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    Shticky Guy

    Nick Metcalfe, MSN News, 14/12/2010 12:31

    New words of 2010

    Nick Metcalfe picks a dozen notable phrases and expressions, both ubiquitous and unusual, that entered the dictionary during the last 12 months.

    Yui Mok, PA Wire

    1. Vuvuzela

    Ah yes, the vuvuzela. Otherwise known throughout Britain as “those damn horns”. Actually I was in South Africa for this year’s World Cup finals, and they weren’t so bad at the games. They clearly distracted millions of television viewers though. And when they were blown next to your ear at a bar, or outside your hotel window at 4am, it wasn’t quite as much fun. There was even talk of banning them during the tournament, but Fifa decided – probably rightly – that this would have been a rather rude way to treat their hosts.

    2. Toxic debt

    Can there be a more scary term? Toxic debt is another of those phrases that became part of the lexicon as the global recession began to bite. In essence, it refers to debt that has a lower chance of being repaid with interest, and is toxic to the person or institution that will receive any payments. Thankfully it’s more likely to be a huge company, like the Royal Bank of Scotland, that suffers with your toxic debt, and not me or you.

    3. Wardrobe malfunction

    Is this really a 2010 thing? My friends are sure to agree that my wardrobe hasn’t been functioning properly since 1987. A wardrobe malfunction doesn’t strictly mean poor taste in fashion though. Rather it describes a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as a result of an article of clothing slipping out of position. I don’t know what the Sun or Daily Mail website would do without it.


    4. Microblogging

    Now this is very 2010. And you suspect it will also be very 2011, 2012, 2013 and so on. Microblogging is the term used to describe the posting of very short entries on a blog and any other social media tool. Twitter, in other words. Why bother with a phone conversation or letter when you can describe your movements and emotions in 140 characters?

    5. Catastrophising

    Which one of us could honestly put our hands up and admit we haven’t been guilty of this from time to time? Let’s face it, we can all think a situation is considerably worse than it actually is at times. Some of us are just born worriers and will reserve the right to be a drama queen on occasion.

    6. Bromance

    I can safely say that I have never used this word in a conversation. I never really want to either. Putting it simply, bromance refers to a friendly relationship between two (or more) brothers. All men should have them, I would have thought.


    7. Staycation

    Well, it makes sense. We’re all counting the shillings a little more carefully these days. And there really are some wonderful places to explore right here at home. Having said that, when I was trying to shelter from gale force winds and sideways rain in Devon one day in August, I did see the attraction of a week’s guaranteed sun in Spain or Greece.

    8. Paywall

    None of us internet users like a paywall, do we? It allows access only to those who have paid to subscribe to a website. Rupert Murdoch insists it’s the way forward for newspapers, with readers now having to fork out for both The Times and News of the World online. Time will tell whether he’s right.

    9. Soft skills

    Now we should all have these, or if we don’t we should want to have them. Soft skills refer to our personal attributes, which enable us to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. It’s all about improving our EQ (that’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient, of course – what do you mean you didn’t know that?)

    10. Cheeseball

    I’m tempted to chant that old football fans’ mantra “You what, you what, you what, you what, you what?” Well, I’m reliably informed that they’re saying this on the streets. It refers to somebody lacking in taste, style, or originality. It is usually used to describe a young male who pretends to be funny and who often uses slapstick humour. Thinking about it, we’ve probably all been cheeseballs at one time or another.

    11. Chillax

    I’m always a little annoyed when I hear this – more than I should be really. It’s the double whammy that irritates. I don’t especially like being told to relax, and I particularly don’t like being told to “chill”. Both together? Just you try it.

    12. Defriend

    The ultimate in disgrace. Something that brings with it shame, anger and recriminations. Well, not really. It simply means having your name removed from a list of friends on a social networking site. It makes sense really – I mean, how many of your Facebook friends do you really ever communicate with? Surely it’s just a way of cleaning up our online lives? In saying that, I’ve never done it. I’m too nice.


    Im like “soft skills” and “staycation” best.


    time to revive some old threads idk why. okay. so let us see which words are still in use. I think toxic debt is? wardrobe malfunction is, bromance is, staycation is (and it has gotten bigger!) but the rest I don’t believe I’ve ever heard.

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