A long list of English expressions and idioms!

The other day someone asked me how many English expressions and idioms we had featured on the World of Words since it started.

With several hundred articles each featuring at least five new English expressions or idioms, there must be well over a thousand English words, expressions and idioms explained on this site.

Here’s a list of some of the interesting vocabulary tagged in the site for you to explore. Click the words to see them in context in an article.

Urban Dictionary: The English Words of Young People

Growing up in London has made me realise that the correct English language is a bit of a myth. The only person I remember ever speaking the correct English language in my entire life was my Secondary School Head Teacher. To be fair she was about 70 something year old, it would have been very weird if she came out and greeted us with “Yo students!”

In the olden days, around the time of Henry VIII and Queen Victoria, I’m sure people didn’t greet each other with “What’s popping?” (Meaning, “Hello, how are you?”). You were more likely to hear greetings such as “How do you do?”
Being a young adult myself, I have heard many different ways of saying one phrase, sentence or word which all mean the same thing.

Wa Gwan
What’s Up

Good Bye
See you later
I’m out of here
I’m bouncing
How are you?
What’s good?
How’s it going?
What up?
Thank you

As you can see, the English language has been ‘urbanised’ by young people nowadays and surprisingly, as they get older, they tend to stick with the same words. 5o’clock rush hour on the London Underground, you get the random 30-35 year olds with their expensive looking suits and briefcases, speaking with their work colleague and coming out with sentences such as:

“Work was long today, can’t wait to bounce home” meaning “Work was long today, can’t wait to get home”


“Can’t wait for the weekend, I’m going to get wasted” meaning “Can’t wait for the weekend, I’m going to get drunk”

As generations go by, the correct English language will start to fade away. Although children are taught the right English vocabulary and grammar in school, once you leave school, it’s a whole new English language you hear, learn and speak. Eventually, we are going to need language translations to help us understand one another! But as they say English is a funny language and for decades this language has evolved and the next generation could bring a new chapter to this interesting story.

Author Bio: Nancy Carranza, 24 year old university graduate with an artistic background. She works in retail and for Translation Services 24 ltd.

English vocabulary in the news: double-dip

Over the last year, there has been lots of really interesting economics vocabulary in the news. For example, before the recent recession, most people probably wouldn’t have known what a sub-prime mortgage or credit crunch was.

I spotted this headline on the Economist website this weekend:

Double-dip drama

A ‘double-dip’ is when a market falls in value, rises a little, then falls again. On a graph, the low points are the two dips.

Expand your vocabulary: Label your photos in English

Do you enjoy photography? If so, here’s a great way to expand your vocabulary and have fun at the same time.

Collect together some of your old photos and try to describe them in detail in English. Think about all the objects in the photo. Do you know what they are all called in English? How many adjectives can you think of to describe the photo?

Try and tell the story of what’s happening in the photo in English. Write it on some paper underneath the photo.

If you are a member of a photo-sharing site like Flickr or Picassa, use the comments section and labelling features to add your notes in English.


For example: This photo was taken on a beach near my house. The sky is blue and there are no clouds. The sea is calm and it looks like it is low tide. The sand is white and it looks like it would be very hot to walk on.

There is a man sleeping underneath the tree so it must be a really hot day. The tree in the photo looks a little lonely standing there all by itself. It’s a strange shape, too. Maybe it has been clipped so that it doesn’t obscure the view of the ocean.

Using an image to practise vocabulary will help you remember because it puts the vocabulary in context and the image helps your brain remember. It’s fine to use other people’s photos if you want but using your own is more fun and reliving your own happy memories will help you remember the new vocabulary.