New words – 12 February 2018


shoefie noun [C]
a photo of one’s shoes, posted on a social media site

A shoefie—a selfie of your footwear—is the bread and butter of the fashion girl’s Instagram arsenal. After all, in the age of social media, does it even matter that you bought a killer pair of heels if nobody sees it on your grid?
[, 11 August 2017]

plandid noun [C]
a photograph posted on a social media site that is designed to look as though the subject was unaware it was being taken

It’s unclear precisely who coined the term but a quick Instagram search will show you more than 500 plandids of people trying to nail that nonchalant look. You’ll see a stream of people looking oh-so-casually at the ground, or gazing into the horizon. Others will be mid-prance with a hand cocked to a jaunty angle. “Oh, I didn’t even realise you were taking a photo,” is the aesthetic.
[, 1 August 2017]

bothie noun [C]
UK /ˈbəʊθ.i/ US /ˈboʊθ.i/
a split-screen image of two photos or videos taken using the front- and back-facing cameras of a phone at the same time

Allow me to introduce you to “the bothie.” It’s not a selfie, nor a normal photo … but a hybrid of the two. It’s a composite shot from both cameras on your phone, showing both you and whatever else is out there. It’s a bothie. Crazy idea? Maybe. And yet, if history is any indication, you’ll scoff at the bothie now and then while you’re not looking they will take over the world.
[, 16 August 2017]

About new words

New words – 5 February 2018

Krishnadev Chattopadhyay/iStock/Getty Images Plus

living bridge noun [C]
a bridge made of plant roots, usually those of the rubber tree

The Indian state of Meghalaya experiences some of the highest levels of rainfall on Earth. Floods could cut off villages during the monsoon season, but the indigenous Khasi people use the roots of the rubber tree (Ficus elastica) to create so-called “living bridges” to allow crossings throughout the year.
[, 24 March 2017]

forest city noun [C]
UK /ˈfɒr.ɪstˈsɪt.i/ US /ˈfɔːr.ɪstˈsɪt̬.i/
a city with a very large number of plants and trees that absorb substances causing pollution and create a healthy atmosphere

Plans for a green ‘forest city’ that will help to fight pollution are about to become a reality as construction begins on an innovative new project in southern China. The Liuzhou Forest City … is the first ever city of its kind as it will produce 900 tonnes of oxygen and help absorb almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 57 tonnes of pollutants every year.
[, 30 June 2017]

Wood Wide Web noun [U]
the underground network of roots and fungi that links trees and other plants to each other

The term Wood Wide Web has come to describe the complex mass of interactions between trees and their microbial counterparts underneath the soil. Spend enough time among trees and you may get a sense that they have been around for centuries, standing tall and sturdy, self-sufficient and independent. But anchoring trees and forestry everywhere, and therefore enjoining them into an almost singular superorganism, is a very intimate relationship between their roots and microbes called mycorrhizal fungi.
[The New Statesman, 28 August 2016]

About new words


New words – 29 January 2018

jedsadabodin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

peticure noun [C]
UK /ˈpet.ɪ.kjʊəʳ/ US /ˈpet.ɪ.kjʊr/
a pedicure (a beauty treatment for the feet and toenails) given to pets such as dogs

Ria Winstanley runs the Pet Spa in Chelsea, west London. She doesn’t see the peticure business booming in the UK just yet. She says her salon used to occasionally paint dogs’ nails back when they had an outlet in Harrods, “but we certainly don’t do cats – if you had ever had to groom a cat, I don’t think you’d be asking me that question. When grooming cats, you do what you can, then get out.”
[The Guardian, 13 September 2017]

Continue reading “New words – 29 January 2018”

New words – 22 January 2018

Noel Hendrickson/DigitalVision/Getty

flightseeing noun [U]
the activity of seeing interesting places from an aircraft

Forget sightseeing. Who wants tedious queues to tick off must-see sights when you can rise above it all and go flightseeing instead? Yep, flightseeing – essentially sightseeing by air – which makes it infinitely more appealing, particularly in Vancouver, a city made to be seen from above.
[The Times, 19 August 2017]

megamoon noun [C]
a honeymoon on which the married couple’s friends are also invited

When they sent the invite through it was pretty bananas. It said how much it would cost, where it would be and that they’d love us to come on their honeymoon with them. I didn’t have a megamoon, but now I’m thinking, why not? I loved bringing groups together before the big day, so I wish I’d extended that to afterwards.
[Grazia, 22 August 2017]

biometric border noun [C]
UK /ˌbaɪ.əʊˈmet.rɪk ˈbɔː.dəʳ/ US /ˌbaɪ.oʊˈmet.rɪk ˈbɔːr.dɚ/
the place in an airport where someone’s identity is checked using image recognition technology

It is a tedious indignity of modern air travel but the bleary-eyed wait at passport control could soon become a thing of the past. A British company has been commissioned by one of the world’s busiest airports to develop a “biometric border” that recognises faces automatically in anticipation of a future without queues. Passengers at Dubai airport would have their faces scanned using lasers as they walked through a tunnel. Those recognised and approved for entry could collect their baggage without the need to wait at passport control.
[The Times, 14 June 2017]

About new words

New words – 15 January 2018

DreamPictures/Blend Images/Getty

latte levy noun [C]
UK /ˈlæt.eɪˌlev.i/ US /ˈlɑː.t̬eɪˌlev.i/
a tax paid on disposable, non-recyclable coffee cups the aim of which is to encourage customers to bring their own cup and therefore reduce waste

MPs on the Environment Audit Committee have argued that a so-called latte levy should apply to disposable cups with the revenue used to pay for improved recycling facilities. 
[, 4 January 2018]

raw water noun [U, C]
UK /rɔːˈwɔː.təʳ/ US /rɑːˈwɑː.t̬ɚ/
water that is unfiltered and untreated, thought by some people to be a healthier alternative to tap water

Thinking of buying some “raw water”? Well, first of all, congratulations. Money is obviously not a major constraint for you if you can afford to spend $36.99 or more on a 2.5 gallon jug of water. … Secondly, as with all products, caveat emptor (or buyer beware). After all, raw water is a completely new thing (or actually a very old thing from [the] 1800s back when life expectancy was 40 years or below), and regulations have yet to catch up to this new fad.
[, 7 January 2018]

super coffee noun [U, C]
UK /ˈsuː.pəʳˌkɒf.i/ US /ˈsuː.pɚˌkɑː.fi/
coffee that has had ingredients such as seeds, oats and spices added in order to increase its health benefits

Turns out ordering a skinny latte is so 2015. Instead in 2018, your go-to barista is going to be inundated with orders for ‘super coffee’ with saves up 218%. Think adding protein powders and superfoods like maca to your caffeine hit.
[, 15 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 8 January 2018


up lit noun [U]
/ˈʌp lɪt/
a literary genre comprising books that make the reader feel optimistic

A bruising year dominated by political and economic uncertainty … has, publishers say, kickstarted a new trend they have have branded “up lit”. In contrast with the “grip lit” thrillers that were the market leaders until recently, more and more bookbuyers are seeking out novels and nonfiction that is optimistic rather than feelgood. 
[The Guardian, 2 August 2017]

book doula noun [C]
/ˈbʊk duː.lə/
a person whose job is to help a would-be author get their book published and to offer advice and support throughout the process

Distinguishing themselves from agents and editors, book doulas offer a sort of coaching service, a kind eye to reassure nervous authors who are having trouble getting their book published. Ariane Conrad, who calls herself an “editorial coach and consultant, AKA book doula”, refers to her services as “bookbirthing”.
[The Guardian, 6 September 2017]

BookTuber noun [C]
UK /ˈbʊk.tʃuː.bəʳ/ US /ˈbʊk.tuː.bɚ/
someone who posts videos of book reviews on the social media site YouTube

Print reviewing and vlogging are two very different things. BookTubers make excellent reading guides and they’re happy to chat about the sort of stuff usually ignored by print critics such as the look (and even feel) of books. There’s a great deal of bookish fun to be had out there on YouTube.
[The Times, 11 August 2017]

About new words

New words – 1 January 2018


flashpacking noun [U]
a type of backpacking (travelling or camping while carrying everything you need in a backpack) that is more comfortable and luxurious than traditional backpacking

However, this notion that spending more and travelling with state-of-the-art technological paraphernalia makes a traveller somehow ‘elite’ or ‘flashier’ might not really be relevant any longer … the concept of a clear divide between ‘flashpacking’ and regular backpacking doesn’t really apply any more. It would seem that nowadays, with the world so hyperconnected and once-revolutionary technology now easily accessible, almost all global wanderers are ‘flashpackers’.
[, 11 May 2017]

bleisure noun [U]
UK /ˈbleʒ.əʳ/ US /ˈbliː.ʒɚ/
the activity of combining business travel with leisure time

While bleisure travel isn’t growing in a huge way, this study shows nearly half of millennial business travelers add leisure to business trips. Those young travelers could cut back as they get older — or employers might need to better adjust to a rise in bleisure down the road.
[, 9 June 2017]

honeyteer noun [C]
UK /hʌn.iˈtɪəʳ/ US /hʌn.iˈtɪr/
a honeymoon spent doing voluntary work, usually abroad

Choosing a honeyteer means you and your new spouse could work together to build houses in Belize for orphaned children, teach English to the fisherman of Zanzibar … or head to the Brazilian Amazon to research and monitor pink river dolphins in the Mamirau? So if you are ready to roll up your sleeves after you take off your wedding gown, a honeyteer could be the perfect fit for you and your honey.
[, 14 April 2017]

About new words

New words – 25 December 2017

Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Caiaimage/Getty

slow gifting noun [U]
UK /sləʊ ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/ US /sloʊ ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/
the activity of shopping carefully and thoughtfully for gifts, and buying high-quality, often hand-made items from small shops or individual sellers

[S]low gifting has been hailed as one of this year’s top Christmas trends. Personal shoppers are reporting a surge in popularity of gifts from small independent brands. They claim their clients are increasingly looking for products that tell a story, and they are willing to spend big.
[The Times, 19 November 2017]

Christmas creep noun [U]
the act of advertising and selling Christmas-related goods before the traditional start of the Christmas season

The phenomenon of Christmas creep is nothing new, of course. It’s been a cultural touchpoint at least since Charlie Brown walked into a department store during a 1974 Easter special to find that the aisles were already decked with wreaths. But the migration to online shopping has upped the stakes in recent years and made the final months of the year on which retailers rely most all the more crucial.
[, 1 November 2017]

reverse advent calendar noun [C]
UK /rɪˈvɜːs ˈæd.vent ˌkæl.ən.dᵊr/ US /rɪˈvɝːs ˈæd.vent ˌkæl.ən.dɚ/
an activity that involves putting aside one food item per day during December and then taking all the items to a food bank on Christmas Eve to help people in need

Increasingly, ideas such as the reverse advent calendar are gaining in popularity. It’s a simple concept that encourages the public to give, not receive as they count down to Christmas. People collect one food bank item each day and, on Christmas Eve, the whole calendar is donated … Reverse advent calendars are a great idea, and yet another example of how local communities are taking action to stop their neighbours going hungry.
[The Guardian, 1 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 18 December 2017

Guido Mieth/DigitalVision/Getty

kittenfishing noun [U]
UK /ˈkɪt.ᵊn.fɪʃ.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkɪt̬.ᵊn.fɪʃ.ɪŋ/
the activity of exaggerating your positive qualities in an online profile

Essentially a light version of ‘catfishing’ – when you pretend to be a totally different person online – kittenfishing can be as simple as using profile photos that are out-of-date or heavily edited … An act that we’ve probably all experienced or even been guilty of at some point, kittenfishing comes as the world of dating becomes more and more competitive.
[, 2 July 2017]

finsta noun [C]
a second account on the social media site Instagram, to which a limited number of people have access

The latest development in the world of social media is the concept of a “finsta,” a slang term meaning “fake insta.” Essentially, a finsta is a private social media account a person uses in addition to their public profile to post potentially contentious content.
[, 15 May 2017]

click farm noun [C]
UK /ˈklɪk fɑːm/ US /ˈklɪk fɑːrm/
a place where a team of workers is hired to increase a person or company’s social media profile by clicking on content

Footage has emerged of a giant “click farm” that uses more than 10,000 mobile phones to give product ratings and pages on social media websites phoney “likes”. Companies reportedly pay thousands to get their apps more likes by using services like this massive plant offers.
[Daily Mirror, 15 May 2017]

About new words

New words – 11 December 2017


omurice noun [C]
UK /ˈɒm.jə.raɪs/ US /ˈɑː.mjə.raɪs/
a Japanese dish consisting of an omelette filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup

A 23-year-old Japanese omurice seller who goes by Kuya Omurice on his Facebook page is a college student who sells the yummy ketchup-drizzled omelets with rice by announcing where he’s going to be for the day and carrying his goods with him in an ice bucket.
[, 28 July 2017]

birch water noun [C and U]
UK /bɜːtʃ ˈwɔː.tᵊr/ US /bɝːtʃ ˈwɑː.t̬ɚ/
a drink made from the sap of the birch tree, said to have health-giving properties

What, you haven’t heard of birch water? Because coconut water, aloe water, maple water and cactus water are so passe, there were several companies at Fancy Foods hawking water made from the sap of birch trees. Companies like Absolutely Wild claim that the water is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes, has “detoxifying and restorative properties” and “strengthens your body’s immunity.” 
[The Washington Post, 30 June 2017]

vegducken noun [C]
UK /vedʒ ˈdʌk.ən/ US /vedʒ ˈdʌk.ən/
a cooked dish consisting of three different types of vegetables placed inside each other

There’s no shame in not eating turkey at Thanksgiving, or ham at Christmas—that is, when you have Butternut Squash Vegducken. This vegetable stunner of an entrée is an entirely meatless take on turducken, with butternut squash, eggplant, and zucchini filling in for the usual suspects.
[, October 2015]

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