More than 500 new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary during 2020. By June 2021 this number grew by 40%, with over 700 words added through the firth six months of 2021.

The origins of many of the words, such as staycation and essential worker can be linked to the pandemic. However, some words, such as amazeballs and adulting, have been added to the 2021 dictionary due to cultural use.

The team at Preply have sourced 15 of the weirdest and most wonderful words that you can now find in the dictionary.

Word/Phrase

Meaning

Staycation

To holiday at home or in one’s country of residence

Cancel culture

The practice or tendency of engaging in mass cancelling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure

Essential worker

A worker who is of crucial importance within a particular field or enterprise

Main character syndrome

The feeling that your life is a film or play and you are the main character in it

Gender pay gap

A difference in pay between men and women

Doomscrolling

Reading the news on social media and expecting it to be bad

Adulting

The action of becoming or acting like an adult

Sapiosexual

Relating to, or characterised by a sexual or romantic attraction to highly intelligent people

Coworking

Working in a building where multiple tenants rent working space and have the use of communal facilities

Amazeballs

Expressing enthusiastic approval: great, excellent, highly impressive; fantastic

Body-shame

To mock, humiliate, or stigmatise (a person) on the basis of supposed faults or imperfections in body shape, size, or appearance.

Chopse

To call (a person) an abusive name; to insult verbally; to shout at angrily.

Volunteercation

A holiday spent doing volunteer work

Astraphobia

A fear of lightning

Dinger

A person’s buttocks

Source: Preply

The team at Preply also revealed the languages with the most swear words, by using world dictionaries and surveying bilingual speakers.

With 348 recorded swear words, English has taken the number one spot, beating Spanish with 251 and German with 196.

Language

Number of recorded swear words

English

348

Spanish

251

German

196

French

151

Japanese

150

Bulgarian

129

Russian

123

Swedish

120

Croatian

112

Polish

112

Portuguese

110

Italian

108

Norwegian

94

Filipino

48

Czechia

42

Source: Preply

Daniele Saccardi from online language learning platform, Preply, said: “Language forms our ability to communicate thoughts and feelings and swear words are a vital part of language that express everything from anger, frustration to even happiness.

“While swearing can be impolite used in the wrong context, it can also increase the effectiveness and persuasiveness of a message.”