Tag Archives: new words

Giving Life to Language: How New Words Are Created

Not yet halfway through the year and already Webster’s has added a 1,000 new words to their dictionary. Though the old man Noah Webster himself might have been stymied by words like humblebrag, photobomb and listicle, the lexicographers at Merriam-Webster are encouraging the unstoppable language revolution. It’s true that none of these words are necessarily(…)


Twerking and Derping into the Dictionary

Would your friends be confused if your only comment concerning the recent government shutdown was derp!? Have you ever felt embarrassed while explaining what it means to have a food baby? Well fret no more! You can now smugly remind everyone who has raised an eyebrow at your choice of vocabulary that these words are(…)


Keep French French – Say ‘Non’ to English Words!

A few English words scattered through the French language makes it just that little bit easier for me and other non-French speakers when in France. Need somewhere to park the car? Look for le parking. Hungry? Un sandwich will fill you up. That shop is closed at le weekend. You can send me the details(…)


The German Words We Should All Be Using

If there’s one thing I love about the German language – and one thing German is excellent at – it’s stringing words together to make new words. We do the same in English: sea-lion, armchair, fireplace; but they’re usually a little more straightforward and don’t get anywhere near as long as German words can. If(…)


A Gift of Words from Pillagers & Ransackers

English is a mishmash of all the languages that have influenced it over thousands of years. Although Britain has done more than her fair share of conquering and ruling invading about 90% of the world in one way or another, so too have the British Isles been subject to invasion after invasion. From the Romans(…)


Thieving Englishmen, Go Steal Some More Words

Anyone who has spoken a second (or third or fourth) language has been faced with that one beautifully tricky word that just won’t translate into any other. In Afrikaans, if you’re feeling sickly, you would say you feel naar, where the closest English translation is nauseous. Go on, Google Translate this baby – typing it(…)


Omnishambles named Word of the Year

It seems to get earlier every year… The Oxford English Dictionary has named its word of the year – omnishambles. Its meaning is “a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle” and derives from a British TV show called The Thick of It. Other shortlisted words include: Eurogeddon Games maker Mobot Second screening Fiona(…)