by Alysia Bartley

Get Rid of the “De” in Demotivated to Become an Empowered ESL Learner

Portrait of frustrated business woman sitting in office

Oxford Dictionaries Online is a free dictionary and language reference site. It is updated quarterly with new words.  An earlier article written on the TalktoCanada site shared some “new words” that were added last year. You might also want to check out the article on how to maximize your learning before reading through the list of new words. It is sure to give a boost to your ESL learning and help rock your conversation.

The May 2014 quarterly update includes a wide range of new entries. Following are 52 such words from beatboxer to wackadoodle. I’ve included a definition and sentence to help you better understand these new words. You might have heard of a few. After reading the list, hopefully you will be better prepared in how to use dem (dem n. – short for “them”-see #13 on the list of new words below).

  1. Beatboxer n. – someone who produces drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice The beatboxer loved to perform at the local clubs, but he enjoyed the Saturday competitions even more.
  2. Bestie n. – best friend I went to the dance with my bestie, and as usual, we had a fun time.
  3. Blu-Tack n. – a reusable putty-like pressure-sensitive adhesive commonly used to attach lightweight objects such as posters or sheets of paper to walls or other dry surfaces (i.e. traditionally a blue color, Blu-Tack is available in other colors and is produced by Bostik) The teacher used Blu-Tack to mount the language posters on the cement wall.
  4. Bookaholic n. – someone who keeps buying books to a stack of unread books My daughter spends all of her money on books but she seldom has time to read them. She is a bookaholic, that’s for sure!
  5. Book-building n. – the process by which an underwriter attempts to determine at what price to offer an initial public offering based on demand from institutional investors It was difficult to do the book-building as the product was recently bought out and it was not that well-known.
  6. Book-end v. – to occur or be positioned at the end or on either side of (something) In the essay, the narrative was book-ended by a series of poems.
  7. Bookwoman n. – learned person My mother is such a bookwoman; she has a Ph.D. in history and another degree in anthropology. Now she is studying international law in hopes of being a lawyer.
  8. Chugger n. – someone who stands on the street or outside a building and asks people who are walking past to give money (often to a charity) I was bothered by the chugger who followed me for a few blocks in an attempt to collect money.
  9. Chugging n. – the act that a person does to get money for charity from passer-bys The young boy was chugging near Main Street today, so I gave him a few dollars for his cause. I don’t mind helping out if I can.
  10. Coney Island (Coney) n. – a residential neighborhood, peninsula, and beach in southwestern Brooklyn, New York City, on the Atlantic Ocean The trip was all planned for Coney Island; we would go to an amusement park and see a baseball game. I can’t wait to go to Coney!
  11. Crap shoot n. – something that is random and not based on skill The lottery is clearly a crap shoot. Maybe I will be lucky some day and win a lot of money!
  12. Death spiral n. – a situation that has come to an irreversible standstill, typically on internet message boards by two forum trolls clogging up the thread with their own tangential argument; or a situation where traffic is stalled as a car in the left lane of the intersection attempts to turn left but needs to wait and cars are backed up behind it and another car facing this car also attempts to turn left and the same thing happens to the opposing traffic I couldn’t add an online message to the blog as there was a death spiral for a few hours OR I was delayed for work because of the death spiral downtown. But my boss understood the traffic delay.
  13. Dem n. – short for “them” often used in texting and rap music Give the important papers to dem.
  14. Demo v. – to show something and explain how it works, or to show or produce a demo  The store worker demoed the appliance so we knew how it worked.
  15. Demonizing n. – to put down, diss, de-glorify your ex-partner with the hopes of getting over them quicker and easing the pain My neighbor liked to demonize her ex-boyfriend, but I hoped she would soon stop. It was not a good thing to do.
  16. Demotivated adj. – feeling less able to work or study The demotivated student finally dropped out of high school. Hopefully, he will study online to get his degree.
  17. Dichotic adj. – relating to or involving the stimulation of each ear simultaneously by different sounds The dichotic listening test measured the patient’s hearing loss from the accident.
  18. Didact n. – intended to instruct or inform; or inclined to moralize excessively The story was a didact in every sense of the word; the moral clearly summarized the author’s intent and it made the reader really think.
  19. D-lock n. – a metal device for locking a bicycle or motorcycle, shaped like a U with a bar across it It is important to lock your new bicycle with the D-lock to prevent anyone stealing it.
  20. Do-over n. – a second attempt or chance The presentation by the marketing team was a complete do-over; they hoped the new clients would like their entire advertising campaign. It had a new look with bold colors and a stylish font. The message was upbeat, too.
  21. Down-ballot adj. – denoting a contest for a political office that appears in a relatively low position on the electoral ballot The down-ballot candidates were running for School Board elections.
  22. E ticket n. – a reservation for an airline flight for which the details are recorded electronically without the issuing of a paper ticket It was advised to print the E ticket before departing for the airport and to bring it to the check-in counter.
  23. Empath n. – (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual My good friend seems to be a very effective empath; it seems that she always knows when I need to be comforted.
  24. Empowered adj. – filled with control over their life or a situation The empowered employee worked diligently and soon he was rewarded with a hefty raise and a new position with the company.
  25. Etherizing n. – to subject to the fumes of ether; anesthetize The vet specialized in small animal surgeries with etherizing.
  26. Ethnobiology n. – the scientific study of the way plants and animals are treated or used by different human cultures It was important to look toward ethnobiology to fully understand how earlier civilizations lived.
  27. 27.  Ethno-religious adj. – an ethnic group of people whose members are unified by a common religious background  Examples of some ethnic groups defined by ancestral religions are the Jews, the Assyrians, the Armenians, the Druze of the Levant, the Copts of Egypt, the Yazidi of northern Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran and India, and the Serer of Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania.
  28. Exfoliator n. – a product that removes a layer of skin or bark in flakes, scales or peels She used the new exfoliator weekly to improve her skin condition.
  29. Herogram n. – a message expressing praise, encouragement, or congratulations especially from an editor to a journalist The young journalist could not believe that her boss would send her a herogram on the first day of her job.
  30. Heroine-worship v. – to revere female heroes as idols The heroine-worship increased this summer for the young Hollywood actresses. The new releases featured a lot of talented actresses.
  31. Hon’ble adj. – abbreviation for Honorable The lawyer greeted the judge with the title, “Hon’ble Johnson”.
  32. Hondle v. – indicating the act of calming a superior who is not happy with the solution to a given problem I asked my co-worker to assist in handling our boss because he was making such a big deal about the power point presentation. Finally, our boss calmed down when he saw that the presentation was really quite effective after all.
  33. Honest-like adj., adv. – honest The accountant was always honest-like and you could depend on him for his accuracy.
  34. Honey bush n. – a small bush that grows in South Africa which smells like honey and is used to make herbal teas The tea smells just like a honey bush!
  35. Honey trap n. – where a woman pays another woman to flirt with her boyfriends to see if he flirts back, a way to check if her boyfriends is faithful She set a honey trap for her boyfriend, but he ignored the other women’s advances.
  36. Hong Kongese n., adj. – used for people who are from Hong Kong The Hong Kongese specialized in exports of all kinds.
  37. Hongkonger n. – used for people who are from Hong Kong The Hongkonger was very friendly towards the foreigners.
  38. Honing v. – improving or perfecting, usually a skill I was honing my presentation skills for the upcoming meeting.
  39. Honking adj. – anything large, excessive, or otherwise inordinately disproportionate by almost any measure The honking buffet sure looked appealing after hours of exercise.
  40. Honky-tonker n. – a cheap, noisy, and garish nightclub or dance hall We stopped by the honky-tonker but didn’t stay long. We decided to go to a more upscale restaurant to eat dinner.
  41. Honor code n. – a system in which people are trusted to obey rules and not cheat The honor code was strictly observed at all of the colleges.
  42. Honoree n. – a person or thing that wins an award The honoree for this year’s business award went to an IT company from India.
  43. Hons. n. – shortened form for Honorary There were many graduations this spring and my son was excited to graduate with Hons. in Business from Yale.
  44. Imperial purple n., adj. – a color known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a reddish-purple natural dye The imperial purple-colored curtains matched the upscale room décor.
  45. Impervium n. – a virtually indestructible or impenetrable substance The car windows seemed to be impervium as the hailstorm did not seem to cause any damage.
  46. Mitsuba n. – wild Japanese parsley The sushi tasted delicious with the mitsuba.
  47. Science fantasy n. – a mixed genre that has elements from science fiction, and sometimes incorporates elements of horror Although I do not really enjoy science fantasy, I do recognize the creative talent behind this type of writing.
  48. Sciency adj. – of a scientific nature The presentation of the new chemical plant seemed so sceincy, but it really appealed to the audience of experts.
  49. Scientological adj. – having to do with the body of beliefs and related practices created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) The Scientological converts embraced their new-found religion.
  50. Schvitz v. – to sweat, panic and worry When I realized I was late for work, I began schvitzing. But then I calmed down when I realized that it was okay to be a few minutes late.
  51. Wachadoo adj., n. – elaboration of the words “wacky”, “wack”, or “wacko” used to refer to people who are eccentric The wachadoo professor expected the students to memorize a complete glossary of foreign terms. If that wasn’t bad enough, he expected them to do this in one night.
  52. Wackadoodle n., adj. – same as above; elaboration of the words “wacky”, “wack”, or “wacko” used to refer to people who are eccentric My neighbor is a wachadoodle! He is a neat freak and washes his car every night. He even vacuums the inside, too!

I look forward to using a few of these “new words” in my everyday speech. In fact, I recognized one this morning in the local paper. The article talked about an award-winning travel photographer who flew back to South Africa to run a photography tour, then was off to Canada, had time to kill in Bermuda of which he was book-ended (#6) by two trips to New York, and now he is home in the US. Call it wackadoodle (#52) if you want, but he sure sounds like he is having lots of interesting adventures.

As for me, I hope you are inspired to learn more English words and can put aside anything that is preventing you from your ESL goals. I hope, too, this article helps to increase your confidence to reach your language goals. Do you have a favorite word from the list? Write to me in the comments section below. Tell me all about it.

Portrait of smiling business woman sitting in office

About the author:

Alysia is a co-founder of TalktoCanada. Since founding the online English teaching company in 2006, she has gone on to teach over 10,000 hours of online classes and managed large and small English training projects around the world. During her free time you can find her listening to the latest business book, travelling and going to the gym.