New words – 31 December 2018

Colin Hawkins / DigitalVision / Getty

hypebeast noun [C]
a young person who is obsessed with buying the latest expensive designer clothes

For those who do not understand this world, spending hundreds on a white T-shirt with a small logo on it might sound like a vain waste of money, but it is the hypebeasts that might be having the last laugh. Many savvy young teenagers are making a fortune online, often queuing in the rain for hours to buy items on the day they’re released in store … then immediately selling them on at a profit on eBay.
[, 9 January 2018]

bundle buying noun [U]
a way of buying clothes where a number of garments that go well together are personally selected for the buyer and posted out to them

So, does this signal the end of personal style? Not at all. Think of bundle buying instead as saving time and streamlining your wardrobe – deal with the basics and you have more time to be creative.
[Grazia, 13 February 2018]

Zozosuit noun [C]
UK /ˈzəʊ.zəʊ.suːt/ US /ˈzoʊ.zoʊ.suːt/
a close-fitting garment covered in sensors that takes precise measurements of the wearer’s body and can then be used to buy items of clothing custom-made to the correct size

In the first 10 hours after the Zozosuit launched in Japan in November 2017, roughly 230,000 orders were placed and since then there have been more than a million. The company says it expects to distribute up to 10 million suits by March 2019, not entirely unrealistic given that Zozosuit launches in the UK and 72 other countries and regions (including India, China, the US and Brazil) in the coming month.
[, 27 July 2018]

About new words

New words – 24 December 2018

Pete Orelup / Moment / Getty

laze noun [C]
a lava haze: a toxic cloud formed when hot lava flows into cold seawater

Laze plumes can travel with the wind and can change direction quickly, which has prompted authorities to urge the public to avoid the area completely … Even being downwind of the entry point is not advised because the wispy edges of the laze can cause skin and eye irritation and difficulty breathing.
[, 21 May 2018]

firenado noun [C]
UK /faɪə.ˈneɪ.dəʊ/ US /faɪr.neɪ.doʊ/
a fire tornado: a strong, dangerous wind created by a large fire that forms itself into an upside-down spinning cone

Firefighters have captured the moment a “firenado” – a fire tornado resembling a twister – engulfed a plastics factory in Derbyshire. The cyclonic vista was created by a combination of turbulent air and intense heat, and was tackled by officers from services in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
[, 8 August 2018]

Hothouse Earth noun [C, U]
UK /ˌhɒt.haʊs.ˈɜːθ/ US /ˌhɑːt.haʊs.ˈɝːθ/
a situation where it will no longer be possible to control climate change, leading to large areas of Earth becoming uninhabitable

In a Hothouse Earth, global average temperatures would rise 4–5° C (7–9° F) and sea levels will rise 10–60 meters (33–200 feet) above today’s levels. This would be catastrophic for many aspects of modern civilization. Many agricultural regions would become too hot and arid to sustain crops, making it impossible to feed large swaths of humanity.
[, 9 August 2018]

About new words

New words – 17 December 2018

South_agency / E+ / Getty

social jetlag noun [U]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈdjet.læg/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈdjet.læg/
the feelings of tiredness and confusion that people experience when they do not have a regular sleeping pattern, especially when they sleep for longer at weekends

The University of Adelaide sleep specialist Robert Adams said a growing body of research suggested poor sleep was taking a serious toll on Australians’ health and welfare. A study … found that 31% of survey respondents were suffering social jetlag. That is, the time of their sleep on work nights was more than an hour out of sync with sleeps on weekends or other days off.
[, 8 July 2018]

nap bar noun [C]
UK /ˈnæp.bɑːʳ/ US /ˈnæp.bɑːr/
a place where you can pay money to sleep for a short time during the day

Last year, a survey … revealed that Londoners are more sleep deprived than the rest of the UK. Now someone has gone and launched a nap bar where overworked, overtired city dwellers can get some much needed shut-eye.
[Time Out, 6 December 2017]

sleep pod noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp.pɒd/ US /ˈsliːp.pɑ:d/
a space, often a small room with a comfortable chair or small bed, where you can sleep for a short time during the day

Upstairs, on floor two, are seven sleep pods stocked with amenities to lull you into the most restful nap you’ve ever had in New York City. The private rooms have ceilings with twinkling stars, soundproof curtains, live plants, essential oil diffusers, reading lights, noise-canceling headphones, and more. Guests can even upgrade for additional linens.
[, 2 March 2018]

About new words

Wildfires and mid-term elections: a look back at 2018 in the US

Liz Walter


In this, the second of two year-end posts, I look at words associated with some major events and trends of 2018 from the perspective of the US. I’ve picked just six topics from an action-packed year, and I’ve tried to go for variety rather than simply importance, since the purpose of these posts is to provide useful vocabulary, not to report on the news or provide an opinion on it. Continue reading “Wildfires and mid-term elections: a look back at 2018 in the US”

New words – 10 December 2018

Tim Macpherson / Cultura / Getty

tsundoku noun [U]
UK /tsʊn.ˈdəʊ.kuː/ US /tsʊn.ˈdoʊ.kuː/
the activity of buying a lot of books that you never have time to read

Strictly speaking, the word doku does mean reading, so tsundoku should probably only be used when discussing literature. But you might not be surprised to know some people have applied the term to other aspects of their lives. In a popular post on Reddit’s community dedicated to books, people discussed how this term could explain their relationship with films, television shows and even clothing.
[, 29 July 2018]

wabi-sabi noun [U]
the Japanese concept of appreciating the beauty in old and imperfect things

As we start to emerge from the cosy cocoon of winter, it’s time to embrace wabi-sabi, the spring interiors trend causing a stir. Wabi-sabi is about embracing a way of living that is authentic, simple and close to nature.
[, 11 January 2018]

kakeibo noun [U]
UK /kæ.ˈkeɪbəʊ/ US /kæ.ˈkeɪ.boʊ/
a Japanese approach to managing your money that involves using a journal to plan and monitor your spending each month

Kakeibo is an analog method of budgeting that’s been used in Japanese households for over 100 years. It combines elements of keeping a money journal, a planner, and a ledger all in one. This creates a system that helps you set, track, and achieve savings goals.
[, 13 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 3 December 2018

Talia Ali / EyeEm / GettyImages

cart abandonment noun [U]
UK /ˈkɑːt.əbæn.dən.mənt/ US /ˈkɑːrt.əbæn.dən.mənt/
the practice of adding items to your online shopping cart on an e-commerce site but leaving the site without making the purchase

Without understanding why customers abandon carts, it is impossible to reduce cart abandonment. We’ve collected the top 10 reasons for cart abandonment. We’ll be breaking down each cause in detail, and provide a quick overview of how you can eliminate cart abandonment and recover sales.
[, 28 February 2018]

recommerce noun [U]
UK /ˌriːˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /ˌriːˈkɑː.mɝːs/
the business of buying and selling used items, such as electronics and clothes, on the internet

Recommerce appeals to the aspirational and value-conscious nature of the Indian consumer. The feeling of status elevation by using a better-quality brand or product at a reasonable price point is helping this segment grow. Even more so, the large number of first-time buyers, students, and technophiles who want to upgrade their gadgets find great value in refurbished smartphones.
[, 13 February 2018]

pay-what-you-can adjective
UK /ˌpeɪ.wɒt.jəˈkæn/ US /ˌpeɪ.wɑːt.jəˈkæn/
relating to a way of selling goods that allows the shopper to pay only what they can afford

In a bright, airy Toronto market, the shelves are laden with everything from organic produce to pre-made meals and pet food. What shoppers won’t find, however, is price tags. In what is believed to be a North American first, everything in this grocery store is pay-what-you-can.
[, 25 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 26 November 2018

Ariel Skelley / DigitalVision / Getty

daycation noun [C]
a day trip, usually to a hotel or similar resort, where you use the facilities for the day then go home at night

As the name implies, a daycation is about getting away from your hectic life and enjoying all the amenities of a real vacation without all the extra travel or expenses. The service is growing in popularity in cities like Miami where luxury pools and spas are a staple at just about every beachside hotel.
[, 17 May 2018] Continue reading “New words – 26 November 2018”

New words – 19 November 2018

Andrew Olney / DigitalVision / Getty

free-range parenting noun [U]
UK /ˌfriː.reɪndʒ.ˈpeə.rᵊn.tɪŋ/ US /ˌfriː.reɪndʒ.ˈper.ᵊn.tɪŋ/
a way of raising children that involves allowing them to do many things without being supervised in order to encourage them to become independent and responsible

Free-range parenting isn’t about being permissive or uninvolved. Instead, it’s about allowing kids to have the freedom to experience natural consequences of their behavior — when it’s safe to do so. It’s also about ensuring kids have the skills they need to become responsible adults.
[, 24 March 2018]

maternymoon noun [C]
UK /məˈtɜː.ni.muːn/ US /məˈtɝː.ni.muːn/
a holiday taken by a family while the mother is on maternity leave from work

For us, we were quite happy with a driving holiday overseas for our first maternymoon, however, we’ve decided on a relaxing, tropical holiday closer to home for our second one. Yep, you heard right – a second one!
[, 16 August 2016]

rental family noun [C]
UK /ˈren.tᵊl.fæm.ᵊl.i/ US /ˈren.t̬ᵊl.fæm.ᵊl.i/
actors who are paid to pretend to be someone’s family members in order to provide companionship or to accompany the person to social events such as parties and weddings

Yūichi Ishii, the founder of Family Romance, told me that he and his “cast” actively strategize in order to engineer outcomes like Nishida’s, in which the rental family makes itself redundant in the client’s life. His goal, he said, is “to bring about a society where no one needs our service.”
[New Yorker, 30 April 2018]

About new words

New words – 12 November 2018

Caiaimage / Robert Daly / Getty

brain belt noun [C]
an area of a country that attracts many intelligent people to work in modern industries and areas of new technology

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission has called for billions of pounds of infrastructure investment in the Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge ‘brain belt’, which he said could add hundreds of billions to the national economy.
[Transport Network, 17 November 2017]

headtrepreneur noun [C]
UK /ˌhed.trə.prəˈnɜːʳ/ US /ˌhed.trə.prəˈnɝː/
a headteacher who looks for and develops opportunities to raise money to provide funds for their school

Enterprising headteachers are generating hundreds of thousands of pounds for their schools to counter budget cuts. One “headtrepreneur” estimated that he brought in extra money, resources and business donations worth about £300,000 a year. Others are renting out facilities and buildings, selling staff’s professional expertise to other schools or companies or drumming up donations and money from local businesses.
[The Times, 22 June 2018]

T level noun [C]
a public exam in a technical or vocational subject, taken in England by people aged 17 or 18

The first schools and colleges that will teach new technical qualifications called T levels was announced this week, as Theresa May said that … “T levels provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A levels, ensuring thousands of people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally – a vital part of our modern industrial strategy.”
[The Times, 22 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 5 November 2018

Giovanni Lo Turco / EyeEm / Getty

mono meal noun [C]
UK /ˈmɒn.əʊ.mɪəl/ US /ˈmɑː.noʊ.mɪəl/
a meal made up of only one food item (usually a type of fruit or vegetable), thought by some people to have health benefits

To count as a true mono meal, it also means that one isn’t drinking anything during the meal. For instance, if you decide to have a bowl of mangoes alone that would be a mono meal: most people have had a mono meal when consuming things like fruits or bread without any spread on top.
[, 7 January 2017]

Continue reading “New words – 5 November 2018”