As I pointed out in a recent post, the Oxford “Word” of 2015 is a pictogram.
In this post, I’ll take a look at eight other words that placed in Oxford’s annual list of frequently used English words and phrases.
Of the eight, I had heard of three of them, had written about two of them, and had never heard of five of them.
Merriam-Webster has an entry for the phrase and defines it as “economic activity that involves individuals buying or selling usually temporary access to goods or services especially as arranged through an online company or organization” and gives 2007 as the date of its first-known use.
Wikipedia defines it as “peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services).”
The phrase does not yet appear in my subscription edition of the OED.
It seems to mean “online bartering.”
The appearance of this ancient word on the 2015 list is in the context of its growing use to refer to a person of unspecified gender. See Gendered Pronouns for a discussion of this usage.
I couldn’t even guess at what this one could mean. According to the Oxford site’s explanation, this phrase originated with the user of a social media called Vine. She uploaded a video in which she displayed her eyebrows and described them as “on fleek.” The phrase is now taken to mean “extremely good, attractive, or stylish.”
This is a type of software that prevents ads from popping up on a web page. I had heard of this one.
This has been an English word since the seventeenth century. The renewed interest derives from the frequency that refugee and migrant have appeared in the news this year. I recently wrote about the words in Migrants vs Refugees.
This creation—a combination of Br(itish)+exit— is a term for “potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.”
I’d heard of the Deep Web, but not the Dark Web. The Deep Web refers to parts of the Internet that can’t be accessed in the usual way with browsers and search engines. The Dark Web “refers specifically to websites which use encryption tools to hide the identities of hosts and users of a site, often in order to facilitate illegal activities.”
I guessed this one to mean the type of man who imagines that beard stubble looks attractive. I was close. It merges lumberjack with metrosexual and refers to urban males who sport checked shirts and facial hair. Mind you, I like beards; it’s the not-quite-shaven-but-not-really-a-beard look that gives me the fantods.