New words – 20 April 2020

Philip Lee Harvey / Cultura / Getty Images

fem den noun [C]
/ˈfem.den/
a room in a house, or a small building near a house, where a woman can go to get away from the other people in the house and do the things she wants to do

Additionally, this property includes double centralized kitchens both complete with gas cooktops, range hoods and island bench, adjoining to the rear of the property that leads out to your own courtyard with storage shed that could be transformed into a fem den or man cave, as well as a right of way car space.
[raywhitebrunswick.com.au, 16 March 2019]

granny pod noun [C]
UK /ˈgræn.i.ˌpɒd/ US /ˈgræn.i ˌpɑːd/
a very small house, built in the garden of a relative’s house, where an old person lives

Think of granny pods as guest houses with lots of high-tech medical extras. MEDCottages are pre-fabricated and designed to be installed in the backyard behind the main home (zoning laws permitting, of course).
[www.countryliving.com, 13 December 2018]

collab house noun [C]
/ˌkəˈlæb.haʊs/
a large house in which people who work in social media live and work together

So-called collab houses, also known as content houses, are an established tradition in the influencer world. Over the last five years they have formed a network of hubs across Los Angeles. In 2014 members of an early collab channel called Our Second Life lived and worked together in what they called the 02L Mansion. The next year, nearly all the top talent on Vine moved into a large apartment complex at 1600 Vine Street.
[New York Times, 3 January 2020]

About new words

New words – 13 April 2020


seksan Mongkhonkhamsao / moment / Getty

fearware noun [U]
UK /ˈfɪə.weəʳ/ US /ˈfɪr.wer/
a type of cyber attack that exploits an existing sense of fear among people and encourages them to click on a link that will harm their computer

Cyber criminals are exploiting fears surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to spread dangerous malware and hack government computer systems. Security experts have labelled the new trend “fearware”, warning that victims may be more susceptible to be tricked or scammed during times of global uncertainty.
[independent.co.uk, 14 March 2020]

xenobot noun [C]
UK /ˈzen.ə.bɒt/ US /ˈzen.ə.bɑːt/
a type of very small robot that can move independently, created from living cells

This week scientists announced that they had created the first living robots by building machines using stem cells taken from African frogs. So far they cannot do anything useful, such as delivering Amazon packages, but they do glory in a new name: “xenobots”.
[theguardian.com, 16 January 2020]

bracelet of silence noun [C]
/ˌbreɪ.slət.əv.ˈsaɪ.ləns/
a device worn around the wrist that prevents smart devices from listening to the conversations of the person wearing it

How worried are you about technology listening to your conversations? Have you ever had an experience that made you think your phone, computer or smart home device was eavesdropping on you? This “bracelet of silence,” developed by two computer science professors and an assistant professor, emits ultrasonic signals when activated, preventing nearby microphones from listening to the wearer’s conversations.
[nytimes.com, 5 March 2020]

About new words

New words – 6 April 2020

Alan Hopps / Moment / Getty

mob grazing noun [U]
UK /ˌmɒb.ˈɡreɪ.zɪŋ/ US /ˌmɑːb.ˈɡreɪ.zɪŋ/
a type of farming that involves moving a large number of animals into a small area of land for a very short time before moving them to a new area and leaving the grass to recover

Chapman, who manages 300 cattle at East Hall Farm in Hertfordshire, says mob grazing has led to hugely improved soil, healthier cattle and lower costs due to an extended grazing period, reduced inputs and lower vet bills. “It’s been a transformation,” he says.
[soilassociation.org, 12 June 2018]

sandscaping noun [U]
/ˈsænd.skeɪpɪŋ/
the activity of adding a large amount of sand to an existing beach to try to prevent or reduce the erosion of the coastline

Sand added to a stretch of north Norfolk beach in a recent £19m sandscaping project has been washed away in just one month. Pictures show a blunt drop in the sand levels at Walcott and Bacton, where the UK’s first sandscaping project took place.
[Eastern Daily Press, 1 October 2019]

regenerative agriculture noun [U]
UK /rɪˈdʒen.ə.rə.tɪv.ˈæg.rɪ.kʌl.tʃəʳ/ US /rɪˈdʒen.ə.rə.t̬ɪv.ˈæg.rə.kʌl.tʃɚ/
a method of farming that focuses on improving and maintaining the health of the soil

Regenerative agriculture practices increase soil biodiversity and organic matter, leading to more resilient soils that can better withstand climate change impacts like flooding and drought … Importantly, regenerative agriculture practices also help us fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.
[climaterealityproject.org, 2 July 2019]

About new words

New words – 30 March 2020

SEAN GLADWELL / Moment / Getty

blue space noun [U]
/ˌbluː.ˈspeɪs/
any body of water or the area around it

The benefits of “blue space” – the sea and coastline, but also rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even fountains – are less well publicised, yet the science has been consistent for at least a decade: being by water is good for body and mind.
[theguardian.com, 3 November 2019]

blue mind noun [U]
/ˌbluː.ˈmaɪnd/
a calm state of mind caused by being close to water, for example when looking at the ocean or swimming

According to scientific studies, water has a calming effect on our brains. Author and Marine Biologist Wallace Nichols spoke to our Robert Santos about “blue mind” and the science of how being in close proximity to water – be it the ocean, a lake, or a river – can lower stress and improve our health.
[news.mongabay.com, 13 February 2020]

blue acceleration noun [U]
/ˌbluː.əkˌsel.əˈreɪ.ʃən/
the increase in humans’ use of resources found in the world’s seas and oceans

A new study highlights a sharp uptick in marine activity and defines the “blue acceleration” as the unprecedented rush for food, material and space taking place in the ocean.
[news.mongabay.com, 13 February 2020]

About new words

New words – 23 March 2020

Betsie Van der Meer/Stone/Getty Images

smishing noun [U]
/ˈsmɪʃ.ɪŋ/
an attempt to trick someone into giving personal information by text message that would allow someone else to take money from them, for example by taking money out of their bank account

People across the U.S. are receiving text messages that claim to be from FedEx and ask you to set “delivery preferences.” It’s a new example of a growing scam called “smishing”, in which fraudsters send unsolicited messages from well-known companies or reputable sources to try to obtain phone access and personal information from their targets. The scheme is similar to phishing, long a source of scam email, only it’s powered by the short message service, or SMS, technology used in texting.
[cbsnews.com, 24 January 2020]

burglary tourism noun [U]
UK /ˌbɜː.glᵊr.i.ˈtʊə.rɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌbɝː.glɚ.i.ˈtʊr.ɪ.zᵊm/
the activity of going to another country to burgle someone’s home

Thieves ransacked his home while he and his wife were away in October last year. The gang stole more than £33,000 worth in belongings, including a gold Rolex watch. It’s believed he was the latest target of “burglary tourism” which involves foreign criminals flying to the capital to target luxury homes. The thieves are difficult to track because they are missing from police databases and usually flee the country soon after the raid.
[itv.com/news, 15 January 2020]

climate criminal noun [C]
UK /ˌklaɪ.mət.ˈkrɪm.ɪ.nᵊl/ US /ˌklaɪ.mət.ˈkrɪm.ə.nᵊl/
a person or organization whose actions make the climate emergency worse

Toni Vernelli, the head of communications at the Veganuary campaign, which encourages people to go vegan for the month of January, claimed that coffee chains still charging extra for plant milks were “climate criminals”. She said: “Animal farming is responsible for more than half of all food-related greenhouse gases and cows are the prime cause”.
[The Times, 18 January 2020]

About new words

New words – 16 March 2020

Frank and Helena/Cultura/Getty Images

social gifting noun [U]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.ˈgɪft.ɪŋ/
doing a kind act for other people or to benefit the community instead of buying someone a gift

More and more engaged couples are shunning lavish wedding presents in favour of so-called ‘social gifting’. These couples, typically in their early 30s, have no use – or space – for expensive homeware. Instead, they ask their wedding guests to carry out small acts of kindness, such as picking up litter, volunteering at a local charity or helping an elderly neighbour with their groceries.
[www.dailymail.co.uk, 16 February 2019]

impact exercise noun [U]
UK /ˈɪm.pækt.ˌek.sə.saɪz/ US /ˈɪm.pækt.ˌek.sɚ.saɪz/
the activity of combining a sporting challenge such as running a marathon with working on a project that benefits the people who live in the same area

Imagine travelling to Nepal to build a pipe that brings clean running water to a whole village, then topping it off with a high-altitude marathon in the Shivapuri national park in the Himalayas … This is impact exercise: the fitness and travel trend that combines sport and adventure with hands-on charity and community goals.
[Sunday Times, 5 January 2020]

woke capitalism noun [U]
UK /ˌwəʊk.ˈkæp.ɪ.tᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/ US /ˌwoʊk.ˈkæp.ə.t̬ᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/
a strategy used by some major businesses in which they become involved in popular social and political issues in order to make more money

Instead of making business woke, we should not let our moral horizons be clouded by sentimental humanitarianism. We must critique woke capitalism clearly and forcibly, remembering that business exists to realize the particular economic ends that constitute its specific common good. 
[www.thepublicdiscourse.com, 16 February 2019]

About new words

New words – 9 March 2020

James Emmerson / robertharding / Getty Images Plus

bronze ceiling noun [C]
UK /ˌbrɒnz.ˈsiː.lɪŋ/ US /ˌbrɑːnz.ˈsiː.lɪŋ/
the fact that there are many fewer statues of women than of men

Three women who were pioneers for women’s rights are about to make history again. They’re becoming the first statues of women in New York’s iconic Central Park. The people behind the project say they’re breaking the “bronze ceiling” by creating the first ever statues of real women for the park.
[wibw.com, 26 November 2019]

Waspi noun [C, U]
UK /ˈwɒspiː/ US /ˈwɑːspiː/
abbreviation for Women Against State Pension Inequality: an organization of women born in the 1950s whose pensions were affected by a government decision to raise the retirement age for women from 60 to 65, or one of the women thus affected

Responding to the Waspi campaign, Labour has unveiled an election pledge to compensate those affected. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the payments were to settle a “historical debt of honour” to the women born in the 1950s.
[thesun.co.uk, 24 November 2019]

tradwife noun [C]
/ˈtræd.waɪf/
a woman who does not work outside the home and who believes that her needs are less important than those of her husband

The tradwives have been keenly giving interviews about how they are the true feminists in choosing not to work, to which anyone with a modicum of knowledge about feminism would say: “We gave women the choice – that’s the point! Bake banana bread until the sun comes up, if it makes you happy!” Whether they are still the true feminists in suggesting that “husbands must always come first if you want a happy marriage”, as Pettitt has tweeted, feels more debatable.
[theguardian.com, 27 January 2020]

About new words

New words – 2 March 2020

George Pachantouris / Moment / Getty

flower miles noun [plural]
UK /ˈflaʊə.ˌmaɪlz/ US /ˈflaʊ.ɚ.ˌmaɪlz/
the distance between the place where flowers are grown and the place where they are sold to customers

We’re proud to say that our family of independent florists and botanical artisans work with sustainable flower farms worldwide. So whether you’re gifting stems to a loved one across the pond, or sending a feel-good arrangement to yourself, you can order safe in the knowledge that you’re helping cut down on flower miles by championing sustainable practice.
[floom.com, 1 March 2019]

ecological grief noun [U]
UK /ˌiː.kəˈlɒdʒ.ɪ.kᵊl.griːf/ US /ˌiː.kəˈlɑːdʒ.ɪ.kᵊl.griːf/
a feeling of great sadness caused by the effects of the climate emergency

The sense of helplessness is very prevalent – the feeling that the scale of our environmental crisis is so large that as individuals we can’t intervene. And I think that’s actually one of the really powerful mobilising potentials of ecological grief – it’s driving action and anger; climate marches.
[theguardian.com, 12 January 2020]

cli-fi noun [U]
/ˈklaɪ.faɪ/
books, movies etc. about bad events that occur because of climate change, such as wildfires and droughts

“Climate change needs stories, and readers need them to be told,” he said. “There are figures, statistics, but these don’t really say anything. Cli-fi makes people more aware of the situation.”
[phys.org/news, 15 November 2019]

About new words

New words – 24 February 2020

Dwight Eschliman / Stone / Getty Images Plus

food desert noun [C]
UK /ˌfuːd ˈdez.ət/ US /ˌfuːd ˈdez.ɚt/
an area where there is little or no access to healthy food

A widely held theory maintains that those who live in food deserts are forced to shop at local convenience stores, where it’s hard to find healthy groceries. A proposed solution is to advocate for the opening of supermarkets in these neighborhoods, which are thought to encourage better eating.
[www.nyu.edu, 10 December 2019]

food insecurity noun [U]
UK /ˈfuːd ˌɪn.sɪˈkjʊə.rə.ti/ US /ˈfuːd ˌɪn.səˈkjʊr.ə.t̬i/
the state of not being able to afford to buy enough food to stay healthy

The government is to introduce an official measure of how often low-income families across the UK skip meals or go hungry because they cannot afford to buy enough food, the Guardian can reveal. A national index of food insecurity is to be incorporated into an established UK-wide annual survey run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that monitors household incomes and living standards.
[www.theguardian.com, 27 February 2019]

social supermarket noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl ˈsuː.pəˌmɑː.kɪt/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl ˈsuː.pɚˌmɑːr.kɪt/
a place where food is sold at very low prices to people who do not have enough money to buy it in other shops

A ‘social supermarket’ has opened offering a week’s worth of shopping for just £3 to Britons who struggle to feed themselves and their families. The food, worth between £15 and £25, is donated and … it helps those struggling financially to put food on their tables, serving so many people that it has been forced to open an extra day.
[mirror.co.uk, 14 January 2019]

About new words

New words – 17 February 2020

OcusFocus / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

orthosomnia noun [U]
UK /ˌɔː.θəˈsɒm.ni.ə/ US /ˌɔːr.θoʊˈsɑːm.ni.ə/
the inability to sleep well, caused by thinking too much about getting enough sleep and by using apps and other technology to measure how much sleep you get

Orthosomnia is a new type of sleep problem that has arisen due to the overload of sleep information thanks to the influx of digital sleep trackers and apps in recent years … In other words, by becoming so dependent upon these devices on their quest to achieve perfect sleep, people with orthosomnia are actually struggling to sleep and may spend countless hours thinking exhaustively about how they cannot optimise their nightly rest.
[greenqueen.com, 9 January 2020]

art acne noun [U]
UK /ˈɑːt.æk.ni/ US /ˈɑːrt.æk.ni/
damage on the surface of paintings in the form of small bumps, caused by a chemical reaction

Some of the world’s finest oil paintings have been self-destructing, developing mysterious lumps and bumps known as “art acne”. Works by Georgia O’Keeffe and Rembrandt are among the hundreds of works blighted by the condition. For decades, art conservators have struggled to control the outbreaks, which look like grains of sand to the naked eye.
[dailymail.co.uk, 17 February 2019]

London throat noun [U]
UK /ˌlʌn.dən.ˈθrəʊt/ US /ˌlʌn.dən.ˈθroʊt/
a mild infection, similar to a cold, said to be common among people who live in London and caused by pollution

Scrapping speed bumps could help protect city dwellers against “London throat” because braking releases toxic dust which may trigger coughs and colds, scientists have said. Urbanites often suffer from intermittent bouts of runny noses and brain fog, which experts have long-suspected are caused by pollution. Dubbed “London Throat”, this ongoing low-level illness can lead to more serious infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
[telegraph.co.uk, 9 January 2020]

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