Posts Tagged ‘new words’


July 5, 2017

Making a brief foray into Oxford English Dictionaries today ( I stumbled upon an interesting text there. As you will see, the method used by the compilers to present the list of new words is the same that I tried to demonstrate in my yesterday’s blog: a crammed story. Since the new words are not explained by the authors immediately, I decided to make things easier for the followers of my entries and labored through the definitions of the neologisms myself. The result may be seen below. I also included some comments that went after the text. However, I do not agree with the commenters. No matter how infrequent the new coinages may be (that’s what the commenters say!), the new vocabulary testifies to how powerful the English language may be by dynamically adapting itself to the new realities and reflecting the spirit of the younger generation. ENJOY!

2017-07-05new-wordsOxford Dictionaries publishes an update of new entries today (#squadgoals), so let’s celebrate with a chest bump. This is truly a Kodak moment, so maybe it’s time to take a video selfie, and you’d better not untag yourself! Though it might not be the stuff of fitspo, you can still make room for this on your image board. Get yourself comfortable, check above you for drop bears, and grab yourself a cup of pour-over – It’s better than drinking the haterade! We’re very excited to share with you the Oxford Dictionaries’ funtastic list of new words.


Usually in the plural:  squad goals

Used in reference to a person or thing seen as a model to aspire to or emulate, especially with one’s friends (often as a hashtag in social media). Your squad goals are entirely dependent on the members of your squad; so, while some people’s squad goals involve looking like celebrities, others might involve reading every Jane Austen book in the NY Public Library.

‘this photo is the best case of squad goals we’ve ever seen’

‘the video is serious squad goals’



A gesture of greeting or celebration in which two people jump and push their chests together.

‘a celebratory chest bump from the team’s coach’

(as a VERB):

[WITH OBJECT]informal 

Greet or celebrate with (someone) by jumping and pushing one’s chest against theirs.

‘he went to chest-bump a teammate’

no object ‘they chest-bumped and high-fived’



An occasion suitable for memorializing with a photograph.

‘the phone is a great way to avoid missing a Kodak moment’

‘even policemen stood on chairs to capture a Kodak moment’


1980s: from Kodak, the proprietary name of a photography company, + moment.





A video that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

‘he took a video selfie with the crowd’



“to remove a tag from any object/place (e.g. from pictures on facebook) that, otherwise, may hurt your reputation in some way”,

A: He took pictures of us and tagged me a few times. I hope people don’t think him and I are actually friends. B: Girl, you need to untag yourself, you don’t want any association with that.



mass noun

A person or thing that serves as motivation for someone to sustain or improve health and fitness.

‘the perfect fitspiration for anyone wanting to tone up’




short for fitspiration



An inspiration to stay thin.

A famous model was the girl’s thinspiration



A website or web page where users can post images relating to a particular issue or topic and reply to other users’ postings.

‘his photo somehow ended up on the anonymous image board’




A mythical marsupial resembling a koala, said to live in trees and attack people by dropping on to their heads from above.

‘someone told him that he needed to put Vegemite behind his ears to ward off the drop bears’




1usually as modifier A method of brewing coffee by manually pouring boiling water through a filter filled with ground coffee beans.

‘I would love to try their pour-over coffee’

‘I like the pour-over method’

1.1 Coffee made by manually pouring boiling water through a filter filled with ground coffee beans.

‘they sigh and sip their pour-over’

as count noun ‘if you order a pour-over, expect to pay a little more’


DRINK THE HATERADE (pronounced <heitreid> by analogy with TIRADE <taireid>)



Indulge in excessively negative, critical, or resentful behaviour.

‘if you drink the haterade you will find yourself poisoned with gossip’




Extremely enjoyable or entertaining.

‘she had herself a pretty funtastic weekend’


Late 19th century (in Fun-tastic fictions, the title of a section in the British satrical magazine Fun): blend of fun and fantastic


Some online comments:

  • English has died this day
  • Agreed 😦
  • You must be very young (to use the words)
  • Not all of these words are in common usage
  • Oxford Dictionaries are far too eager to include the latest patois
  • It could have been worse
  • Don’t drink the hetarade now!


July 3, 2017

Due to the development of various technologies, a very interesting lexical phenomenon, called retronymy, may be observed in all languages. Retronyms are words that have existed in a language for a long time, but are now extended by addition of other words, to distinguish them from newer concepts or objects of the same type. For example, with the appearance of digital clocks/watches, we begin to use the compound analog clock/watch, though before we said simply clock/ watch. The same concerns conventional war (as opposed to the recent hybrid war or cyber war). Incidentally, with the latest virus attack on Ukrainian computers I came across a word combination cyber arms race.

We also start specifying “old” words by saying manual transmission (to distinguish it from automatic transmission), p-book (e-book), snail mail (e-mail), wet signature (electronic signature), landline phone, or wired phone (mobile phone), dumb phone (smartphone), 2-D movie (3-D movie), face-to-face conference (Skype conference).

Interestingly, with ever multiplying variants of the English language, we use the combination “British English” more and more often. How about the “retronymisation” of the classical phrase: DO YOU SPEAK BRITISH ENGLISH? 🙂


July 2, 2017

“The more words you know, the farther you will go.” I have been keeping track of the new English vocabulary for quite a long time already. While looking through my “vocab cards” today, I think that if NOW I started speaking on everyday topics to my students, as they WERE twenty years ago, I would be in many ways misunderstood or not understood at all. There appeared an avalanche of new words of the type a selfie, to friend/unfriend, to unlike, to google, phishing, a hashtag, or “old” words in their new meaningsto tweet, a mirror (a website that maintains copies of the material created at another location), a cookie, a comment, a finger (an internet software tool for locating users of a website), spam, platform, share; or new word combinationsa flame war (heated personal attacks in comments), a search engine, to go viral, social networks; new word formationsnetiquette, newsgroup; (soft,-hard,- spy,-mal)ware new shortenings and abbreviationsIMHO, LOL, tl-dr (too long, didn’t read), srsly (seriously), BYOD (“bring your own device” – a permission to use one’s own computer or another device in the office), n00b (a beginner in the IT, a newbie), etc.

This time I noticed the word FOMO (also written as FoMo) – probably because I am a victim to the FOMO complex too, fishing in the Internet for the latest news early in the morning, surfing it all through the day, and listening myself into sleep to the BBC Radio 4 late in the evening. Yes, the “Fear of Missing out” is a kind of addiction. It’s a constant concern that you can miss something interesting and important while knowing that others will have a rewarding experience by being engaged in the event or reading about it. “FOMO is the only reason why he went to that crazy outdoor festival” is written on my card.

Yes, FOMO influences my Facebook behavior, as well as the web-behavior of many a million Internet users. But… although the concept has received its name only recently, we may have familiarized ourselves with it quite some time ago, when, as little toddlers, we were refusing to go to bed because there were guests in the house 🙂


January 30, 2016

There’s an avalanche of new coinages on the Internet today. My advice for learners of English is: know those nonce-words (most of them are just flashes-in-the-pan), but don’t idolize them. I’ve tried to demonstrate the absurdity of the jargonized English in an invented crammed story below.


It was nothing but a flightmare (1) – with a delay and a missed connection crowned with the baggravation (2) when Henry had to wait for his luggage for about an hour and a half. The airport was busy, though it was quite normal for a winterval (3). To make things worse, the baggage area was a nonspot (4). Henry was overwhelmed with web rage (4a) and had to wait until he could leave the area and go online. It was great, of course, to be a non-liner (5), as he had been when he was vacationeering at the end of the world, miles from nowhere. But, eventually, such isolation turns to be too much of a good thing, and Henry was looking forward to connecting with his e-quaintances (6) and all of the Manchester United fandom (7).

(1) Unpleasant air travel experience (2) A feeling of annoyance and frustration at the airport when your baggage has not arrived but the other passengers’ bags have (3) A festival that takes place in winter. (4)An area where there is slow Internet access or no connection at all. (4a) Anger or frustration as a result of difficulties or problems encountered when using the Internet. (5) Someone who rarely or never uses the Internet, usually because they cannot access it. (6) A person you know only through online networks. (7)The fans of a particular person, team, etc. regarded collectively as a community.

Earlier Henry was what they called a solopreneur (8), afterwards he got employed at a large company and started making a pretty penny. His friends even called him a HENRY (9)… However, that didn’t last long, and now he is funemployed (10) enjoying his permanent staycation (11), binge-watching (12) docusoaps (13), and guesstimating (14) his chances for employment. “I’m having Me-time (15)”, he said about himself. The other day his former colleague invited Henry to visit with him. The colleague spoke about his trip to Italy showing some selfies, and about the Italian cuisine (he is a locavore(16)), but those legsies (17) and foodmoirs  (18)were actually a kind of humblebragging (19) and in no way impactful (20) for Henry.  

(8) A person who is the owner of their business and runs it alone (9) high earner not rich yet .(10) Someone who enjoys not having a job because they have more time for leisure and fun activities. (11) A vacation in which you stay at home and relax or visit places close to where you live. (12) Watch multiple episodes of a TV programme in rapid succession. (13) a reality television programme in the style of a documentary. (14) A rough estimate without any claim of accuracy. (15) A period of time spent exclusively on yourself doing something that you enjoy and allows you to relax.(16) A person who only eats food produced locally.(17) A photograph taken by yourself of your suntanned legs to show that you are enjoying your holiday.(The sand and sea are usually visible in the picture.) (18) An account of someone’s life or personal experiences, with a strong emphasis on food, often including recipes and cookery advice.(19) To say something with apparent modesty but at the same time actually boast about an achievement. (20) Having a great impact or effect, or making a strong impression.

The baggage arrived at last. Henry took out the dumbphone (21) (his smartphone had been stolen: there were lots of applepickers (22) nowadays) and phoned his wife asking her to pick him up. He had no car at the moment: it had been frostjacked (23) shortly before Christmas (there were lots of carnappers (24) nowadays), so they were sharing Mary’s car now. It was a company car: Mary got a promotion at work, but her new position looked more like a glass cliff (25).

(21) An early model of a mobile phone with limited functionality. (22) Steal someone’s iPhone (23) Stealing a car on a cold day when the owner leaves the engine running to defrost the windows. (24) A person who steals a car. (25) Refers to a situation where women are selected for positions when there is a strong likelihood of failure.

When at home, Henry had his brinner (26) in the shabby-chic (27) kitchen and opened his netbook. Now he was going to netpick (28) some info. He didn’t suffer from infomania (29), he was just info-hungry. He belonged to the glorious netizens’ (30) fraternity and was just finishing a blook (31) , which required some binge-thinking (32). Maybe, some bookaholics (33) will buy the blook. The blook will be copylefted (34), and posted on a content farm (35), so it won’t infringe anybody’s copyright. He downloaded quite a number of apps. “Good thing that the software is laymanised (36)nowadays”, Henry thought. However, he had a big issue with passwords – a password fatigue (37), to be exact.

(26) A meal served in the evening consisting of food usually eaten at breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes, etc.). (27) Cottage-style decor achieved by using worn or “distressed” furniture and neutral-coloured fabrics, or new items suitably treated to appear old and look comfortable (28) to surf the internet looking for information in order to impress others with knowledge (29) Constantly checking and responding to email and text messages. (30) Blend of ‘internet’ and ‘citizen’. A person who spends an excessive amount of time on the internet. (31) A blend of ‘book’ and ‘blog’ :  a book written by a blogger. (32) Thinking excessively about a problem in a short period of time. (33) A compulsive book buyer or a prolific reader. (34) Opposite of copyright. Whereas copyright imposes restrictions on the distribution of a work or publication, copyleft eliminates restrictions and allows freedom of use for all. (35) A website that publishes large amounts of low-quality content, or content copied from elsewhere, in order to attract visitors and improve its search-engine rankings (36) To simplify technical information so that it can be understood by ordinary people or non-specialists. (37) Being tired of having to remember a large number of passwords for different electronic devises.

The book will be written in txtese, with elements of leet (1337). Henry is no n00b. he nos nglish! He luvs 2rite. Its ez nd 1drfl! cu asap. +u!

The book will be written in a language adapted for text messages, with elements of a language where numbers and symbols approximate the shape of letters. Henry is no newbie (no newcomer). He knows English! He loves to write. It’s easy and wonderful! See you and adieu!



July 12, 2014

2014-07-12webster2ndEditionIn my student times the commencement ceremony, which was usually held in May and marked the end of graduate studies, included our shaking the hand of the department’s mascot Piff and subsequent touching a v-e-e-e-e-ry thick Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The top cover of the Dictionary contained the title “Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.” Throughout the year the Dictionary was kept in a fireproof cabinet and was taken out only to become a part of the farewell ritual.  The word “New” in the title might have been the right word in the 1930s when the Dictionary was published, but not half a century later. That was the first inconsistency: the “new” dictionary was actually “old.” However, we did not know about the second absurdity which was INSIDE the dictionary and about which I came to know only yesterday: the word “dord.” It was explained as an abbreviation for the physical (chemical) term “density”, WHICH WAS WRONG! The word “dord” had never existed, it was the “ghost word” in the Dictionary. The reason why it crept over into a very authoritative publication was that in the early days of dictionary-making words were entered in there from slips typed by specialists in various branches of knowledge. Webster’s chemistry editor sent in a slip running “D or d, contr./density” (meaning that in special texts the term could be contracted to just one letter “D” or “d”). The combination “D or d” was misinterpreted as a single, run-together word “Dord.” That was a plausible mistake because headwords on slips were typed with spaces between the letters, making “D or d” look very much like “D o r d.” A new slip was prepared for the printer and a part of speech was assigned to it along with pronunciation 🙂 . The slip with the ghost word slipped (pardon the pun) past the proof-readers and – voila! – the word was in the Webster lexicon.

2014-07-11Frindle_coverThere is another story about a fictitious word that passes into common parlance. Some time ago I happened to listen to an audio-book “Frindle”, the title word being the word in question (it may be listened to at ). I strongly believe that the book by the American author Andrew Clements should be read by every teenager and by all teachers and educators. It is charged with humor, brims with intellect, it’s very kind and uplifting.

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