It’s bad enough with the world economy sliding towards a recession, but when the term “credit crunch” is included in a reputed dictionary, it becomes ever clearer that this is no passing cloud.

Apart from "credit crunch", "carbon footprint" and "electrosmog" were both included in the 2008 Chambers Dictionary, reflecting the current belt-tightening times and an increasingly environmentally conscious world.

"The new words we added to this 11th edition of The Chambers Dictionary paint a vivid picture of current interests and concerns," said its editor-in-chief Mary O'Neill.

In the dictionary, "credit crunch" is defined as "a sudden and drastic reduction in the availability of credit". Another new inclusion was "eco-village", which was described as "a small-scale, environmentally friendly settlement designed for sustainable living."

"We get a dozen letters a week from people querying the origin of words and suggesting which words should be included in the dictionary. The dictionary reflects changing times … and in every edition we get a snapshot of the preoccupations of the current time."

Some notable other entries:

ELECTROSMOG: Electromagnetic fields emitted by computers, mobile phones, etc, believed by some to be harmful to health

BLUE-ON-BLUE: Accidental firing on one's allies

IED: Improvised explosive device

BLU-RAY: A method of storing data on high-capacity compact discs using a blue laser

BOTNET: An automated program that runs on its own on infected computers and is used to cause widespread damage to computing systems

QUANTUM COMPUTER: Cutting-edge technology that uses quantum mechanics to perform operations on data

METAMATERIAL: Artificially created material having properties not found in nature

EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION: The covert transporting of individuals, especially terrorist suspects, to undisclosed destinations for the purpose of interrogation

HIPs: Home information pack, a set of documents containing details about a house

WAG: Wife or girlfriend of a professional sportsman.

Click here to take the Travel Poll