15 New Words Added To The English Dictionary

Shutterstock / Image Republic © new words

More than 500 new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary during 2020.

By June 2021 this number grew by 40%, with over 700 words added through the firth six months of 2021.

The origins of many of the words, such as staycation and essential worker can be linked to the pandemic.

However, some words, such as amazeballs and adulting, have been added to the 2021 dictionary due to cultural use.

The team at Preply have sourced 15 of the most weird and wonderful words that you can now find in the dictionary.

The new words


To holiday at home in one’s country of residence.

Cancel culture 

The practice or tendency of engaging in mass cancelling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.

Essential worker

A worker who is of crucial importance within a particular field or enterprise.

Main character syndrome

The feeling that your life is a film or play and you are the main character in it.

Gender pay gap

A difference in pay between men and women.


Reading the news on social media and expecting it to be bad.


The action of becoming or acting like an adult.


Relating to or characterised by a sexual or romantic attraction to highly intelligent people.


Working in a building where multiple tenants rent working space and have the use of communal facilities.


Expressing enthusiastic approval; great, excellent, highly impressive, fantastic.


To mock, humiliate, or stigmatise (a person) on the basis of supposed faults or imperfections in body shape, size or appearance.


Call (a person) an abusive name; to insult verbally; to shout at angrily.


A holiday spent doing volunteer work.


A fear of lightning.


A person’s buttocks.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that we love words here at the “Friend”.

And not just English ones!

We love Scots ones, too. And ones we “borrowed” from other languages.

We also love inspiring words. And if you’re looking for inspiration, why not try out one of our Story Starters?

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.