New words – 30 December 2013

anklington noun a short wellington boot

Going down: Anklingtons. We’re small-c conservative in our wellie choice this summer.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 06 July 2013]

deLycrafy verb humorous to take the Lycra out of cycling, i.e. to sever its associations with Lycra-clad males and make it more mainstream

The target London wide is to double cycling in the next ten years, to de-lycra-fy it and to encourage those groups who do not cycle (partly due to fear) to do so.

[ 02 September 2013]

floordrobe noun informal a pile of clothes on the floor rather than in a wardrobe

Going down: Having a floordrobe. Aftermath of wardrobe crisis brought on by shifts in weather and trends.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 28 September 2013]

My room will not experience another clothes avalanche, resulting in a permanent floordrobe and the possibility of finding a dead mouse three months later.

[ 27 September 2013]

pep hem noun peplum hem; a deep, ruched hem at the bottom of an item of clothing, typically a dress or skirt

The pep hem.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine; caption) 12 August 2013]

About new words

New words – 23 December 2013

data for development idiom the use of data from social networking, cellphone records, email, etc., to aid economic development and predict problems and humanitarian need in poorer countries

The efforts by Global Pulse and a growing collection of scientists at universities, companies and nonprofit groups have been given the label ‘Big Data for development.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 08 August 2013]

Mr. Kirkpatrick […] began assembling a team and emphasized tightly focused projects and rapid experimentation, while traveling the world to spread the data-for-development gospel at conferences and in private meetings.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 08 August 2013]

digital detox noun a period in which a person abstains from using electronic devices such as smartphones, usually in an endeavour to lower stress levels and re-engage with the physical world

Why You Don’t Need a Digital Detox to Loosen Technology’s Grip

[ (article title) 07 August 2013]

planet hacking noun geoengineering methods intended to mitigate climate change

As climate scientists prepare to gather for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Stockholm to present the most authoritative state of climate science to date, it has emerged the Russian government is asking for ‘planet hacking’ to be included in the report

[ 22 September 2013]

About new words

New words – 16 December 2013

avozilla noun informal a very large avocado

Tesco’s salad buyer, Emma Bonay, believes the avozilla will appeal particularly to large families.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 31 August 2013]

SSB abbreviation sugar-sweetened beverage

Forms of SSB tax have already started in Denmark, France, Finland and Hungary. Scotland, Small says, is in the mood to follow.

[ 04 August 2013]

TomTato noun a plant that produces both potatoes and tomatoes

A plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes, called the TomTato, has been developed for the UK market.

[ 26 September 2013]

About new words

New words – 9 December 2013

flipped learning noun a form of education in which students learn the content of a subject at home and the subsequent class is used for practice and discussion

A growing number of teachers are implementing what is known as ‘flipped learning,’ in which students learn lessons as homework, mostly through online videos produced by teachers, and use classroom time to practice what they learned.

[ 16 April 2013]

impression management noun the process of controlling how other people see you

In a study of language on Twitter […] older people ‘have a higher usage of links and hashtags, which can be associated with information sharing and impression management.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 16 April 2013]

multigen adjective including people of several different age groups; multi-generational

Strong indications show that multigen living is on the rise. [AARP Bulletin (US over-50s magazine) April 2013]

About new words

New words – 2 December 2013

cultured leather noun leather grown from skin cells

Modern Meadow is first focusing on creating cultured leather. Its process does not use stem cells but rather skin fibroblasts, specialized cells that produce collagen.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 14 May 2013]

digital afterlife noun what remains of a person online after their death

Google helps users plan digital afterlife

[ (article title) 12 April 2013]

digital fabrication noun the making of an object from a digital model or program, as for example, with a 3-D printer

“Digital fabrication will allow individuals to design and produce tangible objects on demand, wherever and whenever they need them,” Neil Gershenfeld, a physicist at M.I.T., wrote.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 09 April 2013]

About new words

New words – 25 November 2013

Poshitis noun informal back pain as a result of carrying a big bag fashionably, in the crook of the arm

Cheryl Cole, Mollie King and Millie Mackintosh are also at risk of ‘Poshitis’ if they continue to carry their designer handbags like that.

[ 04 June 2013]

The syndrome? ‘Poshitis.’ And it’s spreading like wildfire, made worse by the fact that our oversized bags usually come fully loaded.

[ 03 June 2013]

Prancercise noun a form of exercise which mimics the way that a horse moves

Inspired by a horse’s gait, Rohrback’s website describes Prancercise as ‘a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward’ that is about ‘liberating ourselves from the fitness chains’.

[ 06 June 2013]

Quidditching noun an Internet craze which entails jumping with a broomstick to look like Harry Potter competing in a game of the mythical sport Quidditch

‘Quidditching’ becomes new internet craze as Harry Potter fans around the world jump on their brooms

[ 15 April 13]

About new words

New words – 18 November 2013

listicle noun informal an article that is based on a list of points

Thanks to our sweet Kerry for inspiring a kiss and tell listicle.

[ 07 April 2013]

I wonder if the moment when Don’t Panic put up a spoof listicle entitled The 9 or so Types of Hipster You See in London, which takes the piss out of a Buzzfeed UK listicle entitled The 22 Types of Hipster You Encounter in London, is a moment when all of us should look in the mirror and ask whether this internet thing is working out quite as well as we’d hoped.

[ 24 April 2013]

nanoblock noun a very small integrated circuit

A related but simpler technology […] is based on suspending small integrated circuits called “nanoblocks” in a fluid and then flowing them over a surface where they drop into tiny holes of corresponding shapes.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 09 April 2013]

responsive (website) design noun website design which allows for optimal viewing irrespective of which device is being used to view the site

With the emergence of responsive design as an industry benchmark, flat design has made inroads on the web too.

[ 08 May 2013]

New TfL websites focused on ‘responsive design’

[ 12 June 2013]

About new words

New words – 11 November 2013

the Slow Web noun internet technology designed to make users feel calm

This is the question motivating the embryonic movement known variously as ‘calming technology’, ‘the slow web’, ‘conscious computing’ or (Pang’s preferred term) ‘contemplative computing’.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 11.05.13]

I won’t lie and say it’s due to a conscious effort to spend less time on the internet on my part, or some participation in the slow web movement.

[ 16 April 2013]

WikiCell noun a type of edible food packaging

WikiCell ice cream and frozen yogurt will make their debut at US grocery stores later this month.

[Smithsonian (US history and culture magazine) June 2013]

zenware noun software designed to have a calming effect

Their inventions so far include […] scores of pieces of ‘zenware’ designed to block distractions, with names such as Isolator and StayFocusd and Shroud and Turn Off The Lights.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 11 May 2013]

naysayer noun someone who refuses to accept a belief or opinion that is held by most other people

But how many storms, how many scientists weighing in, how much new information will it take to — at a minimum — convince the editors that permitting naysayers to have a voice for “balance” is not just factually wrong but also flat-out immoral?

[Washington Post (US broadsheet) 24 May 2013]

yolo abbreviation abbreviation for “you only live once” (used to justify doing something that is expensive or not sensible, or to encourage someone to do something)

The Jenners on the other hand, were totally living the YOLO life. Those crazy kids were cliff jumping, waterskiing, and doing some crazy fun looking wind surfing thing.

[ 29 July 2013]

About new words

New words – 4 November 2013

neurotypical adjective without any impairment of or damage to the brain

Children with autism can have 67 per cent more brain neurons than neurotypical kids.

[ 02 April 2013]

ring rain noun water that falls to the surface of Saturn from its rings

‘The main effect of ring rain is that it acts to quench the ionosphere of Saturn,’ Mr. O’Donoghue said.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 16 April 2013]

shadow biosphere noun a hypothetical, invisible world of alternative lifeforms with a completely different biochemistry from our own

The idea of the shadow biosphere is also controversial and is challenged by several other scientists.

[The Observer (UK broadsheet) 14 April 2013]

selfie noun a photograph taken of yourself, often for the purposes of posting on a social-networking website

People take selfies in public, posing everywhere and in every which way.

[The New Yorker (US magazine) 05 June 2013]

phubbing noun the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention

It sounds cheerfully daft, but there’s an uncomfortable truth at the heart of phubbing: other people are easier to handle when encountered on screen.

[The Independent (UK broadsheet) 05 August 2013]

About new words

New words – 28 October 2013

endless runner adjective describes a video game in which a character keeps running, encountering a variety of obstacles

If you’re a fan of endless runner games like Temple Run, starting today you’ll get your chance to do more than outrun a pack of demonic monkeys — you can take on your friends, too, with Zynga’s new title Running With Friends.

[ 15 September 2013]

flat design noun a term used to describe a simple screen design which does not feature the drop shadows or textures of a skeuomorphically designed screen

“‘Totally flat design, like in Windows 8, is a terrible usability mistake because it removes the users’ ability to see at a glance where they can click,’ said Jakob Nielsen, a usability guru with nearly 80 U.S. patents to his name.

[ 10 June 2013]


adjective (of wearable computers) looking like glasses

The NY Times is all over the controversy this week, explaining that the ‘glasseslike device allows Internet access, as well as the shooting of photos and video, raising concerns about privacy and distraction.’

[ 07 May 2013]

About new words