by Marc Anderson

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.
  23. 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
  24. watch fob:  a short ribbon or chain attached to a watch that  hangs out of the pocket in which the watch is kept
  25. tweet:  a posting made on the social networking service Twitter

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

About the author:

Marc Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of TalktoCanada. Since founding the company in 2006, he has grown it to over 25 staff with operations in 50 countries. Marc spends his time outside of TalktoCanada travelling, playing with his son and working on new business projects.