Wednesday 17 July 2019

From ambitextrous to zarf, a whole new lingo emerges

Deirdre Reynolds goes through the A-Z of our new language

The famous selfie from the Oscars; psychologists believe the 'selfie culture' may be undermining our self esteem
The famous selfie from the Oscars; psychologists believe the 'selfie culture' may be undermining our self esteem
Springter: Saoirse Ronan on the set of Brooklyn
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin espoused conscious uncoupling.
Twerking: Miley Cyrus

Deirdre Reynolds

Ever feel that you don't have a clue what anyone is talking about any more? Us too. From conscious uncoupling to vaping, a new word is now created every 98 minutes, according to US company Global Language Monitor.

And it's leaving even lovers of the English language completely confizzled – or confused, to you and me.

"Living languages change constantly," says writer and editor Stan Carey, who pens the popular language blog Sentence First (www.stancarey.com). "Some neologisms will last, some won't," he adds, "but despite what some people think, English is not in decline."

Here's our A-Z of words that will leave you wondering WTF?

A is for Ambitextrous (adjective):

Ability to text equally well with both hands, despite barely remembering how to operate a pen.

B is for Binge-watch (verb):

The practice of gorging on your favourite television show, and associated withdrawal symptoms when it ends.

C is for Conscious uncoupling (verb):

To separate without ill will as absolutely no-one but Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin call it.

D is for Defriender (noun):

Person who sneakily removes friends from social-media sites such as Facebook.

E is for Edress (noun):

Y'know, because simply saying 'email address' is a bit too much like hard work nowadays.

F is for Facepalm (noun):

The act of clutching your face in frustration made famous by an internet meme of Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

G is for Groupie (noun):

No, not that kind, silly – the kind where someone takes a group selfie and posts it on Twitter like Ellen DeGeneres or Cian Healy.

H is for Hypochristian (noun):

Person who doesn't darken the door of a church from one end of the year to the other, but has no problem getting hitched there.

I is for iDedication (noun):

Addiction to gadgets that start with the letter 'i' including Apple's iPhone and iPad.

J is for Journalebrity (noun):

Jammy dodger such as Kelly Osbourne who gets their own TV show or newspaper column based on being a celebrity, or related to one.

K is for Kicks (noun):

Chung wan for 'shoes', made famous by Foster The People's song Pumped Up Kicks (fancy shoes).

L is for Lamoid (noun):

Person who is afflicted by lameness, as opposed to the South American camel, who's actually pretty sound.

M is for Mumblecore:

Type of American indie film that is literally all talk and generally stars a complete unknown.

N is for Normcore (adjective):

Dressing like Steve Jobs in boring turtlenecks, jeans and runners as a way of standing out by, erm, fitting.

O is for Own (verb):

To butt-whip an opponent in a computer game – or otherwise – often deliberately (mis)spelled as 'pwn' after someone hit 'p' instead of 'o' on their keyboard.

P is for Photobomb (verb):

Doing a Benedict Cumberbatch by leaping into someone else's photo at the last second.

Q is for Quawkward (adjective):

Portmanteau of 'quite' and 'awkward' applied to extremely uncomfortable encounters.

R is for Random (adjective):

Teen buzzword used to describe situations that are invariably not in the least bit out of the ordinary.

S is for Springter (noun):

The sort of wintry weather that leaves you hugging a hot water bottle like Saoirse Ronan on the set of Brooklyn all Spring (below).

T is for Twerk (verb):

Form of butt-thrusting dance made famous by Miley Cyrus, and definitely not to be confused with 'twork' meaning to tweak your performance at work.

Ubersexual (noun):

A man who exhibits the perfect combination of traditional masculinity and modern metrosexuality, see also George Clooney.

V is for Vape (verb):

The act of puffing on an electronic cigarette, so named because of the vapour it releases.

W is for Workation (noun):

Holiday spent glued to your laptop in the hotel's free wi-fi zone, tragically getting more work done because your colleagues aren't there to annoy you.

X is for XYZ (acronym):

Textspeak way of telling someone they're flying low, as in, 'Hey! You might want to XYZ [eXamine Your Zipper]'.

Y is for Yupster (noun):

Cross between a 'yuppie' and a 'hipster', this young professional seeks to climb the greasy pole while staying true to their indie lifestyle.

Z is for Zarf (noun):

So that little cardboard thingy they put around your triple-venti-soy-no-foam-latte in the morning actually does have a name.

Irish Independent

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