Say What?! New Words To Ponder From 2015
As the calendar ticks off the final days of 2015, the End of Year lists have begun to be released. From the funniest moments, to the top news stories, they all tout the highlights from the past 365 days. One of the most interesting to writers – and readers, perhaps – is the list of new words which will be added to the dictionaries in 2015. Can you think of any new words you’ve heard this year?
How about awesomesauce, Yes way! or buttdial? Any of those ring a bell? And this year, to the dismay of many a wordsmith, Oxford Dictionary announced that their Word of the Year really isn’t a word at all, but rather an emoji character – “face with tears of joy.”
Of course, the world of technology spawns many of the new words, like phablet, a mobile smartphone with ambitions to be a tablet computer; or fitness tracker: a wearable electronic device or a software application that monitors one’s daily physical activity; and let’s not forget pocket-dial, that awkward moment when you dial someone’s number by mistake while your phone is in your pocket.
The ability for technology to monitor new term usage through online analytics, spurs some of the new additions including fleek, defined as “flawlessly styled, groomed, etc.” The virality of slang terms often contributes to a massive increase in lookups much like the newly added word: yaaas, slang for a strong expression of excitement or approval.
But maybe it’s the ones generated from a shift in social behaviors that are the most telling. The Bank of Mom and Dad is a 2015 phrase referring to cash-strapped millennials who rely on parental obligation for financial assistance. Then there’s the gender-neutral title Mx, which can be used before a person’s surname in the same way as Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms.
Other informal slang terms in the 2015 update include brain fart, bruh, butthurt, fur baby, MacGyver, mkay, rando, and swole. But before revealing the (partial) list of new words, it might be wise to make a brief note of the Words To Leave Behind in 2015:
- Dope: Super cool and relevant.
- LMK: Let Me Know.
- I Literally Can’t: When something is so amazing, you just can’t handle it.
- Doe: Alternate (and more popular) spelling of ‘though.’
- Winning: When everything is going right.
And finally, here’s a selection of the New Words of 2015. How many do you know?
asterisk: any factor or element that makes an otherwise outstanding achievement somewhat doubtful or less impressive.
bestie: a person’s best friend.
Creative Commons: a set of various licenses that allow people to share their copyrighted work to be copied, edited, built upon, etc., while retaining the copyright to the original work.
digital citizen: a person who develops the skills and knowledge to effectively use the Internet and other digital technology, especially in order to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.
digital wallet: an electronic device, website, software system, or database that facilitates commercial transactions by storing a consumer’s credit card, shipping address, and other payment data.
doge: an Internet fad or meme typified by an image of a dog of the Shiba Inu breed accompanied by very short phrases that humorously represent the dog’s imagined thoughts and use the wrong modifiers or shortened word forms, as “such dignified” or “amaze.”
drunk text: to send a text message to someone while intoxicated.
EGOT: the honor of winning at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony in competitive rather than honorary categories.
facepalm: the gesture of placing the palm of one’s hand across the face, as to express embarrassment, frustration, disbelief, etc. (often used as an interjection).
feels: strong, often positive feelings.
fitness tracker: a wearable electronic device or a software application that monitors one’s physical fitness and daily physical activity.
fleek: flawlessly styled, groomed, etc.
Franken-: a combining form used before something that is a hybrid of disparate parts, and meaning “strange or frightening.”
Internet of Things (IoT): a network of everyday devices, appliances, and other objects equipped with computer chips and sensors that can collect and transmit data through the Internet.
IRL: in real life (in contrast with communication and interaction online or in a fictional situation).
KenKen: a brand name for a numerical logic puzzle printed on a grid subdivided into clusters of squares, or cages, the object of which is to fill in the squares so that each column and row do not repeat digits, and all the numbers within a cage combine together using the specified arithmetic operation to equal a target number.
kk: (used in text messages and other digital communications) okay; OK.
matchy-matchy: Informal. (of an outfit, décor, etc.) having colors or patterns that match or harmonize too closely.
Mx.: a title of respect prefixed to a person’s surname: unlike Mr., Mrs., or Ms., it does not indicate gender and may be used by a person with any or no specific gender identity.
nerf: (in a video game) to reconfigure (an existing character or weapon), making it less powerful.
neurodiversity: the variation and differences in neurological structure and function that exist among human beings, especially when viewed as being normal and natural rather than pathological.
random: a person or thing that is unknown, unidentified, or suspiciously out of place.
respawn: (of a character or item in a video game) to reenter an existing game environment at a fixed point after having been defeated or otherwise removed from play.
sapiosexual: a person who finds intelligence to be a sexually attractive quality in others.
shootie: a woman’s shoe that reaches, covers, or extends just above the ankle.
tabletop: noting or relating to a type of game that requires the physical presence of players and the manipulation of game pieces, as board games and some card games or role-playing games but not video games.
TBH: to be honest.
yaaas: Yes! (used as a strong expression of excitement, approval, agreement, etc.)