New words – 19 July 2021

Artur Debat / Moment / Getty

robotaxi noun [C]
UK /ˈrəʊ.bəʊ.tæ US /ˈroʊ.boʊ.tæ
a taxi that is driven without being controlled directly by humans

AutoX already has more than 100 robotaxis deployed in five Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Wuhan. Over the next year, it aims to double its reach to more than 10 local cities. Whether the company can pull humans from behind the wheel in other markets depends on local regulators, Xiao said.
[, 8 December 2020]

Vaxi Taxi noun [C]
a taxi that picks people up from their home and takes them to a clinic for their Covid-19 vaccination, with the person sometimes being vaccinated while they are sitting in the taxi

A new “Vaxi Taxi” scheme which sees black cabs transport people to pop-up coronavirus vaccine clinics in London has been launched. The pilot scheme, funded by the Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation, aims to help ferry supplies and patients to temporary clinics set up in faith and community centres across the capital … “We are aiming to have pop-up vaccination clinics across London eventually, with a fleet of Vaxi Taxis to help set them up in community centres and faith centres,” said Dr Raymond.
[, 21 February 2021]

eVTOL adjective, noun [C]
UK /i.ˈviː.tɒl/ US /i.ˈviː.tɑːl/
abbreviation for ‘electric vertical take-off and landing’: an electric aircraft that is able to take off and land vertically, going straight up and straight down from and to the ground

Some might call eVTOL aircraft “flying cars,” but they’re more accurately called electric helicopters. A regular helicopter is a VTOL (as in it takes off up-and-down vertically, rather than rolling down a runway like an airplane), and if you make it electric, then it’s an eVTOL. Basically, every modern consumer drone from DJI or Skydio is a miniature eVTOL. Those small drones are good at carrying small cargo like cameras or vaccines, but now eVTOLs are getting bigger. Much bigger.
[, 20 April 2021]

About new words

New words – 12 July 2021

Oscar Wong / Moment / Getty

voice shopping noun [U]
UK /ˈvɔɪs.ʃɒp.ɪŋ/ US /ˈvɔɪs.ʃɑː.pɪŋ/
the activity of buying things online by talking to a smart device such as a phone or voice-controlled speaker

The growth of voice shopping stemmed out of Amazon’s Echo and has revolutionized the tech world since. However, voice shopping comes with a challenge because it does not involve visuals in most cases. So, customers stick to more mainstream products like food items, low-cost electronics, and homeware which do not require much visual research.
[, 9 May 2021]

microdelivery noun [C]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.dɪˌlɪv.ᵊr.i/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.dɪˌlɪv.ɚ.i/
the act of delivering to someone’s house a single item, normally food or drink, very soon after they have ordered it online

For some, it would be mortifying to order a pint of milk or single avocado from a shop within walking distance. But a boom in ultra-fast microdeliveries, with customers promised goods on their doorstep in minutes, shows many customers feel otherwise.
[, 23 May 2021]

live shopping noun [U]
UK /ˌlaɪv.ˈʃɒp.ɪŋ/ US /ˌlaɪv.ˈʃɑː.pɪŋ/
the activity of buying something online from someone who is selling goods or products in real time on a social media platform

There’s good reason for tech companies to believe live shopping could be big in the US: it’s already massive in China. … Plus, with a pandemic shutting down retail storefronts, the transition to online shopping has only intensified. Live shopping could become a tenet of retail, especially when coupled with the reach and enthusiasm of influencers.
[, 22 October 2020]

About new words

New words – 5 July 2021

Thomas Barwick / Stone / Getty

sew bro noun [C]
UK /ˈsəʊ.brəʊ/ US /ˈsoʊ.broʊ/
a young, fashionable man who enjoys sewing and making his own clothes

Meanwhile, Google searches for “sewing machines” had increased four-fold in the US. But while the stereotypical sewer has often been an older woman, this has been turned on its head completely: young men, who are now officially known as “sew bros”, are taking hold.
[, 6 May 2021]

royalite noun [C]
a junior member of a royal family whose lifestyle is seen as more relaxed than that of the monarch and other senior royals

For every working royal, though, there’s a royal-slash-socialite, or “royalite”: a minor member of the family treading the fine line between private citizen and representative of Her Majesty. “They will be expected to uphold the values of the Crown and not let the side down,” says Victoria Arbiter, CNN’s royal commentator … Meanwhile, over in Europe, royalites are somewhat less constrained by the concept of duty — the greater the distance to the top job, the more room there is to play.
[, 9 May 2021]

geriatric millennial noun [C]
someone born between the years 1980 and 1985

The first time I heard “geriatric millennial” I thought it was an oxymoron. Sarcastic, even. But as I thought more deeply about it, I realized how perfectly it describes so many of us. Geriatric millennials are a special micro-generation born in the early 1980s that are comfortable with both analog and digital forms of communication. They were the first generation to grow up with technology like a PC in their homes.
[, 22 April 2021]

About new words

New words – 28 June 2021

Reggie Casagrande / The Image Bank / Getty

lockdown foot noun [U]
UK /ˌlɒk.daʊn.fʊt/ US /ˌlɑːk.daʊn.fʊt/
a condition resulting from someone having spent lockdown at home in bare feet or slippers, allowing their feet to change shape and making it difficult or painful to wear normal shoes again

Have you got “lockdown foot”? We’ve all re-shaped our feet going barefoot at home so here are 5 simple ways to get back into shoes without damaging yours. Thanks to being mostly housebound, we’ve all been living in slippers or barefoot – and according to one expert, it’s had a major effect on the state of our feet.
[, 18 May 2021]

bungalow leg noun [U]
UK /ˌbʌŋ.gəl.əʊ.leg/ US /ˌbʌŋ.gəl.oʊ.leg/
a condition where the leg muscles have become weak through living in a single-storey house and not having to climb stairs

To many people, moving to a bungalow makes good sense — if aching or immobile joints become a problem then a life without stairs is not only simpler, but also much safer. However, experts warn that making that move too early can actually hasten the decline associated with old age, leading to a phenomenon now being dubbed ‘bungalow leg’.
[, 3 May 2021]

headline stress disorder noun [U]
UK /ˌhed.laɪn.stres.dɪˈsɔː.dəʳ/ US /ˌhed.laɪn.stres.dɪˈsɔːr.dɚ/
a feeling of stress and anxiety caused by reading or watching a lot of negative or worrying news

COVID-19 pandemic headlines can be frightening, especially after watching for an extended period. Consider limiting your news and social media time to prevent “headline stress disorder”. Compartmentalize your media time to only a few minutes a day to minimize the anxiety, depression, and overwhelm that too much media can bring.
[, 12 April 2021]

About new words

New words – 21 June 2021

Tara Moore / Stone / Getty

reverse lie-in noun [C]
UK /rɪˌvɜːs.ˈlaɪ.ɪn/ US /rɪˌvɝːs.ˈlaɪ.ɪn /
a time when you go to bed much earlier than usual then get up early the next morning

I decided I had had enough of being permanently exhausted, and always wishing I could have a lie-in. I had to accept that, as a 40-year-old mother, my days of lie-ins are behind me. So … every day, I have a reverse lie-in. A reverse lie-in, for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, involves going to bed extremely early. And I mean extremely early. Toddler early. We’re talking 8pm here, at the latest.
[, 15 May 2021]

sleepcast noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp..kɑːst/ US /ˈsliːp.kæst /
a podcast containing sounds and voices that are designed to give you a good night’s sleep

And now available on your Headspace app are sleepcasts. Each one offers a tour of a dreamy landscape, with voice actors as guides, providing details in soft, comforting tones … Each sleepcast is set in the evening or at night, and many involve water – lagoons, rain, rivers, ponds, oceans. You can make adjustments within the app to dial up the background ambient noise, make the narration quieter or louder, or turn the narration off completely.
[, 14 May 2020]

sleep sticker noun [C]
UK /ˈsliːp.stɪk.əʳ/ US /ˈsliːp.stɪk.ɚ/
a small electronic device that sticks to your chin and records information about the quality of your sleep

Sleep apnoea and sleep disordered breathing affects 49 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women. Step forward the Sunrise sleep sticker, a one-use, certified medical-grade 3g sensor that sits on your chin (yes, really) while you sleep. A big step up from regular sleep trackers, it tracks data [and] compiles a report shared via an app the next day.
[, 6 January 2021]

About new words

New words – 14 June 2021

DronG / iStock / Getty Images Plus

proffee noun [C, U]
UK /ˈprɒf.i/ US /ˈprɑː.fi/
a drink made by mixing cold coffee with protein powder or with a ready-made drink that contains protein

And now, a new caffeine-fuelled trend as spotted by is here to save us from the 3pm slump. Enter ‘proffee’, a drink made with iced coffee or espresso and a protein shake. Loads of TikTokers have uploaded clips of their proffee recipes, most commonly by adding two or three shots of espresso over ice, before pouring over a pre-made protein shake.
[, 18 March 2021]

nolo adjective
UK /ˈnəʊləʊ/ US /ˈnoʊloʊ/
(of a drink) containing no alcohol or a very low amount of alcohol

The global nolo (that’s no- and low-alcohol, for those not in the know) trend has been gaining momentum in recent years, and in Japan, it’s estimated that alcohol consumption has halved over the last decade for people in their 20s and 30s. Forget the stereotypical drunken salarymen – with the exciting range of nolo bars and drinks, it’s a great time to cut out the hard stuff.
[, 26 April 2021]

tea bomb noun [C]
UK /ˈtiː.bɒm/ US /ˈtiː.bɑːm/
tea and other ingredients such as herbs and edible flowers contained within a clear, hard shell that melts when it is put into hot water

The tea bombs trend recently took the centre stage, but people have already come up with flavours and different ways to prepare the goodies-filled delicious beverage. While some prefer tea bombs filled with lavender or chamomile, others opt for simpler versions like green tea. Food bloggers have taken it up a notch with flowers and all sorts of fancy ingredients to make their tea look stunning.
[, 4 February 2021]

About new words

New words – 7 June 2021

Robert Niedring / Alloy / Getty

Everesting noun [U]
UK /ˈev.ᵊr.ɪst.ɪŋ/ US /ˈev.ə.rɪst.ɪŋ/
a sporting challenge where someone cycles (or sometimes runs) up and down the same hill until they have climbed the height of Mount Everest

“Everesting” is straightforward: Pick a hill, any hill, and go up and down it until you attain 29,029 feet of climbing. Friends can support you, but you must do it under your own power and in a single effort — no sleeping. The result is more than double the climbing of the hardest stages of the Tour de France. With most cycling events disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Everesting has become a hot activity for the ultra-endurance set.
[, 13 August 2020]

mental health gym noun [C]
UK /ˌmen.tᵊl.ˈhelθ.dʒɪm/ US /ˌmen.t̬ᵊlˈhelθ.dʒɪm/
a gym that offers activities designed to improve the mental health as well as the physical health of its members

The concept of mental health gyms will also do wonders against the stigma that mental illness makes you weak, as it’s a facility that promotes strength that will also be promoting mental health. Struggling with one’s mental health should be evidence of a person’s strength and resolve rather than the opposite.
[, 17 February 2021]

HILIT noun [U]
abbreviation for “high-intensity low-impact training”: physical training that consists of short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest in between but does not include any exercise that puts pressure on the body’s joints, such as jumping

“The low-impact nature of HILIT reduces the chance of injury, ensuring less stress on the joints and muscles. This method is perfect for beginners or those working through soreness or pain,” says Dr. Kianoush Missaghi … “As a plus, the exercises are quiet and won’t disturb the downstairs neighbours, further making it the perfect at-home workout.”
[, 6 February 2021]

About new words

New words – 31 May 2021

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15-minute city noun [C]
UK /ˌfɪfˈtiːn.ˌmɪn.ɪt.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌfɪfˈtiːn.ˌmɪn.ɪt.ˈsɪt̬.i/
a city that is designed so that everyone who lives there can reach everything they need within 15 minutes on foot or by bike

Moreno, who is also Paris City Hall’s special envoy for smart cities, is regarded as the key theorist behind the recent resurgence in a new model for urban planning that seems almost custom built for this localised future: the ‘15-minute city’ … The 15-minute city requires minimal travel among housing, offices, restaurants, parks, hospitals and cultural venues. Each neighbourhood should fulfil six social functions: living, working, supplying, caring, learning and enjoying.
[, 14 December 2020]

sponge city noun [C]
UK /ˌspʌndʒ.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌspʌndʒ.ˈsɪt̬.i/
a city that is prone to flooding and so has been rebuilt in a way that allows more rainwater to be absorbed back into the ground

The “sponge city” initiative, launched in 2015, is an attempt to … soak up heavy precipitation and release it slowly into the river and reservoirs. Using features such as rooftop gardens, scenic wetland parks, permeable pavements and underground storage tanks, the plan is to eventually absorb or reuse 70% of the rainwater that falls on four-fifths of China’s urban land.
[, 13 August 2020]

linear city noun [C]
UK /ˌlɪn.i.ə.ˈsɪt.i/ US /ˌlɪn.i.ɚ..ˈsɪt̬.i/
a very long, narrow city built in a straight line

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled plans for a 100-mile-long linear city called The Line. Announcing the project in a new video, the city would include a series of walkable communities for a million people with no cars or streets. The project locates essential facilities within a five-minute walk of housing, connected “modules” linking the Red Sea coast with north-west Saudi Arabia as part of the NEOM city-state.
[, 15 January 2021]

About new words

New words – 24 May 2021

Manjurul / iStock / Getty Images Plus

biofacturing noun [U]
UK /ˌbaɪ.əʊ.ˈfæk.tʃə.rɪŋ/ US /ˌbaɪ.oʊ.ˈfæk.tʃɚ.ɪŋ/
a way of producing goods in a factory that uses microbes (= very small living things that can only be seen with a microscope) to create the raw materials

The natural world is the best manufacturing system there is. It’s been “innovating” for billions of years, and it makes things greener, better, and cheaper than any conventional factory ever could. Biofacturing seeks to partner with nature to make better products in a better way. By combining machine learning, automation, and molecular biology to nature’s insights, biofacturing represents a way to bring breakthrough products to market more quickly and for less cost.
[, 22 January 2021]

decision intelligence noun [U]
UK /dɪˈsɪʒ.ᵊn.ɪnˈtel.ɪ.dʒᵊns/ US /dɪˈsɪʒ.ᵊn.ɪnˈtel.ə.dʒᵊns/
a type of artificial intelligence that analyses large amount of data to allow organizations to make business decisions more easily

“Decision intelligence connects AI and human decision-making to form more intelligent conclusions, which lead to more favorable outcomes,” says Jack Zmudzinski, a senior associate at Future Processing, a custom software development company. “So, rather than a decision made by a human or a decision made by a computer, it’s the best of both worlds.”
[, 23 April 2021]

NFT noun [C]
abbreviation for “non-fungible token”: an entry in a digital database that shows who owns a piece of content on the internet, such as a video, an artwork or a song

NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own. The digital tokens can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
[, 12 March 2021]

About new words

New words – 17 May 2021

ciricvelibor / E+ / Getty

hurry sickness noun [U]
UK /ˈhʌr.i.sɪk.nəs/ US /ˈhɝː.i.sɪk.nəs/
a way of behaving in which someone does everything in a rush because they always feel stressed and anxious about not having enough time to get everything done

“If you find yourself treating even small, everyday tasks like shopping, eating or driving as a race, and any delay causes feelings of anxiety, you might be dealing with hurry sickness,” said Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant … When you’re dealing with hurry sickness, there never seems to be enough hours in a day to accomplish what you need to do. And no matter how much you get done, you always feel like you’re playing catch-up.
[, 26 April 2021]

home separation anxiety noun [U]
UK /ˌhəʊm.sep.ᵊrˈeɪ.ʃᵊn.æŋˌzaɪ.ə.ti/ US /ˌhoʊm.sep.ərˈeɪ.ʃᵊn.æŋˌzaɪ.ə.t̬i/
a feeling of worry and fear about being away from home, especially as a reaction to having spent so much time at home during lockdown

A recent study discovered that 67 percent of employed adults feel anxious at the thought of parting with their homes once society resumes, while 43 percent said they felt more attached to their homes. A large proportion of people have already experienced home separation anxiety, but how do we know if we are affected? And what can we do to reduce the fear and ease ourselves back into the world?
[, 15 April 2021]

coronasomnia noun [U]
UK /kəˌrəʊ.nə.ˈsɒə/ US /kəˌroʊ.nə.ˈsɑːə/
the condition of being unable to sleep because of anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic

As if the novel coronavirus has not already wrought devastation aplenty on the world, physicians and researchers are seeing signs it is doing deep damage to people’s sleep. “Coronasomnia,” as some experts now call it, could prove to have profound public-health ramifications — creating a massive new population of chronic insomniacs grappling with declines in productivity, shorter fuses and increased risks of hypertension, depression and other health problems.
[, 3 September 2020]

About new words