From Sci-fi to Spray tan and Adulting to Bromance - what word was coined in your birth year?
Ever found yourself googling a word used in conversation, or got caught out writing ‘LOL’ to a grieving friend? You’re not the only one.
For the past seven decades, words have been created, altered, shortened or crammed together to produce an English language often unrecognisable to that used before the 1950s.
In January 2018, The Oxford English Dictionary announced that it has added more than 1,100 words, senses, and sub-entries.
For Millennials, some of the words brought about in the 19th century might come as a surprise they haven’t always existed - like Sci-Fi, Endangered or Text Message.
Here’s a list of 70 fun, interesting and meaningful words created in the past seven decades.
What one was created in your birth year?
Here’s the meaning behind some of the more unknown words, like ‘deepfake’ and ‘ASMR’.
Dishy - in Britain it means ‘sexually attractive,’ in the US it means scandalous or gossip.
Flowerpower - used to describe the passive, peaceful resistance movement of the 60s and the promotion of peace and love as means of changing the world. Often now used to describe colourful, hippy-style clothing.
Booty Call - a communication (such as a phone call or text message) by which a person arranges a sexual encounter with someone whom they are not in a formal relationship with.
Bridezilla - a soon to be bride who treats her bridal party and/pr husband-to-be like trash because she is planning the details of her wedding to obsessive or intolerably demanding levels.
Manscaping - the removal or trimming of a man’s hair for cosmetic reasons
FOMO - fear of missing out: not being able to decline an invitation to an event or outing in case you miss out on a good time.
Sexting - Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos to someone via text or other digital apps.
Totes - totally
ASMR - a feeling of satisfaction which displays as a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the spine experienced in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound such as someone eating or whispering.
Aphantasia - the inability to voluntarily create a mental picture in your head. People with aphantasia are unable to picture a scene, person, or object, even if it’s very familiar.
Inspo - something or someone who serves as inspiration or motivation
Adorbs - in simplest terms, adorable.
Ghosting - the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
Deepfake - Deep fakes are commonly videos where one person’s face has been convincingly replaced by a computer-generated face, usually resembling a second person.
How are new words formed?
There a five ways new words come into existence:
Blending - merging two or more words together e.g. Paralympics
Clippings - shortening existing words e.g. Sci-Fi
Compounding - Adding two words together to create a new meaning e.g. spray tan
Affixation - Adding prefixes or suffixes to an existing word e.g. sizeism
Conversion - turning nouns into verbs e.g. adulting
While the words used in the list were first published or used in written word in the year mentioned, this does not mean that this was the first time the word was ever used in conversation.