New English Words in 2021

Last year, the Merriam-webster dictionary added 455 new words and The Oxford English Dictionary added over 650.
Here are some new words from 2021 that you should be paying attention to as they are bound to become part of our everyday English, if they’re not already!
Doomscrolling is our first word. It means reading the news on social media and expecting it to be bad. So much so that you become obsessed with looking at news updates. And I must say this was me during the pandemic and also now with the war in Ukraine. I wish I could stop doomscrolling past midnight every day !
Speaking of the pandemic, our next two words are PPE and Quaranteen.
PPE is an abbreviation for personal protective equipment. The masks, goggles, gowns, gloves and other protective gear that doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care workers need to wear when dealing with COVID patients.
Quarenteen, spelt QUARENTEEN is a homophone for the word quarantine, ending -TINE. It’s a compound noun of quarantine and teenager and it describes those poor teenagers who were stuck in their rooms and had to watch TikTok in total isolation during lockdown. How many parties must they have missed?
Another new abbreviation that sneaked into English during the pandemic is WFH, which stands for work (or working) from home. I was WFH-ing a long time before COVID hit, but many people are new WFH-ers and have had to adapt to a new way of working.
Let’s stay with abbreviations and look at NFT, which was the Collins dictionary word of the year for 2021. It stands for non-fungible token, the unique digital identifier that records the ownership of a digital asset such as a digital piece of art, for example. If something is fungible it can be replaced or substituted. Non-fungible, however, means it cannot.
One of favourite new words from last year is the verb to fingle. This was included by Oxford University Press and it means to handle something with the fingers and to touch something all over. Hey! Stop fingling that slice of pizza. It’s mine!!
And last on my list, but by no means least, is dad bod. This is the kind of body I have despite not being a dad. I’m overweight, not very muscular and definitely in need of more exercise. I developed my dad bod at the start of the pandemic when I couldn’t go to the gym regularly. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

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