A new year is a perfect opportunity to focus on your language goals. Maybe you are working towards an official exam. Perhaps this is the year you are going to spend summer abroad in an English language speaking country. 2023 might be the year you finally have the courage to stand up and sing your favourite song in English at the local open mic night! Why not give yourself a head start and begin incorporating these new English words into your vocabulary?

Last year we brought you 8 new English words you need for 2022. Now, we are introducing you to 7 of the new words which people are using in their day-to-day conversations.

Carry on reading to discover 7 new English words and how you can use them in 2023.


1. Side hustle


Definition: Are you trying to scrimp and save for your holiday but you still haven’t got enough money? Perhaps you need a side hustle.

A side hustle is the term we use for a way to earn extra money on top of your regular income.

How do you use it?

I wasn’t earning enough money in my full-time job, so I started a side hustle making and selling crafts.


2. Sentient


Definition: To be sentient means to be conscious, to be able to sense, to be alive. So, hang on a minute … this is definitely not a new concept!

With the rise of A.I. (artificial intelligence) and the growing interest in making bots as human-like as possible, there is constant conversation about the distinction between a bot and a human. This quality is being sentient. Expect this to be a controversial topic!

How do you use it?

Wow! This new chatbot seems so realistic. It has an answer for everything. It is almost sentient!


3. Permacrisis


Definition: Do you ever feel like nothing is going your way? Like things are going from bad to worse? Perhaps you are in a state of permacrisis.

Permacrisis is a term used to describe permanently being in a crisis. As you can probably see, we form it from the words permanent and crisis. When we add two words together to make a new one, this is called a ‘portmanteau’.

Permacrisis has been used to describe the ongoing series of global events which have had a negative effect on people.

How do you use it?

I thought everything would improve after the pandemic finished, but the effect it had on the economy and job market put us in a permacrisis. When will things get better?


4. Sportswashing


Definition: This media term came into the public eye this year. We use it to describe the promotion of sporting events in order to take the attention away from something else.

Another example of a portmanteau, this time from sports and brainwashing. Sportswashing is when someone, for example, a newspaper, tries to deflect attention from something negative by focusing on a big sports event.

Sportwashing was on everyone’s lips in the buildup to the World Cup in Qatar. In this case, some of the controversy behind the tournament was pushed to the back of everyone’s minds as soon as the first game kicked off.

How do you use it?

The public soon forgot about their anger towards their president when he posed for a photo with the national team before the big match. They were all victims of sportswashing.


5. Jabbed/Vaxxed


Definition: In a world so affected by the global pandemic, it was inevitable that words connected to it would come into our everyday lives.

To be jabbed/vaxxed means to have received a vaccination. Although it is not a new word, it has become such a necessary part of life. We often use it with prefixes like double-, triple- and fully-.

How do you use it?

I had to prove I was double-jabbed in order to travel. Luckily, I’d had two vaccinations.


6. Gaslighting


Definition: Have you ever felt like someone isn’t being totally clear with you? Perhaps you’ve felt like someone might be lying to you in order to take advantage of you or a situation. Maybe you’ve experienced gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a term used to describe psychological exploitation used on someone over a long period of time. This can lead to the person feeling confused, losing their self-esteem and even questioning their own sanity!

Gaslighting is often linked to psychological abuse, with the victim experiencing terrible long-term emotional damage. In a world where we are constantly searching for the truth, be very careful if you feel gaslighting may be happening.

How do you use it?

The therapist made him feel like he was going insane, just to make him continue paying for sessions. Absolute gaslighting!


7. Cringe


Definition: Oh no! Have you ever felt so embarrassed that you wanted to disappear? That moment was probably cringe.

We have used cringe as a verb for a long time. It describes the face you make when something is incredibly embarrassing. However, recently the adjective cringeworthy has been shortened to cringe.

How do you use it?

Did you see her dad trying to dance like a teenager? Oh my god, it was absolutely cringe!

We hope you achieve all your goals in 2023. Remember, the best way to remember new vocabulary is with personal examples, and the best way to incorporate new vocabulary is to try and include it in your speaking and writing. Your teacher will always be available to help you. Practice makes perfect!

If you’re interested in learning English in the new year check out our new courses starting in 2023.

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

courage (n): bravery.

head start (n): advantage over others.

scrimp (v): to spend as little money as possible.

income (n): the money you receive, usually from a job.

ongoing (adj): continuous.

brainwash (v): make someone believe something is true by repeatedly telling them something, and not allowing other information to get to them.

deflect (v): change the course of something.

buildup (n): an increase or accumulation of something, usually before an event.

kick off (pv): to start or resume a football match.

take advantage of (id): make something from a situation, can be both positive and negative.


adj = adjective

n = noun

pv = phrasal verb

v = verb

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