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Fun Time: Expand your Vocabulary with Some Great New Words

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
June 2024
Fun Time: Expand your Vocabulary with Some Great New Words

Every now and then, I come across a word whose meaning escapes me. Sometimes it’s my wife who points this out to me—my complete ignorance about the meaning of a word.

For example, on February 14, Valentine’s Day, she said to me, “Do you even know what the word ‘romantic’ means?”

It means doing something special as a couple, I thought, so I asked her if she wanted to go to the gym to work out. She agreed to do this, but when I got into the car without first opening the door for her, she said, “Do you even know what the word ‘chivalry’ means?”

I told her all about the knights of the Middle Ages and the gallantry and honor expected of them. She listened for a few minutes and then said, “Do you even know what the word ‘mansplaining’ means?”

In my defense, “mansplaining” was not added to the dictionary until about six years ago. But perhaps I should make it a point to learn the meaning of any new additions to the dictionary. That’s why I studied the list of words and phrases that Dictionary.com added this year. They will certainly be useful in my everyday communication—and not just with my wife. Here are some of my favorites:

Enshittification: This is a big word that contains a shorter, more offensive word. It’s so obvious that even my dog, Lulu, would quickly spot the offensive word: “cat.” No, I’m talking about the S-word, of course. It’s there because it captures the state of many online platforms and services, including Facebook and X. They once offered significant benefits to users but in aggressively pursuing profits they’ve gone down the path of enshittification.

Greedflation: This is when your rent, food or other prices rise not because of market conditions but because of greed. Corporations and individuals who are already making healthy profits are eager to make even more. This word should not be confused with gradeflation, which is when students get a higher grade than they deserve, or when the groom gives himself an ‘A+’ after the wedding night, despite taking several 30-second timeouts to check the score of the NBA game.

Bussin’: A Gen Z term that came out of African-American culture, it means “great” or “wonderful.” If you’re a schoolteacher and hear your students say, “Our bussin’ was really bussin’ today,” you may want to pass the compliment to the school bus driver. And if you find a clean table at a busy restaurant, you may want to throw out a compliment yourself: “Whoever’s doing the bussin’ here is doing a really bussin’ job!”

Range anxiety: If you’re driving an electric vehicle, you have “range anxiety” if you’re worried that the battery will run out before you get to your destination or a charging station. Range anxiety is also what you feel when you park your brand-new Tesla on the street across from the golf range.

Mid: This is an adjective that means “mediocre” or “unimpressive.” If you’re having a midlife crisis, it might be because you’re having a mid life.

Bed rotting: This is when you spend time in bed not to sleep but to give yourself a break from the stress of daily life. Bed rotting is a form of self-care and may include snacks, an electronic device, and occasionally a book. Bed rotting is considered a positive term, as long as there is no bed spotting.

Skiplagging: You want to fly from Buffalo to Orlando for a winter vacation. Instead of a direct flight, you find a much cheaper flight from Buffalo to Dallas with a layover in Orlando. You book the flight, intending to skip the second leg of the trip. “I’m saving $200 by skiplagging. LOL!” you brag to your friends and others online. But the airline finds out, cancels your flight and you’re stuck in Buffalo for the winter, learning a new word: Skipbragging.

More of ChaiTime here: 


Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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