New words spring up each year! They often come from popular culture, social and political issues, and innovations in technology from around the world.

Last year we introduced you to the words you’d most likely need to know in 2021. Now, we’re bringing you the ones making it to the dictionary in 2022!

Read on to find out the top 8 new English words to know for going forward into the new year.


1. Virtual fashion

Definition: the design and sale of fashion clothing and accessories for virtual platforms and avatars

Fashion brands are starting to come into the digital world with entire collections that are only virtual. For instance, Italian fashion house Moschino teamed up with Sims to create a set of designs just for Sims avatars.

While you may think it strange, this innovation is being praised by people around the world. This is because it could lead to a reduction in fast fashion and a move toward a more sustainable fashion industry.

How do you use it?

I love the new virtual fashion that you bought for your Sims avatars – it’s really cool!


2. Metaverse

Definition: a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users

This is one word you’re likely to hear a lot in 2022 thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. First mentioned in a science fiction novel in 1992 – the metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to let people interact virtually.

Essentially, it offers the chance for you to ‘live’ within a digital universe. You’ll be able to play, learn, shop, game and more, all from the comfort of your own home!

How do you use it?

I spent a few hours hanging out with friends in the metaverse on Sunday.


3. Crowdfunding

Definition: getting funding (e.g. for a new business) by asking for contributions from a large number of people, especially from the online community

A compound word made up of ‘crowd’ and ‘funding,’ this concept has taken off in recent times. Crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter (for businesses) and GoFundMe (for fundraisers and individuals). They’re used widely and are growing in popularity!

How do you use it?

She used a crowdfunding website to fund her new business and raised a lot of money.



Definition: autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a relaxing, often sedative sensation that people feel on their skin; often caused by sound

ASMR has been gaining popularity on YouTube in recent years. It involves making soft sounds and noises such as whispers, crackles and tapping in an attempt to trigger tingling sensations in the person listening.

How do you use it?

I usually listen to ASMR before I go to bed. It’s so relaxing it helps me fall asleep.


5. Finfluencer

Definition: a specific type of influencer who focuses on money-related topics

By now, we’ve all heard of influencers – those who influence people to buy products on social media – but you might not have heard of ‘finfluencers’ just yet.

These are the people who are talking about money on social media. Whether it’s advice on investing, clearing debt or guidance on how to make money using social networks, they’re there to offer tips and help solve your financial worries.

How do you use it?

A finfluencer helped me find out which are the best businesses to invest in this year.


6. Gig worker

Definition: a person who works temporary jobs typically in the service sector as an independent contractor or freelancer

Although this phrase has been around for a while, it’s only just making it to the dictionary! That’s most likely because it’s becoming more prevalent around the world.

Gig workers may be independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers or temporary workers. Often, they’ll do work for ‘on-demand’ companies as and when the companies need it.

How do you use it?

My brother’s a gig worker – sometimes he has multiple projects at once, and sometimes he doesn’t have any work!


7. Co-working

Definition: the act of workers from different companies coming together to share a space to work in

Like ‘gig worker’ this term isn’t new but it’s just making it to the dictionary. A very popular way of working for anyone who is a freelancer or digital gig worker but doesn’t want to work alone, co-working is the answer!

Co-working spaces are popping up in cities around the world and provide people with similar facilities to that of an office. For instance, many of them offer desks, kitchen equipment, water tanks and meeting rooms.

How do you use it?

I was tired of working alone so I joined a co-working space where I can work with other people in the same situation.


8. Staycation

Definition: a holiday in your home country rather than abroad

Staycations are becoming popular as a result of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. With many foreign holidays cancelled, people instead have chosen to organise local holidays.

Whether it’s to a city, park, festival or other local attraction, holidays and events at home have surged in the last 12 months earning this phrase a place in the dictionary.

How do you use it?

This year we decided on a staycation as our trip abroad was cancelled!

If you’re interested in learning English in the new year check out our new courses starting in 2022.

Glossary for Language Learners


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

Spring up (pv): to appear.

Praise (v): to express approval or admiration of someone or something.

Augmented reality (n): a technology that places a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world.

Take off (pv): to suddenly start to be successful or popular.

Whisper (n): a way of speaking very quietly, using the breath but not the voice.

Prevalent (adj): existing very commonly or happening often.

Pop up (pv): to appear or happen, especially suddenly or unexpectedly.

Surge (v): a sudden and great increase.


adj = adjective

n = noun

v = verb

pv = phrasal verb

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