Newspaper Vocabulary by Mike Mills

There are two types of newspaper - broadsheets and tabloids. Broadsheets are the ones with large pages, and are often more serious. Tabloids have smaller pages, and make all news as eye-catching as possible.

The words below may be used in both types, but are mainly seen in the tabloids. After 2003 most of the broadsheets, who were losing out to the tabloids, made their pages smaller mainly so that commuters could read them easily while sitting - or standing - on crowded public transport. There are very few broadsheets left in circulation.

Non-native speakers of English often have difficulty in understanding newspaper headlines and vocabulary. Using this chart will make reading the newspapers easier!

The words tabloids use are shorter and snappier, catch the eye, use up less space, are more emotive - and help sell newspapers!

This chart is aimed at fairly advanced students of English.

Newspaper Word

Meaning

Example of use in

Newspaper Headlines

xe

cut, cancel

(usually a service)

Council axes swimming pools

back

support, agree with

Council backs bid for new tram link

ban

exclude, prohibit

Lager louts banned from city centre

bar

exclude, ban

Lager louts barred from city centre

bid

attempt, try

Boy bids for round-the-world record

blast

criticise, condemn

Ministers blasted for huge pay rise

blow

setback

Blow to hopes for end to strike

boost

increase

Huge boost in exports

breakthrough

success

Breakthrough in fight against cancer

call

request, suggestion

Call for new congestion charge

clash

disagree, disagreement

Minister clashes with Home Secretary

crackdown

control, purge

Police crackdown on drugs

curb

restrict

Call for curb on late-night pubs and clubs

drama

incident, happening

Drama as pop singer is booed by angry crowd

dump

dismiss, sack, jilt

Man in murder trial dumps defence lawyer

embrace

meet, agree to

Government embraces new initiative on crime

face

confront

Prime Minister faces journalists

fear, fears

worry, worries

Fears for missing schoolgirl

feud

quarrel, row

Neighbours feud about parking spaces

fury

anger

Fury as police arrest famous boxer

go on rampage

cause chaos

Fans go on rampage after soccer match

grab

confiscate, steal

Police grab stolen computers

hit

affect

Snow hits traffic on motorway

hurdle

difficulty, obstacle

Funding hurdle in bid to solve tube crisis

key

answer, solution

Gun is key to finding murderer

opt for

choose

Government opts for French high speed trains

oust

replace, sack

MP ousted by consitiuents

outrage

anger

Outrage as killer is freed through legal error

plan

proposal

MP's back plan for 5th Terminal

plea

request

Mayor's plea for more Government cash

pledge

promise

London Mayor pledges better tube service

probe

investigate, ~ion

Probe into cash missing from airport

purge

control, crackdown

Purge on Capital's gun crime

push for

ask for, insist on

Public pushes for better public services

quit

resign, leave

Top executive found stealing quits post

quiz

question, interrogate

Police quiz suspected terrorist

rap

criticise, reprove

Opposition raps Prime Minister

raid

attack

Police raid houses of drug dealers

riddle

mystery

Missing musician riddle

row

argument,

disagreement

Row over plans to lock up asylum seekers

soap (opera)

popular TV series

East Enders, Coronation Street, Neighbours

- the names of 3 popular soaps.

set to

ready to, about to

Balloonist set to break world record

sex-romp

sex, affair

Soap stars caught in sex romp

shake-up

reform

Shake-up in police bureaucracy

shun

avoid, hide from

Recluse actor shuns limelight

sink

destroy, eliminate

Lack of cash sinks plans for memorial

slam

criticise

Prime Minister slammed by Opposition for backing United States on war.

snag

difficulty, problem

New tramline hits snag

snub

avoid, fail to meet

French President snubs Prime Minister

soar

increase, rise

Crime figures soar in city centre

split

division, separation

Government split on whether to go to war

storm

attack,

anger,

leave angrily

Police storm crack house

Storm over plans to demolish houses

Angry teachers storm out of pay negotiations

swoop

raid

Police swoop on illegal strip club

threat

possibility

Threat of more strike action by post office staff

turmoil

controversy, trouble

Turmoil as new road plan comes into effect

vow

promise

Home Secretary vows to cut street crime

war

rivalry

Ice cream war breaks out between rival gangs

wed

marry

Robin weds sweetheart

woes

problems

More woes for government as poll shows big drop in popularity