Monday, January 11, 2021

new words in 2020


NEW to 2021

You don’t usually think of words as having a lifetime, but consider this, some words or phrases we’ll see next year didn’t exist until 2020. Think of zoom and social distancing. And some used a century ago have died out, such as fudgel (goofing off) or twattle (to gossip).


My blog on words that were born in 2020 is featured this week on the Columbia II Writers Workshop. I was inspired to write it after reading about the word humaning. Do we really need this word?


If you Google “new words” you’ll get pages of sites. Here are samples of words I’ve taken from various sources. I’ve used them in sentences. Can you guess the meanings?


1) freegan—Freegans are going to change the world, one mouthful at a time.

2) techlash—If you’ve called tech support, you’ve probably experienced techlash.

3) nothingburger – The announcement of the invention of a dog umbrella was a nothingburger.

4) goat — Fans of the Dallas Cowboys think the team is goat.

5) hangry—I didn’t mean to curse, but I haven’t had lunch and I’m hangry.


Answers: 1) Freegan, a person who believes it’s wrong to throw away food and only eats leftovers they get for free, often from dumpsters or garbage cans. 2) Techlash, backlash against technology companies. 3) Nothingburger, an event that has less impact than expected. 4) Goat, acronym for "greatest of all time." 5) Hangry, so hungry you become angry.


The word mailbox is probably on its way out.

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