New words – 17 October 2016

Thomas Faull/iStock/Getty
Thomas Faull/iStock/Getty

chatbot noun [C] UK /’tʃæt.bɒt/ US /’tʃæt.bɑːt/
a software program that uses artificial intelligence to mimic conversation with the user

Nadella and Marcus see chatbots – computer programs that you interact with by “chatting” – for example in threads in messaging apps – as an important new human/machine interface.

[The Guardian 18 September 2016]

blockchain noun [C]  UK /’blɒk.tʃeɪn/ US /’blɑːk.tʃeɪn/
an encrypted database of online transactions

Most have heard of bitcoin, fewer are familiar with blockchain. Bitcoin uses blockchain to form a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system.

[ 30 September 2016]

commjacking noun [U]  UK /ˈkɒm.dʒæk.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkɑːm.dʒæk.ɪŋ/
a method of intercepting the data flow on a wifi network

This notion of commjacking was invented to describe the ability to hijack the communication channel between any device and the WiFi or cellular networks to which it is connected. Commjacking gives the attacker the ability to eavesdrop on conversations, intercept data transmissions to and from the device, and manipulate the data, or the device itself.

[The Telegraph 20 September 2016]

About new words

New words – 10 October 2016


freakshake noun [C] /’friːk.ʃeɪk/
a milkshake made with ice cream and other sweet foods including cream, chocolate and cake

Could there be a more epic drink (if you can call it a drink) than the freakshake? Originating in Australia, these monstrous concoctions promise to fix all your sugar cravings at once with their combo of milky goodness, rich, gooey cake, cookie chunks, lashings of cream and a carnival of colourful toppings.

[Time Out 12 July 2016]

frosé noun [C or U] UK /ˈfrəʊ.zeɪ/, US /froʊ.ˈzeɪ/
a type of alcoholic drink made of frozen rosé wine mixed with sugar, lemon juice and sometimes other alcoholic drinks

Seemingly kick-started over social media, frosé has emerged as the latest drink of choice for sun worshipping Instagrammers, with wine-lovers taking to their apps to show their appreciation for a bottle of frozen blush.

[Standard 21 June 2016]

hamdog noun [C] UK /ˈhæm.dɒg/, US /ˈhæm.dɑːg/
a combination of a hamburger and a hot dog

An entrepreneur in Australia is hoping to make plenty of dough after inventing the “hamdog”. Despite securing a US patent for the “combination hamburger hot dog bread bun” in 2009, Mr Murray failed to obtain funding from potential investors.

[The Telegraph 20 September 2016]

About new words

New words – 3 October 2016

Graiki/Moment Open/Getty
Graiki/Moment Open/Getty

extreme phone pinching noun the practice of holding a mobile phone between the thumb and forefinger and dangling it over a perilous place while taking a selfie

Have you got what it takes to stomach the extreme phone pinching challenge? No, seriously.

[ 05 October 2015]

gloving noun dance performed with the hands while wearing special gloves with LED lights

To get why gloving has become so huge, you have to understand EDM, the American version of house music.

[ 20 December 2015]

pabebe noun a style of waving with the fingers closed

Millions of people in the Philippines and beyond are taking pictures of themselves giving a cute little wave called the ‘Pabebe’.

[ 29 October 2015]

About new words

New words – 26 September 2016

ZenShui/Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto/Getty
ZenShui/Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto/Getty
aquafaba noun the water from cooked beans, used as an egg white substitute in vegan cuisine

Don’t pour that slimy chickpea brine down the drain – ‘Aquafaba’ is the latest healthy food substitute being used in cakes, meringue and mousse desserts

[ 29 November 2015]

food swamp noun an area with an abundance of fast food retailers but a dearth of healthy, fresh food sellers

‘The food swamp or the lack of access to healthy food is a much bigger problem than the food desert,’ she said.

[ 10 November 2015]

wackaging noun product packaging that contains a cute or humorous element, often using an exaggeratedly friendly tone on its labelling

Most of the Innocent-inspired wacky packaging or ‘wackaging’ on the market ends up sounding twee or cringeworthy.

[ 10 November 2015]

About new words

New words – 19 September 2016

Hero Images/Getty
Hero Images/Getty

fab lab noun a fabrication laboratory; a science laboratory equipped with the latest digital technology in order to facilitate the learning of all the STEM subjects

The ‘Fab Lab’ equips students with an array of tools in a small-scale workshop setting that offers personal digital fabrication – a project-based learning method that will allow students to create ‘almost anything.’

[ 08 October 2015]

flexi schooling noun an approach to schooling in which a child is registered with a school but attends that school for only part of the week, being home-schooled for the remainder

Other developments include offering more ‘flexi-schooling’ opportunities, where children can spend three days a week at either Hollinsclough or Manifold and two days being home-educated.

[ 06 October 2015]

forensicate verb to conduct a forensic examination of something

I suspect after they forensicate the phones and the computers from the evidence they collected, we’re going to find they used encrypted software to communicate.

[WNYC: The Takeaway (news) 18 November 2015]

About new words

New words – 12 September 2016


cook processor noun a piece of kitchen equipment that both processes (e.g. by chopping or kneading) and cooks food

My new toy – a KitchenAid cook processor, is pretty incredible and I have used it loads since Andrew bought it for Christmas.

[ 03 January 2016]

matcha noun a type of Japanese green tea, popular with health food enthusiasts

This brand new edition of Hello Panda features cocoa infused biscuits with a delicious matcha cream filling.

[ 02 January 2016]

spiralizer noun a piece of kitchen equipment for cutting vegetables into long winding ribbons

Mary Berry used a spiralizer on her new cooking show and Twitter couldn’t cope

[ (feature title) 26 January 2016]

Originally a Japanese invention, the spiralizer is the latest kitchen gadget must-have and it is now creeping into our restaurants.

[ 11 January 2016]

About new words

New words – 5 September 2016


grip-lit noun a genre of novel that has an exciting psychological storyline

The Bookseller magazine remembers otherwise. In a puzzling article in its most recent issue, it refers to ‘grip-lit’ (AKA the gripping psychological thriller) in a way that suggests it is a trend belonging to last year and, if we’re lucky, this year too […]

[ 29 January 2016]

hunkvertising noun informal the use of pictures of attractive, scantily-clad young men to advertise products

Beckham in his pants and David Gandy in his swimming trunks: How ‘hunkvertising’ has put men under pressure to get the perfect body

[ 27 January 2016]

sad rap noun a form of slow rap music with emotionally intense lyrics

Hopsin is a kind of new rapper who has great potential, but this song just doesn’t cut it, there’s plenty other sad rap songs that belong in this spot.

[ 04 January 2016]

About new words

New words – 29 August 2016

Paul Bradbury/OJO Images/Getty
Paul Bradbury/OJO Images/Getty

prebuttle noun an argument against something that has not yet been said

[Hilary Clinton’s] campaign actually issued a prebuttle yesterday, asking for Sanders to endorse some of her proposals.

[WNYC: WNYC News (US and local New York news) 05 January 2016]

Berniesplain verb informal (of Bernie Sanders supporters and staffers) to explain Bernie Sanders’s positions to African-American voters in a patronizing

Charles Blow wrote a column in the Times today saying, ‘stop Berniesplaining’, and that he found that very condescending to African Americans.

[WNYC: Brian Leherer Show (NYC public affairs talk show) 11 February 2016]

virtue signalling noun demonstrating that you are right-thinking in your politics, for example, by wearing a charity ribbon or by updating your profile on a social media website to signal your support for someone

This is all a rather roundabout way of getting to ‘virtue-signalling’, a phrase that began to spread via op-ed sections last year and proliferated rapidly on Twitter, and against which quarantine measures now urgently need to be taken.

[ 20 January 2016]

Are You Guilty of  “Virtue-Signaling?”

[ 04 January 2016]

About new words

New words – 22 August 2016

Plume Creative/DigitalVision/Getty Images Plus
Plume Creative/DigitalVision/Getty Images Plus

ringxiety noun the phenomenon of seeming to hear or sense a non-existent message or call on your phone

Do YOU have ‘ringxiety’? Being insecure about relationships leads people to hear ‘phantom calls’, researchers say

[ 05 February 2016]

If you find yourself reaching to answer your phone only to find that it had never rang [sic] you could be suffering from ‘ringxiety’,
according to academics.

[ 04 February 2016]

peak stuff noun the point at which consumers in developed countries cease to desire or require so many new acquisitions

If having more no longer satisfies us, perhaps we’ve reached ‘peak stuff’

[ 31 January 2016]

Ikea senses room to grow amid ‘peak stuff’

[ (article title) 18 January 2016]

postmateriality noun in the digital age, after materials such as film and tape stopped being used to record sound and images

We have a generation now that’s kind of coming to age postmateriality.

[NPR: All Things Considered (US news and information) 15 February 2016]

About new words

New words 15 August 2016

Atli Mar Hafsteinsson/Cultura/Getty
Atli Mar Hafsteinsson/Cultura/Getty

gringe noun a grown-out fringe (of hair)

‘A side-swept ‘gringe’ like Kate’s is good because it is forgiving and easy to grow out if the woman who has it isn’t a fan.

[ 09 March 2016]

beardruff noun informal dandruff in or from a beard

Got Beardruff? Stop Beard Itch In It’s [sic] Tracks With These Tips

[ 17 March 2016]

footcial noun a beauty treatment for the feet

Dubbed ‘handcials’ and ‘footcials’ because they use the same techniques as facials, the experience leaves people’s entire body feeling relaxed.

[MNS email (US real estate email update) 08 January 2016]

About new words