New words – 17 April 2017

Joos Mind/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Ikea effect noun [U]
UK /aɪ.ˈkiːə.ɪˌfekt/ US /aɪ.ˈkiːə.əˌfekt/
the tendency to like something more if you have built or created it yourself

There’s a phenomenon in psychology known as the “Ikea effect”. Putting together Ikea furniture makes people like it more, and what holds true for … Swedish furniture can also be applied to our lives more broadly. When we devote ourselves to difficult but worthwhile tasks, our lives feel more significant.
[Red magazine, February 2017]

catio noun [C]
UK /ˈkæt.i.əʊ/ US /ˈkæt̬.i.əʊ/
an enclosed area outside a house for pet cats

What, cynics may ask, distinguishes a “catio” from a “screened-in porch”? They clearly haven’t seen the catwalks that wind around Dan Reeder’s Seattle house and yard … with, as he wrote on his blog, “everything a cat could want in that place, including a catnip plant.”
[Washington Post, 31.08.2016]

twodio noun [C]
UK /ˈtjuː.di.əʊ/ US /ˈtuː.di.oʊ/
a small apartment with one large room for sleeping and living in, a bathroom, and a kitchen that is shared with another apartment

You will have heard of studio apartments, but you might not have heard of the twodios. The contemporary-looking accommodation is set up like part flat, part university halls … the residents get a private room and en-suite bathroom, no bills and a cleaner. The kitchen is shared between two.
[Metro, 02.05.2016]

About new words

New words – 10 April 2017


woonerf noun [C]
UK /ˈvəʊn.ɜːf/ US /ˈvoʊn.ɝːf/
a road in which drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and local residents share the same space, and where measures designed to slow traffic have been implemented

Woonerf originated in Holland as a term to describe areas where walking, cycling, playing, and socializing occurred between houses and traffic oriented streets. Woonerfs have since been adapted to more commercialized settings in North America.
[, 11 January 2017]

pork-chop island noun [C] UK /ˌpɔːk.tʃɒp ‘aɪ.lənd/ US /ˌpɔːrk.tʃɑːp ‘aɪ.lənd/
a triangle-shaped area at an intersection between two roads

The idea behind the design is to allow pedestrians to use the north-, south-, and east-leg crosswalks without interrupting traffic making a westbound right turn. Once pedestrians reach the pork-chop island, they will be able to press a light signal that will make incoming traffic stop for a set amount of time.
[, 15 July 2016]

iceberg basement noun [C] UK /ˈaɪs.bɜːg ˌbeɪs.mənt/ US /ˈaɪs.bɝːg ˌbeɪs.mənt/
a part of a building consisting of several storeys built below ground level

Claridge’s, the luxury hotel, has submitted plans for a five-storey iceberg basement including a swimming pool, gym and wine store. 
[The Telegraph, 07 September 2016]

About new words

New words – 3 April 2017

Nadore/iStock/Getty Images Plus

knafeh noun [U] /næ.ˈfiː/
a dish, originally from the Middle East, consisting of layers of pastry and soft cheese, soaked in sugar syrup

London is going crazy for knafeh – a Middle Eastern sweet treat with layers of cheesy pastry soaked in sugar syrup. Try it sprinkled with pistachios at The Barbary or at Arabica Bar and Kitchen.
[Sainsbury’s Magazine, January 2017]

raindrop cake noun [C] UK /ˈreɪn.drɒp ˌkeɪk/ US /ˈreɪn.drɑːp ˌkeɪk/
a translucent Japanese dessert made from mineral water and a type of gelatine

It’s translucent, delicate and fresh-tasting. Meet the raindrop cake, a calorie-free, mineral water-based gastronomic oddity that our friends on the other side of the Atlantic can’t get enough of.
[, 20.04.2016]

seitan noun [U] /ˈseɪ.tæn/
a substance made of wheat that is used in cooking instead of meat

Also referred to as ‘wheat meat’ or ‘gluten meat’, seitan is high in protein and has a look and texture similar to meat when cooked. This means it makes a better ‘mock meat’ than soybean based alternatives like tofu, and you’ll find it in restaurants as a veggie version of chicken wings.
[, December 2016]

About new words

New words – 27 March 2017


beditate verb [I] /ˈbed.ɪ.teɪt/
to meditate in bed

Beditating on waking allows the fight-or-flight response to calm down, thus widening the perceptual field. It’s a kind of turbo rest, and one that you’re not going to get by reaching for your phone, drinking coffee or alcohol, watching television, or even reading.
[The Sunday Times, 08 January 2017]

heli-yoga noun [U] UK /ˈhel.ɪ.jəʊ.gə/ US ˈhel.ə.joʊ.gə
the activity of taking a helicopter to an isolated outdoor location and doing a yoga session there

Sin City is the jumping-off point for heli-yoga, the zen practise [sic] of taking a helicopter flight to an Insta-worthy location, to unfurl your yoga mat and knock out a few sun salutations.
[Telegraph, 26 November 2016]

lagom noun [U] UK /lɑ:ˈgɒm/ US /lɑ:ˈgɑ:m/
a Swedish word meaning ‘just enough’, especially when relating to one’s lifestyle

There’s a new Scandi buzzword in town and its name is lagom – living in moderation, sustainably and heeding the importance of ‘just enough’ … While we’re not ready to give up our hygge-tastic faux fur throw just yet we also like the sound of some lagom-style equilibrium in our lives.
[Metro, 12 January 2017]

About new words

New words – 20 March 2017


cruffin noun [C] /ˈkrʌf.ɪn/
a kind of small cake that is shaped like a muffin but made of pastry layers like a croissant

The cruffin is a droolworthy hybrid rolled in sugar and filled with everything from coffee crème to passion-fruit curd.
[ 14 October 2016]

piecaken noun [C/U] /paɪ.’keɪk.ən/
a pie baked inside a cake

When you just can’t choose between serving a pie or cake, satisfy your cravings for both with a piecaken! Whip up your favorite cake batter and throw in a pre-baked pie, and you’ll feel like a confectionery wizard in no time. 
[ 15 September 2016]

poke noun [U] UK /pəʊ.’keɪ/ US /poʊ.’keɪ/
a salad made with raw fish

If you live in any major U.S. city, you’ve probably caught wind of the nation’s new favorite food — the poke bowl. While it may seem like a new trend, this simple and addictive Hawaiian dish has been around for centuries.
[ 25 May 2016]

About new words

New words – 13 March 2017

Daniel Ingold/Cultura/Getty

immersive hybrid reality noun [U]
UK /ɪˈmɜː.sɪv ˌhaɪ.brɪd riˈæl.ə.ti/ US /ɪˈmɝː.sɪv ˌhaɪ.brɪd riˈæl.ə.t̬i/
a set of images and sounds, produced by a computer, that seem to represent a workplace environment

Experts in construction and computer technology at Heriot-Watt University have developed a ground-breaking immersive hybrid reality (iHR) system which aims to take the danger out of extreme working conditions. 
[ 24 October 2016]

microlattice noun [U] UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.læt.ɪs/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.læt̬.ɪs/
a very light, thin structure made from strips of metal that cross over each other with spaces in between

A metal microlattice developed by Boeing and HRL Laboratories has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for lightest metal. 
[ 09 November 2016]

VEST noun [C] /vest/
abbreviation for Versatile Extra Sensory Transducer: a garment that transmits data and enables the wearer to receive it through their sense of touch

Imagine if you couldn’t hear with your ears but could through your skin. Well, Dr Scott Novich and Dr David Eagleman of NeoSensory set out to achieve just that and their Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer (VEST) is bringing hearing to deaf people .
[ 14 November 2016]

About new words

New words – 6 March 2017


ambient wellness noun [U] /ˌæənt ˈwel.nəs/
a state of improved health deliberately created by a company’s products and processes

Rising numbers will now expect brands to embed innovative health-boosting technologies into the environment around them. These ambient wellness initiatives should help offset damage to health and wellness – or even produce entirely new, health-positive effects (often with zero effort required).
[ April 2016]

clean sleeping noun [U] /ˌkliːn ˈsliː.pɪŋ/
the practice of getting enough good quality sleep in order to improve or maintain one’s health

The lifestyle I lead is based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good quality sleep — and ideally even ten. 
[ 18.12.2016]

sage-smudge verb [T] /ˈseɪdʒ ˌsmʌdʒ/
to burn sage in a room in order to purify it and remove negative energy

When … Gabrielle Savoie first spotted sage bundles in Jenni Kayne’s chic Southampton, New York, store, it immediately piqued her interest. “Maybe it was when my friend—who works for a renowned high-end interior designer—told me they sage-smudged their clients’ homes after each install,” she wrote. 
[ 18.12.2016]

About new words

New words – 27 February 2017


conversational commerce noun [U]
UK /kɒn.vəˌseɪ.ʃən.əl ˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /kɑːn.vɚˌseɪ.ʃən.əl ˈkɑː.mɝːs/
direct conversations between people and companies or services using technology such as apps

Echo is part of the new wave of conversational commerce technologies, where the use of messaging, digital assistants, chat apps, or question-and-answer dialogue makes it possible for people to simply ask for what they need. 
[ 28 July 2016]

the internet of everything noun [S]
UK /ˌɪn.tə.net əv ˈev.ri.θɪŋ/ US /ˌɪn.t̬ɚ.net əv ˈev.ri.θɪŋ/
the interaction between people, data, machines, communications and interactions using a system of linked devices

The internet of everything in both the consumer and B2B market will continue to rise, especially in North America, connecting data, things, processes and people. 
[ 31 August 2016]

Whatsapp diplomacy noun [U]
UK /wɒt.ˈsæp dɪˌpləʊ.mə.si/ US /wɑːtˈsæp dɪˌploʊ.mə.si/
the use of the Whatsapp messaging service in international diplomacy to communicate and build relationships

The rise of WhatsApp diplomacy is transforming the negotiating chamber. There are countless groups of allies and virtual huddles, exchanges over policy statements and fine print, and fair amounts of banter and even emojis.
[The Guardian 04 November 2016]

About new words

New words – 20 February 2017

Anastasiia_M/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Anastasiia_M/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Calexit noun [U] /kæl.’ek.sɪt/
an exit by the state of California from the United States of America

Californians would need to pass an amendment to the US Constitution, which requires the blessings of the other 49 states. The measure would also survey voters on whether a “Calexit” is something that interests them.
[Business Insider 21.11.2016]

Bremoaner noun [C] UK /brə.’məʊn.ə/ US /brə.’moʊn.ɚ/
someone who complains about Britain’s exit from the European Union

Anybody asking questions about our future relationship with our biggest trading partner is dismissed as a Bremoaner. I have been called worse in my time. 
[ 30.10.2016]

democracy sausage noun [C] UK /dɪˈmɒk.rə.si ˈsɒs.ɪdʒ/ US /dɪˈmɑː.krə.si ˈsɑː.sɪdʒ/
a sausage cooked on a barbecue and served on bread, sold at polling booths on election day in Australia

A humble barbequed sausage on a slice of bread sold at polling booths around Australia has been picked as the country’s official word of the year — “democracy sausage.”
[ 14.12.2016]

About new words

New words – 13 February 2017

Jonathan Fletcher/EyeEm/Getty
Jonathan Fletcher/EyeEm/Getty

thrisis noun [C] /ˈθraɪ.sɪs/
feelings of unhappiness, worry, and disappointment that some people experience when they are around 30 years old and that can sometimes lead them to make important changes in their life

From the outside, my life looks pretty good. I’m 32. I have fantastic friends and a great job … So why do I feel like I’m doing everything wrong? Welcome to the 30-something crisis – or ‘thrisis’ – the feeling that, just a decade into being a grown-up, you’re running out of time.
[Grazia, 22 November 2016]

JAM noun [C] /dʒæm/
abbreviation for just about managing; used in the UK to describe people who have just enough money to survive, but nothing more

Jams account for two-thirds of all families with children receiving tax credits … More than two thirds have less than a month’s income’s worth of savings. So, the argument goes, Jams are especially vulnerable to weak income growth, rising costs and the freeze on working-age benefits until 2019.
[ 21 November 2016]

social menopause noun [U] UK ˈsəʊ.ʃəl ˈmen.ə.pɔːz US ˈsoʊ.ʃəl ˈmen.ə.pɑːz
the time in a woman’s life when she no longer wants to stay out late, go to parties etc.

Late-twenties social menopause opens up space for new ventures. Maybe we’ll finally learn to cook. Maybe we’ll actually start saving.
 [ 05 October 2016]

About new words