Technology has brought us lots of things: phones, televisions, Facebook, the ability to shop online… The list really is endless. Another thing we have to thank technology for is our ever expanding language. So we thought we’d find out about some words that we really do have technology to thank for…
1. Selfie (2013)
Ah the selfie. A pretty new phenomenon, that people still seem to be obsessed with, selfies are a form of “self-portrait”, mostly shared on sites like Instagram. Despite self-portraits having existed for centuries, interestingly selfies are still new to many people. With the rise in how common smartphones are, selfies have surged in popularity.
2. Unlike (2013)
Yes, ‘unlike’ may already be a word, but the traditional use of unlike is as a preposition. The prominence of Facebook in our lives has lead to ‘unlike’ being added ad a verb. (e.g. “I used to like that page on Facebook but I unliked it after what it posted yesterday”).
3. FOMO (2013)
FOMO is actually an acronym that stands for, ‘Fear of missing out’, and has grown more popular in recent years. It is defined as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media”, meaning it heavily relies on the existence of social media.
4. Tweet (2013)
Ah the good old days when ‘tweet’ simply meant the sound a bird made. Nowadays, ‘tweet’ can refer to a message or image posted via Twitter.
5. Twerk (2013)
Shoutout to Nicki Minaj for pioneering one of the most popular words (and activities) of the 21st century. Twerking is a type of dance involving “thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance”.
6. GIF (2012)
GIFs have been around for quite a while now after being considered an official word in 2012. The word GIF refers to an image that can support animated content. GIFs have monopolised the internet since their invention and been a key factor in championing meme culture.
7. Inbox (2012)
Again, ‘inbox’ is a word familiar to most due to previous inventions such as email. Usually it is used as a noun, rather than a verb. To inbox somebody means to message them, usually on a social media platform.
8. OMG (2011)
Old but gold, ‘OMG’ has been around for quite some time now. An acronym for ‘Oh my god/gosh!’ it is defined as an exclamation “used to express surprise, excitement, disbelief etc.”
9. Hashtag (2009)
Another good old classic, the hashtag. The dictionary defines this as “a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.” So for example, if I were to tweet about music I may put #music after to garner like minded people’s attention.
10. Moobs (2016)
More recently, ‘moobs’ entered the dictionary. The hybrid words consisting of ‘man’ and ‘boobs’ is used to describe men who appear to have breasts due to excess fat (the internet is a cruel place).
11. YOLO (2016)
Another acronym, ‘YOLO’ means ‘you only live once’ and was coined by Drake in his song ‘The Motto’. We will be forever grateful.