New Word #88: New Year New Beginning

Image by t3ddy4rt from Pixabay

Let’s celebrate the new year by compiling a list of words for “beginning”, even though I am still the plain old me, with no difference whatsoever with one week, one month, or one year ago. A friend sends a message saying that he has very modest wishes for the new year. Just being healthy and alive is enough. However I do sense his hidden ambition in his professed modesty. He actually alludes that the pandemic will be over and the global warming or climate change will stop threatening our lives.


nascent: (especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential–“the nascent space industry”. Believe it or not, I actually use this word pretty regularly–probably once a year.

fledgling: a young bird that has just fledged; a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped. This word is frequently used in phrases like fledgling industry, fledgling system, fledgling company.

initial: existing or occurring at the beginning. I encounter this word more often when marking or signing (a document) with my initials, which means the first letter of the first and the last name.

inception: the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity.

neophobia: the fear of new things. Gerontophobia means an irrational or disproportionate fear of old age, especially of growing old; a fear of, or aversion to old people. Gerascophobia means the fear of growing old.

commence: begin, start. And commencement means a beginning or a start. However the commencement speech is not giving in the beginning of a program, but rather it is given at the graduation ceremony.

renew, resume, reinstate, recommence: These four words all mean restart, but they are used in different circumstances. Renew is always used in license, insurance policy etc. under normal situations. And reinstate means to restore after the licence or insurance policy is terminated. Resume is often used in when a class or a meeting restarts after an interruption. I’ve never heard or read about “recommence”, but I guess it is used in very formal documents.

kick off, kick start, kick in: People like to use “kick” to symbolize a start. Kick off means to start something, not only a game, but a meeting, a project, a ceremony etc. Kick start also means to start, not only an engine but also events or journeys. “Kick in” means to begin to have an effect. This phrase is very often used. “I am not awake yet since I am still waiting for my first cup of coffee to kick in.”

Before Beginning

prequel: a story or movie containing events that precede those of an existing work. For example, “Young Sheldon” is the prequel to “Big Bang Theory”.

prelude: an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.

prologue: a separate introductory section of a literary or musical work.

precedence and precedent: I am still often confused about the difference between these two words. Precedence means the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank. For example, “take precedence”. Precedent means an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances. I more often heard this word being used as “no precedent” or “without precedent”, meaning something not supported by a prior example or ruling.

preface: an introduction to a book, typically stating its subject, scope, or aims.

exordium: the beginning or introductory part, especially of a discourse or treatise.

New And Current

in fashion, in vogue, à la mode: fashionable

passe: no longer fashionable; out of date.

modern, post-modern, futuristic: These are words I don’t understand when they refer to art. I am only parroting what the google and wikipedia says about them. Modern means relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past. Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, as well as opposition to epistemic certainty and the stability of meaning. futuristic means having or involving very modern technology or design.

Phrases About Beginning

newfangled: different from what one is used to; objectionably new.

experimental: (of a new invention or product) based on untested ideas or techniques and not yet established or finalized.

before his (her) time: If someone or something is ahead of their time, they have or show ideas that are so modern that most people have not accepted them yet.

new kid on the block: someone who has recently joined a particular group

8 thoughts on “New Word #88: New Year New Beginning

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