The vast majority of new words that enter a language are not brand new coinings as such. Many are blends of existing words, so examples that lexicographer Susie Dent gives in her 2013 language review on the Oxford Dictionaries website include precariat (a social class living in a state of financial insecurity), fatberg (a giant ball of fat in London sewers), and sharknado (a shark-infested tornado). Other new terms are made up of existing words combined in a new way, and this year's examples include zero hours, bedroom tax and harlem shake.
Other 'new' words are formed from existing nouns plus -ing, eg showrooming, which is the practice of looking at goods in high-street shops then buying them at a cheaper price online, and catfishing, or the fabrication of a false identity on an internet dating site.
A smaller number of new words are coined because of brand-new discoveries. This year we had the discovery of a new species of raccoon, named the olinguito, and the discovery of a new chemical element with the very unsnappy name ununpentium. Also on Susie's list is chapulling, which comes from Turkish, and has gained the meaning 'fighting for one's democratic rights'.
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