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Words from British and American culture




Achilles heel noun [sing.] a weak point or fault in sb's character, which can be attacked by other people ORIGIN Named after the Greek hero Achilles. When he was a small child, his mother held him below the surface of the river Styx to protect him against any injury. She held him by his heel, which therefore was not touched by the water. Achilles died after being wounded by an arrow in the heel.

Action Man™noun 1a toy in the form of a soldier 2an active and aggressive man: The illness damaged his Action Man image.

the Addams Familynoun [sing.] a family of strange characters who live in a large dark house, created in 1935 by the cartoonist Charles Addams for the New Yorker magazine

Adonisnoun an extremely attractive young man ORIGIN From the name of the beautiful young man in ancient Greek myths, who was loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. He was killed by a wild boar but Zeus ordered that he should spend the winter months in the underworld with Persephone and the summer months with Aphrodite.

Alcatraznoun a small US island near San Francisco where there is a former prison: The clinic felt like Alcatraz. There was no escape.

Alcoholics Anonymousnoun [U] (abbr. AA) an international organization, begun in Chicago in 1935, for people who are trying to stop drinking alcohol. They have meetings to help each other.

Ali Babanoun a character in an old Arabian story who discovers that saying the magic words 'Open Sesame!' will open the door of the cave where thieves have hidden gold and jewellery

Alice in 'Wonderlandnoun [U] used to describe a situation that is very strange, in which things happen that do not make any sense and are the opposite of what you would expect: The country's economic system is pure Alice in Wonderland. ► Alice-in-Wonderland adj. [only before noun]: I felt I was in an Alice-in-Wonderland world. ORIGIN From the title of a children's story by Lewis Carroll.

the Amishnoun [pl.] the members of a strict religious group in North America. The Amish live a simple farming life and reject some forms of modern technology. ► Amishadj.

Amnesty Internationalnoun an international human rights organization that works to help people who have been put in prison for their beliefs or race and not because they have committed a crime. It also works to prevent torture and pun­ishment by death.

Angeleno(also Angelino) noun (informal) a person who lives in Los Angeles.

Apache amemberof a Native American people, many of whom live in the US states of New Mexico and Arizona.

Arthurianadj. connected with the stories about Arthur, a king of ancient Britain, his Knights of the Round Table and court at Camelot: Arthurian legends.

ASHabbr. Action on Smoking and Health (an organization in the UK that tries to make people stop smoking by showing how dangerous it is)

Assembliesof Godnoun [pl.] the largest Pentecostal Church in the US (= one that emphasizes the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as the power to heal people who are ill / sick).

Babbittnoun (NAmE) a person who is satisfied with a narrow set of values and thinks mainly about possessions and making money ORIGIN From the name of the main character in the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis.

baker's 'dozennoun [sing.] (old-fashioned) a group of thirteen (= one more than a dozen, which is twelve) ORIGIN This phrase comes from bakers' old custom of adding one extra loaf to an order of a dozen.

Barnardo'snoun a British charity that helps children with social, physical and mental problems ORIGIN From Dr Thomas Barnardo, who opened a home for poor children without parents in London in 1870.

Beauty and the Beastnoun 1 a traditional story about a young girl who saves a large ugly creature from a magic spell by her love. He becomes a handsome prince and they get married. 2 (informal, humorous) two people of whom one is much more attractive than the other

the Big Bad Wolfnoun [sing.] (informal) a dangerous and frightening enemy ORIGIN From the wolf in several children's stories and the song Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Big Man on Campusnoun (abbr. ВМОС) (NAmE, informaf) a successful popular male student at a college or university

Big Muddynoun (US, informal) 1 the Mississippi River 2 a name for Vietnam used especially by US soldiers who fought there

Boot Hillnoun [U] (US, informal, humorous) (in the Wild West) a place where people are buried

the British 'Lionsnoun [pl.] a rugby team of the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales that plays abroad

British overseas territorynoun (BrE) an island or group of islands in which the British government is responsible for defence and relations with other countries

Brown v Board of Educationnoun a law case in 1954 which led to a decision of the US Supreme Court that made separate education for black and white children illegal

Brummienoun (BrE, informal) a person from the city of Birmingham in England ► Brummieadj.: a Brummie accent

Buck Housenoun (BrE, often ironic) an informal name for Buckingham Palace: We stayed at Tom's place. It isn't exactly Buck House, but it's comfortable enough,

Buckingham Palacenoun 1 the official home of the British royal family in London 2 the British royal family or the people who advise them: Buckingham Palace refused to comment.

Burns Nightnoun [U, C] the evening of 25 January when Scottish people celebrate the birthday of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, with traditional Scottish music, whisky and dishes such as haggis

bussing(also NAmE busing) noun [U] (in the US) a system of transporting young people by bus to another area so that students of different races can be educated together

Canutenoun used to describe a person who tries to stop sth from happening but will never succeed: His efforts to stem the tide of violent crime have been as effective as Canute's. ORIGINFrom the story of a Danish king of England who was said to have stood in front of the sea and shown people that he was not able to order the water that was moving in towards the land to turn back. The story is often changed to suggest that Canute really thought that he could turn back the sea.

Cassandraa person who predicts that sth bad will happen, especially a person who is not believed ORIGIN From the name of a princess in ancient Greek stories to whom Apollo gave the ability to predict the future. After she tricked him, he stopped people from believing her.

the Celtic fringenoun [sing.] (BrE) the people in Ireland and western parts of Britain whose ancestors were Celts, often used to refer to Ireland, Scotland and Wales

the Channel Islandsnoun [pl.] a group of islands near the north-western coast of France that belong to Britain but have their own parliaments and laws

Cherokeenoun a member of a Native American people, many of whom now live in the US states of Oklahoma and North Carolina

Chinatownnoun [U, C] the area of a city where many Chinese people live and there are Chinese shops / stores and restaurants

Cinderellanoun [usually sing.] a person or thing that has been ignored and deserves to receive more attention: For years radio has been the Cinderella of the media world. ORIGINFrom the European fairy tale about a beautiful girl, Cin­derella, who was treated in a cruel way by her two ugly sisters. She had to do all the work and received no reward or thanks until she met and married Prince Charming.

the civil rights movementnoun [sing.] the campaign in the 1950s and 1960s to change the laws so that African Americans have the same rights as others

coalnoun IDMcarry, take, etc. coals to Newcastle (BrE) to take goods to a place where there are already plenty of them; to supply sth where it is not needed ORIGIN Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the north of England, was once an important coal-mining centre.

Columbus Daynoun [U, C] a national holiday in the US on the second Monday in October when people celebrate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus

the Cotton Beltnoun the states in the southern US where cotton was the main crop

Coventry IDMsend sb to Coventry (BrE) to refuse to speak to sb, as a way of punishing them for sth that they have done

cupboardnoun IDM the cupboard is bare (BrE) used to say that there is no money for sth: They are seeking more funds but the cupboard is bare. ORIGIN This expression refers to a children's nursery rhyme about Old Mother Hubbard, who had nothing in her cupboard to feed her dog.

Cupidnoun 1 the Roman god of love who is shown as a beautiful baby boy with wings, carrying a bow and arrow 2 cupid [C] a picture or statue of a baby boy who looks like Cupid IDM play Cupid to try to start a romantic relationship between two people

Cymrunoun the name for Wales in the Welsh language – see also Plaid Cymru

Damascusnoun IDMthe road to Damascusan experience that results in a great change in a person's attitudes or beliefs: Spending a night in jail was his road to Damascus. ORIGIN From the story in the Bible in which St Paul hears the voice of God on the road to Damascus and becomes a Christian.

Darwinismnoun [U] (biology) the theory that living things evolve by natural selection, developed by Charles Darwin in the 19th century ► Darwinian adj.: Darwinian ideas

Davy Jones's lockernoun [sing.] [informal]the bottom of the sea, where people who drown at sea are said to go ORIGIN Davy Jones, a name used by sailors in the 18th century for the evil spirit of the sea.

dean's listnoun (in the US) a list that is published every year of the best students in a college or university

despondnoun [U] > Slough of Despond

dinkie(also dinky)noun(informal, humorous) one of a couple who have a lot of money because both partners work and they have no children ORIGIN Formed from the first letters of 'double income, no kids'.

Dockers™noun [pl.] a US make of trousers / pants made of cotton

Don Juannoun (informal) a man who has sex with a lot of women ORIGIN From the name of a character from Spanish legend who was skilled at persuading women to have sex with him.

Downing Streetnoun [sing.] (not used with the)a way of referring to the British prime minister and government, taken from the name of the street where the prime minister lives: Downing Street issued a statement late last night.

double-headernoun (in baseball) two games that are played on the same day, traditionally on a Sunday, and usually by the same two teams

Draculanoun a character in many horror films who is a vampire. Vampires appear at night and suck the blood of their victims. ORIGIN From the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

the DUP abbr. the Democratic Unionist Party (a political party in Northern Ireland that wants it to remain a part of the United Kingdom)

eminent domainnoun [U] (NAmE, law) the right to force sb to sell land or a building if it is needed by the government

Essex girl noun (BrE, humorous, disapproving) a name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly and talks in a loud and ugly way

Etoniannoun a person who is or was a student at the English private school Eton College

the European Parliamentnoun [sing.] the group of people who are elected in the countries of the European Union to make and change its laws

the executive branchnoun [sing.] the part of the government that is controlled by the President.

F-1 Visanoun a document that allows sb from another country to enter the US as a student.

Faustianadj. (formal) (bargain / pact / agreement) an agreement in which sb agrees to do sth bad or dishonest, in return for money, success or power ORIGIN From Faust, who, according to the German legend, sold his soul to the Devil in return for many years of power and pleasure.

the Federal Reserve System(also the Federal Reserve)noun (abbr. the FRS) (also informal the Fed)[sing.] the organization that controls the supply of money in the US.

the First Amendmentnoun the statement in the US Constitution that protects freedom of speech and religion and the right to meet in peaceful groups.

the Forth Bridgenoun, like painting the Forth Bridge(BrE) used to describe a job that never seems to end because by the time you get to the end you have to start at the beginning again ORIGIN From the name of a very large bridge over the river Forth in Scotland.

Fort Knoxnoun.be like / as safe as Fort Knox (of a building) to be strongly built, often with many locks, strong doors, guards, etc., so that it is difficult for people to enter and the things kept there are safe. This home of yours is like Fort Knox. ORIGINFrom the name of the military base in Kentucky where most of the US's store of gold is kept.

the Fourteenth Amendmentnoun [sing.] a change made to the US Constitution in 1866 that gave all Americans equal rights and allowed former slaves to become citizens

freedom of informationnoun [U] the right to see any information that a government has about people and organizations

FRSabbr. 1. Federal Reserve System 2 (BrE) Fellow of the Royal Society (a title given to important British scientists)

Gallup poll™noun a way of finding out public opinion by asking a typical group of people questions. ORIGIN From G. H. Gallup, who invented it.

Genghis Khannoun [usually sing.] a person who is very cruel or has very right-wing political opinions: Her politics are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan. ORIGINFrom the name of the first ruler of the Mongol empire, who was born in the 12th century.

God's countrynoun (NamE) a beautiful and peaceful area that people love. Americans often use the expression to mean the US, especially the western states.

good old boynoun (NAmE, informal) a man who is considered typical of white men in the southern states of the US.

Gothamnoun (informal) New York City.

Grand Central Stationnoun (US) used to describe a place that is very busy or crowded: My hospital room was like Grand Central Station with everybody coming and going. ORIGIN From the name of a very busy train station in New York City.

the Great White Waynoun [informal) a name for Broadway in New York City that refers to the many bright lights of its theatres.

the green welly brigadenoun (BrE, humorous, disapproving) rich people who live in or like to visit the countryside. ORIGIN From the green Wellington boots that they often wear.

the Grim Reapernoun an imaginary figure who represents death. It looks like a skeleton, wears a long cloak and carries a scythe.

Groundhog Daynoun 1 (in North America) February 2, when it is said that the groundhog comes out of its hole at the end of winter. If the sun shines and the groundhog sees its shadow, it is said that there will be another six weeks of winter. 2 an event that is repeated without changing: The Government lost the vote then and it can expect a Groundhog Day next time. ORIGIN From the film / movie Groundhog Day about a man who lives the same day many times.

heritage centrenoun (BrE) a place where there are exhibitions that people visit to learn about life in the past.

Hell's Angelnoun a member of a group of people, usually men, who ride powerful motorcycles, wear leather clothes and used to be known for their wild and violent behaviour.

HMOabbr. health maintenance organization (in the US, an organization whose members pay regularly in order to receive medical treatment from its own doctors and hospitals when they need it) – compare PPO.

the Home Countiesnoun [pl] the counties around London.

Homeland Securitynoun [U] the activities and organizations whose aim is to prevent terrorist attacks in the US: the Department of Homeland Security.

honor societynoun (in the US) an organization for students with the best grades at school or college

Hooraynoun (BrE, informal, disapproving) a young upper-class man who enjoys himself in a loud and silly way

hootenannynoun an informal social event at which people play folk music, sing and sometimes dance

Houdini noun a person or animal that is very good at escaping ORIGIN From Harry Houdini, a famous performer in the US who escaped from ropes, chains, boxes, etc.

hound dognoun (NAmE) (especially in the southern US) a dog used in hunting

I-9 formnoun (US) an official document that an employer must have which shows that an employee has the right to work in the US

Inauguration Daynoun (in the US) 20 January, officially the first day of a new President's period of office

I-spynoun [U] a children's game in which one player gives the first letter of a thing that they can see and the others have to guess what it is

the lvy Leaguenoun [sing.] a group of eight traditional universities in the eastern US with high academic standards and a high social status – compare Oxbridge ► Ivy League, adj.: Ivy League colleges

Jack Robinsonnoun, before you can say Jack Robinson (old-fashioned) very quickly; very soon

Jekyll and Hydenoun [sing.] a person who is sometimes very pleasant (Jekyll) and sometimes very unpleasant (Hyde) or who leads two very separate lives ORIGIN From the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in which Dr Jekyll takes a drug which separates the good and bad sides of his personality into two characters. All the negative aspects go into the character of Mr Hyde.

Joe Sixpacknoun (US, informaf) a man who is considered typical of a person who does manual work: Joe Sixpack doesn't care about that.

Joe Bloggsnoun [sing.] (informal) a way of referring to a typical ordinary person

John o'Groatsnoun а village in Scotland that is further north than any other place in Britain

the KISS principlenoun (especially US) the idea that products and advertising should be as simple as possible ORIGIN Formed from the first letters of the expression 'Keep it simple, stupid'.

Land's Endnoun a place in Cornwall that is further west than any other place in England

Londonernoun a person from London in England

Ludditenoun (BrE, disapproving) a person who is opposed to new technology or working methods ORIGIN Named after Ned Lud,one of the workers who destroyed machinery in factories in the early 19th century, because they believed it would take away their jobs.

Mancuniannoun a person from Manchester in NW England Mancunian, adj.

man Fridaynoun a male assistant who does many different kinds of work-compare girl Friday ORIGIN From a character in Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe who is rescued by Crusoe and works for him.

Mary Celeste (Marie Celeste) noun [sing.] used to talk about a place where all the people who should be there have disappeared in a mysterious way: Where is everyone? It's like the Mary Celeste here today. ORIGINFrom the name of the US ship Mary Celeste, which in 1872 was found at sea with nobody on board.

Mata Harinoun an attractive female spy. ORIGIN From the name of a Dutch dancer who worked as a spy for the German government during the First World War.

meat and two vegnoun [U] (BrE, informal) a dish of meat with potatoes and another vegetable, considered as typical traditional British food

Methuselahnoun used to describe a very old person: I'm feeling older than Methuselah. ORIGINFrom Methuselah, a man in the Bible who is supposed to have lived for 969 years.

MI 6noun [U] the British government organization that deals with national security from outside Britain. Its official name is the Secret Intelligence Service.

Mills and Boon noun a company that publishes popular romantic novels: He was tall, dark and handsome, like a Mills and Boon hero.

Miranda adj. (in the US) relating to the fact that the police must tell sb who has been arrested about their rights, including the right not to answer questions, and warn them that anything they say may be used as evidence against them: The police read him his Miranda rights. ORIGINFrom the decision of the Supreme Court on the case of Miranda vs. the State of Arizona in 1966.

Mludnoun (BrE) used when speaking to the judge in court: My client pleads guilty, Mlud.

Monday morning quarterbacknoun (NAmE, informal, disapproving) a person who criticizes or comments on an event after it has happened. ORIGIN The quarterback directs the play in an American football match and matches are usually played at the weekend.

Mr. Cleannoun (US, informal) a man, especially a politician, who is considered to be very honest and good: The deal destroyed his image as Mr. Clean.

Mr Fixitnoun (BrE, informal) a person who organizes things and solves problems

the National Mottonoun [sing.] the official US motto 'In God we trust'

New Englandnoun an area in the north-eastern US that includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut

New Labournoun (in Britain) the modern Labour Party led by Tony Blair which moved away from the political left in the 1990s in order to appeal to more people

the North Seanoun the part of the Atlantic Ocean that is next to the east coast of Britain

No 10 = Number Ten

Number Tennoun number 10 Downing Street, London, the official home of the British prime minister, often used to refer to the government: Number Ten had nothing to say on the matter.

the Old Billnoun [sing.] (BrE, informal) the police

the Oval Officenoun [sing.] 1 the office of the US President in the White House 2 a way of referring to the US President and the part of the government that is controlled by the President: Congress is waiting to see how the Oval Office will react.

page-three girlnoun (BrE) a naked or partly naked young woman whose picture is printed in a newspaper.ORIGIN From page three of the Sun newspaper, where one of these pictures was printed every day.

pandowdynoun [C, U] (US) a sweet dish of apples and spices covered with a mixture of butter, milk and eggs and baked

parliamentary privilegenoun [U] the special right of Members of Parliament to speak freely in Parliament, especially about another person, without risking legal action: He made the allegation under the protection of parliamentary privilege.

PC Plodnoun (BrE, informal, humorous) a junior police officer

the Peace Corpsnoun [sing.] a US organization that sends young Americans to work in other countries without pay in order to create international friendship

Peorianoun a small city in the US state of Illinois. The opinions of the people who live there are considered to be typical of opinions in the whole of the US: Ask yourself what the folks in Peoria will think of it.

the permissive societynoun [sing.] (often disapproving) the changes towards greater freedom in attitudes and behaviour that happened in many countries in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the greater freedom in sexual matters

Peter Pannoun a person who looks unusually young for their age, or who behaves in a way that would be more appropriate for sb younger. ORIGIN From a story by J. M. Barrie about a boy with magic powers who never grew up.

Pinocchionoun a character in a children's story who changes from a wooden figure into a boy. Whenever he tells a lie, his nose grows longer: Cartoons showed the Minister as a long-nosed Pinocchio.

the Pledge of Allegiancenoun [sing.] a formal promise to be loyal to the US, which Americans make standing in front of the flag with their right hand on their heart

the Queen's Speechnoun [sing.] in the UK, a statement read by the Queen at the start of a new Parliament, which contains details of the government's plans

Rambonoun (informal) a very strong and aggressive man. ORIGIN From the name of the main character in David Morrell's novel First Blood, which was made popular in three films / movies in the 1980s.

Rhodes scholarnoun a student from the US, Germany or the Commonwealth who is given a scholarship to study in Britain at Oxford University from a fund that was started by Cecil Rhodes in 1902

the Rock of Gibraltarnoun [sing.] a high cliff in southern Spain, at the south-western edge of the Mediterranean Sea, near the town and port of Gibraltar. When people say that sth is like the Rock of Gibraltar, they mean it is very safe or solid: When I invested my money with the company I was told it was as safe as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Route 128noun (in the US) an area in Massachusetts where there are many companies connected with the computer and electronics industries ORIGIN From the name of an important road in the area.

the Royal Academy(also the Royal Academy of Arts) noun [sing.] a British organization whose members are famous artists. Its building in London contains an art school and space for exhibitions.

Sadie Hawkins Daynoun (in the US) a day when there is a custom that women can invite men to a social event instead of waiting to be invited, especially to a Sadie Hawkins Day dance

the Samaritansnoun [pl.] a British charity that offers help to people who are very depressed and in danger of killing themselves, by providing a phone number that they can ring in order to talk to sb

Savile Rownoun a street in London, England with many shops/stores that sell expensive clothes for men that are often specially made for each person: He was wearing a Savile Row suit.

Scousenoun (BrE, informal) 1 (also Scouser) [C] a person from Liverpool in NW England 2 [U] a way of speaking, used by people from Liverpool ► Scouse adj.: a Scouse accent

the separation of powersnoun [sing.] the principle of the US Constitution that the political power of the government is divided between the President, Congress and the Supreme Court

Silicon Valleynoun [U] the area in California where there are many companies connected with the computer and electronics industries, sometimes used to refer to any area where there are a lot of computer companies

Sleeping Beautynoun used to refer to sb who has been asleep for a long time: OK, Sleeping Beauty, time to get up.ORIGIN From the European fairy tale about a beautiful girl who sleeps for a hundred years and is woken up when a prince kisses her.

Sloanenoun (BrE, informal, often disapproving) a young person, especially a woman, from a rich upper-class background, especially one who lives in a fashionable area of London

the Slough of Despondnoun [sing.] a mental state in which a person feels no hope and is very afraid: He was sinking into the Slough of Despond. ORIGINFrom the name of a place that Christian, the main character, must travel through in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Smokey the Bear1the symbol used by the US Forest Service on signs and adver­tising about preventing forest fires 2 (also Smokey Bear Smokey)(informal) (in the US) a member of the police force that is responsible for the highway

the Snow Beltnoun [sing.) (informal) the northern and north-eastern states of the US where the winters are very cold

Social Security numbernoun (abbr. ssn) (in the US) an official identity number that everyone is given when they are born

southern bellenoun (NAmE, old-fashioned) a young attractive woman from the southern US

the Square Milenoun [sing.] (BrE, informal) a name used for the City of London, where there are many banks and financial businesses

Stepford wifenoun a woman who does not behave or think in an independent way, always following the accepted rules of society and obeying her husband without thinking: She's gradually turning into a Stepford wife. ORIGINFrom the title of the book and film / movie The Stepford Wives, in which a group of women who behave in this way are in fact robots.

St George's crossnoun a red cross (+) on a white background, especially as a symbol of England and on the English flag

Taffynoun (also Taff) {BrE, informal, often offensive) a person from Wales

Tarzannoun a man with a very strong body ORIGIN From the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a man who lived with wild animals.

Teflon adj. (especially of a politician) still having a good reputation after making a mistake or doing sth that is not legal: The Teflon Prime Minister has survived another crisis.

Thatcheriteadj. connected with or supporting the policies of the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (= thought of as being right-wing) ► Thatcherite noun

Timbuktu(also Timbuctoo) noun a place that is very far away ORIGIN From the name of a town in northern Mali.

Tin Pan Alleynoun(old-fashioned, informal) people who write and publish popular songs ORIGIN From the name of the part of New York where many such people worked in the past.

Trekkienoun a person who is very interested in the US television series Star Trek and in space travel

Tweedledum and Tweedledeenoun [pl.] two people or things that are not different from each other ORIGIN From two characters in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll who look the same and say the same things.

Voluntary Service Overseas (abbr. VSO) a British charity that sends skilled people such as doctors and teachers to work in other countries as volunteers

Wall Streetnoun [U] the US financial centre and stock exchange in New York City (used to refer to the business that is done there): Share prices fell on Wall Street today; Wall Street responded quickly to the news.

Walter Mittynoun a person who imagines that their life is full of excitement and adventures when it is in fact just ordinary ORIGIN From the name of the main character in James Thurber's story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

the Welsh Assembly(also the National Assembly for Wales) noun [sing.] the group of people who are elected as a government for Wales with limited independence from the British Parliament that includes the power to make certain laws

Westminsternoun [U] the British parliament and government: The rumours were still circulating at Westminster. ORIGIN From the name of the part of London with the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and many government offices.

white flightnoun [U] (US) a situation where white people who can afford it go to live outside the cities because they are worried about crime in city centres

the Windy Citynoun [sing.] aname for the US city of Chicago

Yank(also Yankee)noun (BrE, informal, often disapproving) a slightly offensive word for a person from the US; an American

yellow journalismnoun [U] newspaper reports that are exaggerated and written to shock readers ORIGIN From a comic strip The Yellow Kid that was printed in yellow ink to attract readers' attention.


New words

 

action figurenoun a doll representing a soldier or a character from a film / movie, TV show, etc.

advertorialnoun an advertisement that is designed to look like an article in the newspaper or magazine in which it appears

affinity groupnoun (especially NAmE) a group of people who share the same interest or purpose

airport fictionnoun [U] novels that are popular and easy to read, often bought by people at airports

air quotesnoun [pl.] imaginary quotation marks made in the air with your fingers when you are speaking, to show that you are using a word or phrase in an unusual way

A-listadj. [usually before noun] used to describe the group of people who are considered to be the most famous, successful or important: He only invited A-list celebrities to his parties.— compare B-list

alpha malenoun [usually sing.] the man or male animal in a particular group who has the most power

animatronicsnoun [U] the process of making and operating robots that look like real people or animals, used in films/movies and other types of entertainmen > animatronic, adj.

apart-hotelnoun a type of hotel that has apartments where you can cook your own meals as well as ordinary hotel rooms

Atkins Dietnoun a diet in which you eat foods that contain a high level of protein (meat, eggs, cheese, etc.) and avoid foods that contain a high level of carbohydrates (bread, rice, fruit, etc.)

attention deficit disorder(also attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) noun [U] (abbr. ADD, ADHD) a medical condition, especially in children, that makes it difficult for them to pay attention to what they are doing, to stay still for long and to learn things

B2B abbr. business-to-businesss

back-burner verb (informal, especially NAmE) to leave an idea or a plan for a time, to be done or considered later

banner adnoun an advertisement across the top or bottom or down the side of a page on the Internet

base jumpingnoun [U] the sport of jumping with a parachute from a high place such as a building or a bridge > base jumper noun

bean counternoun (informal, disapproving) a person who works with money, for example as an accountant and who wants to keep strict control of how much money a company spends

best practicenoun [U, C] a wayof doing sth that is seen as a very good example of how it should be done and can be copied by other companies or organizations

B-listadj. [usually before noun] used to describe the group of people who are considered to be fairly famous, successful or important, but not as much as the A-list people: a TV chat show full of B-list celebrities

body boardnoun a short light type of surfboard that you ride lying on your front ► body-boarding noun [U]

Bollywoodnoun [U] (informal) used to refer to the Hindi film / movie industry, which mainly takes place in the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly called Bombay)

BOTOX noun [U] a substance that makes muscles relax. It is sometimes injected into the skin around sb's eyes to remove lines and make the skin look younger. ► Botoxverb [vn] [usually passive]: Do you think she's been Botoxed?

bouncenoun, on the bounce (BrE, informal) one after the other, without anything else coming between: We've won six matches on the bounce.

boy bandnoun a group of young men who sing pop music and dance

bull barsnoun [pl.] (BrE) a set of strong metal bars fixed to the front of a large vehicle to protect it from damage

business-to-businessadj. [usually before noun] (abbr. B2B) done between one business and another rather than between a business and its ordinary customers

bustedadj. [not before noun] (NAmE, informal) caught in the act of doing sth wrong and likely to be punished: You are so busted!

caller IDnoun [U] a system that uses a device on your telephone to identify and display the telephone number of the person who is calling you

cargo pants(BrE also combats, combat trousers)noun [pl.] loose trousers that have pockets in various places, for example on the side of the leg above the knee

CGIabbr. computer-generated imagery: 'Dinosaur' combines CGI animation with live-action location shots.

chadnoun the small piece that is removed when a hole is made in a piece of card, etc.

chip and PIN(also chip and pin)(both BrE) noun [U] a system of paying for sth with a credit card or debit card in which the card has information stored on it in the form of a microchip and you prove your identity by typing a number (your PIN) rather than by signing your name: Chip and PIN is designed to combat credit card fraud.

clip artnoun [U] (computing) pictures and symbols that are stored in computer programs or on websites for computer users to copy and add to their own documents

co-dependencynoun [U] (psychology) a situation in which two people have a close relationship in which they rely too much on each other emotionally, especially when one person is caring for the other one ► codependentadj,noun

computeratenoun = computer-literate: Applicants need to be computerate.

conflictedadj. (especially NAmE) confused about what to do or choose because you have strong but opposing feelings

copyphr.v. сору sb in (on sth) to send sb a copy of a letter, e-mail message, etc. that you are sending to sb else: Can you copy me in on your report?

crack-headnoun (slang) a person who uses the illegal drug crack

cross-promotion noun [C, U] (business) a set of advertisements or other activities that are designed to help a company sell two different products, or to help two companies sell their products or services together

cross-selling noun [U] (business) the activity of selling a different extra product to a customer who is already buying a product from a company

cross-trainernoun 1 a piece of exercise equipment that you use standing up, with parts that you push up and down with your feet and parts that you hold onto and push with your arms 2 a type of sports shoe that can be worn for more than one kind of sport

crustynoun (also crustie) (pl. -ies) (BrE, informal) a person who usually has no permanent home, has a dirty or untidy appearance, and rejects the way that most people live in Western society

customer basenoun [usually sing.] (business) all the people who buy or use a particular product or service: We need to appeal to a wider customer base.

dead zonenoun 1 a place or a period of time in which nothing happens: The town is a cultural dead zone. 2an area which separates two places, groups of people, etc.: The UN is trying to maintain a dead zone between the warring groups. 3 a place where a mobile phone/cellphone does not work because no signal can be received 4 (biology) an area of water in which animals cannot live because there is not enough oxygen

decryptverb (especially computing) to change information that is in code into ordinary language so that it can be understood by anyone. opp. encrypt > decryption > opp.encryption

deep vein thrombosisnoun [U, C] (abbr. DVT) (medical) a serious condition caused by a blot clot (= a thick mass of blood) forming in a vein: Passengers on long-haul flights are being warned about the risks of deep vein thrombosis.

defadj. (a slang) excellent: a def band

director’s cutnoun a version of a film / movie, usually released some time after the original is first shown, that is exactly how the director wanted it to be

doneadj.,done dealan agreement or a plan that has been finally completed or agreed: The merger is by no means a done deal yet.

dot-com (alsodot com)noun a company that sells goods and services on the Internet, especially one whose address ends ‘.com’: The weaker dot-coms have collapesed; a dot-com millionaire

double-clickverb [on smth] (computing) to choose a particular function or item on a computer screen, etc. by pressing one of the buttons on a mouse twice quickly

downloadnoun data which is downloaded from another computer system > downloadable adj.

drum and bassnoun[U] a type of popular dance music developed in Britain in early 1990s, which has a fast drum beat and a strong slower bass beat

economy class syndromenoun [U] the fact of a person suffering from deep vein thrombosis after they have travelled on a plane. This condition is thought to be more common among people who travel in the cheapest seats because they do not have space to move their legs much.

ecotourismnoun [U] organized holidays / vacations that are designed so that the tourists damage the environment as little as possible, especially when some of the money they pay is used to protect the local environment and animals ► ecotourist noun

El Nino noun [U] a set of changes in the weather system near the coast of northern Peru and Ecuador that happens every few years, causing the surface of the Pacific Ocean there to become warmer and having severe effects on the weather in many parts of the world — compare La Nina

emoticonnoun (computing) а short set of keyboard symbols that represents the expression on sb's face, used in e-mail, etc. to show the feelings of the person sending the message. For example :-) represents a smiling face (when you look at it sideways).

empty nesternoun [usually pl.] a parent whose children have grown up and left home

entry-leveladj. [usually before noun] 1 (of a product) basic and suitable for new users who may later move on to a more advanced product: an entry-level computer 2 (of a job) at the lowest level in a company

expansion card(also add-in) noun (computing) a circuit board that can be put into a computer to give it more memory or make it able to do more things

extreme fightingnoun [U] = ultimate fighting

eye candynoun [U] (informal) a person or thing that is attractive but not intelligent or useful

face noun IDM in sb's 'face ( informal) annoying sb by criticizing them or telling them what to do all the time

factoidnoun 1 something that is widely accepted as a fact, although it is probably not true 2a small piece of interesting information, especially about sth that is not very important: Here's a pop factoid for you.

factory shop(BrE) (also factory store,factory outlet) noun a shop / store in which goods are sold directly by the company that produces them at a cheaper price than normal

fair-tradeadj. involving trade which supports producers in developing countries by paying fair prices and making sure that workers have good working conditions and fair pay

farmers marketnoun a place where farmers sell food directly to the public

fashion-forwardadj. more modern than the current fashion: We tend to be traditional rather than fashion-forward in our designs.

fashionistanoun (used especially in newspapers) a fashion designer, or a person who is always dressed in a fashionable way

fashion statementnoun something that you wear or own that is new or unusual and is meant to draw attention to you: This shirt is great for anyone who wants to make a fashion statement.

fence-mendingnoun [U] an attempt to improve relations between two people or groups and to try to find a solution to a disagreement between them

floatverb,float sb's boat(informal) to be what sb likes: You can listen to whatever kind of music floats your boat.

functional foodnoun [C, U] food that has had substances that are good for your health specially added to it

gamenoun, game on(informal) used after sth has happened that makes it clear that a contest is not yet decided and anyone could still win: We were losing 2-0 with ten minutes to go, and then we scored. It was game on!

gamernoun (informal) 1 a person who likes playing computer games 2 (NAmE) (in sports) a player who is enthusiastic and works hard

girl powernoun [U] the idea that women should take control of their careers and lives

giveverb, give it up (for sb) (informal) to show your approval of sb by clapping your hands: Give it up for Eddie Izzard!

golden goalnoun (in some football (soccer) competitions) the first goal scored during extra time, which ends the game and gives victory to the team that scores the goal

go-toadj. [only before noun] (NAmE) used to refer to the person or place that sb goes to for help, advice or information: He's the president's go-to guy on Asian politics.

GPSabbr. global positioning system (= a system by which signals are sent from satellites to a special device, used to show the position of a person or thing on the surface of the earth very accurately)

graphics cardnoun (computing) a circuit board that allows a computer to show images on its screen

green auditnoun an official examination of the effect of a company's business on the environment

groundedadj. having a sensible and realistic attitude to life: Away from Hollywood, he relies on his family and friends to keep him grounded.

hands-freeadj. (of a telephone, etc.) able to be used without needing to be held in the hand

hi-jabnoun 1 [С] а head covering worn in public by some Muslim women 2 [U] the religious system which controls the wearing of such clothing

hissy fitnoun [C, usually sing.] (informal) a state of being bad-tempered and unreasonable SYN. tantrum: She threw a hissy fit because her dressing room wasn't painted blue.

ICTnoun [U] (BrE) the study of the use of computers, the Internet, video, and other technology as a subject at school (the abbreviation for information and communications technology)

industrial-strengthadj. (often humorous) very strong or powerful: industrial-strength coffee

inter faithadj. [only before noun] between or connected with people of different religions: an interfaith memorial service

joined-upadj. [usually before noun] (BrE) 1 joined-up writing is writing in which the letters in a word are joined to each other — compare printing 2 intelligent and involving good communication between different parts so that they can work together effectively: We need more joined-up thinking in our approach to the environment.

kidultnoun (informal) an adult who likes doing or buying things that are usually thought more suitable for children

ladettenoun (BrE, informal) a young woman who enjoys drinking alcohol, sport or other activities usually considered to be typical of young men

lairy(BrE, informal) behaving in a way that seems too loud and confident

La NinaU] the cooling of the water in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean that happens every few years and that affects the weather in many parts of the world-compare El Nino

largeverb, large it large it up (BrE, slang) to enjoy yourself, especially by dancing and drinking alcohol

lippyadj., noun (BrE, informal) showing a lack of respect in the way that you speak to sb SYN. cheeky, noun [U] (BrE, informal) = lipstick

liteadj. (informal) 1 (especially NAmE) (of food or drink) containing fewer calories than other types of food, and therefore less likely to make you fat (a way of spelling 'light'): (lite ice cream) 2(used after a noun) (disapproving) used to say that a thing is similar to sth else but lacks many of its serious or important qualities: I would describe this movie as 'Hitchcock lite'.

lock-downnoun [C, U] (NAmE) a situation in which restrictions are placed on sb's movements or actions: Prisoners have been placed on lockdown to prevent further violence at the jail.

loyalty cardnoun (BrE) a card given to customers by a shop / store to encourage them to shop there regularly. Each time they buy sth they collect points which will allow them to have an amount of money taken off goods they buy in the future.

lugenoun 1[C] a type of sledge (= a vehicle for sliding over ice) for racing, used by one person lying on their back with their feet pointing forwards. 2 the luge [sing.] the event or sport of racing down a track of ice on a luge

make-overnoun [C, U] the process of improving the appearance of a person or a place, or of changing the impression that sth gives

mallratnoun[NAmE, informal]a young person who spends a lot of time in shopping malls, often in a large group of friends

meet-and-greetadj. [only before noun] (of an event) arranged so that sb, especially a famous person, can meet and talk to people

menu barnoun (computing) a horizontal bar at the top of a computer screen that contains pull-down menus such as 'File', 'Edit' and 'Help'

message boardnoun a place on a website where a user can write or read messages: I posted a question on the message board.

me-tooadj. [only before noun] (BrE, informal) done or produced because of sth successful that sb else has done: The magazine 'Hello!' gave rise to a number of me-too publications.

message sb (sth)verb to send a text message to sb: Fiona just messaged me. Brian messaged me the news. ► messaging noun [U]: a multimedia messaging service; picture messaging

metrosexual noun (informal) a heterosexual man who lives in a city and is interested in things like fashion and shopping ► metrosexual adj.

minging adj. [BrE, informal] very bad, unpleasant or ugly

mission[v + adv. / prep.] (informal) to go on a long and difficult journey, especially one that involves going to many different places: We had to mission round all the bars until we found him.

monty, the full monty the full amount that people expect or want: They'll do the full monty (= take off all their clothes) if you pay them enough

morphverb 1 to change smoothly from one image to another using computer animation; to make an image change in this way 2 to change, or make sb / sth change into sth different

multitaskverb 1 (of a computer) to operate several programs at the same time 2 to do several things at the same time: Women seem to be able to multitask better than men.

musonoun (BrE, informal) a person who plays, or is very interested in, music and knows a lot about it

nameverb, name and shame (BrE) to publish the names of people or organizations who have done sth wrong or illegal

need-to-knowadj., on a need-to-know basis with people being told only the things they need to know when they need to know them, and no more than that: Information will be released strictly on a need-to-know basis.

netiquette noun [U] (informal, humorous) the rules of correct or polite behaviour among people using the Internet

newbie noun (informal) a person who is new and has little experience in doing sth, especially in using computers SYN.novice

no-brainеrnoun (NAmE, informal) a decision or a problem that you do not need to think about much because it is obvious what you should do

no-frillsadj. [only before noun] (especially of a service or product) including only the basic features, without anything that is unnecessary, especially things added to make sth more attractive or comfortable: a no-frills airline

nutraceuticalnoun= functional food

off shoringnoun [U] the practice of a company in one country arranging for people in another country to do work for it: the offshoring of call-centre jobs to India ► off-shoreverb

oxygen barnoun a place where you can pay to breathe pure oxygen in order to improve your health and help you relax

paradigm shiftnoun a great and important change in the way sth is done or thought about

pay-as-you-goadj. connected with a system of paying for a service just before you use it rather than paying for it later: pay-as-you-go phones

pay channelnoun a television channel that you must pay for separately in order to watch it

pay-per-viewnoun [U] a system of television broadcasting in which you pay an extra sum of money to watch a particular programme, such as a film / movie or a sports event

peer-to-peeradj. [only before noun] (computing) of a computer system in which each computer can act as a server for the others, allowing data to be shared without the need for a central server – compare client-server

perfect stormnoun [sing.] an occasion when several bad things happen at the same time, creating a situation that could not be worse

personal trainernoun a person who is paid by sb to help them exercise, especially by deciding what types of exercise are best for them

phatadj. (slang, especially NAmE) very good

phishingnoun[U]the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers, etc. over the Internet or by email, and then using these to steal money from them

pixelate verb 1 to divide an image into pixels 2 to show an image on television as a small number of large pixels, especially in order to hide sb's identity

plateauverb [V] (out)to stay at a steady level after a period of growth or progress: Unemployment has at last plateaued out.

Plug and Playnoun [U] (computing) a system which makes it possible for a piece of equipment, such as a printer, to be connected to a computer and to work immediately, without the user needing to do anything► plug-and-play adj.: plug-and-play peripherals

pop psychology noun [U] the use by ordinary people of simple or fashionable ideas from psychology in order to understand or explain people's feelings and emotional problems

postaladj. [only before noun], go postal (informal, especially NAmE) to become very angry: He went postal when he found out.

power napnoun a short sleep that sb has during the day in order to get back their energy > power-nap verb [v]

PPVabbr. pay-per-view

product placementnoun [U, C] the use of particular products in films/movies or television programmes in order to advertise them

Prozac™noun a drug used to treat the illness of depression: She's been on Prozac for two years.

quad bike(BrE) (NAmE, four-wheeler) noun a motorcycle with four large wheels, used for riding over rough ground, often for fun

ratchetverb, ratchet (sth) up to increase, or make sth increase, repeatedly and by small amounts: Overuse of credit cards has ratcheted up consumer debt to unacceptable levels.

rat packnoun (BrE, disapproving) journalists and photographers who follow famous people around in a way which makes their lives unpleasant

reality checknoun [usually sing.] (informal) an occasion when you are reminded of how things are in the real world, rather than how you would like things to be

red linenoun an issue or a demand that one person or group refuses to change their opinion about during a disagreement or negotiations: The issue of sovereignty is a red line that cannot be crossed.

response timenoun the length of time that a person or system takes to react to sth: The average response time to emergency calls was 9 minutes.

retail parknoun (BrE) an area containing a group of large s





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