Applying for a job or handing in your notice: collocations for work (1)

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by Liz Walter

One of our readers recently asked for a post on collocations relating to the world of work. Well, she’s lucky because she’s getting two of them! This first one focuses on starting and leaving jobs.

Continue reading “Applying for a job or handing in your notice: collocations for work (1)”

New words – 14 September 2020

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astrotourism noun [U]
UK /ˌæs.trəʊ.ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌæs.troʊ.ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
travelling to places to look at the stars or to see other events related to outer space, such as eclipses, rocket launches, etc.

Dark Skies, which claims to be the world’s first guide to “astrotourism”, is designed to help you to see the night sky in a new light. It takes you on a night-time journey to 35 dark-sky sites and national parks, and provides practical information on how to witness the next decade’s solar eclipses.
[The Times, 23 November 2019]

heritage travel noun [U]
UK /ˈher.ɪ.tɪdʒ.træv.ᵊl/ US /ˈher.ɪ.t̬ɪdʒ.træv.ᵊl/
travelling to places where your ancestors lived to learn more about their lives

In 2019, Airbnb partnered with 23andMe to give heritage travel recommendations to its customers. When 23andMe users get their DNA results, they also receive suggestions from Airbnb for rentals and experiences in their ancestral locations. Airbnb also has pages on its website dedicated to heritage travel.
[, 26 February 2020]

philantourism noun [U]
UK /ˌfɪl.ən.ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌfɪl.æn.ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
going on holiday to places where the tourist industry needs support

“Philantourism” is all about travel as a force for good… it’s a natural evolution of voluntourism, but less of a commitment; you don’t need to do anything after you arrive, other than enjoy the culture, buy local and put your spending money into the tourism economy.
[, 17 June 2020]

About new words

Kind-hearted or ruthless? (Describing character, Part 2)

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by Kate Woodford

With this post, we continue the ‘describing people’ thread, looking at adjectives that we use to describe people’s characters. Today, we focus on a set of near-synonyms for the adjective ‘kind’.

Continue reading “Kind-hearted or ruthless? (Describing character, Part 2)”

New words – 7 September 2020

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quaranteam noun [C]
UK /ˈkwɒr.ᵊn.tiːm/ US /ˈkwɔːr.ᵊn.tiːm/
a group of people who go into quarantine together

Quaranteams, therefore, are not simply a convenient idea because they let people see their friends and family. Isolation poses serious health risks – both physically and mentally – that social bubbles can help alleviate while improving social well-being and quality of life.
[, 17 June 2020]

lockstalgia noun [U]
UK /lɒk.ˈstæl.dʒə/ US /lɑːk.ˈstæl.dʒə/
a feeling of nostalgia for the lockdown period of the covid-19 pandemic

Above all, just as you may have entered lockdown with purpose, exit it with purpose too. If you do not, then you may start having feelings of “lockstalgia”, and start regretting that you did not keep doing the things that you not only found more efficient but preferred and actually enjoyed.
[, 2 July 2020]

twindemic noun [C]
a widespread outbreak of both flu and covid-19 at the same time

As public health officials look to fall and winter, the specter of a new surge of Covid-19 gives them chills. But there is a scenario they dread even more: a severe flu season, resulting in a “twindemic.” … The concern about a twindemic is so great that officials around the world are pushing the flu shot even before it becomes available in clinics and doctors’ offices.
[www.nytimes, 16 August 2020]

About new words

It goes without saying: phrases with ‘say’

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by Liz Walter

I was writing some learning materials on the topic of communication the other day, when I noticed how many common phrases include the word ‘say’. This post looks at some of the most useful of them.

Continue reading “It goes without saying: phrases with ‘say’”

New words – 31 August 2020

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dalgona coffee noun [C, U]
UK /dæl.ˌgəʊnə.ˈkɒf.i/ US /dæl.ˌgoʊnə.ˈkɑːf.i/
a drink made from instant coffee, sugar and hot water whipped together until thick and creamy and served over hot or cold milk

I fiddled with a number of approaches to dalgona coffee. I tried using fresh-brewed espresso, but it doesn’t froth sufficiently even when I added heavy cream and extra sugar to the mixture. (I later learned there’s something to the science of instant coffee that helps generate the necessary air bubbles.)
[, 4 May 2020]

bluicing noun [U]
the process of extracting the juice out of fruit or vegetables then mixing it with other ingredients in a blender to make a smoothie or similar drink

Then, along came the “bluicing” trend, the savior to many of my healthy eating demons. Bluicing is the act of extracting freshly made juice straight into a blender in order to make the most delicious and fresh slushies, smoothies and more. With this multi-functional wellness hack, you can skip the milk-based addition to your smoothies and use juice as the binder for all your ingredients.
[, 6 February 2020]

walktail noun [C]
UK /ˈwɒk.teɪl/ US /ˈwɑːk.teɪl/
a cocktail that you drink while you walk

For those on a budget, the walktail can just as easily be made at home. Kummer also added that it offers an additional outlet for of-age adults to socialize while maintaining a safe distance. “It’s another way of meeting your neighbors, keeping social distance, and having a drink,” he said.
[, 22 May 2020]

About new words

Driven or bone idle? (Describing people’s characters, Part 1)

Nora Carol Photography/Moment/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

We often describe the characters of people that we know. Sometimes we say something complimentary (= positive) about a person and at other times, we’re more critical (= negative). Very often, we mention a particular aspect of someone’s character, perhaps in relation to something that has happened. As this topic has so much useful vocabulary, this is the first post of a thread on this blog.

Continue reading “Driven or bone idle? (Describing people’s characters, Part 1)”

New words – 24 August 2020

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crisis beard noun [C]
UK /ˌkraɪ.sɪs.ˈbɪəd/ US /ˌkraɪ.sɪs.ˈbɪrd/
a beard grown by a man who is undergoing a difficult or stressful situation

When is a beard just a beard – and when is it a “crisis beard”? US website Vox coined the phrase to define the moment when a man of a certain age has a moment of existential crisis, downs tools and ditches the razor.
[, 6 February 2020]

skin hunger noun [U]
UK /ˌskɪn.ˈhʌŋ.gəʳ/ US /ˌskɪn.ˈhʌŋ.gɚ/
the basic human need to be touched

For many people, these past few months in lockdown might be the longest they have ever gone without physical contact with a friend. In our new Hidden Value series, we explore the effect “skin hunger” is having on our wellbeing.
[, 7 July 2020]

lockdown tache noun [C]
UK /ˌlɒk.daʊn.ˈtæʃ/ US /ˌlɑːk.daʊn.ˈtæʃ/
a moustache that its wearer has allowed to grow during lockdown

Ever the disciple of the zeitgeist, Harry Styles has joined the long line of celebrities who have grown a moustache during the coronavirus pandemic. The “lockdown tache” has been seen on a wide variety of famous top lips including Armie Hammer, Tyler, the Creator, Dele Alli and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
[, 24 July 2020]

About new words

How to stay motivated during the pandemic: What you told us, and why it matters


By Dr Heike Krüsemann


Motivation for language learning has changed during the pandemic – mainly because a lot of it has moved online. But how do students feel about the changes – and what is motivation anyway? Continue reading “How to stay motivated during the pandemic: What you told us, and why it matters”

Bringing in legislation and breaking rules: collocations connected with rules and regulations

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by Liz Walter

Many of us have had to live with unprecedented restrictions on our lives in recent months. Our freedom to travel and meet up with friends and family have been limited in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible just a few months ago. This post looks at the language of rules and regulations, and in particular their collocations (the words that associate with them).

Continue reading “Bringing in legislation and breaking rules: collocations connected with rules and regulations”