæp.i.nəs.iˈkɑː.nə.mɪst/
someone whose job is to study the links between a country’s wealth and the happiness of its people

Meet the 85-year-old happiness economist who wants to transform our national wellbeing. Richard Layard, author of Can We Be Happier?, believes a nation’s priority should be its citizens’ happiness.
[, 19 March 2021]

About new words