The Week in Vocab

Review the Biggest Buzzwords of the Week!

When you follow national and worldwide affairs, you get access to momentous elections, inspirational speeches, shocking earthquakes and more. Each week, we highlight the top buzzwords or terms that your students might not have known or even heard until now. All these words are featured in the most recent edition of The Week in Rap. And once students beef up their vocab, the news will make a lot more sense.


momentous (adj) — of great importance or significance, especially in its bearing on the future

Why it matters? Egypt’s first election in 60 years is a momentous occasion. The question now is, will the people vote secular or Islamist?



diplomatic (adj) — related to international relations; skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people; tactful

Why it matters? After a long diplomatic struggle between China and the United States, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has arrived in the US. He will begin studies at New York University.


Parmesan cheese — aka Parmigiano-Reggiano a hard, granular cheese named after the producing areas near Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantova in Italy. Under Italian law, only cheese produced in these provinces may be labelled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”

Why it matters? The Italian region that produces Parmesan cheese was struck by a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. In addition to several lives lost and many injuries sustained, Italy has estimated that approximately 200,000 cheese wheels were damaged, which will cause a loss of 50 million euros (65 million dollars) to producers.

scapegoat (noun) — a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place

Why it matters? Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for his alleged crimes against a former roommate. Many feel that the punishment is too light and that Ravi should be held accountable. But some felt relief at this light sentence (Ravi could have received up to 10 years in prison) fearing that Ravi would have been made a scapegoat for his former roommates suicide.

ferry (verb) — to carry or convey back and forth over a fixed route

Why it matters? For years private space companies have talked about ferrying goods and astronauts into space for NASA. Now SpaceX is making it a reality, with the Dragon capsule.


Did you hear any other big terms this week? Share them in the comments!

Learn all about these stories and more in The Week in Rap.

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