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The Week in Vocab

Review the Biggest Buzzwords of the Week!

When you follow national and worldwide affairs, you get access to fallen politicians, broken records, athletes getting educated 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.


Socialist (adj) — one who believes in the principles of Socialism, a system by which the State, or central government provides equal services for all individuals.

Why it matters? Former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was defeated by Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in Sunday’s election.


culmination (noun) — the highest or climatic point of something, especially as attainted after a long time

Why it matters? The premiere of “The Avengers” this weekend was the culmination of many years of hard work and planning by Marvel Studios. The film brought in over 200 million dollars in the first weekend, smashing all other records.

doctorate (noun) — an academic degree or professional degree that refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field. From the Latin docere, “to teach”

Why it matters? Famous basketball star Shaquille O’Neal just earned his doctorate in education from Barry University.

methane (noun) — a chemical compound with the chemical formula CH4. It is the simplest alkane, the main component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth.

Why it matters? New research suggests that large dinosaurs are estimated to have produced 570 million tons of methane gas, contributing significantly to the greenhouse effect in prehistoric times.

Gitmo — another name for the Guantanamo Bay Navel Base

Why it matters? The self-proclaimed “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks and four of his allies are being tried for their crimes in front of a military judge in Gitmo. Their charges include terrorism and 2,976 counts of murder each for their alleged roles planning and aiding the attacks.

watershed moment (noun) — a critical point that marks a division or a change of course; a turning point.

Why it matters? On Wednesday President Barack Obama publicly declared his support for gay marriage. Many commentators have called this a watershed moment. It remains to be seen how this will affect voting come November.


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.