Yesterday 25 June 2015, 500 new English words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Oh my goodness I hear you say, yet more to learn, NO, NO, of course you do not need to know all 171,000 – 172,000 words currently in the Oxford English Dictionary to be able to speak English as indeed is the case with any other language.
So how many words do you need to learn to be able to speak English?
Impossible to answer, almost the same as trying to answer the question ‘how long is a piece of string?
What is important is the quality of the words you know and the relevance to the everyday conversation you are likely to be involved with, not the number of words you know.
Are car and cars counted as two different words?
Some people will say you need to know about 10,000 words, others will say 7,000 words but whatever the number as I have mentioned above it is the quality of the words you know.
Whether you learn 7,000 or 10,000 quality words that does not make you a fluent English speaker as you need to know how to put the words together and learn phrases which of course is the art of speaking a language.
To conclude my brief post for today here are some of the new 500 words added yesterday to the Oxford English Dictionary, some I have to say I find somewhat surprising:-
Voluntourism What people do when they help out at, say, an African orphanage and do something “amazing” for charity.
Meh Used to signal lack of enthusiasm.
FOMO Fear of missing out.
Lipstick Slang for the treble 20 on a dartboard.
Freegan Someone who eats thrown away food as they hate waste.
Ecotown New towns designed to have minimum impact on environment.
E-cigarette Cig-shaped battery powered device containing nicotine.
Fo’ shizzle For sure
Fratty American term for rowdy college fraternities.
Twitterati People on Twitter who fill up your Twitter feed with constant tweeting.
Webisode Short video of a TV programme shown online.
Hyperlocal Really, really local.
Comix Alternative adult comic books and comic strips.
Crowdfund To fund a project from lots of people who usually donate small sums online.
Cake pop Small, round piece of cake coated in icing, chocolate or other decorations and fixed on a stick to make it look like a lollipop.
Sext: Where people text sexually explicit material – surprisingly this word has only just made it into the dictionary.
Go-juice What you might call your morning cup of coffee to give you energy or fuel for cars and planes.
Pageview Where someone visits a particular page on a website.
Uncanny valley When things that look human freak us out.
SCOTUS Acronym of The Supreme Court of the United States.
Backronym Similar to an acronym, but where the words have been deliberately chosen to fit initials.
Bluff charge When a large animal moves towards prey then suddenly stops without attacking.
Bush tucker Animals or plants , usually uncooked, eaten by native Australians.
Double-dip recession A recession followed by a brief period of growth before another period of decline.
Multi-starrer Film with ensemble cast featuring lots of A-listers.
Skort Shorts with a flap of material to make them appear a skirt.
Uber Added to a word to describe it as outstanding. Become associated with the ride-sharing taxi app.
Yarn bomb Street art where objects are covered in colourful knitted yarn.
Jeggings Designed to look like jeans but have stretch in them like leggings.
Tenderprenuer South African term for person in government who abuses power to get government contracts.
Photobomb The term, which means to insert yourself into someone else’s photo.
Auto-tune Device used to correct out-of-tune vocal performance.
Coasteering Adventure sport involving scrambling rocks, jumping off cliffs and swimming in the sea.
Stagette Canadian hen do.
Drumble To be lazy, sluggish or mumble when speaking.
Hard arse Someone who rigorously instills a specific set of standards.
Stanky Used mainly in America to describe someone or something smelling unpleasant.
Buko Slang for “much”.
Diabulimia A disturbing new eating disorder in which people with Type 1 diabetes deliberately give themselves less insulin than they need to help weight loss.
The Enviropig A genetically altered pig.
Handsy The term to describe someone who’s frisky and can’t keep their hands to themselves.
Hyphy Pronounced hi-fi, it’s a term for uptempo hip-hop music originating in California and associated with frenetic dancing.
Koozie That thermal foam sleeve you put round a can or a bottle to keep it cool.
On-trend Very fashionable, for example “that dress is so on-trend”.
Sh*tshow The not very pleasant term used to describe an event or situation that is chaotic or controversial.
Don’t worry you don’t have to learn these words, there are far more important words in the English language that need to be learnt.
Have a great day.