What are the newest English words to know?
The English dictionaries in the UK are constantly in evolution. In fact, thousands of words are added every year to the main dictionaries, including the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), which has just published its quarterly update, and the Cambridge Dictionary which shares a weekly new word update.
It surprises some people, as their country may have a language academy which preserves & controls the language, deciding which words are officially included, or not, over the courses of several years.
As a result, it can feel sometimes challenging to keep on top of the latest words used in the media & on social platforms, and to know what they mean. No matter how advanced your English, or even if you are an English native speaker yourself!
So, this week I thought I would share some of the key words I have noticed in the latest releases, with some examples of how to use them.
Which is your favourite new word?
- Ally: A person or organisation that supports the rights of another group (typically a racial, ethnic, or gender minority) without being part of the group. For example:
We all need to be allies in the fight against racism.
Allies proactively advocate & speak up for groups who do not have a strong voice.
- Keyboard warrior: a person who posts abusive or aggressive online messages. For example:
Keyboard warriors are sometimes also known as trolls in social media.
Something seems to happen to keyboard warriors online & they will attack people, feeling like they are safe with their hidden online identity.
- Cancel culture: the action of publicly boycotting or withdrawing support from a person or organisation who is promoting culturally unacceptable ideas. For example:
Piers Morgan is a recent instance of cancel culture, as he was forced to quit as the co-host of ITV’s breakfast show after negative remarks he made about Meghan Markle’s mental health.
- Spread booking: booking several holidays to different locations, knowing you will cancel all except one before the date of travel. For example:
It is so hard to know what will happen with travel this summer from the UK. I know some people are starting to spread book, so they have an option for a UK holiday, as well as an option to go abroad.
- Community fridge: a fridge, located in a public space, that is filled with donated food so that people who cannot afford everyday food can take what they need, and there is no waste. For example:
There is a community fridge in a local café which hopefully will reopen soon. Community fridges are different from a food bank, which is a collection point for food donations, which is coordinated & redistributed by a charity.
- Eye yoga: a type of yoga designed to strengthen the muscles around the eyes. For example:
With the amount of time we are all spending in online meetings, I think we all need a bit of eye yoga!
- Meghangate: referring to the Harry & Meghan interview in March 2021 with Oprah Winfrey. The -gate suffix refers to a scandal, as in ‘Watergate’. For example:
We have had Megxit in 2020 when Harry & Meghan stepped down from royal duties, and now we have Meghangate.
- Virtual commute: a way for people who work from home to separate their working hours from their personal time more easily. For example:
It feels like we have all been working extra hours in the last year, as our commute has been replaced by extra desk time. Some companies are considering the introduction of virtual commute time, which allows set personal time at the start & end of the day.
If you want to improve your English communication techniques, then you can now choose to have self-study access & learn flexibly in your own time, at your own pace, through:
- video e-courses where I virtually walk you through the masterclass.
- module workbooks to work through independently.
They are available in these key business-critical communication situations:
– English Meeting Communication
– Presentation English
– Professional English Emails
These video e-courses & module workbooks are a great way to focus on the specific skills needed to communicate naturally, confidently & build great connections with English-speaking contacts & teams. Perfect for anybody working with international teams.
Learn more about flexible English communication self-study options:
Victoria Rennoldson, Founder of Perfect Cuppa English
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