The English language is constantly changing. New products are invented, new situations arise, and new ways come about that people interact with their world. The English language morphs to accommodate these new situations. However, not every new word is included into the Merriam-Webster or Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, very few words are actually added to these dictionaries each year out of the thousands of new words that are invented. This is because dictionaries are widely used and all-encompassing. Words that are included must be so prevalent in the language—and the culture—that most people recognize and use them.
Because of this, words that are added to the dictionary each year are very indicative of the recent history and cultural changes. Below I have listed financial words that have been included since the Recession. These new entries can be found in the newest version of either the Merriam-Webster Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary.
staycation, n.: a vacation spent at home or nearby
couch surfing, n.: the practice of spending the night on other people’s couches in lieu of permanent housing.
state-run, adj.: operated or managed by the government of a country
toxic debt, n.: debt which has a high risk of default
deleveraging, n.: the process or practice of reducing the level of one’s debt by rapidly selling one’s assets
overleveraged, adj.: (of a company) having taken on too much debt
quantitative easing, n.: the introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank
exit strategy, n.: a pre-planned means of extricating oneself from a situation
Many of the new words include topics we’ve covered:
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