Friday, December 5, 2014

The Best New Words

English, I was taught in college, is a living, breathing, language.

I love when people make up new words and they move into common usage.  You can't enjoy writing, and not enjoy a new word that conveys something so well, you wonder why the word took so long to be invented.  Of course, by the time some words make the Oxford English Dictionary, they've been in common usage for a long time.

Do you have some new favorite words?

Here are some of mine:

al Desko (yes, I've eaten enough lunches at my desk)

Brick (verb, meaning to make a cell phone non functional) Or, it can be a modern cell phone that resembles the "brick" phones of the 1990's. Not that I would ever want one of those.  As the saying goes, if you live through a fashion once, you are too old for it the second time around. (Not that I owned one, that is.)

Binge watching - I'm puzzled, though, because I've seen that word used for several years now.  And, I know too many people who binge watch.  Stop watching TV and start living (says the person who spends too much time online.)

First World problems - my personal favorite. Like complaining about the balky remote control on my TV.

And then, there are the words removed from the Oxford English Dictionary - some of them hundreds of years after their last usage.

Curious about what English looked like as a language a thousand years ago? Check out this manuscript of a masterpiece called The Adventures of Beowulf., the oldest surviving English manuscript. But it's an English you would barely understand without a translation.

Are you a word geek? Do you have any favorite new words that have not existed for that long?


  1. Ha ha! Interesting, Alana! I'd never heard any of the coined words you brought up but I could figure out "binge watching."
    I read Chaucer in Middle English. That was tough but interesting.
    I like to learn "modismos" (modern slang) in Spanish. Like in Colombia, chevere, means "great!" Of course, I'm remembering this word from 1984 so it's probably not vogue anymore! Great post!

    1. The evolution of language as interested me since I needed to take linguistics in college for my major. And you are right - it happens in all languages, not just English. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Loved the blog post! I've been planning to do one very similar to this after I read about new words added in January of 2014 and hadn't seen the Oxford Dictionaries page -- signed up for the word of the day while I was there.
    I write for a living and love words, so, yes, I'm definitely a word geek!

    1. It's not too late! More than enough words for each of us!

  3. Great write up. Now I'm thinking of google..."new words in 1933" or what every year.
    Coffee is on

    1. It will be interesting to see what words are added next year.

  4. Great post - I love when new words and phrases are created. The English language certainly is an amazing thing!

  5. I love learning new words. And slang. And I am really disappointed when words disappear from our vocabularies and dictionaries.


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