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Phubbing is one of those rare words that can be traced to a very specific origin. We will examine the meaning of the term phubbing, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Phubbing describes the attention one gives to one’s cell phone or other electronic mobile device to the exclusion of the companions one is with. Phubbing is the noun form, though it is sometimes used as a verb as in phub, phubs, phubbed. The word phubbing was coined as a marketing campaign for the Australian McCann Advertising Agency in order to promote the Macquarie Dictionary. McCann gathered a contingent of experts to coin a word describing the attention one gives to a mobile device rather than one’s companions, and the portmanteau phubbing was coined by blending the words phone and snubbing. A portmanteau is a word that is composed by blending the sounds and the meaning of two different words. The word phubbing was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.


If this sounds like you, you may be one of the millions of people experiencing what is a relatively new psychological condition known as “phubbing” that, according to influential new research, may be slowly eroding your relationship with your partner. (The New York Post)

‘Phubbing interferes with all three of these important factors so it’s no surprise to me that people are feeling less satisfied with their relationships because they’re just not having quality time, and they’re not feeling their partner ‘gets’ them or is there for them because there’s always this constant distraction away.’ (The Daily Mail)

The most interesting thing this study found was that people who reported phubbing more often were also more likely to be phubbed themselves. (The Atlantic)