Friday 23 March 2018

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

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 ( "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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