From a dictionary of slang, circa 2050

Aprust n.
the name commonly given to April, for its resemblance to August.

Barclays (Bank) n British
a native of the USA, Yank. A piece of rhyming slang used by insurgents of the London Underground in the 2040s.
‘The Barclays came and torched the place.’
(New York Times, 10 March 2042)

broad, broadster n British
a refugee from the flooded counties of East Anglia. The term is derived from the former Norfolk Broads. For East Anglians, see also bloater, flounder, jellyfish, wader and webfoot.

carboid n
a foolish person, a social nuisance. Elision of ‘carbon’ and ‘android’: literally, a carbon-spewing android.

dubbya n American
an irresponsible and incompetent boss: someone promoted above their abilities. Also denotes someone with a poor grasp of reality.

goo-packer n British
anyone working in nanotechnology. Probably derived from the term coined by Eric Drexler (1986) to describe the hypothetical threat from self-replicating molecular nanotechnology.

green zone n
a delusional state of mind; the confusion inhabited by recovering alcoholics.

hornbill n
an excessive user of nanocaine. The term refers to the artificial septum available online for those wishing to avoid the questions of a plastic surgeon.

hubbert vb
to stockpile provisions in expectation of societal breakdown. Etymology disputed.

ice capper n American
a doomed attempt to redeem a hopeless situation.
‘Putting Sendecki to bat, at this stage in the game, is a total ice capper.’
(US TV sports commentary, 2046)

Janril n
a name commonly given to January, for its resemblance to April.

limpet vb British
to stay put, obstinately, in spite of disaster.
‘I made up my mind to limpet until the last roof in Lowestoft sank beneath the waves’.
(The Times, 19 October 2049)

mercurial adj
of someone who obsessively monitors the thermometer.

pumped adj British
defunct, utterly exhausted. Usually to describe a state of mind or body. The word derives from the failure of the Greenland Pump in the middle of the century.

quality time n American
torture, as in ‘spending quality time’ with someone. The expression was restricted to military slang but has spread into popular usage, notably as a niche term on pornographic websites.

shanty adj British
intrusive, unwelcome, pushy. Derogatory origins: a shanty town dweller.

shruggle n
grudging acceptance of a hateful necessity.
‘The Schultz/Hideki plan to rebuild the city on rafts met with a resounding shruggle.’
(Guardian, 28 February 2038)

towner n British
abbreviated: shanty town dweller, a refugee. Originally specific to the Surrey Hills and North Downs.

trashware n
1. American the fashion for accumulating technological gadgetry under the skin
2. World Standard English contraband trade in human organs, implicitly of dubious quality and/or provenance.

umbrellaphant n Irish
a person who, by staying under shelter to avoid the weather, has grown extremely fat.

Vera n British
a girl or woman addicted to virtual reality, or VR. Subsequently, the term has been extended to anybody who attempts to escape the relentless horror of contemporary life.

Yangtze fish n Australian
oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

Gregory Norminton has published four novels, most recently Serious Things (Sceptre). This piece is taken from a forthcoming collection of stories. He lives in Edinburgh.