i love english language

A-Z – NEW WORDS IN THE LAST FIFTY YEARS

APPLE: original meaning- a round fruit that grows on trees, nowadays apple is largely associated with high end brand apple Mac computers, apple iPods etc a global electrical phenomenon. Apple has broadened in meaning over the years.

 

Amuzing

Technical Term: Compounding
Definition: A cross between amazing and amusing.
Why was the word formed? There was not a word to describe this already
Link to other words: amazing, amusing, amaze, cool, perfect

 

Amyx

Technical Term: Neologism
Definition: describes someone who is not up for a good time.
Why was the word formed? In order to
Link to other words: party pooper, wet blanket, drag

 

ANAC

Technical term: acronym
Definition: Automatic Number Announcement Circuit. This is a circuit within the phone company that reads back your ANI or ANI II information.
Why was the word formed? It makes the longer, correct name of the circuit easier to say
Link to other words:

 

ANAP

Technical term: acronym
Definition: As Ninja As Possible
Why was the word formed? In order to accommodate social factors such as the desire to be ninja
Link to other words: ninja, stealth

 

Anat

Technical term: blending
Definition: Comes from “And That” when said in a sentence its shortened
Why was the word formed: An easy way to finish a sentence, this word is more commonly a feature of youth speak.
Link to other words: and that, too, as well as

 

BONK: not heard before 1975 seen as a more acceptable word for sex (informal) it reflects societies changing attitude towards sex. It’s a semantic shift. Links to other words could be; shag, bang or chopped.

 

BEEF: original meaning – meat from a cow but nowadays teenagers commonly use the term to describe a problem with another person as most insults become over used or clichéd after a while. Links to other words could be; stress, mood or issue.

 

BANGING (BANGIN’): original meaning – making a loud noise, but now most music that is current and cool could be described as a “bangin’ tune” or “banging” being used a description of sex without being to explicit. Links to other words could be; nailing, happening, bashed.

 

BOOM: original meaning – period of economic prosperity or growth. It’s used nowadays as a street slang description of something expensive or flashy, usually jewellery or cars. Links to other words could be; blinging, flashy, tight or next level.

 

BOOTYLICIOUS: describes a woman with a curvy figure and a large pert bottom.

 

BIG MAC: describes a large burger from popular fast food joint Mc Donald’s.

 

BRIT POP: Abbreviation of British pop usually from the 90s era describes bands such as Pulp, Oasis and Blur.

 

CHUDDY: describes chewing gum in a slang way.

 

CAMP: original meaning – pitch up a tent usually outdoors or on a campsite. Nowadays “camp” is a term often used in an endearing way to describe a homosexual man who is incredibly feminine. Links to other words could be; queer, fruity or mincey.

 

CRACK: original meaning – a break in an object. Nowadays “crack” is just another word to describe class A drug cocaine in a crystallized form, usually used as part of street slang. Links to other words could be; smack whizz speed charlie or ching.

 

CAR CRASH TV: “car crash” is an accident with two or more cars or even one car losing control and crashing into something. Nowadays television churns out reality programme after reality programme about anything and everything and TV critics have described the contents of some programmes so bad it’s like watching a car crash, hence the term “car crash TV” evolving.

Links to other words might be; nightmare television, junk television.

 

CHARLIE: originally a name for either a boy or a girl, but “Charlie” is another street slang word for cocaine used mostly amongst adolescents. Links to other words could be coke, whizz and sniff.

 

Carjacking


Word type: Blending. The two words ‘car’ and ‘hijack’ have been blended to create a new word.

Dictionary Definition: Usually when an armed individual coerces the driver of an automobile to give up his vehicle or drive it to a specific area.

It has been blended: to give a new activity a name or label that everyone understands and can refer to.

There are no other words to describe carjacking.

Crackberry
Word type: Blending. The two words ‘crack’ and ‘blackberry’ have been blended, hence losing the ‘black’ to form Crackberry.

Definition: A person who obsessively uses their Blackberry.

This word has been created to mock or joke about a persons obsession for using their phone. The ‘crack’ relates to the addiction to the drug crack cocaine.

There are no other words meaning Crackberry.

Cotdeath-1960
Word type: Compounding.

Definition:  sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep.

This word has been created: in order to allow simplification when describing an event that has occurred.

Other words meaning the same thing: Originally, the term ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ (SIDS)  was used, however this term is used by doctors and professionals as jargon.

 

 

DATE RAPE: an incidence of forced sexual intercourse by one of two individuals after an initial social encounter, usually a date. This term has developed due to changes in modern society.

 

 

DETOX: A clinic or treatment facility at which substance abusers attempt to rid themselves of dependency on a particular drug. Part of this process entails the actual physical removal of toxins present in the body due to the abuse of a substance. Due to Healthcare and technology greatly improving.

 

 

EMOTICON: A symbol, usually found in e-mail messages, made up of punctuation marks that resemble a human expression. [Blend of emotion and icon] for example; : ) or : – ( happy or sad faces.

 

 

Fashionista

Neologism/Affixation – fashion + “ista” (Spanish suffix)

‘A person working in or deeply involved with the high-fashion industry, such as a designer, model, photographer, buyer, writer, wearer; a devotee to clothing fashion.’

This word reveals that fashion and appearance in today’s society has become increasingly important, with many more people working in the fashion industry, thereby creating the need for a word to describe such people.

 

Feminism

Affixation

‘The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.’

This word was coined towards the end of the 20th century to accommodate social change whereby people recognised the need to promote the equality of women – it demonstrates that people nowadays have more social awareness and that more women in particular, are willing to fight for their rights.

 

Frappuccino

Borrowing

‘The name and registered trademark of a Starbucks blended ice beverage and a bottled coffee beverage’

The increased usage of this word shows that Italian coffee has become extremely popular in Britain, perhaps due to the popular connotations that Italian foods carry.

 

Filofax

Neologism

‘A style of loose-leaf paper agenda and appointment book’

This demonstrates the need to keep up to date with appointments and schedules in today’s society and that time management and planning have become increasingly important in all areas of life.

 

FANTABULOUS: an adjective meaning beyond fabulous. [It’s a blend of fantastic and fabulous]Slang term used amongst young people. Neologism

 

 

FRO-YO: A frosty, creamy dessert; frozen yoghurt. Clipping of frozen yoghurt. Abbreviation of two words.

 

FULL MONTY: used to describe someone or a group of people who strip completely naked in public.

 

Gay

Descriptive adjective

A generic insult often used to describe something stupid or unfortunate. It originated from homophobia and is regularly used among many teenagers

The meaning has changed over the years from happy to homosexual to an insult and shows that the meaning of language is always changing

Links to: annoying, stupid, pathetic

 

 

Goth

Proper noun

A person who likes to dress and act differently to the other people in society, normally in black. They tend to be thinkers and more often than not quite creative. They have a satirical sense of humour. This type of goth originated in the late 80’s with the “death” of punk; goths back then liked the style and the “protection” it offered and so emulated it in their own style. They can be gay/depressed/weird/mentally disturbed, but more often than not they are just normal people

It is a word from the medieval times and has always had dark connotations. Since the 80s it has been adapted to describe a modern day group of people

Links to: black, emo, dark, depressed

 

Grill

Concrete noun

Teeth/A gold or diamond plate that is moulded for your teeth. It is decorated with diamonds and/or gold

It shows how aspects of music such as rap and certain lifestyles have the ability new meanings for words as they become more dominant in the modern day.

Links to: teeth, mouth, smile

 

Gaff

Proper noun

Place of residence or work

It is originally cockney slang and demonstrates how language spreads across regions

Links to: house, home, place

 

Garage

Proper noun

A genre of music originating in the early to mid sixties concurrently in England and America, and consequently spreading all over the world within a few years. Characteristics include: ridiculously crunchy fuzz guitar, simple stomp drumbeats, creepy vox / farfisa organ riffs, simple song structure, adolescent punk attitude. Straddles the line between British invasion style pop and seventies punk

It is needed to give meaning to and title to a particular genre of music with specific features and characteristics

Links to: music, genre

 

Gold digger: Noun

Compounding

A girl that is only with a man because she wants his

money.

Made up to describe a certain type of woman who can

be found within today’s society.

Made up to describe a certain type of woman who can be found within today’s society.

Links to: ‘sugar daddy’ ‘trophy wives’ ‘bimbo’

 

Google: Noun / Verb

Neologism

A search engine that currently searches 8,058,044,651 web pages.

Made up as a result of technology’s new inventions.

Links to: ‘search engine’ ‘internet’

 

 

Geezer- used to describe a stereotypical type of man who enjoys football, drinking beer and is a typical ‘lad’, language is being manipulated to adapt to the changes in peoples attitudes and behaviour over years and can define a group.

 

 

Green: Verb

Broadening

‘To be green’ is to be environmentally friendly

As the need for recycling has developed, ‘green’ has become not only a word to describe colour, but to describe a person who is doing their bit for the environment.

Links to: ‘recycling’ ‘environmentally friendly’ ‘environmentally aware’

 

GSOH: Initialism

Good sense of Humour

As lonely hearts columns and internet dating has developed, initialism’s such as GSOH have been developed as a way of shortening this personality trait.

Links to: ‘funny’ ‘can take a joke’

 

Happy Slapping: Verb

Compounding

The practice of slapping or punching somebody unsuspectedly and recording it with a camera phone.

Created to describe actions taking place on the streets.

Links to: ‘assault’

 

 

High: Verb

Broadening

The state experienced after someone takes a considerable amount of drugs, particularly marijuana.

Links to: ‘stoned’ ‘buzzed’ ‘wasted’ ‘tripping’ ‘smashed’

 

Homophobic: Adjective

Verb

Blending

A fear of homosexuals

Created as homosexuality had become widely spread and acceptable.

Links to: ‘racist’ ‘sexist’ anti-gay’

 

Hoodie: Noun

 

Pejoration

Initially the name of a hooded sweatshirt, now the name given to the person wearing the item of clothing. A ‘hoodie’ is often found with their hood up, and is stereotyped for causing trouble on the streets.

Links to: ‘scally’ ‘chav’ ‘yob’ ‘youth’

 

Hip –hop (1970s)- new styles of music introduced and the adolescent subculture clinging on to these ideas and adapting them not just to music but to fashion, entertainment and attitude.

 

Hipsters- fashion’s influence over language, the creation of a new style of trousers needs a new name.

 

 

Hot desk: Noun / Verb

Compounding

A desk that is not assigned to a particular employee, but rather is available for use and can be reserved in advance by a mobile worker whenever they are required to be in the office.

Word created due to an advance in business ideas.

Links to: ‘office’ ‘desk’

 

 

Hot

Descriptive adjective

Describing someone that is physically attractive

It shows that language is changing because the views on sexuality and expression is becoming more open and as opposed to years ago it is not as sinful to talk about and express

Links to: sexy, beautiful, attractive

 

Hit

Noun

A dose of drugs, or the action of taking a dose of drugs

It is probably used as it is easy to say but is also as if something has hit you/come across you still linking back to the original meaning

Links to: take, consume, drugs

 

Hood

Proper noun

A gangster slang word derived from neighbourhood, usually talking about the ghetto or where all the gangsters and thugs live

It is needed for certain sub-groups to communicate with each other and has developed as rap music and such things have increased in popularity

Links to: ghetto, neighbourhood, gang

 

Hammered

Descriptive adjective

Being in a very drunk state

As the alcohol and binge drinking culture continuously increases these days, especially with longer opening hours, so many new words have been developed to describe this state

Links to: wasted, drunk, smashed, intoxicated

 

Ice

Proper noun

Diamonds or more generally jewellery

Again this word has been developed with the gangster culture and was made to accommodate how fashion has changed over the years

Links to: jewellery, chain

 

Ill

Evaluative adjective

Describing something cool or something generally approved of by people, usually young people

It is used and needed for teenagers to be different from older generations or to be accepted as part of a group for diverging for regular speech

Links to: cool, tight, sweet, sick

 

Innit

Tag question/exclamation

Derives from the chav/townie/ sub-culture, but over-labelled on the British Asian Communities. Innit is a shortened version of is it not, in context, it would be “is it not?” which we can see is a question due to the required question mark and change in the pitch of the voice to indicate a question is being asked

Again it is a term which is used by a particular group of people who use it to fit in as it’s quicker to say and because it’s against standard English

Links to: safe, brap, sick

 

iPod

Proper noun

An Apple Computer branded mp3 player with a large capacity solid state hard drive

It is needed in society today to describe the developing technology around us

Links to: mp3, music

 

Internet: Noun

Neologism

A world wide network of computers all linked together over the TCP/IP protocol. The Internet allows people to communicate in real time from different continents

Made up as a result of technology’s new inventions.

Links to: ‘the web’ ‘online’ ‘interweb’

 

Ipod: Noun

Affixation

An Apple Computer branded mp3 player with a large capacity solid state hard drive.

Name invented as a result of technology’s new inventions.

Links to: ‘music player’ ‘mp3’ ‘walkman’ ‘nano’

 

It Girl: Noun

Compounding

A charming, sexy young woman who receives intense media coverage unrelated or disproportional to personal achievements.

Word created as society’s obsession with celebrities and their lives has become even more intense.

Links to: ‘Paris Hilton’ ‘diva’ ‘celebrity’ ‘popular’

 

IVF: Noun

Initialism

An assisted reproductive technique in which fertilization is accomplished outside the body.

In vitro fertilization.

Word created as a result of new medical developments.

Links to: ‘infertility’ ‘pregnancy’

 

Islam phobia (1991)- the greater awareness of other religions as well as the spread of religions over countries (i.e. through missionaries) means people are more conscious of the divisions caused by religion and could feel more threatened by something that is now on their doorstep.

 

 

Jack

Evaluative adjective

A slang word to describe doing nothing

Probably used and needed because it is very easy to say

Links to: nothing, boring, lacking of interest

 

Jump

Active verb

A surprise or planned fight, when either (a)one individual is attacked/beaten by a group of 2 or more individuals or (b) when a notably larger group attacks/fights a smaller group of individuals. These fights can occur with or without any kind of valid reason to jump someone

Used to accommodate the language of the younger generation

Links to: beat up, fight, hurt, attack

 

 

Joint

Proper noun

A hand rolled marijuana/cannabis cigarette

It is needed for communication within the lives of drug dealers/takers, maybe used because it sounds less harmful

Links to: weed, spliff, cigarette

 

 

Junkie: Noun

Neologism

A person who is consumed by an addiction. Aspects of their life suffer as he/she satisfies the addiction.

Links to: ‘addict’ ‘druggie’ ‘crackhead’ ‘stoner’ ‘pothead’

 

Jock: Noun

Neologism

An American high school boy who tends to abuse their popularity. Usually plays for the schools sports team and dates cheerleaders.

Links to: ‘popular’ ‘prep’

 

Joystick-twitching. Neologism created by compounding of ‘joystick’ and ‘twitching’ If you’ve seen Keanu Reeves do his VR karate in The Matrix you’ll know that the nimble, bloody aesthetic of the arcade shoot-em-up is being busily absorbed by film-makers who are eager for the cash of joystick-twitching kids 

 

 

Kick ass: Adjective

Compounding

Something that is really, really cool.

Invented as a slang word for an alternative to ‘good’ or ‘cool’

Links to: ‘cool’ ‘good’ ‘awesome’ ‘sweet’ ‘great’ ‘amazing’ ‘wicked’

 

Knocked-up: Adjective

Compounding

To get a woman pregnant, particularly un-planned, un-wanted or in wedlock.

Links to: ‘pregnant’ ‘up the duff’ ‘preggers’

 

Kitten heels. Influences in fashion often lead to language change. Compounding of two words (kitten and heels) to create a new meaning. Therefore the noun ‘kitten’ has a semantic shift of meaning and thus broadens ‘kitten’. 

 

 

KO

Acronym

To knock somebody out

It is much shortened version and it much quicker to say possibly showing that people are becoming more lazy about their attitudes towards language

Links to: beat up, hit, fight

 

Kankles

Proper noun

Fat ankles and calves that lack definition and appear to merge. A combination of the words ankle and calf

It is an easier word to say, taking less effort. The combination of the two words show again that people could be becoming more lazy in the way in which they use the language

Links to: Fat, overweight

 

Ladette: Noun

Affixation

A young woman who behaves in a confident and noisy way, who drinks alcohol and may enjoy sport or other activities that are traditionally enjoyed by men.

Analysts believe the ladette phenomenon has been driven by increasing levels of financial independence among young women.

Links to: ‘geezerbird’ ‘chavette’

 

Liposuction: Noun

Blending

A procedure that removes excess fat through a suctioning process.

Created as new medical procedures come about and to keep up with today’s craze of cosmetic surgery.

Links to: ‘plastic surgery’ ‘nip and tuck’ ‘lipo’

 

Lol: Acronym

Its original definition was “Laughing out loud” (also written occasionally as “Lots of Laughs”), used as a brief acronym to denote great amusement in chat conversations.

A term created as technology has moved on an ways of communication through the internet and mobile phones have developed.

Links to: ‘lmao’ ‘haha’ ‘funny’ ‘lolz’

 

It’s original definition was “Laughing out loud” (also written occasionally as “Lots of Laughs”), used as a brief acronym to denote amusement in chat conversations

It is needed to write things more quickly, once again implying the increasing laziness of people using the English language

 

Ladyboy. Slang term that refers to a male-to-female transgender person or an effeminate gay male. Sexuality has changes in the past 50 years, it is much more acceptable for homosexuality than it had been in the past, and the steriotypically ‘macho’ male is being eradicated from society slowly.Compounding of lady and boy for a new meaning. 

 Manny- Neologism/Blending- Blend of the words “man” and “nanny”. It is used to describe a male nanny. This word is important as there is a massive increase in nanny’s who are male and manny accommodates this change in employees in this field.

Meanderthal- Neologism- An annoying person moving slowly and aimlessly in front of another person who is in a hurry. It is needed because this is a common situation faced by many people. Associated with dawdling along.

Mega- Broadening- Used to mean large/big but now means “great”. It is used by teenagers as slang. It shows how the younger generation broaden the meaning of words and the speed in which it spreads.

Metrosexual- Blending- blend of “metro” (meaning urban) and “sexual”.

Meaning an urban male with a strange aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of money on his appearance and lifestyle. It accommodates how much men have changed in recent years, adopting more “female” characteristics and interests which is no longer a bad thing.

 

Mic- Abbreviation- Abbreviation of the word microphone. Mic is a “cooler” way of saying microphone just like DJ is cooler than Disk Jockey. Mic is also necessary as it is easier to say than microphone and humans are always finding ways to make things easier.

 

Minger- Broadening- in 1995 it used to mean someone who smelt foul now it means ugly. It is important to show how the meaning of many words have broadened and are now used as slang. Associated with ugly.

 

Mini- Broadening- it used to mean small but is now associated with the car the Mini Cooper, if in a certain context. The Mini Cooper is a small car and it is advertised as the “mini” and is now part of their corporate image. Shows how language changes due to technological advances.

 

Miniskirt- Neologism/Compounding- used to describe a very short skirt. It was necessary to describe the new fashion that came about in 1965 as there was no previous word to describe a item of clothing that simply didn’t exist.

 

Mint- Broadening- mint used to be a type of herb but is now used as an evaluative/descriptive adjective, especially teenagers, meaning “cool”/”good”. Shows how the younger generations have such a big impact on language change.

 

MMS- Initialism- Multi Media Messaging Service- With improvements in technology it is now common for all phones to have MMS. The name of the service was too long and MMS is used to shorten it. Associated with picture messaging.

 

Mohawk- clipping- A slang term for a Mohican hairstyle in which the head is shaved except for a strip of hair, often spiked, from the forehead to the back of the neck. It’s important as it is a faster way of referring to a Mohican which is needed due to the increase in popularity of this hairstyle among youths. 

 

Moobs- Neologism/ Blending- Blend of the words “man” and “boobs”. It was coined as the new word to describe males with breast like features due to a gain in weight by the media and is now used by everyone.  Obesity is increasing in Britain and this particular word accommodates this increasing characteristic of obese men. Associated with man boobs.

 

Moony- Neologism/ Euphemism- refers to an individual exposing their buttocks. It is a jokey/polite way of describing the action. Associated with flashing.

 

Mudblood- Compounding/Neologism- A term used in the popular children’s book Harry Potter to describe wizards who don’t have any wizard ancestors. It’s important as it shows how popular literature can add to the English language.

 

Muffin Top- Neologism- refers to the roll of fat between tight jeans and a crop top. It is used by young people to describe a certain figure that previously, language couldn’t describe. Associated with spare tire.

 

Muggle- Neologism- A term used in the popular children’s book Harry Potter, to describe humans. It’s important as it shows how popular literature can add to the English language.

 

Minger-  Lexical change: neologism.

Definition: An ugly person.

Why this lexical change? To create a noun to refer to someone who is ugly rather than having to use an adjective such as ugly or unattractive.

 

Miniskirt- Lexical change: compounding

Definition: A very short skirt.

Why this lexical change? In order to label the new fashion which arose in the sixties in which women took to wearing very short skirts.

Links to other words? Short skirt, belt.

 

Mint- Semantic change: broadening.

Definition: Originally a noun meaning a herbal plant, it is now more commonly used as an adjective to describe something good.

Why this semantic change? To accommodate the need for new positive adjectives and to vary youth slang.

Links to other words? Cool, well good, sick, safe, awesome.

 

METROSEXUAL      noun [blending]
a heterosexual male with a strong interest in fashion, appearance and other lifestyle characteristics traditionally associated with women  

 

 

Mohawk- Lexcial change: clipping

Definition: A slang term for a Mohican hairstyle in which the head is shaved except for a strip of hair, often spiked, from the forehead to the back of the neck.

Why this lexical change? To create a faster, more convenient way of referring to a Mohican which is needed due to the increase in popularity of this hairstyle among youths. 

 

Moon- Semantic change: broadening.

Definition: Originally a noun meaning the natural satellite that orbits Earth, now more commonly used as a verb meaning to expose one’s buttocks. 

Why this lexical change? To accommodate social change whereby indecent exposure has become more common.

 

MCJOB, n. A job in a service related field with low pay, low prestige and little opportunity for advancement [analogous word formed from prefix Mc- and job ]. 

 

MOTO, n. Energy for action toward a goal; motivation. [clipping of “motivation”]

 

 

MRSA- Lexical change: initialism.

Definition: Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus, an untreatable infection which has become more common in hospitals.

Why this lexical change? The disease has become much more common so a shorter way of referring to it was needed.

Links to other words? Superbug.

 

Mullet- Semantic change: broadening.

Definition: Original noun meaning a type of fish but now more commonly used to label a hairstyle common in the eighties in which the hair was short on the top, front and sides but long at the back.

Why this semantic change? To give a term to a hairstyle which is said to have derived from the nineteenth century when mullet fisherman wore their hair long at the back to keep warm.

 

MOCKBUSTER n. A low-budget movie with a title and plot similar to a current blockbuster film. [Blending of mock and blockbuster.] 

Naughty- Narrowing- It used to mean something much worse, being of naught (zero) value to anyone. Now it means you’re a bit troublesome, but not in a serious way. It’s important to show how the meanings of words shift over time due to new words with stronger implications such as wayward.

Nigger- Pejoration/Amelioration- Although it is a derogatory, offensive term for a black person, among the black community it is seen as a term of endearment. This is very important as it shows how one word can be seen in two completely different ways and also how certain people can use language without being offensive while others can.

Nip-tuck-Affixation/Neologism- it is a term used when discussing plastic surgery and is a popular Television series. It was created because there was no other slang word to describe what the procedures involve.

No Brainer- Neologism- meaning something that requires little mental effort or intelligence to perform or understand. The term is often applied to decisions which are straightforward or sometimes to people who appear to lack intelligence. It is more of an American phrase. It is important as it shows how phrases can so easily be adopted into the English language from different parts of the world, meaning that the language is influenced by different countries not only Britain.

 

NETIZEN, n. A person who spends an excessive amount of time on the Internet. [blending of Internet and citizen]. 

 

NIMBY

Technical Term: acronym
Definition: Not in my back yard, used to describe a person who complains about everything
Why was the word formed? It is a humourous way to describe a certain type of person
Link to other words: citizen involvement

Nonce

Technical Term: Neologism/acronym
Definition: A slang term for a paedophile
Why was the word formed? Supposedly, the word was originally used by prison officers who formed it from “Not On Normal Communal Exercise.”
Link to other words: paedo, kiddy- fiddler

 

Noness

Technical Term: Affixation
Definition: pronounced no-ness. Used as exclamation for something you find unfair/shocking
Why was the word formed? It is a way of expressing the above emotion without using taboo language that may shock other people.
Link to other words: How unfair, rude, what the hell

 

Nonfrontational

Technical Term: Compounding
Definition: the act of avoiding confrontation, avoiding conflict
Why was the word formed?
Link to other words: avoidance, passive

 

Nonism

Technical Term: Affixation
Definition: The concept of being against all things.
Why was the word formed? So that the common “anti everything” attitude in modern society can be expressed.
Link to other words:

 

OBESOGENIC (also obesegenic)     adjective
likely to cause someone to become excessively fat

 

 Obese- Pejoration- Used to refer to someone who’s increased body weight is caused by excessive accumulation of fat. It used to be a medical term for someone who is very overweight. Now it used as an insult for people who are slightly bigger than others. This was created because teenagers needed a new insult as obesity in Britain is soaring.

Orcs- Neologism- It is a term from the book the Lord of the Rings meaning members of an imaginary race of aggressive, ugly human like creatures. The root could be from Latin “Orcus” meaning hell or Italian “Orco” meaning monster. It was necessary to describe a group of people in a book as they are imaginary so no word existed.

 

Pants


Word type: Pejoration. Originally used as a neutral term to describe a garment one wears.
Now it has negative connotations of being ‘rubbish’

Dictionary definition: A plural noun consisting of two leg holes, covering the body from the waist or hips to the thighs.

Why its been used/created: This term has been used to accommodate social change where people (most probably youths) have created a new word to describe something in the derogatory manner.

Words meaning the same thing: pantaloons, kneebreechers or rubbish and crap.

Phwoar-1980
Word type: Neologism.A completely new word has been made for description. It is also an interjections (a word which expresses emotion)

Dictionary Definition: An expression of appreciation for an attractive person.

Why is has been created: The word phwoar has been created as because there were no recent/up to date terms relating to emotions that the youth had created.

Other words meaning the same thing: gosh, phew or cooer were originally used but are now out of date.

Paperclip-1990
Word type: Compounding. Here two words have been placed together to form a concrete noun.

Dictionary Definition: A verb meaning a wire or plastic clip used to fasten together more than one sheet of paper.

Why it has been created: It evolved to fill a specific need. There are no other single words to describe this term. Created to make speech and its definition clear and easy.

There are no other words meaning paperclip.

Persnickety
Word type: Borrowing. This adjective has been borrowed from America.

Dictionary Definition: To be 1) over particular/fussy.
                                              2) snobbish, or having the aloof attitude of a snob.

Why it has been borrowed: It was borrowed from an American company, ‘Persnickety Toms Coffee’ to accommodate the use of ‘lazy’ speech. ie. Saying one word instead of a phrase.

Other words meaning the same thing: fussy-however, this does not directly mean the same thing.

 

Personal Trainer- exactly as it suggests, a person hired to help with fitness. Used due to an increase in the media about personal health and fitness, more positions for such people, therefore a name was coined for the new job role. 

 

The Pill- used as slang for birth control pills, originates 1960 due to stigmas about contraception and having to keep it quiet, as it is an ambiguous term.  

 

Pooper- scooper- an instrument used to remove animal excrement, first used in 1975. An example of broadening as it was first used as a brand name. 

 

Pruno- an alcoholic drink made by prison inmates, so called as it is made from prunes or raisins fermented with sugar. Blend of prune and the colloquial term ‘wino’ for an alcoholic. First used 2006. 

 

Psycho-killer- blend of psychotic and killer. Used due to influences of media in today’s society, quite emphatic like a headline in a paper. 

PC- Initialism- Meaning Political Correctness is a term applied to language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled and aged or other identity groups. Political correctness is a recent issue that needed abbreviating as it is a long word and it would make it easier and quicker to say. Or is this society getting lazier?

Pearshaped- Broadening- It just used to mean the shape of a pear but now it means being wide at the hips. This has negative connotations as it implies someone has odd shaped body. Its importance is that more phrases are being used to describe figures, which could be due to more and more people becoming concerned about the shape of their bodies, something the media is largely to blame for.

Phwoar-Neologism- An expression of appreciation for an attractive person. It was created because there were no recent terms that could describe what youths felt like when they saw a good looking person.

Pimp- Broadening- a Pimp finds and manages clients for prostitutes and engages them in prostitution (in brothels in most cases and some cases street prostitution) in order to profit from their earnings. However now it means to renovate a car due to the Television programme Pimp My Ride. It is important to show how the media can influence new language usage among the younger generations.

Plank- Broadening/Pejoration- it used to mean a split, flat piece of wood, often planed. It now means being stupid/dumb as a plank is thick and “thick” also means stupid.

Pob- Blending- of Posh and Bob. When Victoria Beckham got her new hair style the media called it a “Pob”. Shows how the media can influence language change.

Posh- Broadening- It used to mean smart, elegant and upper class and was the nickname given to Victoria Beckham when she was in the Spice Girls but now people almost always call her “Posh” rather than her actual name.

Privatization- Affixation- meaning to make something private, it came about after the controversial 1969 political movement. It was created to describe the action of making sectors of business private something that hadn’t existed before.

Queer- Pejoration- an offensive term to describe homosexual people. It was probably created because at the time it was invented there was lots of hatred towards gay people. It is important as it used to mean odd and it now used to describe people of a different sexual orientation, this shows how homophobic views can change the meaning of certain words.

Quidditch- a mythical sport invented for the Harry Potter books. Again important because popular literature can influence additions to the English language.

Radge- a crazy, wild or violent person, originates from a Scottish informal for rage. Used originally as slang and incorporated into general language through fashion. 

 

 

Retronym- Blend of retro- and –onym used to specify a more modern version of something which has been around for a while eg. Acoustic guitar instead of guitar. Used due to advances in technology. 

Retronym- Blend of retro- and –onym used to specify a more modern version of something which has been around for a while eg. Acoustic guitar instead of guitar. Used due to advances in technology. 

 

Router- a piece of computer equipment that handles message transfers. First used in 2002 due to advancements in telecommunication technology. 

 

Reggaeton- a type of music formed from combining signature elements from reggae, Latin American music and rap. First used in early 1990s due to fashions in music changing. Example of derivation/ affixing. 

 

Rave- a dance party that lasts all night where electronically synthesized music is played and often hallucinogenic drugs are taken. First used 1989, transferred perhaps from the idea of verb ‘to rave’ used first in 1374 “to show signs of madness or delirium,” 

Rocks- Broadening- it used to mean a naturally occurring aggregate of minerals or a piece of stone. Now it means jewels/jewelry. It is used by American’s mainly celebrities. Showing how the media especially celebrities can influence language change.

ROM- Acronym- Read Only Memory. This word was necessary due to technological advances and its abbreviation was necessary because it is a long phrase which would benefit from being shortened and made easier and quicker to say.

Router- Neologism- a piece of computer equipment that handles message transfers. The need for this word was due to technological advances and there was no word in the English Language to describe something that didn’t exist.

 

 

Quark- A soft creamy cheese from central Europe made from whole milk. First used in 1989 due to the discovery and widespread of the food.

 

Queer- colloquial term for homosexuals, transgenders and bisexuals first used in 1980, however it is often deemed offensive. Probably first adopted by heterosexuals to describe homosexuals as being different to them. Example of perjoration. 

 

Quidditch- a mythical sport invented by author JK Rowling in her Harry Potter books. Added to the dictionary in 2005 due to the popularity of the books, and the common knowledge of what it is.

 

 

Snail –Mail

Compounding

‘Physical delivery of mail, as contrasted with electronic mail.’

This shows that the ‘physical delivery’ of mail is something of a joke nowadays, as email has taken over – sending information across the world in seconds.

 

 

Sitcom

Blending (of ‘situation’ and ‘comedy’)

‘A humorous drama based on situations that might arise in everyday life’

The increased number of these programmes on TV created the need for a word to define the concept.

 

 

Safe – descriptive adjective

1). Secure from threat of danger, harm or loss.

2). Used to positively describe something or someone; mainly          used amongst young people.

 

The definition of ‘safe’ has simply broadened and ameliorated as it still has its original meaning, but has another definition also.

 

Applied by young people in order to assert their independence from their parents’ generation and also to replace other adjectives such as ‘cool’ which have become dated and overused.

 

Links to other words: ‘sick’, ‘wicked’, ‘alright’

 

Sexercise – intransitive verb/neologism

1). Sexual activity

 

Sexual activity has health benefits and is now seen as a form of exercise.

Blending of ‘sex’ and ‘exercise’ = ‘sexercise’.

 

It has been discovered that having sex has health benefits like performing any other type of exercise; therefore a word is needed to be invented to describe this (it is usually used in less formal situations and for jocular purposes).

Also, it can be seen that exercise is a general activity and in today’s society sex is becoming more like that and less like an activity perceived as special like in the past.

 

Links to other words: ‘shag’, ‘screw’, ‘bang’ (these have less funny                                           connotations, pejoration).

 

SPAM – concrete noun

1). Canned meat – proper noun

2). Unsolicited mail/e-mail sent out in mass quantities –                  

 

Word meaning has broadened as new vocabulary is introduced due to the invention of new technology i.e. computer, internet – shows advances in society.

 

Links to other words: ‘junk mail’, ‘virus’

 

Spastic – concrete noun

1). Used to be used to refer to somebody who has cerebral palsy; however rarely used nowadays due to the influence of political correctness on speech.

2). Nowadays it is used as a term of general abuse i.e. not specific to somebody who suffers from cerebral palsy.

 

‘Spastic’ had negative connotations therefore used to describe somebody negatively or somebody who is clumsy, dumb etc.

 

This shows that political correctness has not prevented words that are offensive such as ‘spastic’ to be used, and that people still use them even if not specific to somebody who has cerebral palsy.

 

Links to other words: ‘spaz’, ‘spag’

 

Spin Doctor – semantic shift of the word “spin”

1). somebody whose job is to make sure that journalists report political events and policies in a way that creates a favourable impression for a particular politician or political party.

 

Neologism invented as ‘politics’ is not a very interesting subject for a majority of people, especially young people. As young people are the future generation, it is necessary to appeal politics to them and interest them; therefore the invention of this word creates an impressive reputation for politics.

 

Links to other words: ‘politics’, ‘reporter’

 

The Media has become increasingly influential in giving its opinion of a particular public figure.


 
S’up
A combination of what’s up. Used to greet someone, usually a friend. Can be used to mean ‘how are you’, or ‘what have you been up to?’ Normally responded to by the same word.
S’up Joe.
S’up Mik.
 
Sandwich Generation
A generation of people who are caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children.
 
Sweet
An intensive used to express satisfaction, acceptance, pleasure, excellence, exaltation, approval, awe, or reverence.

 

Shopaholic - noun

A compulsive shopper. This word was coined by mimicking the noun ‘alcoholic’, by using the end part of the word including the suffix. ‘holic’ was used in order to portray the severity of the shopping obsession. Shopping to this extent is common with more and more people having a WAG lifestyle so this word was created as a way to describe the modern way in which we live.

  

SIM card –  noun

A plastic card inside a mobile phone that stores personal information about the person using the phone. The acronym ‘SIM’ is the abbreviation of ‘subscriber identification module’. Mobile phones became part of everyday life and now almost everyone has one so this word was coined as a way to fulfil the needs of this new technological society. The acronym is easy to say and sounds much more colloquial. The conversational style means that everybody can talk about it; it is not restricted to the upper class or scientific geniuses.

 

 

Trust

To exclaim a point. To claim someone’s faith in what ever you were rajjin’ about, without question, by statement of the word ‘trust’.

His girlfriend was real ugly, trust.

 

Tits

1: A Woman’s breasts
2: Good, tight, cool, awesome, great.

That game was tits last night.

 

Turd

Generally, a log-shaped piece of poo. A turd is characterized by a homogeneous light brown colour.

 

 

TBH – initialism

1). To Be Honest

 

Mainly used on text and internet messaging for quickness. Due to new technological advances in society i.e. the internet, new lexicon is required that short, efficient and understandable.

Also it is particularly used amongst youngsters; therefore it is passed on easily through groups as young people imitate each other to be ‘cool’ and accepted in the group.

 

Links to other words: ‘CBA’, ‘LOL’, ‘BRB’

 

Test-tube baby – concrete noun

1). A baby conceived by artificial insemination taking                             place outside the mother’s body.

 

Due to new advances in medicine, new words are introduced. ‘Test-tube baby’ sounds less scientific and less esoteric to a certain group, in this case doctors.

Due to more people using this way of having children, it is essential that it is understood by all, rather than just small sub-groups.

 

Links to other words: ‘IVF’

 

Transsexual – concrete noun/descriptive adjective

1). somebody physically of one sex with an urge to belong                     to or resemble the opposite sex.

 

In today’s modern society, transsexuals are more accepted, which shows how society has developed as regards people’s sexuality. In the past many people didn’t ‘come out’ as they were prejudiced against, whereas nowadays the majority of society accepts them.

 

Links to other words: ‘transvestite’, ‘tranny’ (shortened version)

 

Treggings – concrete noun/neologism

1). Blending of ‘trousers’ and ‘leggings’.

Close fitting, stretchy trousers, usually worn by women              and children.

 

Due to fashion that is changing all the time, new words are needed quickly to cope with fashion changes in society. ‘Treggings’ was invented by a popular chain of clothing stores; therefore it has an influence on its customers who then pass it on. However words for fashion are generally not long lasting due to the changing fashion tastes in society.

 

Links to other words: ‘leggings’, ‘skinnies’

 

Travelator - noun

A moving walkway, often used in airports. It is a blending of the noun ‘travel’ and the suffix ‘ator’. This piece of new technology was created as a way of making peoples’ lives easier, to make it easier getting from one place to another, therefore this new word was created to describe what the object itself is doing…making you ‘travel’. 

 

Travelated - verb

A verb to describe going on the ‘travelator’. The bound morpheme ‘ed’ was added to create this verb whilst removing part of the suffix ‘ator’. 

 

To twoc - verb

To steal an automobile, esp. for joyriding. It derives from the acronym TWOC meaning ‘taken without owner’s consent’. This word fulfils a need in today’s criminal society.

 

Twocer noun

A person who steals an automobile, esp. for joyriding. Back-formation of the verb ‘twoc’. 

 

Trekkinoun

A person who loves Star Trek. The clipping ‘trek’ and the suffix ‘i’ were used to create this word. This word was needed in order to describe the massive fan base which Star Trek has.

 

Tango-ed - adjective

A word used to describe a person who has used a lot of fake tanning lotion or been on the sunbed for a long time and is therefore quite orange. The bound morpheme ‘ed’ was added to the proper noun ‘Tango’ to create this adjective. It has become increasingly popular to look somewhat orange, as the idea of being tanned relates to celebrities who are popular and rich e.g. Paris Hilton. Many young girls aspire to be like this. This term is used in a derogatory way in order to insult the way a tanned person looks. 

 

Upper Crust

A person of upper class.

 

URL

Universal Resource Locater. Used in computing when surfing the Internet.

www.google.com

 

Uggs

Boots with suede outsides and sheepskin insides. Usually used in snowy and cold regions, but now is associated with miniskirts and beach towns.

 

 

Uncool – descriptive adjective

1). Suffix ‘un’ often added to adjectives in order to express the antonym as oppose to inventing new words.

 

It is used a great deal by young people. The suffix ‘un’ adds emphasis to the expression for example ‘that is so UN-cool!’.

 

Links to other words: ‘lame’, gay’

 

URL – initialism

1). Uniform Resource Locator – the address of a page on the World Wide Web.

 

Due to new technology, words have to be invented or meanings broadened. The initialism ‘URL’ is easier to say and remember.

 

Links to other words: ‘WWW’ (world wide web)

 

 

24-7 – adverb

24 hours a day, 7 days a week i.e. unceasingly. This word was coined in order to describe the hectic lifestyle that many people now lead. It was back-formed from the phrase ‘24 hours a day, 7 days a week’.

 

Ungangsterish – People were chatting in an ungangsterish way

 

VIDEOPHILE

One who loves and collects video equipment and media [compound from L. video ’see’ and G. phile ‘loving’]Context and source: “The picture quality will be vastly improved, pleasing videophiles.” (US News and World Report , 1 December 1997]”I guess owning a Beta, RCA Selectavision, SVHS, Laserdisc, and DVD makes me a videophile.” (Conversation)

 

 

Voicemail

A centralized system of managing telephone messages for a large group of people, usually a form of answering machine on a mobile phone.

 

Video Game

a form of entertainment that is composed of any type of game put into a digital image on a screen and is operated by the player through means of a control connected to a form of a console.

 

Vamoose

To instantly disappear into thin air.  

 

 

VAT – noun/acronym

Value Added Tax

 

Acronym invented as it affects everybody in Britain; therefore it                         is made easier to say as it is so widely used.

 

Links to other words: ‘tax’

 

 

VIP – concrete noun/initialism (pronounced as separate letters)

Very Important Person

 

Due to existence of more A-List celebrities and their prominence                       and regular mention in magazines and other forms of media, it is                   easy to say and the majority of people understand this initialism.

 

Links to other words: ‘elite’, ‘A-List’

 

Virus – concrete noun

Minute parasitic entities that surround a core of DNA, which cause various common diseases in animals and plants.

A small program or shortcode that is deliberately inserted into a computer program or system to attack the software by destroying data files, erasing disks etc.

 

Broadening of definition as nowadays ‘illnesses’ not only affect              organisms but computers also, due to new technology

 

Links to other words: ‘hacker’ , ‘illness’ 

 

 

Wi-Fi

wireless technology used in home networks, mobile phones, video games and other electronic devices that require some form of wireless networking capability.

 

Wanksta

A combination of gangsta and wanker. A person who acts/looks like a gangster or thug, but has never done anything gangster or thug-like besides acting or looking like one.

Look at that wanksta over there.

 

 

WAG – acronym

Wives and Girlfriends

 

Commonly used to describe footballers’ partners.

Invented as many magazines use it therefore it was easier to use                         the acronym.

 

Wasted – evaluative adjective

to be extremely intoxicated from the use of alcohol or drugs.

 

New words invented, mainly by young people, to describe being                       ‘very drunk’.

Nowadays many youngsters do get ‘very drunk’, therefore new                         words are invented to impress other people of their age and                                     replace the dated ones. Also to belong to the group.

 

Links to other words: ‘bladdered’, ‘hammered’, ‘smashed’

 

Wicked – emotive/evaluative adjective

morally bad; evil

exceptionally good, cool

 

Broadening of definition in order to take over from more older,              dated ones – amelioration.

 

Links to other words: ‘awesome’, ‘sick’, ‘amazing’, ‘phat’.

 

Wigger – concrete noun

A male Caucasian, usually born and raised in the suburbs that displays a strong desire to emulate African American Hip Hop culture and style.

Blending of ‘white’ and ‘nigger’ but not seen as offensive,                            rather funny.

 

Due to influence through fashion and lifestyle.

Shows how sub-groups influence the lexis people use.

 

Links to other words: ‘wannabe’, ‘wegro’

 

 

wedge issue

US a very divisive political issue, regarded as a basis for drawing voters away from an opposing party whose supporters have diverging opinions on it.

 

WAC

very unpleasant, undesirable; inappropriate, incorrect or not the way something should be or expected to be, contrary to the social norm; bad or negative in a general sense. Also wack. [clipping of wacky] Context and source: “That test was wac!” “Her outfit was totally wac!” (Conversation)

 

WALLIN’

Slang. to sit or stand against a wall at a party. [derived from, of course, wall]Context and source: I didn’t dance. Just wallin’. (a book called Street Talk 2)

 

WHATEVER

To dismiss or ignore. Desire to dismiss. [Zero derivation of whatever]
Contex and source: ” That guy really whatevers me.” (Conversation)

 

 

X-factor- Lexical change: neologism.

Definition: noun used to refer to an abstract quality which makes something or someone stand out because they are special or extraordinary.

Why this lexical change? The term became more widely used after the popularity of the reality TV show ‘The X Factor’ to refer to anything or anyone who stands out as being talented or special.

Links to other words? Je ne sais quoi.

 

 

Xmas – abbreviation for Christmas

In Greek, Christ’s name starts with an X, Xristos. Thus it’s literally ‘Christ-mas’ or ‘Christ’s Mass’.

 

Shorter version is less religious and more commercialised;                                  therefore it is used by a very large group of people.

 

Links to other words: ‘chrismukkah’, ‘crimbo’

 

 

X-Treme

One better than “Extreme”.

That trick was X-Treme!

 

Xbox

sixth-generation video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation released in 2001.

 

Yogalates- Lexical change: blending of ‘yoga’ and ‘pilates’.

Definition: fitness routine that combines pilates exercises with the postures and breathing techniques of yoga.

Why this lexical change? To define a particular fitness routine as so many different variations have emerged and to make this particular one easily recognised and understood by others.

 

 

Yoba

Greeting similar to Yo, but more cute and less ghetto. The word is derived from Yoda.

An answer to a yes or no question in the affirmative or a positive connotation for any random question.

 

Y2K

The year 2000. The problem in which some computer hardware and software are unable to process dates after 31 December 1999.

 

Yank – concrete noun

A term used by the British to describe all Americans

To be a yankee from the North as opposed to confederate from the south during the American Civil War.

 

Means an American in an informal way.

 

Links to other words: ‘american’, ‘yankee’

 

 

 

Youth – abstract noun

the time of life when one is young young people in general.

 

Pejoration – ‘youth’ is now perceived by the society as negatively due to modern youth culture such as binge drinking and taking drugs.

 

Links to other words: ‘children’, ‘teen’

 

yottabyte
(1000 zettabytes)

 

Yogalates – fitness routine that combines Pilates exercises with the postures and breathing techniques of yoga. A blend of yoga and Pilates.

 

zombie – computer controlled by a hacker without the owner’s knowledge, which is made to send large quantities of data to a website, making it inaccessible to other users.

 

 

Zeitgeist- Lexical change: borrowing

Definition: the spirit of the times/ the trend of thought and feeling in a period.

Why this lexical change? More commonly used nowadays in the press as are other foreign words and phrases due to increased cultural awareness and improved communications. Often used when there is no equivalent word in English.

Links to other words? coup, raison d’être, le mot juste, faux-pas.

 

Zoned

Inattentive, daydreaming or drowsy.

 

Zit

A large temporary blemish on the skin.

 

 

Zone – abstract noun

‘zone’ being short for ‘ozone’, which is a nickname for an ounce that originated in the late 70s/early 80s, regarding drugs or more specifically cocaine.

e.g. to be in the zone = to be ‘high’

An area

 

Broadening of definition during 70s/80s, many people took drugs (craze).

 

Links to other words: ‘high’, ‘stoned’

 

 

Zonked – descriptive adjective

To fall asleep normally because of exhaustion

Extremely intoxicated on alcohol or drugs

 

Definition 2.) adopted by teenagers in late 1960s to add extra words to youth vocabulary.

 

Links to other words: ‘stoned’, ‘zonked out’, ‘inebriated’

 

 

4 Responses

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  1. killiand said, on December 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    These words are great! As our social, political and economic realities become increasingly complex and dynamic new words and phrases are arising daily in order to communicate these new phenomena. If you’re interested in the diverse ways in which politics affects language change you ought to check out a recent article of mine.

  2. Sugar Plum said, on March 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Hey!
    Thx this really helped for my unit 5 exam!

  3. jayanti said, on April 5, 2009 at 7:20 am

    some words are really good which i can use in daily routine

  4. Naomi said, on June 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks, this has helped me for my English Language work on Lexcial Change. I was just scanning and it has given me a few more ideas as for examples on how Lexis can change. Thank you


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