Has boffice life hit your level of Vitamin S? The new words that entered the lexicon in 2021

  • A language expert has presented a list of words entering our vocabulary in 2021 
  • Some, such as Lockdown Foot and Pingdemic, have been influenced by Covid
  • Also on the list are Boffices, Finfluencer, Sponge city, Eco sore and Microdelivery

From Lockdown Foot and Boffices to Dragging Sites and Quit Lit, the world is changing rapidly – and so is the way we describe it. Here, language expert Adam Jacot de Boinod, presents his annual list of the new words that entered the lexicon in the past 12 months.

Anthropause: A period of time when human activity and movement is greatly reduced.

Ask gap: The difference in the salary earned by people who ask for (and receive) a higher amount and those who do not.

Black sky event: A serious event, such as a cyber-attack, that causes a widespread power cut.

One of 2021’s new terms was ‘lockdown foot’, a condition resulting from spending lockdown at home in bare feet or slippers, making it difficult or painful to wear normal shoes again

Boffice: A bed used as an office while working from home.

Cardening: Growing and tending plants inside your car.

Comfury: A style of clothing that combines comfort and luxury.

Decomponentise: To remove individual parts of a device such as a mobile phone for recycling.

Dragging site: A web platform whose members severely criticise people in the public eye.

Dunchfast: A meal eaten once a day that combines breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Eco score: Information on food packaging showing its impact on the environment.

Finfluencer: Someone who attracts followers on social media by giving financial advice.

Glitch: A dance, made popular on TikTok, with fast, jerky moves that make it look as if the viewer has a bad internet connection.

Heat day: When children do not have to go to school, or adults to work, as the weather is too hot.

Human cloud: A freelance workforce located remotely around the world, working online.

Hurry sickness: Doing everything in a rush because you feel stressed about time.

Hyperpop: Pop music, usually online, that exaggerates the elements of the genre.

Inflammageing: A quickening of the ageing process caused by inflammation in the body.

A ‘pingdemic’ refers to the disruption caused when a large number of people receive a phone alert to self-isolate after being in contact with someone with Covid-19

Lockdown foot: A condition resulting from spending lockdown at home in bare feet or slippers, making it difficult or painful to wear normal shoes again.

Metaverse: A shared online space where people, represented by avatars, can interact.

Microdelivery: Delivering a single item, normally food or drink, very soon after it has been ordered online.

Midweeker: A short holiday taken outside of weekend.

Minimony: A small wedding ceremony that is held instead of, or before, a bigger celebration.

Pingdemic: Disruption caused when a large number of people receive a phone alert to self-isolate after being in contact with someone with Covid-19.

Polypill: A single pill that contains several drugs.

Reverse lie-in: When you go to bed much earlier than usual then get up early the next morning.

Quit lit: A book that gives advice on how to stop drinking alcohol or describes resigning from a job.

Sadwear: Clothes that make the wearer feel better when sad.

A ‘social hangover’ is a feeling of tiredness and slight illness after spending time with friends and family, especially after lockdown

Shecession: A recession that affects mostly women.

Skin fasting: Using no, or very few, skincare products on your face for a while, thought by some to be good for the skin.

Sleepcast: A podcast of sounds or voices designed to give you a good night’s sleep.

Social hangover: A feeling of tiredness and slight illness after spending time with friends and family, especially after lockdown.

Spatial audio: A way of playing music that makes the sound seem as if it’s coming from many places.

Sponge city: A city prone to flooding that has been rebuilt in a way that allows more rainwater to be absorbed back into the ground.

Spread booking: Booking several trips with the intention of cancelling all but one of them before the date of travel.

Stretchologist: Someone who helps you improve your posture and flexibility by showing you how to stretch properly.

Tornado omelette: A type of omelette made by whisking the eggs with chopsticks as they cook to create a cone.

Vitamin S: Social contact with other people, considered to be as good for your health as vitamins.

Zombie storm: A type of storm that dies out but then gathers more energy and returns.

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