If you want to give off a smarty-pants vibe by shnazzying up your vocab, then we have the needed deets for you. Every year new slang (TIL = shortlanguage) and currently relevant phrases make their way into everyday use, and before we know it, they’re officially part of our shared language. Keeping up on the latest and greatest ways to enhance your speech can not only make you the conversation queen at your next party, it can help you seem cooler AND smarter… if you use those words right.

angry on school

According to Dictionary.com CEO Liz McMillan, who recently spoke to Time about our love of new and interesting words, “We get over 5.5 billion word lookups every year, and we analyze those lookups to identify new words that we haven’t seen before, and when we see a critical mass of volume against a particular word, our lexicography team will start researching.” Sounds fun!


So what new words have spawned recently, becoming totally official in our modern tongue? Check out the list below, kindly compiled by Inc — with our own on-point tweaks, of course — and be on your way to sounding cooler and smarter while being linguistically loquacious (er, in other words: while talking A LOT).

1. Al desko: adjective, adverb. Facetious. eating at your office desk: “I’ll be eating my lunch al desko today, peeps.”

2. Athleisure: noun. clothing worn as athletic-wear but also for everyday wear: “Athleisure is a super stylish choice for working out or hanging out,” or “This Activewear Brand Hates the Term Athleisure and This Is Why

3. Free-range parenting: noun. Informal. a style of child-rearing in which parents allow their children to exist without constant adult supervision in order to instill a sense of independence and self-reliance.

4. Ghosting: noun. Informal. the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: “She totally ghosted him…rightfully, IMHO.”

Serious lumberjack.

5. Lumbersexual: noun. a person whose personal style looks like that of a stereotypical lumberjack (i.e. beard, plaid shirt, carries around an axe to randomly chop down trees).

6. Manspread: verb (used without object). Informal. when an annoying dude sits with their legs spread widely apart, taking up WAY more space than they need, usually on public transportation.

7. Mom jeans: noun, (used with a plural verb). Informal. a name for stereotypically unstylish women’s jeans: “3 Ways to Look Chic in Mom Jeans

8. Panromantic: adjective. noting or relating to a person who is romantically attracted to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Jesse Williams

9. Woke: adjective. Slang. aware of injustices and prejudices, especially those related to civil and human rights: “Jesse Williams is woke AF.”

10. Ze: pronoun. used in the place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she: “My friend is the best and ze can always be counted on.”

What are your new fave words? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(h/t Inc; Photos via Getty + Frederick M. Brown/Getty)