New words and expressions (?)

For a (very) recent class with future Korean to English (and vice versa) interpreters/translators the topic was new words and expressions. I searched the internet and got some tips from my PLN. Thanks for all the the help and ideas! As some small measure of repayment I thought I’d post the words we looked at in class. They are below after the title “New terms?” I guess my worksheet skillz are in full effect here.

The first part of class was a general discussion of neologisms and why they/we chose this topic. Students had some examples (selfie, TMI, PDA, WTF) in mind. After talking about some of these terms and related issues (like the konglish term, skinship) it was time to discuss some related terms. I asked the following questions in the hope it would help make some connections to some items on the list.

  1. What does faux mean? Can you think of any terms it’s used in?
  2. What is a lumberjack?
  3. What is Uber (the company)? What do they do?
  4. Are you familiar with the term street cred?  What is a binge? What is binge-drinking?
  5. What is a mohawk (hairstyle)?
  6. Are you familiar with outsourcing? What does it mean?
  7. What is a metro-sexual?
  8. What is chilling out? 
  9. What does bro mean? When do we say it?
  10. Are you on Twitter? How much do you know about how it works? Do you know any terms that have come from this particular social networking service?
  11. What is a portmanteau? Can you think of any examples?
    Any particular examples from this year related to the UK and the EU?


The next step involved asking students to try to guess what my categorizations were for the words according to the following list.


New terms?


A _______________


1.    alcopop

2.    beer o’clock

3.    bff

4.    buzzkill

5.    chick lit

6.    clunker

7.    earworm

8.    me time

9.    multitasking

10. speed dating

11. hater

12. pocket-dial

13. mic drop

14. newbie


B _______________


1.    affluenza

2.    bromance

3.    carjack

4.    chillax

5.    flexitarian

6.    frenemy

7.    glamping

8.    guyliner

9.    hangry

10. mocktail

11. netiquiette

12. fauxhawk

13. staycation

14. sapiosexual



C ________________



1.    bingewatch

2.    clickbait

3.    crowdsource

4.    drunk text

5.    shelfie

6.    listicle

7.    tweet cred

8.    unfriend

9.    webinar

10. humblebrag

11. troll

12. live stream

13. crowdfund


D __________________



1.    adulting

2.    basic

3.    bestie

4.    feels

5.    noob

6.    totes

7.    on fleek

8.    grrrl

9.    bae

10. fangirl

11. newbie



E Random


1.    grok

2.    chortle

3.    meh

4.    upskill

5.    cronut

6.    facepalm

F _______________


1.    FLOTUS

2.    the GOAT

3.    IRL

4.    FOMO

5.    NSFW

6.    FYI

7.    BTW

8.    TBH

9.    POTUS

10. PoC


G _________________


1.    genderfluid

2.    helicopter parenting

3.    uberification

4.    snowflake

5.    sharing economy

6.    offshore

7.    microaggression

8.    ‘Merica

9.    mansplain

10. lumbersexual

11. Latinx

12. hipster

13. the noughties


H _________________


1.    physical book

2.    snail mail

3.    land line

4.    dumb phone

5.    conventional weapons

6.    Traditional Chinese Characters

7.    brick and mortar store

8.    field hockey

9.    opposite sex marriage

10. rotary telephone

11. sit-down restaurant

12. web 1.0

After discussing the categories (and defending my choices a bit) I had some example sentences with blanks and asked students to fill in the blanks. Sometimes I offered hints about which category the words were in for this. We then talked a bit about the patterns (haters gonna hate) that some of the terms tend to fall into.


  • I guess it might look like quite a long list but Ss were familiar with the majority of the terms already so I didn’t feel bad about overloading them.
  • There were a few terms I just had to include because students (this group’s seniors) have asked about them. Examples of this include the naughties and conventional weapons.
  • Another second excusplanation is that I just wanted students to see the trends and have some chances to try to work out the meanings. I tried to highlight I didn’t expect them to learn and use all the terms but to just be aware of them and the kinds of play with the language that occurs. An example of this is all the new terms that feature bro .
  • I placed the terms into categories and students were asked to guess the categories before we did anything else with the terms. They did pretty well on this. Categories A and D are a bit tricky. Feel free to make your guesses and I will tell you if you are correct. It was interesting to see their guesses about the categories.
  • In working on this list I discovered a list of retronyms on wikipedia. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think you might as well. Yes, the category of section H was retronyms.




  • Students found FLOTUS and POTUS (the terms, not the people) annoying.
  • I didn’t love the “guess my categorization system” activity but I think it was a decent enough start. I’d planned on asking students to make their own categories or do more with this but other interesting things like discussions around and sharing personal experiences with some of words sprang up.
  • The question about Twitter at the start gave the chance to talk about subtweeting.
  • Somehow nobody asked about lumbersexual or sapiosexual. 
  • When I talked about dead trees book (instead of physical book) some students seemed quite amused with the term.
  • I was able to let students know Michael Jordan is the GOAT.
  • We realized it is not a great idea to google “NSFW.”
  • I’ve never had a cronut.
  • When a student accused me of humblebragging in class frequently I changed the subject to the book Don Quixote and said I didn’t remember everything because I read it in Spanish.