Meme, sinkhole and retired – recent English words in the news

It’s been a busy month in the news and here are some of the most interesting English words and phrases I’ve spotted.

‘Meme’ ­ You probably know a few examples of these even if you haven’t seen the word before. Have you seen a Harlem Shake video? If so, you’ve seen a ‘meme’. In this article on the BBC News website, a meme is described as a ‘self­replicating internet trend’. So, a ‘meme’ is something like a photo or video that people make their own versions of and share them on the internet.

‘Sinkhole’ ­ I spotted this article about a man who was swallowed by a sinkhole in Florida, USA. A sinkhole is a hole that suddenly appears in the ground. It’s often caused by a cave or disused mine collapsing.

‘To drop a lawsuit‘­ To drop a lawsuit is a great phrase, and I spotted it in this article on the Reuters website. It means to stop trying to fight another person in court. The opposite would be to ‘bring’ a lawsuit against someone.

‘Fired’ ­ The CEO of Group On was forced to leave his job, or ‘fired’, and this article in the Washington Post had a great overview of some famous firings of the past, especially those where the person being fired left in style!

‘Retired’ The Pope ‘retired’ from one of the most famous jobs in the world. Retiring is when you leave a job to stop working permanently. When you’re as old as he was, it seems like a sensible option.

Have you spotted any interesting words or expressions in the news this month? If so, use the comments section below to let us know about them.

images: Louise Beche