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11 brand-new English words you need to learn this week

The Oxford English Dictionary gets updated with popular new words several times a year. As we’re all about expanding vocabularies, we picked our favorites from the last few months and show you how to use them in everyday conversations.

1. lamestream (noun)

This blend of “lame” and “mainstream” sassily describes the traditional, mainstream media that has become so average, it’s now considered lame.

“The lamestream media is completely out of touch with people.”

2. bae (noun)

If you are on social media, chances are that you’ve seen bae in all kinds of captions. It’s an acronym for “before anyone else” and refers to a person’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

“I’m going to the movies with my bae.”

3. freegan (noun)

As a sophisticated version of dumpster diving, freegans reject consumerism and help the environment by reducing waste – by not buying new things, but retrieving and using food and other goods that have been thrown away.

“I met a group of freegans, and I was blown away when they showed me how much food is wasted every day.”

4. brain fade (noun)

This is the cousin of the brain fart, aka tip-of-the-tongue syndrome. A brain fade refers to the temporary inability to concentrate or think clearly.

“I had a complete brain fade during my exam and just stared at the page for what seemed like an eternity.”

5. pharmacovigilance(noun)

Take your conversational skills to the next level by using the word pharmacovigilance at least three times a week – preferably when talking about the practice of monitoring the effects of medical drugs after they have been licensed for use, especially in order to identify and evaluate previously unreportedadversereactions.

“In his job as a pharmacovigilance officer, Andrew develops diagnostic tools to improve drug safety.”

6. hot mess (noun)

This is not necessarily a good thing, so be careful when you used it: A hot mess describes a fascinating yet spectacularly unsuccessful person or thing.

“She is completely out of control and a hot mess.”

7. janky (adjective)

Something’s janky when it’s unreliable and of poor or inferior quality.

“I shouldn’t have bought that used car, it’s way too janky.”

8. fo’shizzle / for shizzle

This is a cool way to say definitely or for sure, popularized by rapper Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion). If used correctly, it may up your gangster ante.

“Dog, this party is going to be off the hook, fo’ shizzle!”

9. al desko (adjective and adverb)

The working world’s version of al fresco – al desko refers to the food you eat at your desk in an office.

“I have to prepare a presentation, it’s going to be another al desko lunch for me today.”

10. upvote/downvote (verb and noun)

If you’re an avid online commenter, you’ve probably upvoted and downvoted all kinds of posts. Upvoting means to agree, downvoting means to disagree – both can be done with the push of an icon, usually a thump up or down.

“I’m not going to lie, my self-esteem is closely linked to the number of upvotes I get on Reddit.”

11. humblebrag (verb and noun)

This one often comes with a hashtag. When you humblebrag, you make a seemingly modest statement – but with the intention of drawing all kinds of attention to something that you’re actually proud of.

“Caroline posts way too many selfies on Instagram, her humblebragging is getting on my nerves.”

And speaking of #humblebrag:

On my way to work as a pharmacovigilance officer, my janky car almost broke down – but I met my freegan friend Jason and his hot mess sister Amanda who gave me some breakfast that I ate al desko before downvoting some lamestream article and meeting my humblebragging bae who complained about her brain fade during an exam in which she still managed to score an A+.

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