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One of my favorite webpages, and one I can strongly recommend to teachers and students of English alike is, and here especially Kerry Maxwells collection of ‘BUZZWORDS’.

Buzzwords are newly formed or created terms that reflect upon different kinds of social phenomena or new fads and trends and thus are great for discussion. Additionally, from a language perspective, they offer insight into word formation processes. On the webpage is a whole list of new words and an archive going back several years.

Every once in a while I choose some I find interesting and believe (or hope) will trigger lively discussions. (see post May 2013)This January I chose a few from Kerry Maxwell’s collection of buzzwords 2014.

1. juicing
2. stacking
3. legsie
4. selfie stick
6. binge-watching
7. Nordic noir
8. gelfie
9. living wage
10. media meshing
11. paleo diet

12. silver splitters
13. spork
14. frost quakes
15. tech crèche
16. sharing economy
17. consciously uncouple
18. ice missile
19. tax inversion
20. sinkhole
21. WAGs
22. clean-eating

If you want to find out their meanings, go to new words of 2014.

You might be familiar with the ‘dictionary definition game’. This is a great activity for dealing with more obscure vocabulary like buzzwords, as they lend themselves to quite some creative speculation.

You present a word for which every participant has to write a definition in dictionary style. Tell them to formulate their definitions such that they sound halfway credible. One definition has to be the correct one.

Before playing, everybody receives the correct definition of one of the buzzwords you will present. When it is ‘their’ word’s turn, they write down the correct definition in their own words. After everyone has finished writing, the pieces of paper are shuffled and redistributed.

Everyone takes turns reading the definition on their slips. Together the group discusses and decides which definition they believe to be the correct one. The player who has the correct definition should participate in the discussion without giving away their knowledge until the group has come to a decision.


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