Twenty surprising new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary - including Generation Z, staycationer and social distance

The Oxford English Dictionary has released the new words that will be added to the publication in June 2021. Here is a list of some of the most unusual and surprising additions.

Staycation has entered the national lexicon
Staycation has entered the national lexicon


“Chiefly as a term of endearment: mother; one’s mother.”

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“A native or inhabitant of Amsterdam.”


“Lacking musicality or melodiousness; having no musical talent or sensitivity.”


“A state of absolute bliss.”


“Of a plant or other celestial object, or its position in a person’s horoscope or natal chart: ordaining the point of death.”

Digital assistant

“A (usually hand-held) portable computer; esp. one that combines the functions of an electronic organiser with the capacity for networking and telecommunication.”

Fast foodery

“A restaurant selling fast food.”


“An act of deception; a trick”


“A person who attends festivals, esp. Regularly; a festival-goer.”


“Disgusting, unpleasant, nasty; (also) festering.”

Generation Z

“The generation of people born between late 1990s and early 2010s, regarded as having attitudes or values which differ from those of the preceding generation (Generation Y), particularly with respect to having grown up in the era of widespread use of digital technology (esp. the internet and social media).”

Glitter bombing

“The action, process, or practice of showering glitter over someone or something, esp. as a prank or as a part of a political protest.”


“An antiviral prodrug used to treat RNA virus infections, including Ebola fever and coronavirus diseases such as SARS and MERS.”


“A state of absolute being or pure existence.”


“A person who is slow to react or to understand something.”

Social distance

“To keep a certain physical distance from, or limit physical contact with, another person or people in order to avoid catching or transmitting an infectious disease, or as one of a number of public health measures designed to inhibit its spread.”


“Close observation or recording of the government, police, etc., by members of the public, typically using personal devices such as video cameras and smartphones. Also: the recording or documenting by members of the public of their own or other people’s activities using such devices. Often contrasted with surveillance.”


“A person who holidays at home or in his or her country of residence.”


“Designating or relating to a system for making a payment with a credit or debit card, smartphone, etc., using contactless technology.”


“An election or system of voting in which voters send in their ballot papers by mail; a vote or votes cast in this way.”