Mumpreneur leads Collins English Dictionary entries

Lucinda Cameron
Wednesday 05 October 2011 14:49 BST

Arab Spring and mumpreneur are among the new words which have entered the latest edition of a major dictionary.

Around 70 fresh terms from the fields of politics, technology, fashion and contemporary culture are included in the 11th edition of the Collins English Dictionary which is published tomorrow.

Descriptions of modern lifestyle are reflected in terms such as "mumpreneur", a woman who combines running a business with looking after her children, and "alarm clock Briton", a worker on a moderate income whose daily routine involves preparing children for school and going out to work.

On the romance front, a new phrase is "cuddle class", a category of airline ticket in which two passengers purchase an additional seat so that they can recline together.

The fashion world has inspired the word "mankle" for a man's bare ankle; "mamil", a middle-aged man in Lycra; and "mullet dress", a woman's skirt cut short at the front but long at the back.

The term "fash pack", influential people in the fashion industry, has also entered the dictionary which is produced in Glasgow.

Elaine Higgleton, publishing director for Collins English Dictionaries, said: "I think the dictionary is really showing how British culture is continuing to evolve.

"There's quite a lot of vocabulary about past times, around fashion, celebrities, TV, culture and popular culture but there's also the more serious stuff such as Arab Spring and the ongoing financial situation.

"It shows what the concerns of society are at the moment."

Developments in technology are reflected in words such as "frape", which mixes the words Facebook and rape to refer to the altering of information on a person's profile on the social networking site without their permission.

Meanwhile, "clicktivism" combines the words click and activism to mean using the internet to take direct and often militant action to achieve political or social aims.

Also included is "unfollow", meaning to stop following someone on Facebook or Twitter.

The current revolts across the Middle East and north Africa are reflected in the term "Arab Spring", a period in which Arab people seek democratic reforms.

Other terms from current affairs include "casino banking", for bankers who risk losing investors' money to try to gain maximum profits, and "emberrorist", meaning an organisation or person who seeks to reveal potentially embarrassing information, often as a political weapon.

London mayor Boris Johnson has also entered the dictionary with his eponymously named "Boris Bike", the Barclays public bicycle-sharing scheme launched in July 2010.

From the field of sport, the fitness activity Zumba is included, as is "planking", involving balancing oneself in a horizontal position on top of unusual objects.

Dr Higgleton said the new words reflect the creativity of the language.

She said: "The English language has always been quite creative, putting two words together to create a new word."

Another new example of that is the term "foodoir", a book or blog which combines a personal memoir with a series of recipes.

The dictionary includes a supplement on new and emerging words entering the language, as well as an extended essay on how English has changed in the last 30 years and looks forward to the next 30 years.


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