Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil and joining me today is Catherine. Hello Catherine.

  • Hello Neil. Hello everybody. Yes, today we are joining Harry

  • and Meghan to say welcome to their new daughter, who they have named

  • Lilibet Diana in recognition of Harry's grandmother and his mother.

  • If you want to test yourself on any of the vocabulary you hear in this

  • programme, there's a quiz on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Now, let's find out some more about the story from this BBC News report:

  • So, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Harry and Meghan,

  • have welcomed their second child.

  • Now, they have a daughter, who will be called Lilibet Diana. Now,

  • Lilibet is the nickname given to the Queen when she was a child and Diana,

  • of course, is the name of Princess Diana, who was Harry's mother.

  • You have been scanning the world's media for this story, haven't you

  • Catherine? You've picked out three really useful expressions this time,

  • which can be used to talk about the story. What have you got?

  • Yes, we have: 'a nod to', 'what's in a name?' and 'bumped down the line'.

  • 'A nod to', 'what's in a name?' and 'bumped down the line'.

  • OK. Well, let's start with your first headline please.

  • Yes, we're starting in the United States with CNNthe headline:

  • 'A nod to' – a reference to.

  • Yes, we've got a three-word expression.

  • The first word is 'a'. Second word: 'nod' – N-O-D. And the third...

  • the third word is 'to' – T-O. So, we get 'a nod to'.

  • Yeah. So, Catherine, what is 'a nod' actually?

  • A 'nod' is a movement: a gesture that you do with your head.

  • So, in a lot of cultures, if we want to indicate yes,

  • we nod our head up and down.

  • We do. We do, yes.

  • There's other things we can do when we 'nod':

  • we can reference something...

  • if we want to, sort of, say 'over there', we could do that with our head:

  • move our head to the side, indicating the direction.

  • I'm doing it now. So am I.

  • So, a head movement is a 'nod'.

  • Yeah. And that's the sense we've got here, isn't it?

  • That we are indicating something.

  • Yesthe Queen! An indication is...

  • so, when you do something to indicate, to acknowledge,

  • to recognise something else, we can say 'it's a nod to.' So, the choice

  • of name Lilibet, which was Harry's grandmother's nickname when she was

  • a child, is a kind of recognition of this child's great grandmother.

  • So, the name is a recognition, it's an acknowledgement,

  • it's 'a nod to' the Queen.

  • Yeah, and if we want to turn that

  • into a verb phrase, we can use 'give'.

  • Yes, you can 'give a nod to' and it means to recognise something: to do

  • something which shows you're aware of something, as an acknowledgement.

  • It's often a very positive thing; when we 'give a nod to' something

  • we acknowledge or recognise or indicate it in a very positive way.

  • Yeah. You may have noticed,

  • Catherine, that occasionally I wear a maple-leaf T-shirt.

  • You do wear a T-shirt with a – it's a red leaf, isn't it?

  • That's right, yeah. And that's because I grew up

  • in Canada and my T-shirt is 'a nod to' my Canadian childhood.

  • I see. That's very interesting. Yes, 'a nod to' your childhood.

  • Now, there is another meaning and another expression, which is very

  • similar, with a different meaning: 'to give someone the nod'.

  • Yes. If you 'give someone the nod', you basically say: 'Yes.

  • Go ahead. It's your turn. It's your time.' So, it's a...

  • 'to give someone the nod' is to say, 'Yeah, do it. You can do this now.'

  • Yeah, often used in reference to selecting a player in a sports team.

  • Yes, absolutely. Yes, if one player is unwell and cannot compete, then

  • the manager will 'give the nod to' the substitute player to say:

  • 'Right. It's your turn now.'

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you would like to watch another story about Harry and Meghan,

  • we have one about the time they decided and announced that they

  • were going to stand down from their official royal duties.

  • What do our viewers have to do?

  • You just have to click the link and you can watch the story.

  • Brilliant. OK. Let's have a look at our next headline, please.

  • Yes, we're now in the UK with the Guardian:

  • 'What's in a name?' – is what we call something important?

  • Yes. Today's expression is a question: what's in a name?

  • Four words. The first word: 'what's' – W-H-A-T– apostrophe –S.

  • Second word: 'in' – I-N. Third word: 'a'.

  • And the fourth word: 'name' – N-A-M-E – with a question mark.

  • Now, 'what's in a name?'.

  • You know your Shakespeare, don't you Neil?

  • Well, I think if...

  • I think everyone in the world knows this particular Shakespeare.

  • It's from Romeo and Juliet.

  • Yes, that's right. Now, Romeo and Juliet: the star-crossed lovers.

  • So, Juliet was in love with Romeo, who was from a different family,

  • and their two families were enemies.

  • So, Juliet is complaining that he has the wrong name and she's saying:

  • it's only a name – 'what's in a name?' Your name is Montague;

  • it doesn't matter. Why is your name important?

  • She compares Romeo's name, or Romeo, to a rose.

  • She said if you take a rosethe flowerand it isn't called a rose,

  • it still smells beautiful. Why is the name important?

  • Yeah. And that's what this is about.

  • It's an expression that we use to, sort of,

  • debate whether or not something – a name is important to something.

  • Yes. Now, in this newspaper article, they're analysing the name

  • this name: there's four parts to this child's name.

  • We've talked about Lilibet and Diana and we've said...

  • the article is saying why these names are significant

  • and the headline is saying, yeah,

  • 'are names significant?' In this case they probably are.

  • Now, Catherine, you're really into your mobile phones, aren't you?

  • It's got to be a good one for you.

  • Yes. I do like to buy one that I... a trusted brand, yes.

  • Yeah. Whereas for me, you know, I don't really care.

  • I could spend a lot of money on something expensive with a really

  • well known name, but I've got this one here and it does everything I

  • need to do: 'what's in a name?' Come on – 'what's in a name?'

  • Well, quite a lot I think, but you think differently. You don't

  • care about the name, so that's fair enough, if you've got what you want.

  • Yeah, but that's an example of how we can use this expression:

  • when you're discussing whether or not a brand,

  • or a particular name, or a label is in fact important or not.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • We have a programme we know you're going to love, because it's got Rob

  • in it talking about biscuits, and how important the names of biscuits are.

  • What do our viewers have to do?

  • Just click the link!

  • OK. Let's have a look at our next headline.

  • And we're still in the UK, this time with Sky:

  • 'Bumped down the line' – lowered in importance or position.

  • Yes, we have another four-word expression:

  • first word is 'bumped' – B-U-M-P-E-D.

  • The second word: 'down' – D-O-W-N.

  • The third word: 'the' – T-H-E. And the final word is 'line' – L-I-N-E.

  • Now, pronunciation-wise, the first word is 'bumped',

  • but because the next word starts with a 'd' – 'down' – we lose the

  • 'teh' of the end of 'bumped', so we get this, Neil:

  • 'Bump(ed) down'. Yes, 'bump(ed) down' the line:

  • we don't use the 'd' – 'bumped': we just say 'bump(ed) down the line'.

  • It's easier to pronounce, but it's still a past tense.

  • Absolutely, yes. So, the key word here is 'bump'.

  • 'To bump' something is to, sort of, move it with force.

  • Yes. Generally, yes. If I... if you bump something,

  • you make it change its position by pushing it: by giving it a good,

  • kind of, knock or a push to get it out of the way, out of...

  • so that something else can take its place.

  • And that's what this expression is all about.

  • If you're standing in the queue, Neil, for the coffee machine

  • and I come along beside you and I give you a good push,

  • and I move you and you're standing backwards and I'm now in your place,

  • you have been 'bumped down the line'.

  • Yeah. So, that's a very literal definition or explanation there,

  • but we can use it in a more figurative sense.

  • And here we're talking about the royal line of succession.

  • Yes, the royal line of succession: who will become king or

  • queen after our present queen, Queen Elizabeth, dies.

  • Well, there's quite a long list of people: it starts with her son,

  • then it's her son's son, then it's all the children of the son's son,

  • then it's Harry and his children,

  • and after that there are other people who are now one place

  • further away from becoming king or queen because of this new arrival.

  • Because of Lilibet's birth, some other people are

  • further down the line: they've been 'bumped down the line'.

  • Yeah. And you might use this expression, for example,

  • in a professional context: maybe you're waiting or expecting a

  • promotion, and then somebody else comes in who is more qualified and

  • experienced than you. You might be 'bumped down the line' in that case.

  • Yes, absolutely. And if you're 'bumped down the line',

  • it's usually a negative or a disappointing experience:

  • you want to be further ahead in the line, you want to be up the line,

  • but something's happened to make you go down the line

  • you're further away from the thing that you want.

  • Absolutely. OK. Let's get a summary of that:

  • Time now for a recap of our vocabulary please, Catherine.

  • Yes, we had: 'a nod to' – a reference to.

  • 'What's in a name?' – is what we call something important?

  • And 'bumped down the line' – lowered in importance or position.