Improve your Vocabulary: Learn 16 new social, political, and internet words

Categories English By JadePosted on Format Film
Improve your Vocabulary: Learn 16 new social, political, and internet words

In this English vocabulary lesson, I will teach you words that are being used a lot right now, and that have to do with current issues in society and politics. You may have heard these words already, but what exactly do terms like „millennial”, „trigger warning”, and „fake news” mean? Whatever your politics, this lesson will give you a perspective on the social trends and political change that is going on in our age.

Test your vocabulary with the quiz:

Next, watch my video on French words that we use in English!

Or you can watch my vocabulary lesson on current fashion vocabulary and slang:


Hi, everyone. In this lesson we’re going to look at new words for our times. These words reflect social movements or new things happening in politics. We’re going to start with „millennial”. „A millennial” is a person who’s between the age of a teenager now and their late 20s. Thankfully I just escaped being a millennial, because millennials are whiny and they are… They’re just so weak, and they’re like little special snowflakes, very delicate. And millennials are just… They’ve been so protected all their lives that when it comes to it in the real world they are… They like whine and they shout, and they cry, but they don’t do a lot. No offence to any millennials watching. [Laughs].

Next word is related to the millennials. The millennials need „safe spaces”, because this world out there is… It’s so… It’s so mean and people say such horrible things that they need to be protected inside their safe spaces. And so, the idea of a safe space would be somewhere on a college campus where you know you can go and be safe, and you don’t have to be scared or upset by any of the mean things that old white men and politicians say. Anything that offends you in the safe space, it’s all very relaxed there. You can… Maybe you’ll manage to, you know, do a bit of studying in that safe space, nobody can get to you.

The next word is also related to the millennials in the safe space, they go here because there nothing bad will ever happen to them, but when they go out into the big wide world: „Oh no! Oh no!” They need „trigger warnings”. „Trigger warnings” is… You give a trigger warning when something you’re going to say could upset someone, it could be offensive to them, and it could create a trauma or a kind of flashback to them, and because they are so weak they can’t hear this thing and they need a trigger warning to keep them safe. When someone is triggered, then they’re triggered by something they don’t want to hear, and sometimes they might scream, like: „No! No! I can’t take it! No!” That’s when they’re triggered. So, because they have such big emotional responses to things they don’t like, that’s why they need the safe spaces. And I think actually, come to think about it, maybe the safe spaces are a good idea because they could just go in the safe space, and we wouldn’t be in there, so they could do all that alone in the safe space.

The next word is „social justice warrior”, „SJW”, also to do with the millennials. One of the things associated with them is that they protest a lot, they’re vocal, they like to take a stand against the things they don’t like, which they typically do online, they talk about things online or perhaps they go on protesting and things like that. „A social justice warrior” is someone whose main reason to protest is things to do with race issues or gender issues, and they… Or they think that… Or feminist issues. They think that… For whatever group they belong to, they think that life isn’t fair for them, so that’s the reason they protest. They’re warriors, they’re fighters, they’re warriors.

Next we’ve got „gender non-binary”. A person who calls themselves gender… Say: „Oh, I’m gender non-binary”, what that means is: „I’m not a man. I’m not a woman. I’m something in between those genders that hasn’t… It can’t be… Can’t be specified as this or that. It’s my own identity which is gender non-binary.” Not the traditional man, not the traditional woman, but something in between.

Next word is a word that’s used as an insult or a term of offence to people, is „libtard”. The „tard” part reminds us of the word „retard” which means disabled person, and the „lib” part comes from „liberal”. When you put it together: „libtard” means somebody who’s so liberal in their politics or their ideas or their vision and their view of the world, they’ve actually become retarded and disabled because of it; used as an insult.

The next two terms we have to look at together. We’ve got „globalism” versus „populism”. „Populism” in politics is movements like Brexit in the UK, and the election of Donald Trump in the USA. […]