English around us

A world of words


“A person who accepts and pays out amounts of money risked on a particular result, especially of horse races.” People in the UK and Ireland usually bet on all sorts of things… but this time many of them felt outraged when the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has … Continue reading

05/03/2014 · Leave a comment


“A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. “Selfie” was named as word of the year by … Continue reading

03/03/2014 · Leave a comment

Celeb tutors

Despite their huge posters in shopping centres and bus shelters, they are not film stars or supermodels. They are the “tutor kings and queens” in Hong Kong, those super teachers … Continue reading

10/10/2013 · Leave a comment


 To give tasks to a large group of people or to the general public, for example, by asking for help on the Internet, rather than having tasks done within a … Continue reading

22/05/2013 · Leave a comment


An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations. Harlem Shake, the viral video which … Continue reading

06/03/2013 · Leave a comment


A loose-fitting one-piece leisure garment for adults, covering the torso and legs. (“Onesies” is a popular brand of infant bodysuits.) This warm and cosy all-in-one garment, originally designed to be … Continue reading

08/02/2013 · Leave a comment


The Slow Movement, which is not controlled by a single organization, is a worldwide trend which “supports a growing cultural shift towards slowing down.” The movement started when the Italian … Continue reading

31/01/2013 · Leave a comment


A very tall modern building, usually in a city. Skyscrapers are usually built where land is expensive, but economy of space isn’t the only reason. They are considered symbols of … Continue reading

24/01/2013 · Leave a comment


A trick that is intended to be funny but not to cause harm or damage. Last Sunday tens of thousands of people took off their pants on subways in 60 … Continue reading

15/01/2013 · Leave a comment


/ˈtsaɪt.gaɪst/ The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time. Ex: This video captures the zeitgeist of 2012.   … Continue reading

14/12/2012 · Leave a comment


Pleasing and easy to remember (especially of a tune or song). South Korean rapper Psy has beaten Justin Bieber with his global hit “Gangman style”, whose video has become the most … Continue reading

30/11/2012 · Leave a comment


I have always envied -and enjoyed- the creativity of British people to play with their language producing new words all the time. Terms in which you can appreciate their sense of … Continue reading

19/11/2012 · Leave a comment


An image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet. “In a world where over two days of video get uploaded every minute, only … Continue reading

19/10/2012 · Leave a comment


A person who refuses to face reality or accept facts. (from the popular belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand if pursued). Is an ostrich pillow the best solution for … Continue reading

03/10/2012 · 1 Comment