A full year has already gone by. But the English language is flourishing as always. This year, the Oxford English Dictionary, also known as the definitive record of the English language, has added a flurry of new English words to its list.

Here are twenty-one brand new English words, what they mean, and how they are used.

New English Words: Nouns

‘nduja (n.)


First of all, this word is of Italian and French origin. It is a type of spicy paste prepared from cured pork and peppers.

e.g. You should try the ‘nduja.

amakhosi (n.)


This next word is of South African origin. It is a collective term for tribal leaders.

e.g. The council must regard the concerns of the amakhosi, seriously.

crowd-surfer (n.)

This next word is derived from another noun, crowd-surfing. Crowd-surfing is the act of being passed over the heads of the audience, usually in a rock concert. On the other hand, a crowd surfer is the person doing the crowd surfing.

e.g. Crowd-surfers can cause concertgoers some major discomfort.

Debbie Downer (n.)

A Debbie Downer is a person with a seemingly persistent need to bring down the mood of a certain gathering by mentioning something sad or depressing. The term came from a character from a popular American TV show called Saturday Night Live.

e.g. I hate reading Lucy’s status updates. She’s such a Debbie Downer, talking about death again.

eina (n.)


This is another word of South African origin. It is a noun that means ‘trouble’ or ‘pain.’

e.g. Kids nowadays tends to cause too much eina.

hophead (n.)

Another word that is part of this list of new English words is hophead. It is an informal word that describes a heavy drinker. It also describes someone who is a lover of beer.

e.g. Gary is such a hophead, he just finished a barrel of beer on his own!

kabocha (n.)


English speakers sure love to adopt foreign words into their lexicon just to add new English words. This next word is Japanese in origin. It is a type of squash, or Japanese pumpkin.

e.g. Oh boy, I could surely have some kabocha right now!

english words kabocha
Care for some kabocha soup?

kasi (n.)

This next word is derived from an Indian word which means ‘an attractive woman.’ A kasi is a lady who is described as ‘the perfect woman.’

e.g. Audrey Hepburn is a true kasi.

ojek (n.)

Meanwhile, an ojek is a type of motorcycle taxi that is common in Indonesia.

e.g. Travelling short distances was quite easy, thanks to the many ojeks available in Bali.

sarmie (n.)


For some reason, South African words have greatly contributed to the list of new English words this year. This next entry (pronounced with a silent ‘r’) refers to a sandwich.

e.g. Grandma made us some sarmies to enjoy during the picnic.

skedonk (n.)

Meanwhile, this next word is a slang term for an old, battered car. And yes, it is from South Africa.

e.g. Hey Archie, why do you still insist on driving that skedonk to school?

english words skedonk
Skedonks are better left in junk shops… don’t you think?

spaza (n.)


This is another South African word. This time, it refers to a small store often based in a private house.

e.g. Amahle’s family sells homemade pies in their spaza.

spoggy (n.)

A spoggy is an Australian slang term for a sparrow. In some parts of England, it can also refer to a chewing gum.

e.g. You should not leave your windows wide open, lest a spoggy flies in.

Most smokers pop in a mint spoggy after smoking to lessen the stink.

trapo (n.)

The next word is from the Philippines. A trapo is a politician thought to belong to a conventional and often corrupt ruling class. The word comes from traditional and politician.

e.g. These trapos should be replaced, if we want to see major changes in the governance of this country.


New English Words: Verbs

facepalm (v.)

Although netizens are quite familiar with this word, it has only been added as an official entry to the Oxford dictionary recently. Originally, a facepalm is a gesture where the palm of the hand is brought to the face. Usually, it shows shame, disbelief, or exasperation.

e.g. Apparently, everyone thought that my nephew was my child because of all the photos I’ve been posting—facepalm!

satinize (v.)

This next word often comes with an object. It refers to anything that gives something a satiny surface or finish.

e.g. This South Korean cold cream will soften and satinize your skin after use.

New English Words: Adverbs and Adjectives

bongga (adj.)


Here is another word from the Philippines. It refers to anything excessively grand, extravagant, or flamboyant.

e.g. This year’s Carnival will surely feature a lot of bongga floats and presentations!

english words bongga
You’ll see a lot of masks that are beyond bongga at the Carnival.

hangry (adj.)

This next word is quite interesting. Any guess as to where it came from? Anyway, this word is a combination of the words hungry and angry. It refers to being irritable as a result of hunger.

e.g. Marian gets really hangry whenever she misses breakfast.

kif (adj.)

This next word is another South African word. It means ‘very good.’ Usually, it used to show approval.

e.g. I have not tried eating goat meat before, and honestly, this is kif.

muntered (adj.)

Here is another slang making it on the official list of new English words this year. It means ‘extremely intoxicated because of drinking too much.’

e.g.  Jack is often muntered every weekend. You won’t be hearing much from him.

powfagged (adj.)

Powfagged means  ‘extremely exhausted, tired, breathless, or plain tuckered out.’

e.g. That marathon left me powfagged. I cannot even feel my legs!


These are just a few of the many, many new words officially added to the English lexicon. Which of these are you excited to use in conversation? Don’t forget to share them with us in the comments.

If you want to see more of these new English words, be sure to check out the Oxford Dictionary website for the latest updates on the English language.