Top new words of 2015 (according to Collins)

An example of "manspreading"; Richard Yeh / WNYC

An example of “manspreading”; Richard Yeh / WNYC

Manspreading … binge-watching … dadbod: these are words you might have heard in the past year or so. And even if you’ve never used them yourself or seen them written down formally, you’re probably aware of their existence — and can guess fairly easily what they mean. On Thursday, Collins English Dictionary revealed its 10 top new words of 2015: those quirky portmanteaus and neologisms that have wormed their way into our daily lingo and might soon be immortalized in the dictionaries of our future.

The one that Collins has crowned word of the year is binge-watch: “to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession.” As Collins explains about this evocative young portmanteau: “Series Link, Netflix, iPlayer and of course, the staple box set have changed the way we watch TV and talk of ‘binge-watching’ is up some 200% on 2014. The days of missing an episode or having to wait a week for the next have been long gone for years, but screenwriters evidently upped their game in 2015 and we lost all self-control. We know, “Sorry, I can’t make tonight”, likely means they’re on a final episode, while entire weekends have been spent devouring box sets such as Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black and Homeland.”

Here below are the 9 other words (with their definitions) identified by Collins as sort of “words-in-waiting”  — any or all of which could well appear in the print edition of the dictionary as early as 2018, if they live up to the prediction that they remain robust and prolific in standard English usage. To learn more about the history and evolution of 2015’s top 10 words, read this post on Collins‘s Word Lovers’ Blog.

– Clean eating: following a diet that contains only natural foods, and is low in sugar, salt, and fat.

– Contactless: referring to payments, smart cards, etc that utilise RFID (radio-frequency identity) technology and do not require a PIN or signature from the customer.

– Corbynomics: the economic policies advocated by the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

– Dadbod: an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one considered attractive.

– Ghosting: ending a relationship by ignoring all communication from the other person.

– Manspreading: the act or an instance of a male passenger in a bus or train splaying his legs in a way that denies space to the passenger sitting next to him.

– Shaming: attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, especially on social media.

– Swipe: to move a finger across a touchscreen on a mobile phone in order to approve (swipe right) or dismiss (swipe left) an image.

– Transgender: of or relating to a person whose gender identity does not fully correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth.

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