New words – 16 December 2019

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dirty camping noun [U]
UK /ˌdɜː.ti.ˈkæm.pɪŋ/ US /ˌdɝː.t̬i.ˈkæm.pɪŋ/
the activity of leaving rubbish behind or causing damage by having a fire after you have stayed somewhere in a tent

In a summer which has seen the problem of dirty camping becoming increasingly common in rural hotspots across the country, Mountaineering Scotland’s Access & Conservation Officer Davie Black said: “Antisocial camping can and should be dealt with. Hotspots for dirty camping are usually known to local authorities.”
[mountaineering.scot, 15 August 2019]

randonaut noun [C]
UK /ˈræn.də.nɔːt/ US /ˈræn.də.nɑːt/
someone who visits a random location generated by a computer bot in the hope of having an unusual, supernatural or otherwise interesting experience there

Live in one place long enough and you will develop routines, walking the same streets and patronizing the same coffee shops … Randonauts hope to use this tedium to their advantage, by introducing unpredictability. They argue that by devising methods that force us to diverge from our daily routines and instead send us to truly random locations we’d otherwise never think twice about, it just might be possible to cross over into somebody else’s reality.
[www.theoutline.com, 27 August 2019]

air cruise noun [C]
UK /ˈeə.kruːz/ US /ˈer.kruːz/
a journey on an aeroplane for pleasure, either to look at something from the air, or to enjoy activities onboard the aeroplane

“These flights could take the form of ‘air cruises’, which will see travellers fly slowly over areas of special interest, such as the Pyramids, while interactive VR guides give passengers an immersive running commentary. Other options available to passengers travelling on an air cruise include on-board yoga, meditation or art classes.”
[telegraph.co.uk, 31 July 2019]

About new words

Handing down and passing on (Phrasal verbs that mean ‘give’)

Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

It’s sometimes said that it’s better to give than to receive. Whether or not you like the act of giving, we hope you’ll enjoy reading about all the different ways to talk about giving. As you might imagine, there are a great number of synonyms and near-synonyms for ‘give’, so this is the first of two posts. Here, we’ll look at the many ‘give’ phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs and their specific meanings. Continue reading “Handing down and passing on (Phrasal verbs that mean ‘give’)”

New words – 9 December 2019

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slow art noun [U]
UK /ˌsləʊ.ˈɑːt/ US /ˌsləʊ.ˈɑːrt/
a mission to encourage people to take a lot of time to look at a work of art and examine it carefully in order to really appreciate it

“Many people don’t know how to look at and love art and are disconnected from it,” explains Phil Terry, the founder of Slow Art Day. “Visitors to galleries often see art from their iPads or mobile phones and slow art is an antidote to that.”
[www.theguardian.com, 17 August 2019]

hopepunk noun [U]
UK /ˈhəʊp.pʌŋk/ US /ˈhoʊp.pʌŋk/
an art form such as books, movies etc. whose plots and themes are optimistic and hopeful

As you’d imagine, hopepunk fans are generally a very friendly, generous-spirited bunch. I found Ella March … on Reddit. She told me that hopepunk “is a conscious effort to take a positive look at our world and recognise everything that’s good about it”.
[The Sunday Telegraph, 25 August 2019]

walkumentary noun [C]
UK /ˌwɒk.jəˈmen.tᵊr.i/ US /ˌwɑː.kjəˈmen.t̬ɚ.i/
a film or television programme or other event where someone walks around a particular place learning facts and information about the place or someone connected to it

On the back of that poignant anniversary, a “walkumentary” that is available for visiting Gaye fans, during which they can visit the star’s hideouts while watching original footage on an iPod of him in the town, has had a 10% rise in takers in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2018.
[www.theguardian.com, 17 August 2019]

About new words

 

Hot under the collar? Idiomatic phrases with ‘hot’.

by Liz Walter

mikroman6/Moment/Getty Images

Sitting in my office in Cambridge UK, with cold, windy weather outside, it is nice to think about phrases containing the word ‘hot’. There are quite a lot of them, and this post looks at some of the most useful ones.

Let’s start with the phrase in the title. If someone is hot under the collar, they are angry and look as though they might lose their temper soon. We often use the verb get or become with this phrase. Continue reading “Hot under the collar? Idiomatic phrases with ‘hot’.”

New words – 2 December 2019

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micro-scheduling noun [U]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.ʃedjuːlɪŋ/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.skedʒuːlɪŋ/
the activity of planning your time in a way that accounts for what you will do in every minute of the day

The CEOs have said it: scheduling meetings, lunch breaks and workouts is no longer enough. To hit peak productivity, micro-scheduling is the best option: in other words, planning every minute of your day, down to checking your phone and making tea. It’s all the rage in Silicon Valley: Bill Gates and Elon Musk both split their days into five-minute chunks. And New York-based entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk reportedly plans his day out to the second.
[standard.co.uk, 21 February 2019]

timeboxing noun [U]
UK /ˈtaɪm.bɒk.sɪŋ/ US /ˈtaɪm.bɑːk.sɪŋ/
a technique to manage your time more efficiently that involves planning what you are going to do in every minute of the next week

There are various timeboxing apps and templates out there … but I start by using Google calendar to schedule a week full of tasks. Everything, from what time I start writing to when I walk the dog, is neatly mapped out.
[The Guardian, 12 October 2019]

FONC noun [U]
UK /fɒŋk/ US /fɑːŋk/
abbreviation for “fear of not chilling”: a worried feeling that you may miss the opportunity to stay at home and relax, because you are too busy and are going out a lot

You know you have FONC when your busy schedule causes mild panic about when you’ll have time to treat yourself to some necessary R&R. “It’s kind of the opposite of saying yes to everything,” says Kott … “It’s like, I’d rather be home chilling or chilling with friends. If there’s a really busy week, or a really busy few days of the week in a work sense, then I try to allow space for relaxation,” she says.
[standard.co.uk, 21 February 2019]

About new words

Learning Synonyms

by Kate Woodford

Many of our About Words blog posts aim to provide our readers with a range of interesting words and phrases for saying the same or a similar thing.  We’re talking, of course, about synonyms – or near-synonyms. This week, we’re still focusing on this approach to vocabulary expansion but we’re looking at the way that Cambridge Dictionary +Plus can help with the process. Continue reading “Learning Synonyms”

New words – 25 November 2019

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laughter club noun [C]
UK /ˈlɑːf.tə.klʌb/ US /ˈlæf.tɚ.klʌb/
an organization of people who meet regularly to laugh together as a form of therapy

It’s no joke. Laughter clubs exist all over the country. They’re run by “certified laughter leaders” – often psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists – who are trained in the healing benefits of laughter. These workshops can help you connect with others as you get in a good laugh.
[www.rd.com/health/wellness, no date]

entertrainment noun [U]
UK /en.təˈtreɪn.mənt/ US /en.t̬ɚˈtreɪn.mənt/
fitness classes that combine exercise with entertainment, designed to make exercise more fun

So, how do we navigate this confusing world of entertrainment? How to sort off the marketing gimmicks from the genuinely useful concepts? Firstly, it’s worth repeating Beverley’s line: movement is good for you, and if fun, faddy classes help get you working out, then that’s probably a good thing. Don’t beat yourself up about loving entertrainment if it works for you.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 22 March 2019]

sober bar noun [C]
UK /ˈsəʊ.bə.bɑːʳ/ US /ˈsəʊ.bə.bɑːr/
a bar where no alcoholic drinks are served

Many of the wave of sober bars are new, and it remains to be seen whether they will continue to proliferate and thrive. In Auckland in 2015, an alcohol-free bar shut down after just five weeks. But there’s no doubt that interest in non-alcoholic adult beverages is increasing across the beverage industry, and that’s unlikely to stop soon.
[bbc.com/worklife, 19 July 2019]

About new words

When disaster strikes: ways of describing bad events

Caspar Benson/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

First, apologies for the gloomy subject! However, we can’t read the news without being aware of terrible things that happen in the world, and there is a rich selection of vocabulary to describe them, including some nice collocations. Continue reading “When disaster strikes: ways of describing bad events”

New words – 18 November 2019

facial fingerprint noun [C]
UK /ˌfeɪ.ʃᵊl.ˈfɪŋ.gə.prɪnt/ US /ˌfeɪ.ʃᵊl.ˈfɪŋ.gɚ.prɪnt/
the pattern of lines and other markings on someone’s face that is different in every person and can be used for identification purposes

Unless you have an unshakeable faith in the incorruptibility of our own state – which, judging by the wider mood, most of us don’t – it seems bafflingly reckless to offer up your face to be logged. Yet more than 150 million people, so far, have downloaded FaceApp. Millions more have handed over their facial fingerprints in order to unlock their smartphones more easily, or to activate Apple’s cute little Animojis.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 18 July 2019] Continue reading “New words – 18 November 2019”

Comical and hysterical (Words that mean funny)

Melody A/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

‘A day without laughter is a day wasted,’ said Charlie Chaplin, the comic actor and filmmaker. Whether or not you agree with him, you’ll almost certainly want to describe, in English, things that are funny. In this week’s post, we’ll provide you with a range of words to help you do just that. Continue reading “Comical and hysterical (Words that mean funny)”