From Frankenfood to Glamping: OMG! It’s the New Words of the Past Decade

The English language is always changing, but especially so over the past ten years. Thanks to the rise of the internet, social media, and smartphones, the English language has a whole range of new words that have sprung up as a result of these new technological phenomena. We’re going to take a look at some of the latest buzzwords out there, look out for words that are ‘mash-ups’ – the formation of a new word from two existing words – as many trendy new words are created this way.

Pop-up – this new word has two meanings for the modern age. Anyone who uses the internet will recognize pop-ups as being annoying advertising windows that ‘pop up’ in the corner of your screen when you’re browsing the web. It also describes a whole new shopping phenomenon. Pop-up shops are shops that ‘pop up’ only for a short space of time, often in disused shopping centres and markets, and specially designed pop-up shop areas. They’re often boutiques selling unique items that are locally produced, from artwork to clothing, food and drink to books.

Hoodie – hoodie has been around for years as a name for a jumper or sweater that has a hood attached to it. But over the past decade, the term has also begun to be applied to the type of people who wear hoodies. In the UK this typically means teenagers, but it’s a term that’s often used derogatorily to describe gangs of youths who like to hang around the streets and cause trouble.

Yogalates – two forms of exercise that really grew in popularity over the past decade were yoga and pilates. While the 80s and 90s were all about aerobics, during the 2000s, more people took up these two gentler forms of exercise in order to get fit, both of which were popularized by celebrities. Yogalates is a brand new form of exercise that’s a mixture of both, and the name reflects this.

Google – we all know Google as the name of the most famous internet search engine on the planet, but over the past decade the word’s usage has changed. No longer just a noun for the search engine itself, it’s now a verb for the act of looking something up on Google. Can’t remember the name of an actor in a movie you’re watching? Or what year Italy last won a World Cup? It’s time to Google it.

Frankenfood – genetically modified food is a relatively modern scientific breakthrough, and one that has caused much debate. This new word for genetically modified food reflects the worries of people concerned about the effects of tampering with the genetic make-up of foodstuffs – it’s a mixture of ‘food’ and ‘Frankenstein’!

Noob or newb – this is one of the many new words of the past decade that we can thank the internet for. You’ll often see the word noob, newb or newbie on forums and comments sections online when people are referring to a person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the internet.

OMG – If you’ve ever used the internet you’ll no doubt have come across this recently invented acronym. It stands for ‘Oh my god!’ or ‘Oh my goodness!’, and as well as being used a lot on the internet you’ll now also hear people exclaiming it in everyday conversation too.

Glamping – this one is a mixture of two words that you might not think should go together – glamorous and camping! It was prompted in part by celebrity-studded music festivals like Glastonbury in the UK. Glamping now applies to more luxurious forms of camping that have grown in popularity in recent years, like camping in yurts.

What new words have you noticed popping up recently? We’d love to hear your favourites – or new words you can’t stand, in the comments below! You can also learn how the locals speak throughout England!

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