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The Week in Vocab

Review the Biggest Buzzwords of the Week!

Watch The Week in Rap now.
When you follow national and worldwide affairs, you get access to human rights activists, major sporting events, felony charges and more. Each week, we’ll 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.


insurgency (noun) — an instance of rebellion

Why it matters? Sudan had declared a state of emergency in areas bordering South Sudan due to what they claim is insurgency. Tensions between the rivals is at an all time high and the two nations have been at the brink of war for some time.


riot (noun) — a wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people

Why it matters? Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots of 1992. Those dark days were marked by rioters breaking into businesses and seting buildings and shopping centers on fire. Today people are worried that the controversy surrounding the Trayvon Martin cases will spark similar race riots. Martin’s parent have called for peaceful protests.

dissident (noun) — one who disagrees; a dissenter

Why it matters? Chen Guangcheng, a  blind Chinese dissident, fears for his family in China. As an international human right figure Guangcheng has been harassed, imprisoned and threatened by the Chinese government. He has sought help and protection from the United States.

monolith (noun) — something suggestive of a large block of stone, as in immovability, massiveness or uniformity

Why it matters? One World Trade Center became the tallest building in New York City as of Monday afternoon. It is being called a monolith due to it’s impressive size. When the project is complete, One World Trade will stand at 1,776 feet, symbolic of the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. (One World Trade currently stands at 1,271.)

backhanded (adj) — double-edged; equivocal

Why it matters? Wednesday Newt Gingrich finally ended his campaign for the Republican nomination for President. In his speech he gave a backhanded endorsement of Mitt Romney, saying “This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in American history.”


hazing (verb) — to initiate, as into a college fraternity, by exacting humiliating performances from or playing rough practical jokes upon

Why it matters? Back in November Robert Champion, Florida A&M University drum major died due to a hazing incident. Eleven people will face felony charges and two more will face misdemeanor charges. Champion’s mother says she is disappointed the charges were not more severe.


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.