lots and lots of new words and meanings
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.
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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
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
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
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
Place of residence or work
It is originally cockney slang and demonstrates how language spreads across regions
Links to: house, home, place
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
A girl that is only with a man because she wants his
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
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’
‘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’
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
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’
The state experienced after someone takes a considerable amount of drugs, particularly marijuana.
Links to: ‘stoned’ ‘buzzed’ ‘wasted’ ‘tripping’ ‘smashed’
A fear of homosexuals
Created as homosexuality had become widely spread and acceptable.
Links to: ‘racist’ ‘sexist’ anti-gay’
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’
Hot desk: Noun / Verb
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’
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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’
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
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’
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’
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
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
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
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’
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’
Kick ass: Adjective
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’
To get a woman pregnant, particularly un-planned, un-wanted or in wedlock.
Links to: ‘pregnant’ ‘up the duff’ ‘preggers’
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
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
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’
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’
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Technical Term: Compounding
Definition: the act of avoiding confrontation, avoiding conflict
Why was the word formed?
Link to other words: avoidance, passive
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
A generation of people who are caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children.
An intensive used to express satisfaction, acceptance, pleasure, excellence, exaltation, approval, awe, or reverence.
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.
1: A Woman’s breasts
2: Good, tight, cool, awesome, great.
That game was tits last night.
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’
A person of upper class.
Universal Resource Locater. Used in computing when surfing the Internet.
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)
A centralized system of managing telephone messages for a large group of people, usually a form of answering machine on a mobile phone.
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.
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’
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’
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’
One better than “Extreme”.
That trick was X-Treme!
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.
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.
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’
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.
Inattentive, daydreaming or drowsy.
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’
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’