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Christmas quiz – new words!

Here at Macmillan Dictionary we have made something of a tradition of publishing a quiz about new words at the end of the year. This post from 2010 is an early example. How many of the words listed here do you think are still in use? You can find the answers to the quiz here.

Here at Macmillan Dictionary we’re constantly on the hunt for new and exciting words to add to the dictionary. Our users have added some brilliant suggestions to the Open Dictionary – please keep them coming in 2011!

Early next year we’ll be adding a fresh batch of new words to the dictionary, and we thought a fun way to let you know about it would be to set you a Christmas quiz…

It’s based on the classic British quiz Call my bluff, and below you’ll find a selection of the new words with three definitions. Only one of the definitions is correct – can you guess which one? We’ve given you an idea of the correct pronunciation for each word in brackets at the start of the definition. Answers will be posted on 31st December. No prizes – it’s just for fun. Good luck!

New word: snowclone

(SNOWclone) Following on from the recent trend in pumpkin carving, a more sophisticated type of snowman, where actual likeness to a person is achieved.

(SNOWclone) A type of phrase that has a standard pattern in which some of the words can be changed, such as X is the new Y.

(SNOWclone) A specific pattern of an animal’s footprints that can be measured and used to track that animal as effectively as a radio collar.

New word: cenote

(siNOtay) A deep hole under the ground that contains water, especially in southern Mexico and Central America.

(SEEnote) Safety system for professional drivers, where the indicator bleep changes pitch every few seconds, so that the driver does not forget it is engaged.

(SENote) a fixed amount of money that you have to pay as soon as you begin a taxi journey, make a toll call etc.

New word: monocity

(MONOcity) a larger city in which lifestyles are becoming increasingly insular and people are feeling alone in the crowd, see also monocity syndrome.

(monOCITY) a mental health term for a patient’s state of mind, when they find it impossible to accept help from emergency and support services.

(MONOcity) a city, especially in Russia, where most of the population works in one industry, such as making cars.

New word: garbageware

(GARBAGEware) [Computing] Computer software of very low quality.

(GARBAGEware) Items made from entirely recycled and reclaimed materials and sold, usually for charity.

(GARBAGEware) Marketing items produced at short notice for a particular campaign that is currently trendy, but has a very short lifespan.

New word: graphene

(GRAfene) A liquid polymer mixed with chips of rubber to make a soft surface used in children’s play areas.

(GRAfene) [Economics] A statistical quirk that appears in error in a graph but not on other methods of presenting the same set of data.

(GRAfene) [Chemistry] A material that consists of a layer of carbon atoms that is only one atom thick.

New word: linkback

(LINKback) [Biology] The line that can be traced down through the generations, by mapping the appearance of a particular genetic mutation, eg haemophilia.

(LINKback) [Computing] a mention on a website of another website or article that also provides an electronic link to that website or article.

(LINKback) Slang term for a horse that is old and has been over-ridden, so that its gait is now very uneven.

New word: prepend

(PreePEND) To add something to the beginning of something else, especially a computer instruction or piece of data.

(PREEpend) A bursary or grant that has to be paid in full prior to the start of an academic course, requested mainly by foreign students entering university at postgraduate level.

(PREP-end) Weekend cramming courses for sixth-formers preparing for university, an increasingly popular choice for applicants to oversubscribed courses.

New word: spudger

(SPUjer) Derogatory term for someone who borrows something and doesn’t return it. From the verb spudge, meaning to borrow something for so long that you then consider it your own.

(SPUjer) A tool used for opening the case of a computer, mobile phone, etc and moving or removing small parts such as wires or SIM cards.

(SPUjer) Popular card game where each player has a hand of seven cards, plus three face-up and three face-down cards, which need to be played in a specific order.

New word: trending

(TRENDing) [Business] Monitoring buying habits of consumers and spotting opportunities.

(TRENDing) [Banking] Tracking of financial markets to monitor commodities that are trading actively and matching portfolio trades accordingly.

(TRENDing) Very popular as a subject discussed on the microblogging service Twitter.

New word: hypermiling

(HYPERmiling) The act of driving using methods that are intended to use fuel in the most efficient way, without wasting any.

(HYPERmiling) A type of carpentry, involving extremely intricate carvings. Requires great skill, but can look overly ornate.

(HYPERmiling) [Sport] Standard athletics training technique involving running for a timed mile, resting for one minute and then attempting to re-run the mile in a shorter time.

New word: electrosmog

(eLECtrosmog) The field of static electricity that surrounds an individual and can cause visible sparks (often blue in colour) to fly when he or she touches someone else similarly charged, or touches something metal.

(eLECtrosmog) the electromagnetic radiation from computers and mobile phones, that some people think is harmful to health.

(eLECtrosmog) Invisible pollution in the air near to electricity pylons – the cause of the cracking sound often heard at these locations.

New word: the dark net

(the DARK net) [Computing] A computer network that only a small number of people have the right to use and that is mainly used for sharing computer files, often illegally.

(the DARK net) A government-sanctioned communications blackout during and immediately after a terrorist attack, designed to deny the terrorists the satisfaction of seeing the damage they have done.

(the DARK net) An internet forum where amateur scientists discuss the existence and possible future uses of ‘dark matter’.

New word: troofer

(TROOFer) A very sugary boiled sweet, said to ‘trash a tooth’ each time you eat one.

(TROOFer) Slang term for members of the cavalry or mounted police – from the combination of ‘troop’ and ‘hoof’.

(TROOFer) A person who does not believe the generally accepted explanation of a particular event and believes that they know the true facts about what happened.

New word: drawdown

(DRAWdown) The removal of some soldiers from an area where there has been fighting.

(DRAWdown) [Business] A slowing of the economy, where something that was previously driving inflation upwards (eg house prices), suddenly begins dragging them down.

(DRAWdown) An against-the-clock competition between graffiti artists, organized via social networking sites like Facebook – from the term ‘throw down’, for a frenzied dance-off or fight.

New word: nondom

(nonDOM) [Geography] A land or dominion that exists historically or in religion but is not recognized by the geopolitical world of today.

(NONdum) from colloquial use of the word random to mean unfair, nondom means completely unjustifiable, or nonsensical.

(NONdom) a person who lives in a country but is not legally domiciled there, often so they can avoid paying tax in their own country.

The answers to this quiz can be found here on the blog.

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Beth Penfold

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