‘Gammon’ and ‘Vegan’ are among Collins Dictionary Words of 2018

By November 9, 2018Language, News

Gammon has been named Collins dictionary’s Word of the Year 2018 along with a small list of others.

Other words of 2018 include Vegan, MeToo, and Gaslight- a real reflection of the direction 2018 has taken. Many of this year’s most used, newest, and redefined words are coming from the left side of the political spectrum. As a reaction against ingrained cultural sexism, institutional racism and xenophobia, words like gammon or whitewash have been on the rise.

Some may find the word ‘gammon’ offensive, and they are entitled to express their distaste, however the word is only truly offensive to those who the word is aimed at. The word first came about when a pattern emerged on BBC’s Question Time. It became apparent that older white men became quite pink in the face while ranting about ‘bloody foreigners’, ‘Brexit’, and the EU. It is not, despite many wannabe victims insisting it so, racist.

The full list of Collins Dictionary’s Words of the Year 2018 are below.




This GIF of rolling gammons has been a very popular reaction post on articles about Brexit, immigration, and the EU.

  • Single-use: made to be used once only, commonly referring to disposable plastic items such as straws and bottles
  • Backstop: a system that will come into effect if no other arrangement is made
  • Floss: a dance in which people twist their hips in one direction while swinging their arms in the opposite direction with fists closed
  • Gammon: a person, typically middle-aged and white, with reactionary views, especially one who supports the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union
  • Gaslight: to attempt to manipulate (a person) by continually presenting them with false information until they doubt their sanity
  • MeToo: denoting a cultural movement that seeks to expose and eradicate predatory sexual behaviour, especially in the workplace
  • Plogging: a recreational activity, originating in Sweden, that combines jogging with picking up litter
  • VAR: abbreviation for video assistant referee
  • Vegan: a person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing or any other purpose
  • Whitewash: to cast a white actor in the role of a character from a minority ethnic group, or to produce a film or play using white actors to play characters from a minority ethnic group




‘Gammon’ and ‘Vegan’ are among Collins Dictionary Words of 2018

By | Language, News | No Comments
Gammon has been named Collins dictionary’s Word of the Year 2018 along with a small list of others.

Other words of 2018 include Vegan, MeToo, and Gaslight- a real reflection of the direction 2018 has taken. Many of this year’s most used, newest, and redefined words are coming from the left side of the political spectrum. As a reaction against ingrained cultural sexism, institutional racism and xenophobia, words like gammon or whitewash have been on the rise.

Some may find the word ‘gammon’ offensive, and they are entitled to express their distaste, however the word is only truly offensive to those who the word is aimed at. The word first came about when a pattern emerged on BBC’s Question Time. It became apparent that older white men became quite pink in the face while ranting about ‘bloody foreigners’, ‘Brexit’, and the EU. It is not, despite many wannabe victims insisting it so, racist.

The full list of Collins Dictionary’s Words of the Year 2018 are below.

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Alternative Word Definitions from British Comedy Legends

By | Culture, Language | No Comments
Definitions can naturally change over time through usage and societal influences- such is the joy of the English language! With the help of BBC Radio Four’s legendary comedy team we are lucky enough to have some hilarious alternative definitions to consider for the future.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue has been on our radios since 1972 with regulars Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Willie Rushton. Throughout the years, the “antidote to panel shows” has featured comedy greats such as Sandi Toksvig, Pam Ayres, Victoria Wood, Bill Oddie, Richard Osman, Stephen Fry, and Jo Brand.

As well as the genius of Mornington Crescent, the team regularly come up with entries into the Uxbridge English Dictionary, an imaginary dictionary full of daffynitions (similar to transpositional puns).

Check out our selection of daffynitions below!

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Student Creates Most Useless Phonetic Alphabet in the World

By | Language | No Comments
English is a funny old language isn’t it? Phonetic isn’t phonetic, we have a stack of silent letters, ‘queue’ has one letter that is sounded and four that are silent (or patiently waiting their turn).

Well now a student at an unknown university has created the most useless phonetic alphabet imaginable. Could you imagine anything less helpful? Scroll down to see.

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15 moments when a Swansea bookshop won Twitter

By | Bookshops, Language | No Comments
Bookshops are often thought of as quiet, thoughtful places where people go to buy, read, and sniff the books. Sometimes it can be tricky to make the bookshop seem like a super-exciting and stimulating place to be, but one branch of Waterstones has been trying to entice people in with their witty rhetoric on Twitter.

Ok, so perhaps the only people impressed with cheeky banter from a retail social media account are possibly just Reading Addicts… And it is a good job you are all here!

Settle down with a cup of tea and these 15 witty, silly, and funny quips from Swansea Waterstones.

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Lancôme helps tackle illiteracy in young women

By | Language, News | One Comment
Lancôme have joined forces with the National Literacy Trust to create a new programme tackling illiteracy in young women. The UK’s shocking stats show that 9% of young women aged 16-24 are affected by illiteracy and 14% lack basic literacy skills. These problems usually stem from low pay, and unemployment.

Words For Work: Women in Leadership was launched this week in London with help from NLT’s Fiona Evans, actor Kate Winslet and writer Chidera Eggerue, as part of Lancôme’s global campaign Write Her Future. The global campaign aims to tackle the literacy crisis that affects over 76 million young women. The partnership will last for at least three years, in three schools for the first year, in three cities- London, Nottingham and Manchester.

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10 examples of how the English language trolls us

By | Language, On Writing | No Comments
The English language has been trying to trick us for centuries. Homophones are not necessarily homographs, and vice versa.  We steal words from other languages, alter some, inexplicably keep others unchanged. It is a wonderful process that ends up with a language that bamboozles and baffles those attempting to learn English as a second (or third or fourth) language.

To be perfectly honest it confounds even native English speakers at times.

Here are 15 examples of when the English language has trolled us very cleverly indeed.

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