New words – 21 October 2013

Afropolitan noun a cosmopolitan African; an African who has a background which is varied in culture and geography

At what point does one realize that things will never be the same? First time novelist and Afropolitan Taiye Selasi tackles these themes in her new novel ‘Ghana Must Go’.

[ 15 April 2013]

caxirola noun a percussion instrument created for Brazil’s World Cup. It rattles when shaken.

Unlike the vuvuzela, which has historical and cultural significance in South Africa, the caxirola has been designed especially for use in stadiums.

[ 25 April 2013]

ghost money noun money transferred in secret by a covert government agency

For more than a decade, the CIA — using suitcases, backpacks, even plastic bags — has made monthly cash payments to the offices of President Hamid Karzai. One Karzai aide called it ‘ghost money’ because ‘it came in secret, and it left in secret.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 30 April 2013]

Ghost money from MI6 and CIA may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats

[ (article title) 30 April 2013]

About new words

New words – 14 October 2013

Cronut noun a cross between a doughnut and a croissant, being ring-shaped like a doughnut, but composed of buttery, croissant-like dough

The Cronut – the US pastry sensation that must cross the Atlantic.
These blends between croissants and doughnuts are all the rage in New York, but have yet to make it to the UK. So can you replicate them in your own kitchen?

[ 05 June 2013]

ghost money noun money transferred in secret by a covert government agency

For more than a decade, the CIA — using suitcases, backpacks, even plastic bags — has made monthly cash payments to the offices of President Hamid Karzai. One Karzai aide called it ‘ghost money’ because ‘it came in secret, and it left in secret.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 30 April 2013]

Ghost money from MI6 and CIA may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats

[ (article title) 30 April 2013]

pension spiking noun the practice of adding value to a pension during the year before retirement with overtime hours, unused vacation days, and other unused employment benefits

‘Pension spiking goes against the spirit of what a pension plan is supposed to do. […]’ says Jean-Pierre Aubry of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

[AARP Bulletin (over-50 news magazine) June 2013]

twerk verb to dance in a sexually suggestive way with the knees bent and the legs apart, often for humorous effect

Miley Cyrus cautioned viewers she wouldn’t be twerking on ‘Saturday Night Live’.

[ 06 Oct 2013]

About new words

New words – 7 October 2013

ag-gag adjective informal relating to the legal limiting of investigations into farming practices

Animal rights activists in the US have told the BBC that so-called ‘ag-gag’ laws could be copied in other countries including the UK.

[ 13 April 2013]

brain fatigue noun a condition in which the brain is over-stimulated and a person cannot remain calm or focused

With brain fatigue, you are easily distracted, forgetful and mentally flighty — or, in other words, me.

[New york Times (US broadsheet) 02 April 2013]

cat bearding noun the practice of taking photographs of people holding a cat to their faces so that the cat looks like a beard

Cat bearding is the latest viral photo trend to sweep the confused place we call the Internet.

[ 22 May 2013]

About new words

New words – 30 September 2013

first world problems idiom humorous problems which are very trivial on a global scale, and which would only be perceived as problems by the very privileged

Have you ever heard someone complain about their ‘problems,’ only to think they were being completely ridiculous? Enter the archival Tumblr, White Whine, which culls together a sometimes hilarious, oft times ironic list of ‘first world problems.’

[ 01 April 2013]

Multicultural London English noun a dialect of English that is spoken in urban areas of the UK, especially London, and is influenced by the accents of several other languages

The new voice of young people is called MLE, which stands for Multicultural London English.

[ 02 May 2013]

peak child noun the point after which the number of children born the world over will decline

In addition, we have reached what Rosling describes as ‘peak child’, the result of decreased birth rates; a consequence of the positive effects of development.

[Essay by trainee nurse, mid 20s, 23 April 2013]

About new words

New words – 23 September 2013

chiplet noun a very tiny electronic circuit

The technology breaks silicon wafers into tens of thousands of chiplets, bottles them as “ink” and then “prints” them, much as a Xerox laser printer puts toner on paper.

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

genome editing noun the rewriting of DNA in living organisms, often for the purposes of curing illnesses

This uses a new technique called genome editing.

[BBC Radio 4 17 April 2013]

ladybro noun slang a female friend (usually of another woman)

Where was Vicky Pryce’s ladybro when she needed one?

[ 08 April 2013]

About new words

New words – 16 September 2013

demitarian noun someone who restricts by half or to a marked degree, the amount of meat and animal products that they consume, usually in order to reduce the environmental impact of their diet

People in the rich world should become ‘demitarians’ – eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up – in order to avoid severe environmental damage […]

[ 17 Feb 2013]

deskfast noun breakfast eaten at one’s desk at work

If you can’t remember when you last sat at your kitchen table and ate a freshly cooked breakfast, you’re probably one of the majority of women now opting for ‘desk-fast’ – that’s breakfast at your desk.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 11 Feb 2013]

Approximately 20 per cent of us indulge in deskfast, according to registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research.

[ 03 Feb 2013]

dirty food noun extremely calorific food with no nutritional value; junk food

Dirty food is what the young and gorgeous eat when painting the town. It’s food from which you can expect a hangover, or at least a migraine.

[ 18 Jan 2013]

drind noun dehydrated rind (or skin); a cheap animal substance used to bulk out cheap meat products, such as burgers

Industry insiders have told the Guardian that they believe an ingredient called ‘drind’ dehydrated rind or skin, may be at the heart of the scandal.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 19 Jan 2013]

About new words

New words – 9 September 2013

3D printer noun a printer that produces three-dimensional objects

The most recent issue of Make Magazine offers detailed reviews on a number of popular models of 3D printers, breaking down each of their strengths and weaknesses.

[ 01 Jan 2013]

autonomous vehicle noun a vehicle that is controlled automatically rather than by a human driver

Toyota is one of several heavy-weight car manufacturers and technology companies researching autonomous vehicles.

[ 04 Jan 2013]

digital globe noun a sphere-shaped display screen

Like the old-school globes once common in classrooms, digital globes vary in size.

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

The image on a digital globe can be changed with the touch of a button.

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

About new words

New words – 2 September 2013

nuclear forensics noun the analysis of markers in nuclear material such as the concentration of isotopes and the size of grains to determine where the material originated

The archive, […], is part of the rapidly advancing field of nuclear forensics, which aims to trace clandestine nuclear material to the nation and even the reactor it came from.

[Smithsonian (US history, science, and culture magazine) Feb. 2013]

positive procrastination noun the technique of getting things done by working on one task as a way to procrastinate and avoid doing another task

Alas, there’s no good data, and for now many self-control researchers have doubts about positive procrastination.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 15 Jan 2013]

regrettable substitution noun an attempt to protect people from a harmful substance that results in those people being exposed to a different harmful substance

A hard-fought victory by OSHA in controlling one source of deadly fumes led workers to be exposed to something worse — a phenomenon […] lamented in government parlance as ‘regrettable substitution.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 31 March 2013]

xenointoxication noun the exterminating of biting insects by ingesting a substance that is poisonous to the insect and kills it when the insect bites you

Dr. Hotez’s hesitation is mostly that bedbugs […] do not cause disease, so xenointoxication seems pretty heavy-handed.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 01 Jan 2013]

About new words

New words – 26 August 2013

booth babe noun informal an attractive young woman hired to stand at an exhibition booth to attract visitors

Some visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are angry that the so-called ‘booth babes’ are back despite much criticism at last year’s event.

[ 09 Jan 2013]

celebaby noun informal the baby of a celebrity

Guess the CeleBabies!

[ 25 March 2013]

FWB abbreviation abbreviation for ‘friend(s) with benefits’ (= a euphemism for a friend with whom one occasionally has sex)

Since then I have been in a FWB relationship for over a year.

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 25 March 2013]

push ring noun a ring that a man presents his partner with after she has given birth to their child

Least likely to receive a push ring (the blingtastic thank you present rich husbands buy their wives for delivering their baby).

[Grazia (UK celebrity magazine) 28 Jan 2013]

About new words

New words – 19 August 2013

pre-roll noun an advert that is shown before an online video

We saw a Church of The Highlands preroll that acted as a countdown.

[ 13 Feb 2013]

YouTube is testing out a new pre-roll ad setup across the site that looks a lot like the current Hulu offerings.

[ 26 Feb 2013]

second screen noun an additional screen, especially a tablet or smartphone, used while watching TV

This approach is often referred to as the ‘second screen,’ the idea being that the tablet or smartphone becomes a TV companion device […]

[ 11 March 2013]

the work-life merge noun the now blurred distinction between work and free time

Welcome to the world of the work-life merge, the term recently coined by Facebook executive Emily White to describe a life in which work and free-time are no longer neatly compartmentalized but seamlessly jumbled up together.

[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 01 Jan 2012]

About new words