English Vocabulary – New Words
Every day, numerous new words are introduced into the English language. These words are mostly circulated through radio, TV, books, and the internet. A well-educated “Native” English speaker might have an average vocabulary of 45,000 to 50,000 words, with around 15,000 of these words learned by the age of 12-13. But how many of these words do people who learn English later in life need to know?
As new topics emerge, they bring along new groups of words (lexical items), which students are not only required to learn but also to understand their meanings.
We have previously discussed English words borrowed from other languages. In this article, we will provide newly introduced words. Due to the rapid economic and computer technology developments in American English, many words are considered to have entered the literature earlier than in British English. The fast growth in the film and music industry has also contributed to the addition of new words to the English language.
For example, “extremely” is now often replaced with “majorly.” In American English, the expression “someone got game” indicates that someone is skillful in a particular sport. For instance, “John got game in basketball” means “He is skillful at basketball.” Additionally, in everyday English, “whassup” is used to mean “hello” or “hi.”
Some words entered the English language in the 20th century. For instance, the famous playwright Shakespeare had not heard words like “airplane,” “airport,” and “airline.” If he had written the renowned play Macbeth on a computer, he might have used a different weapon (gun) instead of a dagger to kill the king. Words related to radio and television, such as “vacuum cleaner,” “hardware,” and “software,” would also be new for him. He would be surprised by the term “cybersickness,” which arises from excessive computer use.
Here are some other words that would astonish Shakespeare:
- PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
- netizen (blend of net and citizen)
Additionally, some new words have been formed by adding the suffix “-ization”:
- imagineer (blend of imagine and engineer)
Source: Longman Dictionary Of Contemporary ENGLISH