NUKE: The Word of the Month May 2013

Every month, we take a look at a word in the headlines, in English, for your English. See more at The Word of the Month.


Nuke (noun): Abbreviation for a “nuclear weapon”, usually a bomb or missile.

To nuke (verb) : To detonate a nuclear weapon. Ex: We should probably nuke them before they nuke us.

A Brief History of “Club Nuke”

Roosevelt launches the club in 1945. Stalin joins in 49, Churchill in 52, a fashionably-late De Gaulle in 60. Mao pops by in 64.

In the 70s, India, Pakistan, and Israel show up without an invite. Now North Korea wants in, and they say they’ve got nukes.

Nuclear Nonsense

The result of a nuclear explosion is called a mushroom cloud. It is neither a mushroom nor a cloud.

War games simulate the dangers of nuclear attacks, in a way that’s fun for the entire family.

Nuclear Nuggets

To nuke is also a slang term for using a microwave. Nuking a frozen burrito is a 5-star meal in the US.

Don’t confuse nukes with puke (vomit), flukes (whale fins) or spooks (ghosts). Nuclear war will likely result in all 3.

Take a look through our Word of the Month archives, or improve your English with

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