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Semenova E.V. NEOLOGISMS AS A REFLECTION OF EVOLUTION AND VITALITY OF LANGUAGE (ILLUSTRATED BY EXAMPLES IN ENGLISH) / E.V. Semenova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 60—63. — URL: (дата обращения: 20.04.2021. ).
Semenova E.V. NEOLOGISMS AS A REFLECTION OF EVOLUTION AND VITALITY OF LANGUAGE (ILLUSTRATED BY EXAMPLES IN ENGLISH) / E.V. Semenova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 60—63.


ORCIDСеменова Э.В.1
1 , Саратовская государственная юридическая академия, Саратов, Россия
Статья посвящена вопросу пополнения состава английского языка неологизмами, которые отражают изменения и реальные процессы в современном обществе. Цель работы заключается в определении причин возникновения неологизмов и их способа образования. Материалом для исследования послужили словари, а также Интернет-источники (СМИ, публикации, социальные сети). Практическая значимость работы состоит в возможности использования ее результатов при анализе лексического состава английского языка.
Ключевые слова: язык, лексические единицы, неологизмы, способ образования неологизмов.
Страницы: 60 - 63

ORCIDSemenova E.V.1
1 , Saratov State Law Academy, Saratov, Russia
The article is devoted to the issue of English language composition by replenishment of neologisms, which reflect changes and real processes in contemporary society. The primary focus is to determine the reasons of neologisms occurrences and the way of its formation. The material presented in this book comes from a wide range of sources: dictionaries, as well as Internet sources (media, publications, social networks, etc.) The practical result of this work is in the possibility to use the results of new trends of neologisms in the analysis of the English language lexical composition.
Keywords: language, lexical units, neologisms, way of neologisms formation.
Pages: 60 - 63
Почта авторов / Author Email: esemenova2604[at]


Language as a means of communication is constantly changing to express the sense of the processes taking place in society accurately. Such changes are logical for any active language. However, the intensity of such changes may be different. N.S. Valgina notes that the internal resources of the language, which were not in demand for various reasons, now have been driven by the influence of external social factors [4]. All the changes that take place in the life of a society, first of all, are reflected in language. The language is constantly evolving, being in close connection with the history and culture of the people. “The new language vocabulary reflects developments in modern language culture because of such phenomena as digitalization, computerization, information, globalization, etc.” [7, P.18]. In recent decades, many languages have experienced a “neological boom”. The activation of social life processes, technological progress, formation of the global information environment have led to the increasing the number of new lexical units.

Words stock is most responsive to all changes in various spheres of society. Thus, the rapid formation of the global information environment, the intensification of human life, leads to the process of replenishing the vocabulary and enriching the language by the formation of neologisms in modern English. The new vocabulary reflects the current changes and realities in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres of society. The emergence of neologisms is proof of the evolution and vitality of language. This is clearly evidenced by the development of modern English vocabulary, characterized by the intensive social advancement in all its spheres. Identifying the criteria of neological character of the word is a topical issue of neology, which touches upon the researchers' attention. In particular, not every new word created by any speaker is enshrined in the language. First, this word is occasionalism, then it gradually assimilated by language and becomes a neologism that can either gain a foothold in the lexical system, or cease to exist [10]. It is necessary to distinguish neologisms from occasionalisms, which are created by individual authors in one particular text and not used in the language community [7]. A.A. Zaraiskiy notes that neologisms arise on the basis of existing material, i.e. according to the word-formation system of this existing language [7].

Researchers give different definitions to the concept of “neologism”. Thus, V.S. Vinogradov defines neologisms as “new words or meanings that are fixed in language, which call new objects of thought” [5, P. 121]. I.V. Arnold calls words or set phrase as neologisms (or metaphorically – newcomer), which are included in language due to the growth of culture and technology, development or changes by social relations and changes in everyday life of people, living conditions which are perceived by speakers as new [1]. Researchers may even use free language; often it may have an unscientific nature [11]. Having analyzed the various theories, A.E. Belkova comes to the conclusion that at present we are not entitled to adhere to the only one definition, which states that neologism should be considered only by new words. At the same time, “good” neologism should be unambiguous and motivated [2]. N.Z. Kotelova says that the specifics of the concept of neologism is “historically and comparatively”. It requires concrete parameters, namely 1) time – parameter, that is neologisms are new words of any period in relation to previous periods; 2) language space – parameter (spheres and genres of use), i.e. а) in languages in general; б) in this native language; в) in literary language; г) in sublanguage in question; 3) “novelty” is associated with the definition of a type of: new meaning (semantic neologism), new form (neologism is synonymous with an existing word, both (self-neologism) [9].

In the context of our study, we assume that neologism is a newly formed or borrowed word (phrase), or a formed derivative word from a previously known word created by new realities.

Another criterion for defining language units as neologisms is the scope of their functioning, for example: social and everyday life; сcomputer technology and social media; socio-economic sphere; socio-political vocabulary; anthropocentric characterizing nominations [8].

It should be noted, that neologisms are divided into semantic, lexical and lexical-grammatical by the way of their formation [2]. The semantic way is to change the meaning of the old word. Lexical neologisms are neologisms that have arising from other borrowing languages. Lexico-grammatical neologisms are new words that have arisen on an existing basis by affixing, conversion, word-composition, abbreviation.

Hundreds of neologisms appearing in English language every year are related to social and everyday life recorded in newspapers and magazines, Internet publications, social networks, etc. In our opinion, it is in this sphere of human activity that many neologisms reflect the national specificity of the speaking community. These neologisms reflect the various processes of society (social movements, political “preferences”, anxieties, lifestyle, etc.), serve as a codification of new cultural experience and determine the dynamics of the current processes of modern English-speaking society.

The process of forming an ecological culture, for example in the United States, is closely related to the system of national values, so ecocentric consciousness is formed through the patriotism of Americans [6]. Constant discussion of environmental issues leads to a change in people's thinking and consumer behavior. This is manifested among other things, through the emergence of neologisms.

Climate emergency – noun, serious and urgent problems that are being caused or likely to be caused by changes in the world's weather, in particular the world getting warmer as a result of human activity increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere [12]. Word-composition (N + N).

Example: In Scotland, a climate change emergency had already been declared — and targets are being set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045 (BBC News, May 3, 2019).

Climate denial – noun, a refusal to accept the reality of climate change [14]. Word-composition (N + N).

Example: At its heart, climate change denial is a conflict between facts and values. People deny the climate crisis because, to them, it just feels wrong (The Conversation, October 8, 2019).

Eco-anxiety – noun, the anxiety associated with fear of harming the environment [16]. Affixation (eco- + anxiety).

Example: Eco-anxiety is not the same as a clinical anxiety disorder, though physicians say fears about the climate can worsen or trigger pre-existing mental health problems. In fact, for most people, eco-anxiety is a healthy response to the climate crisis, Hickman argues (Time, November 21, 2019).

Ecocide – noun, damage to or destruction of the natural environment, especially as caused by human activity such as pollution or war [14]. Blending (eco + cide). Eco has its roots in the Latin word “oeco” meaning “household”' and nowadays it means “environment”, “-cide” comes from the Latin verb “caedere”', meaning “to kill”.  

Example: One day, a few years from now, they imagined Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, being hauled to The Hague to stand trial for ecocide, a term broadly understood to mean the willful and widespread destruction of the environment, and one that, they hope, will eventually be on par with other crimes against humanity (The New York Times, September 21, 2019).

Ecotourism – noun, the business of providing vacations and related services that are not harmful to the environment of the area [13]. Affixation (eco- + tourism).

Example: Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles… (Gaia Discovery, April 4, 2017).

Flight shame – noun, feeling bad about flying, leading people to choose other methods of transport  [14]. Word-composition (N + N).

Example: The term Flygskam, which translates to “flight shame” and encourages individuals to take the train over a plane, has seemingly gained popularity in Thunberg’s native Sweden (Forbs, Jan 13, 2020).

Plogging – noun, a recreational activity, originating in Sweden, that combines jogging with pick up litter [13]. Blending (pick up + jogging).

Example: However, plogging is an activity for all age groups and abilities. “We try to encourage kids — they don’t expect it to be so fun,” Ahlström said. You don’t have to be a star athlete, he said, “to be good at plogging(BuzzFeed.News, January 13, 2019).

Bioregionalism – noun, the conviction that environmental and social policies should be determined by the bioregion rather than economics or politics [13]. Affixation (bio- + regional + — ism).

Example: Bioregionalism is a new process of thinking and is one such option. It a way of making a new social construct through territories with different entrances, where we will have to work with concepts like “consciousness of place” and “global archaeology” and formulate new proposals and test them on the ground” (Down to Earth, October 31, 2018).

It should be noted that recently the trend towards escapist troubles in the society has increased, i.e. escaping from everyday reality, escaping from unnecessary money spending, domestic problems, fear of an imperfect world and increased “self-care”, the emergence of subcultures changes in everyday life.

Janxiety – noun, feelings of unhappiness and worry that people often have at the beginning of a new year [12]. Blending (January + anxiety).

Example: Yes, the holidays are well and truly over and the rest you enjoyed seems a distant memory. Like millions of others, you are suffering from Janxiety – January anxiety – during the most stressful month of the year (Friday, January 22, 2016).

Child-free – adj., used to describe someone who has decided not to have children [14]. Word-composition (N + Adj.).

Example: “I also examine the social, economic and environmental impact of the childfree choice. There have been childfree people for much longer than many folks realize, but it is only in recent decades that we’ve come to see them and talk about the reality that parenthood is and should be a choice rather than an inevitability…”(Iowa State Daily, March 10, 2020).

Twodio – noun, a small apartment with one large room for sleeping and living in, a bathroom, and a kitchen that is shared with another apartment [12]. Blending (two + studio).

Example: So-called 'twodios', like those just finished in Willesden, offer young professionals a private room and bathroom with a kitchen shared between two people (MailOnline, April 28, 2016).

Normcore – noun, a style of dressing in clothes such as jeans, white T-shirts and trainers, chosen deliberately for being plain and boring and not drawing people's attention [15]. This trend implies freedom from fashion and leads to reasonable savings. Blending (normal + core).

Example: The term normcore was coined on October 19, 2013 when the trend-casting group K-hole published "Youth mode: a Report on Freedom" For K-hole the goal of normcore was to blend into the crowd, to be unrecognizable from any other person, or as they wrote, "the new world order of blankness" (Vox, April 16, 2014).

Representatives of Great Britain Royal Family honor the traditions that have been observed by many centuries, and most often put in the form of various ceremonies and events, which is interesting and can serve as an occasion for the creation of new words:

Megxit – noun, a group of people who dislike Meghan Markle and want her out of the British Royal Family [16].  Blending (Meghan + exit).

Example: “This is a promising start to #MEGXIT,” wrote UK journalist Alex Wood, referring to the new term being used to describe the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell resignation from the British royal family Wednesday (New York Post, January 9, 2020).

To Meghan Markle – verb for ghosting or disposing people once you have no use or benefit from them anymore without any regard to genuine human relationships [16]. Conversion (from noun to verb).

Example: Meghan Markle, a verb, past tense — Meghan Markled: to value yourself and your mental health enough to up and leave a room/ situation/ environment in which your authentic self is not welcomed or wanted (The Guardian, January 24, 2020).

At the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, new neologisms are appeared, which denote both panicking people and dissemination of false information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covidiot – noun, someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety [16]. Blending (COVID-19 + idiot).

Examples:Elon Musk is tech Covidiot No. 1 during coronavirus pandemic” (New York Post, April 18, 2020). “Covidiot clown exercises in his pants with help of topless friend while more lockdown flouters head to UK parks and beaches” (MailOnline, April 21, 2020). 

Infodemic – noun, the spread of incorrect information, especially online [14]. Blending (information + epidemic).

Example: Silicon Valley has responded to the “infodemic with aggressive intervention and an embrace of official sources and traditional media outlets (The Guardian, April 10, 2020).


Analyzing neologisms presented here, we can identify several reasons for the occurrence of neologisms: the reflection of moods and concerns of society, the problems that have arisen or accumulated (environmental neologisms, revision of life values, etc.); the activity of the population on social networks and their interest in certain events; the development of information and digital technologies, which takes the community to a new level of communication which leads to a rapid acceleration of language processes in comparison with past periods.

There are a lot of ways of word-formation which are various: affixation, conversion, word-composition, blending, shortening, alphabetism, etc. It should be noted that word-composition and blending are the most productive and dominant ways of new words formation.

Список литературы / References:
  1. Арнольд И.В. Лексикология современного английского языка: учеб. пособие. – 2-е изд., перераб / Арнольд И.В. – М.: ФЛИНТА: Наука, 2012. – 376 с.
  2. Баранникова Л.И. Введение в языкознание / Баранникова Л.И. – Саратов: Изд-во Саратовского государственного университета, 1973. – 384 с.
  3. Белькова А. Е. Функционирование неологизмов в интернет-ресурсах: на материале сайта NоNаMе: Монография / А.Е. Белькова. – Нижневартовск: Изд-во НВГУ, 2018. – 112 с.
  4. Валгина Н.С. Активные процессы в современном русском языке: Учебное пособие / Валгина Н.С. – М.: Логос, 2001. – 304 с.
  5. Виноградов В. С. Введение в переводоведение (общие и лексические вопросы) / Виноградов В. С. – М.: Издательство института общего среднего образования РАО, 2001. – 224 с.
  6. Гречишкина С.В. Процесс формирования экологической культуры в США: Американские ценности / Гречишкина С.В. // Вестник Томского государственного университета. 2018. № 30. – URL: (дата обращения: 23.12.2019).
  7. Зарайский А.А. Морфемная структура неологизмов в современном английском языке // Языковая и культурная идентичность в цифровую эпоху : [кол. монография] / под общ. ред. А.А. Зарайского. – Саратов: Изд. центр «Амирит», 2019. – 162 с.
  8. Кольцова Е.А. Неологизмы английского языка XXI в. / Кольцова Е.А. // Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Теория языка. Семиотика. Семантика. – 2017. Т.8. №3. – С. 604-613.
  9. Котелова Н.З. Избранные работы / Котелова Н.З. Российская академия наук; Институт лингвистических исследований. – СПб.: Нестор-История, 2015. – 276 с.
  10. Пешкова Д.Ю. Английская неология: способы пополнения вокабуляра на современном этапе / Пешкова Д.Ю. // Известия Волгоградского государственного педагогического университета. – 2019. № 6 (139). – С. 155-160.
  11. Рец И.В. Национально-культурная специфика новой лексики нидерландского и английского языков / Рец И.В. // Вестник Волгоградского государственного университет. Сер.2, Языкознан. – 2014. № 1 (20). – С. 66-70.
  12. Cambridge Dictionary [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)
  13. Collins Dictionary [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)
  14. Macmillan Dictionary [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)
  15. Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)
  16. Urban Dictionary [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Arnold I.V. Leksikologiya sovremennogo anglijskogo yazyka [Lexicology of Modern English]: Textbook. Ed. 2 nd / Arnold I.V. – M.: FLINT: Science, 2012. – 376 p. [in Russian]
  2. Barannikova L.I. Vvedenie v yazykoznanie [Introduction to Linguistics] / Barannikova L.I. – Saratov: Saratov University, 1973. – 384 p.
  3. Belkova A.E. Funkcionirovanie neologizmov v internet-resursah: na materiale sajta NoNaMe [Functioning neologisms in Internet resources: on the material of the site NoNaMe]: monograph / Belkova A.E. – Nizhnevartovsk: NVSU, 2018. – 112 p. [in Russian]
  4. Valgina N.S. Aktivnye processy v sovremennom russkom yazyke [Active processes in modern Russian language] / Valgina N.S. Textbook. – M.: Logos, 2001. – 304 p. [in Russian]
  5. Vinogradov V.S. Vvedenie v perevodovedenie (obshchie i leksicheskie voprosy) [Introduction to Translation (general and lexical questions)] / Vinogradov V.S. – M.: Publishing house of the Institute of General Secondary Education OF RAO, 2001. – 224 p. [in Russian]
  6. Grechishkina S.V. Process formirovaniya ekologicheskoj kul’tury v SSHA: Amerikanskie cennosti [The process of forming an environmental culture in the USA: American values] / Grechishkina S.V. // Bulletin of Tomsk state university. – 2018. № 30. – URL: (accessed 23 December 2019). [in Russian]
  7. Zaraiskiy A.A. Morfemnaya struktura neologizmov v sovremennom anglijskom yazyke [Morphemic structure of neologisms in modern English] / Zaraiskiy A.A. // Language and cultural identity in the digital era: monograph. – Saratov: Publishing house “Amirit”, 2019. – 162 p. [in Russian]
  8. Koltsova E.A. Neologizmy anglijskogo yazyka XXI v. [Neologisms of the English language of the 21st century] / Koltsova E.A. // Bulletin of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Series: Language Theory. Semiotics. Semantics. – 2017. V.8. No.3. – P. 604-613. [in Russian]
  9. Kotelova N.S. Izbrannye raboty [Selected Works] / Kotelova N.S. Russian Academy of Sciences; Linguistic Research Institute. – St. Petersburg: Nestor History, 2015. – 276 p. [in Russian]
  10. Peshkova D.Y. Anglijskaya neologiya: sposoby popolneniya vokabulyara na sovremennom etape [English neology: Ways to replenish the vocabulary at the modern stage] / Peshkova D.Y. // Proceedings of Volgograd State Teachers’ University. – 2019. No 6 (139). – P. 155-160. [in Russian]
  11. Rets I.V. Nacional’no-kul’turnaya specifika novoj leksiki niderlandskogo i anglijskogo yazykov [The National-Cultural specificity of the new Dutch and English vocabulary] / Rets I.V. // Science Journal of VolSU. Linguistics. – 2014. No 1 (20). – P. 66-70. [in Russian]
  12. Cambridge Dictionary [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed: 28.05.2020)
  13. Collins Dictionary [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed: 28.05.2020)
  14. Macmillan Dictionary [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed: 28.05.2020)
  15. Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed: 28.05.2020)
  16. Urban Dictionary [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: (дата обращения: 28.05.2020)

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