A selection of headlines from stories in the news. They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.


The Sun’s headline, “It’s all kicked toff” is used in a story about the initiation ceremonies held by the posh Cambridge University drinking clubs, which seem to have got a bit out of hand. It is a play on an idiom, whereby if something “kicks off” it begins or starts, and it can be used to describe the time that trouble starts – For example: “It all kicked off in the pub last night when someone spilt their drink on a biker”.

The headline uses the word “toff”, which is an informal term used to describe someone from the upper-classes or a wealthy person.