New Words in English

The English language is constantly changing – and new words are being coined (invented/created) all the time! Some of the new English words come from cultural trends, others are combinations of two existing words, and others are new meanings for old words.

New words in English are usually added to the dictionary after they become commonly/frequently used. How many of these new English words do you know?

aha moment

The instant when the solution to a problem becomes clear, or when you suddenly realize or understand something that you didn’t understand before

bridezilla

A combination of “bride” + “Godzilla” (a monster from a horror movie) – this word is used to describe a woman who behaves very badly during the process of planning her wedding; she is extremely demanding and difficult to work with

bromance

A combination of “bro” + “romance” – this word refers to a non-sexual friendship between two men

bucket list

A list of things that you haven’t done before, but that you want to do before you die. This expression became popular after the 2007 film “The Bucket List” about two men who travel to have as many adventures as they can before they “kick the bucket” (an idiom meaning “to die”).

cloud computing

Storing computer data on servers that can be accessed through the internet (not just on only one computer). You can also describe data as being located “in the cloud,” meaning on a server that can be accessed by multiple computers.

cougar

A middle-aged woman looking for a romantic relationship with a younger man

crowdfunding

Providing funds (money) for a project by a large number of people who each contribute a small amount. This idea has become popular with sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others.

cyberbullying / cyberstalking

“Cyberbullying” is using electronic communication to hurt or intimidate someone – for example, publicly destroying their reputation. “Cyberstalking” is using electronic communication to monitor and harass someone persistently – for example, if a guy continues to send his ex-girlfriend hundreds of messages and comments, even though she doesn’t want any contact.

facepalm

Hitting your face with your hand as an expression of embarrassment, frustration, disbelief, or disgust. This expression is typically used on the internet.

f-bomb

A polite way to refer to the word “fuck” without actually saying the word. For example, you could say that a politician accidentally dropped an f-bomb during an interview.

frenemy

A person who pretends to be a friend, but is really an enemy

game changer

A newly introduced element that changes an existing situation/activity in an important way – in a similar way to how putting in a new player can change a sports game and affect the result.

helicopter parent

A parent who is too involved in the life of his/her child – like a helicopter hovers above an area, the parent is constantly “hovering” above their child to make sure everything is OK.

mash-up

Something created by combining elements from two or more sources – such as a song created by digitally combining two different songs

newbie

Someone who is new and inexperienced in an area or activity

sexting

A combination of sex + texting = sending sexual messages or images by text message

sick

A slang word for good, excellent, awesome

spin

Intentionally presenting news or information in a way that affects (or tries to manipulate) the viewer’s/readers opinion

staycation

A combination of stay + vacation = a vacation that you spend at home or in your local area (you don’t travel, so you save money)

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