25 New Words in the English Language

Did you know that the first Oxford English Dictionary of 10 volumes took 70 years to complete (1878-1928)?  And the second updated edition, published by the Oxford University Press in 1989, doubled to 20 volumes? Well, work on the third edition is underway.

I stumbled upon a list of “new words and expressions” and just spent some time this weekend researching and summarizing their meanings from various online dictionaries.  Maybe you have heard a few. Maybe you have used a few. If nothing else, you might find some of these “new words” added to the largest English dictionary in the world helpful in your next game of Scrabble:

  1. flash mob:  a group of people who assemble in a public place to perform some type of act for a short time to entertain or artistically express themselves and then quickly disperse
  2. fracking:  a means of extracting natural gas during drilling for a well
  3. Geekery:  describes the products of the nerds and geeks’ subculture
  4. imbongi:  a composer and orator of poems in traditional African society who praises a chief or other figurehead
  5. interoperability:  the ability for separate entities (e.g., devices, software programs, agents/users, institutions) to function usefully with each other inside that context for some set of purposes
  6. jolly hockey sticks:  a high social class female who is enthusiastic in a way that annoys most people
  7. kombucha:  a food supplement prepared from yeast and bacteria that is added to tea for its supposed health benefits
  8. live blog:  to write/maintain a blog about an event as the event is happening
  9. mani-pedi:  a beauty treatment that includes both a manicure and a pedicure
  10. Mephistophelian:  wicked and fiendish
  11. microbiome:  the microorganisms in a particular environment including the body or a part of the body
  12. mochaccino:  a fine-quality coffee often with chocolate added
  13. mouseover:  moving your mouse over something on a computer screen to have a text or image pop up
  14. parasomnia:  a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal or unusual behavior of the nervous system
  15. post-racial:  when discussions around race and racism are deemed no longer relevant to current social dynamics
  16. red velvet:  a buttermilk cake with red food coloring
  17. Russell Group:  24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with business and the private sector
  18. salat:  the ritual prayer of the Muslims, performed five times daily
  19. schlumpy:  looking like a schlump; slow and sloppy
  20. showrunner:  the person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a television show
  21. smackhead:  a heroin druggie
  22. trixie:  slang term referring to young, urban white women typically single in their late 20s-early 30s of the Chicago, Illinois, area.
  1. veepstakes:  the process occurring every four years when candidates for the President of the US select a running mate and if the ticket wins, the running mate becomes the Vice-President
  2. watch fob:  a short ribbon or chain attached to a watch that  hangs out of the pocket in which the watch is kept
  3. tweet:  a posting made on the social networking service Twitter

Are there any new words or expressions that you have encountered?

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