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 New Words in English - 4 


Recently-coined English words, terms and expressions with their meaning, for learners of English.


Alphabetical list of new words in English: N-S

 New words from N to S 



Here are more words and expressions that have been coined in recent years. Some can be found in official dictionaries; others may never make their way there, but new words will continue to appear as the English language adapts to innovations and trends.


  • nonfrontational
    • Avoiding conflict or confrontation.

  • nonliner
    • Someone who rarely or never uses the Internet, usually because they cannot access it.

  • noogler
    • A new Google employee.

  • notspot
    • An area where there is slow Internet access or no connection at all.

  • noughties
    • The years between 2000 and 2009 which contain a 'nought' (zero), in the same way as other decades are called the 'thirties', 'sixties', etc .

  • offshorable
    • Something that can be done or produced in another country, especially at reduced costs.

  • OH
    • Abbreviation of 'other half', a person's wife, husband or partner.

  • omnishambles
    • A badly-managed situation, especially in politics, in which poor judgment results in blunders and miscalculations with potentially disastrous consequences.

  • onesie
    • A one-piece garment for adults, rather like a baby’s sleeping suit, usually made of soft material and worn for relaxing or sleeping.

  • optics
    • The way a situation appears to the general public and the possible effects of this, for exampe the good or bad optics of a political measure.

  • outernet
    • Traditional media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television) as opposed to the internet.

  • overparenting
    • Being excessively protective of one's children in order to guarantee their safety and ensure their success in life.

  • oversharing
    • Providing too much information on the Internet (credit card details, personal information, etc.) especially through social network sites.

  • overworking class
    • A segment of today's working population where there is a desire or need to work long hours.

  • password fatigue
    • Being tired of having to remember a large number of passwords for different electronic devises.

  • password wallet
    • An online service where a person’s passwords can be stored and managed.

  • paywall
    • A system which restricts access to a website, or certain webpage content, to users who have paid a subscription.

  • phablet
    • Blend of 'phone' and 'tablet'.
      A large smartphone that can be used like a tablet computer.



  • photobomb
    • Intrude into the background of a photograph just before it is taken.

  • pig ear / pig's ear
    • Pieces of metal fixed to the edge of low walls, ledges, benches, steps etc. in urban areas to prevent skateboarders from sliding or jumping on them. These are also called “skateboard deterrents” or “skatestoppers”.

  • pixie cut
    • A short hairstyle for women in which the hair is cut around the ears and cropped in layers so as to create a tousled effect.

  • podcast
    • Derived from 'pod' (from Ipod) and 'broadcast'.
      A digital file (radio, audio etc.) available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device.

  • post-truth
    • Relating to a situation in which arguments based on emotions and beliefs are more readily accepted by the public than those based on facts and logic, for example post-truth politics.

  • quintastic
    • A blend of the adjective 'fantastic' and the prefix 'quin'.
      An informal way of referring to a person who is aged fifty or over but remains sexy, smart, energetic and successful, especially someone famous.

  • rat tail
    • A hairstyle, usually for men, with a long thin strip of hair growing down from the back of the head, with the rest of the head shaved or the hair cut short.

  • reality soap
    • A TV show featuring members of the public and aimed at showing how ordinary people behave in everyday life.

  • recessionista
    • Popular new term for a person who succeeds in dressing stylishly on a tight budget.

  • ringtone
    • The sound made by a mobile or cell phone to indicate an incoming call.

  • road rage
    • Aggressive habits often resulting in violence against other drivers.

  • robocall
    • Commercial telemarketing call which plays a recorded message.

  • sandwich generation
    • A generation of middle-aged people who have to care both for their children and their elderly parents.

  • screenager
    • A young person or teenager who spends a lot of time in front of the computer screen.

  • selfie
    • A photograph that one has taken of oneself (for example a photograph taken with a smartphone).

  • selfie stick
    • A metal stick (usually extendable) which holds your phone or camera and allows you to take a selfie photograph from a distance.



  • shabby-chic
    • Cottage-style decor achieved by using worn or “distressed” furniture and neutral-coloured fabrics, or new items suitably treated to appear old and look comfortable. The result is an elegant overall effect.

  • shrinkflation
    • A situation where a manufacturer sells a product containing less in size or quantity for the same price.

  • sip and see / sip 'n see (party)
    • A party to celebrate the birth of a baby during which guests can socialise while sipping their drinks and admiring the new arrival.

  • sindie
    • Single income now divorced.

  • sitcom
    • Blend of 'situation' and 'comedy'.
      A drama, on television, based on humorous everyday situations.

  • site scraper
    • Software that collects content from other sites (without permission).

  • skort
    • Blend of 'skirt' and 'shorts'.
      A pair of shorts with a flap of material across the front (and sometimes the back) to make them look like a skirt.

  • sliver building
    • An extremely tall, narrow skyscraper.

  • slumdog
    • Very poor, underprivileged person who lives in an overcrowded squalid area of a city called a slum.

  • smartwatch
    • A watch that can be used as a phone or a computer, with a small keyboard.

  • smirt
    • Blend of 'smoke' and 'flirt'.
      Smoking prohibition laws have led to a new sort of social pastime : 'smirting', smokers getting to know each other when outside on the pavement.

  • snail mail
    • The standard system of delivering mail which is very slow in contrast to electronic mail.

  • social supermarkets
    • Supermarkets that offer discounted food exclusively to those in poverty. The food is donated by retailers and manufacturers. The food is cheap because it may be mislabelled, have damaged packaging or be nearing an expiration date, but it is still edible.

  • sofalise / sofalize
    • Stay home and use the internet, phone or other electronic device to communicate with people (social networking, chatting, tweeting, etc.), rather than go out and meet them face to face.

  • solopreneur
    • A person who is the owner of their business and runs it alone.

  • spiraliser / spiralizer
    • A kitchen appliance used for cutting vegetables into long thin spagetti-like strips.

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 Find out more about the origin of words here


More new words - pages 1 to 5: 

page 1:  A-C page 2:  C-F page 3:  G-N page 4:  N-S page 5:  S-Z



Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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