Words in the News


Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

Anyone who has cast an eye over the UK news recently will be aware that there is a multifaceted housing crisis in full flow. One aspect of the crisis, though by no means the most serious, is the inability of many people in their twenties and thirties to scrape together enough money to put a deposit on a house or flat of their own. There are many reasons for this, but one that is often advanced by older people who bought their first houses in their early twenties and have since moved smoothly up the property ladder is that young people these days are too busy having a good time to save. In particular, it is said that their fondness for eating out is seriously impairing their financial health and one item that reappears with striking frequency in this alleged carnival of indulgence  is the avocado. Young people, it is claimed, are too busy scoffing avocado toast in hipster cafes to save for a home.

This myth has been dealt a blow by the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, ex banker and no bleeding-heart liberal, who has pointed out that since the average UK house price is now eight times the average income, and the average deposit required by a first-time buyer in London an eye-watering £90,000 (yes, that’s a 9 and four noughts), no amount of abstention from avocado eating would enable millennials and Generation Y-ers on normal incomes to save that kind of money before reaching middle age.

When they first appeared on UK supermarket shelves in the 1960s, avocados were generally known as avocado pears, because they somewhat resemble a pear in shape. The name comes originally from the Nahuatl word ‘ahacuatl’ by way of the Spanish ‘aguacate’. Nahuatl was the language spoken by the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish conquest and a form of it is still spoken in Mexico today.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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