Oil Spill

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Oil: a viscous liquid, usually extracted from plants or minerals. Used as lubricants, fuels, perfumes, foods, etc.

Spill: the release or escape of a liquid from containment or a container.

An Oil Spill is the (accidental) release of liquid petroleum into the environment.

Oil Spills in the news

• BP/Deepwater Horizon, USA (2010)
• Montara, Australia (2009),
• Erika, France (1999),
• Exxon Valdez, USA (1989),
• Many, many more sadly.

Don't cry over spilled milk is a common English expression meaning there's no point regretting what happened in the past. You can cry over spilled oil, though.

Fun Facts

Oil and water, unlike Starsky and Hutch, fish and chips, gym and glish, are NOT a good mix.

Oil can be virgin, extra virgin, pure or refined, just like people!

Olive Oyl is the name of Popeye's wife in the American cartoon Popeye.


Don't confuse oil with Grease (the animal fat, not the John Travolta musical).

Ironically, the highest per capita consumption of olive oil occurs in Greece (the country, not the animal fat).

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The Word of the Month is created by Gymglish, in partnership with LeMonde.fr