English In Use – ‘Lords a Leeching’

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.

An excellent bit of satire from the Daily Mirror, which could only have been improved if it they had been able to use it around Christmas.  Lords a-leeching is the headline on a story that House of Lords bosses want to cut the pay of the people working in their exclusive restaurants, bars and cafes, so that peers can continue to enjoy £2.3million worth of food subsidies.

Waiters, cooks and check-out workers have been told they are set to lose 50% of overtime payments.  Staff are paid on average £8.55 an hour, peers £300 a day. 

The headline is a play on the tenth verse of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas“, which goes “On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – ten lords a leaping”.  To leech, means to exploit.

 

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Learn English 2019