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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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3.6 New words

English is a constantly changing language. The meaning of words shifts and new words are used all the time.

Lots of words and names have come into the English language as people begin to eat new foods, for example:

Colby cheese, Feta cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, Guacamole, Jalapeño peppers

Other relatively new words include:

kebabs, tacos, chilli, pizza, pasta, latte, espresso.

A new invention or technology means someone has to think of a word to describe it, like internet, email, spam, WiFi, smartphone and selfie.

Some words have been combined with others to make new words:

brunch (breakfast + lunch)

smog (smoke + fog)

ginormous (gigantic + enormous).

English is sometimes called a ‘living language’. This means that it is changing all the time, as new words are added and old ones go out of fashion.

Activity 22 New everyday words

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Take a minute to look at the picture and see if you can spot things that have had new words created for them or that use an old word in a new way. List them in the box below.

A modern living room with technological items
Figure 6 The technology in a modern living room
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You might have spotted:

  • a smartphone

  • headphones

  • a laptop with a mouse and a memory stick

  • an extension lead

  • a CD or DVD in a case

  • a WiFi router

  • a television screen and a digital box/recorder.

  • speakers.

There was a time when none of these things existed, so these words would not have been understood by anyone!