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Strictly speaking

Strictly speaking | Calving

The impact of global warming has introduced new terms to our vocabulary, like anthropocene, biomass and carbon footprint. A word now gaining currency that has been around for a while, at least for whalers and glaciologists, is calving – the ...

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Strictly speaking | Holistorexia

While we might recognise the verbal elements that make up the recently coined word holistorexia its meaning is not immediately obvious. It’s a combination of holist(ic), as in holistic medicine, and (an)orexia which literally means “lack of desire or appetite”. ...

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Strictly Speaking | RUOK

Amid concerns about other people’s mental health, this four-letter initialism/acronym for “Are you OK?” came alive in 2021. It was coined some years before by an Australian non-profit suicide prevention organisation (in 2009) which holds an annual R U OK? ...

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Strictly speaking | Glitch

The social media app TikTok is responsible for countless trends that involve people doing, or saying, or showing things in short videos recorded on their phones. One of the more recent trends to have taken off is the dance move ...

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Strictly Speaking | Crispr foods

At first sight this could be a slogan for crunchier fish and chips from the deep freeze, something which food companies could definitely improve on. In fact, it’s a highly sophisticated technique for editing the genes of plants, animals and ...

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Strictly Speaking | Skinship

Words and phrases are quite often borrowed from other languages to express a concept for which there is no existing term – think of schadenfreude or déjà vu in English (from German and French respectively). Less frequently, a completely new ...

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Strictly speaking | Genericide

The - cide suffix provides us with homicide, the most general word for killing another person, as well as specific types of killing that identify the person killed: fratricide (one’s brother or sister), patricide (one’s father), regicide (the king), suicide ...

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Strictly speaking | Sousveillance

The ever-increasing use of technology to monitor our daily activities – from CCTV cameras on every street to social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok acquiring user data for marketing (or more sinister) purposes – has bred in us ...

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Strictly Speaking | Regenuary

Following in the footsteps of Movember, one charity’s highly successful renaming of a month in the name of men’s health, come two alternative names for January to promote different, food-based causes: Regenuary and Veganuary. The second of these has been ...

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