English vocabulary in the news: Potholes

The road outside my house is terrible. There are lots of holes in it where the surface of the road is broken. We call these holes in the road ‘potholes’ in English. I’ve not been back home to the UK for about five years now but when I was last there, I remember the roads as being in quite good condition. That’s why I was surprised to see this article on the BBC News website at the weekend.

As well as ‘pothole‘ there was some other interesting words in this article. The first interesting piece of vocabulary I spotted was ‘plumber‘. A plumber is a person who woks with pipes that carry water. If one of the water pipes in your house is leaking, you would call a plumber to fix it.

The next piece of vocabulary that caught my eye was ‘pavement‘. This word people in the UK use for the area at the side of the road that people walk on. Americans call it the ‘sidewalk‘.

Slightly further on in the article, there is another interesting word. ‘Heavy-handed‘ means to be rough or use a lot of physical force to do something. In this case, the police weren’t heavy-handed because they asked the man to take the sign down himself rather than just pulling it down without asking him.

The last interesting expression I saw was ‘earmarked‘. This means that something is reserved or put aside for a specific purpose. Have a look here to see ‘earmark’ in context.

How are the roads where you live?

Today’s image is by Akbar Nemati.