two people using e-scooters in a city

New words – 20 September 2022

two people using e-scooters in a city
Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision / Getty

micromobility noun [U]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.məʊˌbɪl.ə.ti/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.moʊˌbɪl.ə.t̬i/
the use of small electric vehicles such as e-scooters, normally used for travelling short distances within towns and cities

Micromobility devices may be privately owned, but are often shared-use vehicles that are maintained by a municipal government or private entity. Micromobility devices are particularly appealing to residents of densely populated areas, as they provide quick and convenient transportation to nearby destinations such as grocery stores, shops, or entertainment venues.
[digi.com, 10 March 2022]

moth motorway noun [C]
UK /ˌmɒθ ˈməʊ.tə.weɪ / US /ˌmɑːθ ˈmoʊ.t̬ɚ.weɪ/
a way of guiding endangered species of moth to an area where they will be able to survive

Scientists are to create “moth motorways” to provide an easier journey for insects migrating north as they try to escape the effects of climate change. University researchers combined data with computer simulations in an attempt to predict the movement of moths in a changing climate … “Utilising predictions like these would enable us to effectively create ‘moth motorways’, helping endangered species reach more suitable regions more quickly in their bid to survive.”
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 22 May 2022]

hoverbike noun [C]
UK /ˈhɒv.ə.baɪk/ US /ˈhʌ.vɚ.baɪk/
a vehicle that travels in the air and looks like a motorbike

The flying motorbike is officially here! Japan’s new US$700,000 hoverbike, the XTurismo Limited Edition, targets supercar drivers – but it’s so loud that bystanders have to wear earplugs … The hoverbike joins other gadgets like jetpacks and flying taxis – but can it give Japan a technological edge over self-driving and electric cars?
[scmp.com, 27 October 2021]

About new words

A businesswoman sitting in front of her desktop computer in an office full of paperwork. She looks bored; she is resting her chin on her hand and not looking at her screen.

New words – 12 September 2022

A businesswoman sitting in front of her desktop computer in an office full of paperwork. She looks bored; she is resting her chin on her hand and not looking at her screen.
demaerre / iStock / Getty Images Plus

quiet quitting noun [U]
UK /ˌkwaɪ.ət ˈkwɪtɪŋ/ US /ˌkwaɪ.ət ˈkwɪt̬ɪŋ/
the activity of doing the minimum amount of work needed to keep one’s job but with no enthusiasm or commitment

Widely associated with employee burnout, the idea of ‘quiet quitting’ – where employees become disengaged from work and do the bare minimum of their duties – has recently attracted a flurry of attention … So, recognising quiet quitting, whether it is seen as a serious sign of employee dissatisfaction or simply the concept that work should not take over one’s entire life, is now more important than ever.
[peoplemanagement.co.uk, 8 August 2022]

anti-procrastination café noun [C]
UK /ˌæn.ti.prəˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃən ˌkæf.eɪ/ US /æn.t̬i.proʊˌkræs.tɪˈneɪ.ʃən kæfˈeɪ/
a café where people who have an urgent deadline can work, with employees checking regularly that they are working and not allowing them to leave until they have finished

I have a confession to make: I’ve never had a healthy relationship with deadlines. I never managed to kick the bad habits I picked up as a student, which have left me with perpetually dark circles under my eyes from frenetic, caffeine-induced all-nighters, so you can imagine how intrigued I was by the so-called anti-procrastination café.
[timeout.com, 30 May 2022]

momtern noun [C]
UK /mɒmˈtɜːn/ US /mɑːmˈtɝːn/
a woman who does work experience in a company with the aim of returning to paid employment after a period of staying at home with her children

The internship can be fully remote, hybrid, or in person, leaving the preference up to the mother. The job pays $25 an hour and interns will work on real client briefs for the agency. Weekly hours will vary for each momtern and be based on whatever works best for their schedule.
[www.mullenlowegroup.com, 16 June 2022]

About new words

photograph of three very tall, thin skyscrapers against an evening sky

New words – 29 August 2022

photograph of three very tall, thin skyscrapers against an evening sky
owngarden / Moment / Getty

superskinny noun [C]
UK /ˌsuː.pə.ˈskɪn.i/ US /ˌsuː.pɚ.ˈskɪn.i/
a very thin skyscraper

‘Superskinnies’ are changing urban skylines and the Steinway Tower in New York is the slimmest (so far), with a height-to-width ratio of 24:1. The views are staggering, as they should be at $26 million an apartment.
[thetimes.co.uk, 9 July 2022]

sidescraper noun [C]
UK /ˈsaɪd.skreɪ.pəʳ/ US /ˈsaɪd.skreɪ.pɚ/
a very long, narrow building that looks like a skyscraper lying on its side

If completed, the Mirror Line sidescraper will run from the Gulf of Aqaba, bisecting a mountain range that extends along the coast. The mirrored building will continue east through a mountain resort and complex housing Saudi’s government, WSJ report cited the planning documents.
[hindustantimes.com, 26 July 2022]

barkitecture noun [U]
UK /ˈbɑː.kɪ.tek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˈbɑːr.kə.tek.tʃɚ/
the art and practice of designing a house or the inside of a house around the needs of one’s pets

The key to good ‘barkitecture’ is that you can’t tell it’s designed for pets, says Nathan Cuttle, founder of New York-based Studio Nato. ‘We find that animal-centric design tends to be best when it’s incorporated as part of the greater design of the home,’ he explains. ‘This means finding ways to incorporate it into the furniture and the fabric of the home as much as possible.’
[livingetc.com, 19 June 2022]

About new words

mussels growing on ropes

New words – 22 August 2022

mussels growing on ropes
Dreamer Company / iStock / Getty Images Plus

sea allotment noun [C]
UK /ˈsiː əˌlɒt.mənt/ US /ˈsiː əˌlɑːt.mənt/
a small area of the sea that someone rents for growing shellfish, edible seaweed etc.

As with land-based allotments, members of a sea allotment society share an area granted to them by local authorities and use it to cultivate food. The difference is that instead of a field, growers share a patch of the ocean. In the case of Kerteminde Maritime Haver, it is the Great Belt – the strait between Funen island and Denmark’s capital island, Zealand. Here, ropes strung between buoys are hung with mussels and sea kelp.
[theguardian.com, 25 June 2022]

robo-fish noun [C]
UK /ˈrəʊ.bəʊˌfɪʃ/ US /ˈroʊ.boʊˌfɪʃ/
a very small robot that looks like a fish, designed to remove very small pieces of plastic from the seas and oceans

Engineers at the Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University have devised a tiny robo-fish that can flap around a body of water, grabbing microplastics as it goes. The 13mm robot uses a light laser system in its tail to propel itself at approximately 30mm a second. If the robot experiences damage during a swim, it can repair itself and continue the job without outside intervention.
[extremetech.com, 23 June 2022]

crab-bot noun [C]
UK /ˈkræbˌbɒt/ US /ˈkræbˌbɑːt/
a very small robot that looks like a crab, designed to enter the human body

The inventors of a flea-sized robot crab have suggested that future versions could travel through the arteries of patients with heart disease to clear blockages. Measuring about half a millimetre across, the “crab-bot” is said to be the smallest remote-controlled walking robot. It can scurry sideways, turn and jump.
[thetimes.co.uk, 26 May 2022]

About new words

a collection of labelled envelopes containing cash

New words – 15 August 2022

a collection of labelled envelopes containing cash
RonBailey / iStock / Getty Images Plus

cash stuffing noun [C]
/ˈkæʃ ˌstʌf.ɪŋ/
the practice of saving cash in a different envelope for each type of bill or purchase

Inspired by Tik Tok influencers, one money trend that seems new, but is actually a throwback to simpler times, is “cash stuffing.” It’s pretty much what it sounds like: dividing up your income into physical envelopes marked for different expense categories and stuffing them with money. “Cash stuffing is a financial strategy that involves saving cash instead of investing it in order to best inflation,” says Harry Turner from an investing and trading education website.
[gobankingrates.com, 16 May 2022]

hypermiling noun [U]
UK /ˈhaɪ.pəˌmaɪ.lɪŋ/ US /ˈhaɪ.pɚˌmaɪ.lɪŋ/
a way of driving that uses various techniques to minimise the amount of fuel used

Some motoring experts have highlighted hypermiling as being one of the key resources in helping to combat the sharp rise in fuel costs. In some instances, using simple hypermiling techniques can help cut petrol and diesel usage by up to 40 percent.
[dailypost.co.uk, 8 June 2022]

frugaller noun [C]
UK /ˈfruː.gəl.əʳ/ US /ˈfruː.gəl.ɚ/
someone who tries very hard to avoid wasting food or other resources and spends as little money as possible

She stores carrots in water so they don’t go bendy, and she puts kitchen roll in the salad bag to stop leaves drooping. She also plans meals, so never buys something she already has. Some extreme frugallers take this one step further by keeping inventory lists. This means they can be confident they have supplies to fall back on if an unexpected bill comes in.
[theguardian.com, 4 June 2022]

About new words

a large pile of broken household goods

New words – 8 August 2022

a large pile of broken household goods
hroe / iStock / Getty Images Plus

urban mining noun [U]
UK /ˌɜː.bən ˈmaɪ.nɪŋ/ US /ˌɝː.bən ˈmaɪ.nɪŋ/
removing and recycling metal parts from objects such as batteries and electronic devices that have been thrown away

As well as requiring good collection and recycling systems, urban mining relies upon people handing over products they no longer use. British charity WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) recently estimated that as many as 125 million mobile phones are being hoarded in people’s drawers and cupboards in the UK alone.
[opendemocracy.net, 15 March 2022]

solar skin noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.lə ˈskɪn/ US /ˌsoʊ.lɚ ˈskɪn/
a number of very thin solar panels that completely cover the outside of a building

In West Melbourne, Australia, an eight-story building will be the country’s first office tower with a “solar skin,” marking a watershed moment for the construction industry. The $40-million office tower will be outfitted with 1,182 solar panels the thickness of a regular glass facade. And when complete, the array will provide enough power to meet practically all of the building’s energy needs, with almost no ongoing power costs.
[interestingengineering.com, 6 June 2022]

peecycling noun [U]
/ˌpiːˈsaɪ.klɪŋ/
using human urine as a fertilizer for plants

Peecycling—aka recycling human urine—gives “liquid gold” an entirely new meaning. But while the concept is making waves today, it’s nothing new. Urine has been used as fertilizer since 1867. Before making its way to the United States, it was considered a sustainable farming practice around the world in Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
[brightly.eco, 21 June 2022]

About new words

a man holding a bag of groceries looks worried as he reads the receipt

New words – 1 August 2022

a man holding a bag of groceries looks worried as he reads the receipt
Elena Perova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

ripflation noun [U]
/rɪpˈfleɪ.ʃᵊn/
the situation when companies use inflation as an excuse to increase their prices more than necessary in a way that rips off (= cheats) their customers

Ripflation, my coined term meaning ripoff inflation, is when the economic and supply chain conditions have significantly improved but various players in the supply chain keep prices elevated beyond necessity … In other words, ripflation uses inflation as its convenient cover story. Why are corporate profits objectively soaring in 2022 yet consumers are being hit so hard? Could it be ripflation? Could it be their stinginess and unwillingness to give back to a public that has been traumatized for 3 years?
[medium.datadriveninvestor.com, 31 March 2022]

skimpflation noun [U]
/skɪmpˈfleɪ.ʃᵊn/
the situation when the price of a product or service stays the same but the quality becomes worse

“Skimpflation is when consumers are getting less for their money,” says Alan Cole … formerly a senior economist at the joint economic committee of the US Congress. “Unlike typical inflation, where they’re paying more for the same goods, skimpflation is when they’re paying the same for something that worsened in quality.”
[theguardian.com, 28 June 2022]

greedflation noun [U]
/griːdˈfleɪ.ʃᵊn/
the situation when companies use inflation as an excuse to increase their prices more than necessary in order to make as much money as they can

This isn’t inflation. It’s greedflation. This sudden, heart-stopping rise in prices is in large part an effect of corporations jacking up prices. Why? Because they can. They used the pandemic as an excuse to raise prices disproportionately.
[eand.co, 22 April 2022]

About new words

a man with grey hair and glasses standing in a bakery

New words – 25 July 2022

a man with grey hair and glasses standing in a bakery
Mark Edward Atkinson / Tracey Lee / Tetra images / Getty

unretirement noun [U, C]
UK /ʌn.rɪˈtaɪə.mənt/ US /ʌn.rɪˈtaɪr.mənt/
the act of going back to work after you have retired

Amid a hot labor market and high inflation, retired workers are returning to work at a rising rate. ‘Unretirements’ are on the rise as workers who previously said they were retired are now taking jobs again. As of March 2022, 3.2% of workers who were retired a year earlier are now employed.
[hiringlab.org, 14 April 2022]

youth transplant noun [C]
UK /ˈjuːθ ˌtræns.plɑːnt / US /ˈjuːθ ˌtræns.plænt/
a way of making people age more slowly by injecting them with chemicals that are the same as those found in the bodies of young people

Science is beginning to discover that “youth transplants” really can slow down the ageing process. The fountain of youth, it seems, is youth itself. Although nobody is suggesting we siphon the bodily fluids of youngsters into our elderly, it opens the door to artificially replicating the cocktail of chemicals found in young people. Young people have more powerful cells which operate more efficiently and could restore vitality to ageing systems.
[telegraph.co.uk, 14 May 2022]

baby bust noun [C]
/ˈbeɪ.bi ˌbʌst/
a large decrease in the number of babies born among a particular group of people during a particular time

A drop in births for just a year would not be a major problem on its own, but this likely baby bust will come after many years of falling birthrates. U.S. annual births fell to 3.75 million in 2019 from 4.3 million in 2007. Together with the Covid baby bust, these trends suggest that our country could see a multiyear reduction in births that approaches — in reverse — the swell in births that led to the baby boom generation born after World War II.
[nytimes.com, 4 March 2021]

About new words

a young woman looking frustrated as she reads a message on her mobile phone

New words – 18 July 2022

nicoletaionescu / iStock / Getty Images Plus

fexting noun [U]
/ˈfekst.ɪŋ/
the act of fighting with someone by exchanging text messages rather than speaking on the phone or in person

If you’re the first lady, then having an argument with the US president via text message (or “fexting”, as Jill Biden called it) might keep marital disputes private from the Secret Service, but relationship experts have warned it could make things worse.
[theguardian.com, 3 June 2022]

algospeak noun [U]
UK /ˈæl.gəʊ.spiːk/ US /ˈæl.goʊ.spiːk/
words used on social media posts as a way of avoiding using other words that algorithms will identify as unsuitable or inappropriate

“Algospeak” is becoming increasingly common across the Internet as people seek to bypass content moderation filters on social media platforms … Algospeak refers to code words or turns of phrase users have adopted in an effort to create a brand-safe lexicon that will avoid getting their posts removed or down-ranked by content moderation systems. For instance, in many online videos, it’s common to say “unalive” rather than “dead.”
[washingtonpost.com, 8 April 2022]

crypto mugging noun [C]
UK /ˈkrɪp.təʊ ˌmʌg.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkrɪp.toʊ ˌmʌg.ɪŋ/
the illegal activity of attacking someone in order to steal their mobile phone and use it to take control of their cryptocurrency

Police have warned digital asset investors of a wave of “crypto muggings” in London, following a series of crime reports. While cybercrime usually takes place online, London police have revealed that criminals are stealing mobile phones on the street specifically to steal cryptoassets such as Bitcoin.
[uktech.news, 9 May 2022]

About new words

a tropical beach at sunset

New words – 11 July 2022

a tropical beach at sunset
Levente Bodo / Moment / Getty

gratification travel noun [U]
UK /ˌgræt.ɪ.fɪˈkeɪ.ʃᵊn ˌtræv.ᵊl/ US /ˌgræt̬.ə.fəˈkeɪ.ʃən ˌtræv.ᵊl/
going on long, expensive holidays, usually to faraway destinations

Identifying the latest trend is Original Travel, which is predicting that ‘gratification travel’ will be the next big thing. The tour operator, which specialises in tailormade tours, reports that it is booking longer, more expensive and more decadent holidays than pre-pandemic, with nearly a quarter (23%) of current bookings being for trips of 15+ days.
[forbes.com, 23 April 2022]

edu-vacation noun [C]
UK /ˌedʒ.ʊ.vəˈkeɪ.ʃən/ US /ˌedʒ.ə.veɪˈkeɪ.ʃən/
a holiday that includes some educational activities, such as classes, cultural tours etc.

Everyone could benefit from an edu-vacation! Although many edu-vacations are geared toward children—in an attempt to create learning opportunities in new environments, as well as to provide parents with a child-free break—educational retreats exist for adults, too.
[veranda.com, 30 March 2022]

hometel noun [C]
UK /həʊmˈtel/ US /hoʊmˈtel/
a hotel that is designed to make guests feel as though they are living in a comfortable home

The hometel concept combines the freedoms you’d have at home with an Airbnb meets hotel experience, with all the services you’d anticipate when staying away … Lamington Group’s UK-based hometels offer a unique proposition that accommodates a variety of needs while providing its guests with the feeling of living there as opposed to staying for a night.
[theceomagazine.com, 16 December 2021]

About new words