off the cuff Episode 11

A learning English podcast: off the cuff

In this month’s episode of #offthecuff we talk about experiences from #Vitoria #Madrid #Mexico where we thought people should have spoken up about what they saw instead of just being a #bystander. This July 2021 episode is full of vocabulary so check it with subtitles.

Vocabulary and Phrases from the first 3 minutes

  • Cat fight – an intense argument or physical fight usually between two women.
    • Yesterday two young girls for into a cat fight right in front of my house and I tried to stop them.
  • Shame on you – used to tell someone that they should be ashamed (embarrassed) of their behavior.
    • Shame on you for not helping that older woman with her groceries when her bad broke.
  • Two steps forward one leap back – used to express that we are evolving by moving forward in society but then we go backward and seem to lose some things that we have learned.
    • I feel like I took two giant steps forward with my English but then COVID hit and not I have taken a leap back.
  • Build up – a gradual increase of something
    • I haven’t told her how I feel yet, so my anger seems to just be building up and I am worried I may explode.
  • Excuse – A reason you give to explain why you have done something wrong.
    • They decided to fire him because he kept giving them one excuse after another and were fed up.
  • Peer pressure – a strong influence of a group of people who are similar to you in age or social circle, who want everyone to act as they do.
    • There is too much peer pressure on young girls to have the same hair style, clothes and body that many of them end up having some real problems with self-esteem.
  • Bullying – the behavior of a person who hurts or frightens someone smaller or less powerful, often making them do something they do not want to do.
    • Bullying has always been a problem but today kids also have to deal with online bullying which adds even more pressure.
  • Bully – the person who does the bullying
    • In many cases, the kids who are the bullies often come from unstable situations at home.

Vocabulary and phrases from the minute 3 – 5

  • To stand up to someone – to deal with someone in an effective manner.
    • They are trying to teach young kids to stand up to bullies.
  • Lynching – the act of killing someone without a legal trial, usually by hanging them. In the context of the podcast. Clare was using this expression to say that people publicly attack people for no reason.
    • They gave him a real lynching even though they weren’t sure he was the one who committed the crime.
  • Clip on the ear – a quick hit on the side of one’s head.
    • In the past, it was quite normal for a parent to give their children a clip on the ear. Today it is not so common.
  • Instilling values –to put a value or principle gradually into someone’s mind, so that it has a strong influence on the way that person thinks or behaves.
    • We try to instill values such as community and bonds between people in our children instead of technology.
  • Name and shame – a phrase used to say that someone should be called out for what they are doing and shamed for their bad behavior.
    • I saw someone stealing a wallet so I said in a loud voice, ‘That man is stealing your wallet’ . That way we could name and shame for doing it.

Vocabulary and phrases from minute 5 – the end

  • Bystanders/Onlookers – someone who is standing by watching something take place but does not take part in it.
    • As the police began to hit the man on the ground the bystanders just watched or took videos.
    • There were many onlookers for the street performers, but in the end no one gave them any money.
  • Calling someone out – when someone says out loud that someone is doing something wrong.
    • Janet and her boyfriend were fighting and she called him out about every lie he ever told her.
  • One bad apple spoils the bunch – people use this to refer to a situation where they believe one person’s negative demeanor or bad behavior can affect a whole group of people, influencing them to have a similar negative attitude or to engage in the same bad behavior.
    • Everything was fine until Jimmy came and then everyone was running around screaming. Well, you know what they say, one bad apple spoils the bunch.  
  • Down with …! – something you say, write or shout to show your opposition to someone or something.
    • Jenny always used to say ‘Down with love!’ but now she’s about to be married and is as happy as ever.
  • Feeble – weak, without energy, strength or power
    • I think the opposition party needs a stronger response to the new amendment than the feeble one they gave last night. 

Transcript

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