The earliest known writings are pictographs from Sumer that date back to 3500 BC. For thousands of years, picture writing was the only form of writing. Pictographs and hieroglyphs served as the precursor to early writing systems like the Phoenician, Greek and Latin alphabets and the written word eventually became an essential part of life. It exploded when the printing press was invented. Finally, common people could learn to read and write as easily as nobility, and knowledge and news spread across the world. Civilizations rose and fell, revolution spread, society evolved, technology advanced, individuals became more powerful and millions and millions of words were created. So many words were created that in 2015, the Oxford Dictionaries decided to go back to the basics and crown the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji its Word of the Year.
Millennials are people who came of age through the millennium. They're commonly specified as those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s and they've seen thousands of words and emojis enter the lexicon since then. Cryptocurrency, subtweet and infodump are all words added to the dictionary after the millennium and every millennial knows what they mean. But just because you know what they mean doesn't mean you know how to spell them. How well do you know millennial words?
Let's find out.
The image of one's self taken by one's self is called a what?
Selfie (or selfy) was named Oxford Dictionary's "Word of the Year" in 2013. It is said that a new selfie is uploaded to Instagram at least every 10 seconds. The first selfie was taken way back in 1839 by photo enthusiast Robert Cornelius but the word wasn't coined until much later.
When you sit on your phone and accidentally call someone, it is called a _______.
Butt-dial was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015 and it describes the act of inadvertently calling someone from a phone in one's pocket. Butt-dial implies the phone is in a back pocket. Pocket-dial implies the phone is in a pocket.
A digital image used to express an idea or emotion is called an _______.
The word "emoji" originated in 1990s Japan and stems from "e" for picture and "moji" for "letter." Emojis became popular after 2010 and are today an essential part of digital communications. They aren't too different from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Facebook posts have a like button, but they don't have an ________ button.
The word "unlike" originated centuries ago but a new meaning for the word - to withdraw one's approval or support of something by means of an icon or link - was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.
The word "vlog" blends "video" and "blog" and is defined as a personal website or social media profile that is regularly updated with videos. Vlogs are run and created by vloggers who spend a good amount of their time vlogging.
A man who explains something to a woman in a condescending manner is guilty of what?
Mansplaining was nominated by the American Dialect Society for "Most Creative Word of the Year" in 2012 and was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2014. It blends the word "man" with "explaining" and was inspired by a 2008 essay.
If you become angry because of hunger, you have become _________.
Hangry was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2018 but has actually been around since the 1950s. It is a combination of the words "hungry" and "angry" and it is an adjective describing irritability due to hunger.
What do you do when you have to catch up on a TV show in a short period of time?
Binge-watch or binge-view is a hyphenated word that became popular with the rise of streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu. The word originated in the 1990s and entered the Oxford Dictionary in 2018.
Someone exhibiting pretentious qualities can be said to be acting how?
Bougie describes someone who is acting high class or pretentious. The term is an informal abbreviation for bourgeois, which describes people of the French bourgeoisie opposed to the lower class proletariat.
Glamp is a verb meaning to engage in glamorous camping. Glamping is also a popular term and both originated in the 21st century. The word was first used in Britain in 2005 but the practice of camping glamorously dates back centuries.
Bro hug made it to the Oxford Dictionary in 2014 and it is a noun that defines a friendly embrace between two men. Bromance, which is the close but not sexual relationship between men, entered dictionaries as early as 2010.
A sexually provocative dance popular in the 21st century is _________.
The word "twerk" (also twirk) is said to date all the way back to the 1820s where it was used to define a twitch or jerking motion, but in 2015, it was added to the Oxford Dictionary to define the sexually provocative dance everyone alive in the 21st century has seen or heard of.
The most popular digital currency of the early 21st century is _______.
Bitcoin comes from the words "bit" and "coin" and it is a digital currency that is far too complicated to explain here. It is a type of digital currency, or cryptocurrency, and is recognized by almost every major dictionary.
This abbreviation for avocado salad began in the 1980s and was added to the dictionary in 2013.
Guac is an informal abbreviation for guacamole. It originated in the '80s but took off in popularity in the 2010s. Avocado imports to the United States have steadily increased since the turn of the century.
Photobombing is the act of inserting yourself into another's photograph as a practical joke. The act can be intentional or accidental and it can ruin a picture or improve it tenfold. It is unknown who was the first photobomber in history.
A smartphone with a really big screen is known as what?
Phablet is a blend of "phone" and "tablet" that defines a smartphone with a big screen that is not as big as a tablet screen. The word originated after smartphones and tablets were invented and has been voted one of the least-likely new words to succeed.
A fitness routine that combines Yoga and Pilates is called?
Pilates was invented in the early 20th century and yoga was invented in about 600 BC. By the 1990s, fitness gurus somewhere combined both practices to create yogalates or yogilates. The word entered Oxford Dictionaries in 2016.
Lifting your palm to your face in an act of dismay, exasperation or embarrassment is called a what?
The facepalm has surely been around since the beginning of humanity and probably even earlier since every animal with paws or palms can do it. A famous statue of Cain - the guy who killed Abel in the Bible - depicts him in full facepalm. The word was added to Oxford Dictionaries in 2011.
What is it called when you collect small amounts of money from a large number of donors?
Crowdfunding has become the new way to raise money for everything from a cool idea to a presidential campaign. The word originated in the 21st century with the rise of the Internet and technology. You no longer need to pitch a business plan to a wealthy person to raise money.
Which of the following is used to express pleasure at eating?
Nomb nomb nomb
Naum naum naum
Nom nom nom
Nom nom originated in the 21st century as a phrase for chewing and it is an exclamation used to express chewing or pleasure at eating. It is said to have been inspired by the noises Cookie Monster makes when eating cookies.
This gender-neutral synonym for humanity first entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2019.
Peoplekind originated in the 1950s as an alternative to man and womankind, but was mocked just a few decades later. It joins a long list of words that have become popular in the 21st century as society attempts to be more gender inclusive.
An empty treasure chest at the end of a treasure map could be called a _______.
Nothingburger was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2018 but originated in the 1950s from the words "nothing" and "burger." It is a noun that defines anything that turns out to be lacking in substance.
It can be said that a gory movie told in reverse order is very __________.
Quentin Tarantino burst onto the movie scene in the 1990s and is known for making gory films. Any movie that resembles his work is Tarantinoesque. Spielbergian, Kubrickian and Capraesque are also in the dictionary.
What is a woman's swimsuit that almost covers the entire body called?
Burkini originated in the 21st century and is a blend of burka and bikini. It is a woman's swimsuit that leaves just her hands, feet and face exposed. In 2019, Halima Aden became the first model to wear a burkini in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
With the rise of hipsters came the rise of beards and with the rise of beards came the hatred and fear of beards: pogonophobia, which was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2017. It stems from the Greek "pogon," meaning beard.
Prioritizing emotions and beliefs over objective facts is known as what kind of politics?
In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries named "post-truth" the "International Word of the Year." The word has been in use for at least a decade but skyrocketed in popularity in 2016 because of hotbed political issues in both the U.S. and U.K.
What is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina?
In 1950, Malcolm Little started signing his name Malcolm X because he believed Little was his slave name. In the 21st century, many groups are using the same practice of substituting "x" into a word or phrase to make it more neutral and inclusive.
Someone who loves books and reading is a __________.
Bookaholics have been around forever but the word gained traction in the 1960s and was added to the dictionary in 2014. Bibliophobia is the fear or hatred of books. Bibliophilia is the love of books. And logophilia is the love of words.
Page view is two words, no hyphen, but can also be spelled pageview. It is a noun that defines the single view of a specific page on a website. It was not a thing until websites existed and page views became a crucial metric in measuring digital traffic.
A social, political or cultural rising sparked by young people is called a _________.
Youthquake was crowned the 2017 "Word of the Year" by Oxford Dictionary and defines a youth-led trend or protest. Youthquakes were popular in the 1960s. In 2018, millions around the world partook in March for Our Lives, which was organized by high school students.
A mohawk haircut is one that is completely shaven on the sides of the head with a strip of hair running down the middle. A fauxhawk isn't shaven on the sides. The name stems from Mohawk Nation but the hairstyle has been around for thousands of years.
Complaining that your private jet landed two minutes late is an example of what?
Humblebrag was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2017 and is a blend of "humble" and "brag." Humblebragging is the act of bragging about something in a self-deprecating way. Complaining that your new house is too big is a humblebrag.
To lure someone into a relationship with a fictional persona is to do what?
Catfish have been around for millennia but in 2014, the word officially got a new meaning: to lure someone into a relationship with a fake profile. The alternate meaning first appeared in the mid-1900s but became common in the 2010s.
If you want to remove a friend from your life, all you have to do is ________ them.
The word "unfriend" was named the 2009 "Word of the Year" by Oxford Dictionaries and it is a verb meaning to digitally remove someone from your social media list of friends. The word is said to have originated because of Facebook around 2005.
What are people born between 1981 and 1996 called?
Millennials are specified as those born between 1981 and 1996. Generation Z was born between '96 and 2010. Those born between 2010 and 2025 are part of Generation Alpha. Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and Generation X was born between 1964 and 1981.