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What on Earth Is a ‘Fintwit Schemer’? | English Lesson

Dec 19, 2022

This English lesson looks at the meaning of these words and expressions:

  • FinTwit
  • To Scheme
  • To Bilk
  • To ‘Pump and Dump‘.

Practice your listening and reading. Listen to the lesson and follow along with the script below.

Listen to this headline that was published on December 14th, 2022 in the New York Times newspaper.

‘FinTwit’ Influencers Face Charges in $100 Million Scheme


‘FinTwit’ Influencers Face Charges in $100 Million Scheme

I just bet that this word is brand new for almost all of you! ‘FinTwit’.

FinTwit’ is made from the words ‘Financial’ and ‘Twitter’.

Definition of ‘FinTwit’.

Fintwit’ is a term that refers to a group of people who like to talk about money and stocks on social networks, especially Twitter.

So, in this case, “FinTwit influencers” are a group of people who used podcasts, and who used social networks like Twitter to talk about stocks, and who, according to regulatory officials in the United States, began to talk about how great certain stocks were so that their listeners and readers would be encouraged to buy them. That would drive up the price, and then these so-called ‘FinTwit influencers’ sold their own shares at a profit.

According to the article, and I quote, “The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice accused the eight men of running a modern version of a “pump and dump” stock scheme that bilked investors out of more than $100 million.

What does ‘pump and dump’ mean?

Pump and dump’ means when somebody artificially inflates the features of a company in order to push up the prices. That’s the pump. And the dump is when they turn around and sell their own shares. They dump them. And in a hurry. Pump and dump.  

How about ‘bilking’, as in ‘they bilked investors out of more than $100 million’.  

Well, to bilk is to cheat somebody out of money or property. ‘Bilk’ isn’t used so much in spoken English, but you will see it used in newspaper articles.  

To bilk / Bilking.  They bilked the investors out of their money.

So, the story’s main point is that the ‘FinTwit’ influencers are accused of pumping up the prices, so they could sell at a profit. That’s illegal, so they have been charged.

Okay, that’s it for our vocabulary lesson,

I have introduced you to these words:

  • FinTwit
  • Scheme
  • To bilk
  • To pump and dump

Listen to the title of the article one last time:

FinTwit’ Influencers Face Charges in $100 Million Scheme

Friends, before we finish, and just like we did in the last podcast, let’s do some quick pronunciation practice of common words that can be especially tricky to say. Listen closely, and if you can, repeat them aloud:



For another podcast lesson on the topic of Twitter, check out Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion. I’ll be back soon with another English lesson. Feel free to contact me here with any questions or comments about these podcasts! This is Alan Robert, take care.


Photo credit: Creative Commons, AgnosticPreachersKid  : Securities and Exchange Commission


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