In this month of an English Learning Podcast, off the cuff, episode 12, Clare and Annie talk about the rat race. Find out what it is and listen to us discussing how to get off of it and if its ever too late to change your life.
Vocabulary Episode 12
A pause for thought
to stop and think about something carefully
The news about the volcano has given us all a pause for thought about what is important in our lives.
Dermot Bolger is an Irish author. Find out more about him here.
The book Clare mentions in the podcast by this author is called An ark of light. Click here to read more about the book.
People that make up the high social class. Learn more here.
The book explains the intimate life of the gentry at the beginning of Vitoria-Gasteiz
Learn more about Nomadland, the film that Annie mentioned in the podcast by clicking here.
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.
In Episode 10 of off the cuff Clare and Annie talk about #Ronaldo #UEFA #football #CocaCola and the topic of influencers. How much influence should they really have on us and on things like #LGBTQ rights? Find vocabulary and transcripts below.
Vocabulary from Episode 10
What’s on the menu today – this is a fun way of asking what the topic of the show is today. You can use it in any situation where there is a planned schedule, although it may not always be appropriate for work settings. In the example below, we want to know what the activities for the day are.
I know you’ve been planning this trip for months, so what’s on the menu today?
Obscure – not known by many people. In this case, Annie is being sarcastic, since football is well-known all over the world, particularly in Spain, where they currently reside.
I forgot the name of the island they are visiting. It’s some obscure place off the coast.
To be glued to your television – If someone is glued to their television, it means that they are very attentive to what is happening on TV.
I don’t watch much TV, but when the Olympics are on, I am just glued to the TV.
Crap load – this is a way to express a large quantity of something but in a way that shows your disapproval of the amount.
Those kids have a crap load of toys and yet they’re always bored.
31 million – 31,000,000
I do not make 31 million euros a year.
to get/take a hit from something – this is used to say that you will be negatively impacted by what happened.
The economy took a huge hit from COVID.
to be down something, usually money – having less than you expected or usually have.
I lost a bet and now I’m down 100 euros.
to get wind of a something – to find out about something, especially a secret.
I don’t want my boss to get wind of my new job.
LGBTQ – Acronym used for referring to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer people.
Pride month is celebrated in order to acknowledge and support the LGBTQ community.
Paedophiles – people who are sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children.
There is a controversial online website where you can see if there is a registered paedophile living near your home.
God forbid – This expression is usually used to show sarcasm as Clare is doing here in the podcast. We usually use this expression to show that we think the other person is overreacting or wrong.
God forbid I come into work 2 minutes late because I was stuck in traffic!
UEFA – acronym for Union of European Football Association.
UEFA decided not to punish the German player who showed his support for the LGBTQ community.
get down on two knees – here Clare is referencing the players who supported Black Lives Matter by kneeling down on one knee. Since players may not be able to wear any kind of arm bands for Gay Pride, getting down on two knees could be an alternative. She is showing irony that one thing is ok, but not the other.
Clare: Hi, Annie. Annie: Hi, Clare. How are you? Clare: Good, good. Annie: Happy Pride Month. Clare: Happy Pride Month. Yes. So what’s on the menu today? What are we going to talk about? Annie: Anything but Coca Cola? Clare: Why do you think it might influence people? Okay, Let’s talk about football. That doesn’t have any influence on people. Annie: No, no. Football. Football’s, like this obscure thing that happens. Clare: You mean you haven’t been glued to your television? You haven’t had two PCRs a day just to make sure that you can go to watch all these football matches and be there. Annie: I mean, you know, I don’t even know if my television has football, and I’m okay with that. Clare: Okay, so let’s take it back to football again. Okay? Annie: Let’s talk about football. Okay. Clare: Let’s talk about. Let’s talk about football and Coca Cola. Why would we talk about football and Coca Cola and influence? Because we’re talking about influence. Annie: Yeah, Okay, so I don’t watch football as, as I just mentioned, but I do know what’s happening around the game of football. Clare: Okay. Annie: All right. So let me explain. There is this football player who makes what we would say a crap load of money, right? Clare: And, does he play for Alaves? Annie: No, no, he doesn’t. His name is Ronaldo. I think you might have heard of him, because even though I don’t know anything about football, I do know that there’s this man named Ronaldo who makes, like, 31 million a year and he was sitting down for a press conference with a can of Coca Cola in front of him or a bottle of Coca Cola, and he decided to move it and tell his audience to drink more water. Clare: Okay, so that was his influence over his followers or whatever. What exactly did that influence do? Annie: Well, there’s more to this story, right? So, not only does this man who makes crap loads of money tell everyone not to drink Coca Cola, but to drink more water, but then it has a 5 billion impact on Coca Cola. Clare: Are you serious? Annie: I am totally serious, Clare. Clare: But surely those… Coca Cola are his boss? No? because the sponsors are the people who pay this 31 million to all these players. Annie: Surely. I mean, part of the money. Clare: Were his friends annoyed? Were his fellow players annoyed? Were Coca Cola annoyed or just everybody’s just a… Who’s the bigger influencer here? Coca Cola? Ronaldo? It’s a bit… Annie: Well, I’m sure his team. I don’t know enough about football or this story other than that, but I’m sure his team gets a hit from that. Or maybe if the Coca Cola decides not to sponsor them, I’m sure that would affect their whole team. Clare: He might be down a few billion himself. Annie: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, I would kind of hope, I have to admit, because I think that the fact that he makes 31 million a year is a bit too much. But anyway, it’s interesting, the influence this man has and football. Clare: Let’s go back to football again. Annie: Okay. Okay, fine. Clare: Because, you know, it’s important, influential. it’s happening this month like, Yeah. So as I said, I wasn’t watching matches either like. But again, the world around football, I do get wind of a few things. June, as you know, is LGBTQ month. And there was a match in between Germany and Hungary. And at the same time, the Prime Minister, a law has been or a decree has been passed where they’re not allowed to depict or promote homosexuality or anything homosexual onto under 18s. And as part of a law against paedophiles, you know you can connected. Annie: What ? Clare: Now, you cannot connect the two? Right? Annie: I cannot connect the two. Wait, what? Clare: In Hungry, it’s believed. And this is kind of the law, like, because of this, is that if two people meet, especially for the same sex, it’s not healthy. Annie: Okay. Clare: So they meet, you know, God forbid they fall in love. Annie: Okay. Clare: Set up a house and they might even adopt children. Annie: Right. Right. Clare: Okay. No. Because what they really are are Paedophiles. Annie: Oh Clare. Clare: That’s why I know. It’s just sad. Real. Anyway, back into football, it’s come. Annie: No, I can’t even joke about that topic because it’s not funny. Clare: It’s not funny. Annie: It’s not. Clare: So Let’s go back to football. Annie: Okay. So go back to football because I prefer to talk about football than that conversation. Clare: I know, but football influences things you see. So there was a match between Germany and Hungry around the same time with this crazy decree or whatever was passed. And the match was in Munich. Annie: Right. Clare: And they wanted to, like, they’ve done in another Stadium. I think they wanted to paint it pink or light it up pink. Annie: Okay. Clare: And UEFA said no, because it was kind of a political statement. Again, don’t hold me to that statement. But something along those lines… Annie: yeah. Clare: Because it was too political. Then there was a German goalkeeper, I think, who had a band on his arm again with the LBGTQ support or whatever. And they’re going to decide now whether that is too politically, yeah. So what do you do? Do you get down on two knees? Annie: Well that’s interesting. Clare: A knee for this, a knee for that Annie: Yeah Exactly. We’re going to have to start doing, like, hand gestures. Clare: It, it’s sad. It’s sad. It’s not funny. But it’s a sad reality no? And again. What are we talking about? We’re talking about football.
Mass – a religious ceremony that often takes place in a church.
The Stations of the Cross – a series of 14 pictures showing the last days of the life of Jesus Christ which are put up on the walls inside many Roman Catholic Churches. To do the Stations of the Cross, the story about the 14 pictures was told during a mass.
Good Friday – The Friday before Easter Sunday
Black Friday – In Ireland, people would call Good Friday, ‘Black Friday’ since they were not allowed to drink and bars were closed.
Nonsensical – an action or behavior that is not logical
Take precedent over – to be more important than something else
Economically sound – to not waste money, to be economically good for someone or something
To have a black cloud over your head – an idiom to express irritation, disturbance or feelings of misfortune
Guilt – a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong
Pin – a small thin piece of metal with a point at one end, especially used to hold something temporarily in place
1916 uprising – Also known as the Easter Rising or Easter Rebellion – a six day battle where the Irish Republicans aimed to establish an independent Irish Republic against the British rule. Learn more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Rising
Politicized – to make something or someone political
This month on #offthecuff we explore the similarities that many religions do to prepare for their celebrations, such as fasting, but most importantly, we discover that February is really just a month of Tuesdays. Listen to find out what we mean and check the long list of vocabulary below.
Nippy – when the air is cold.
A different ballgame – an American phrase meaning that two things are very different from one another
If you say so – Here this expression is being used to say that since the speaker doesn’t know the answer, they trust what the other person has said.
Savory- Salty or spicy, but not sweet.
Pancake Tuesday – A holiday in Ireland that is the day before Ash Wednesday where people eat a lot of pancakes in preparation for their fast during Lent.
Ash Wednesday – A Roman Catholic holy day where palm ashes from the previous year are put on the forehead in a shape of a cross to mark the beginning of Lent.
Lent – a six week period leading up to Easter. This usually involves fasting and giving something up in preparation for Easter.
Shrove Tuesday – The name given to the day before Ash Wednesday by the Christian community which is usually used for prayer or confession.
To fast – to not eat a certain food for a period of time
Judaism – The name of the religion of Jewish people
Cleansing – to clean yourself emotionally or rid yourself of something unpleasant.
Stuff yourself – to eat too much
To give up something – to stop doing something
Amnesty – a fixed period of time where you are not punished for doing something wrong.
Saint Patrick’s Day – A holiday to celebrate the life of Saint Partick (March 17th) who is Ireland’s Patron Saint who was thought to have brought Christianity to Ireland.
To be gypped – To be cheated, to get less than you paid for.
Dry January – A fast where people give up alcohol for the month of January.
Trendy – modern and with the latest fashions
Fad diets – a diet that is very famous for a short period of time.
To impose something on someone – to force someone to do something
Burnout – having no energy or enthusiasm because you have been working too hard or living in a stressful situation for a long time (in a pandemic, for example)
One of Clare and I´s favorite times of year is Halloween. We love the holiday, but also the smells and colors of autumn. Listen to our third podcast where we try to explain some of the misconceptions about Halloween. Read below to find out what a misconception is and learn more vocabulary.
Misconceptions – idea equivocada Pitch dark – oscuridad total trick or treat – truco trato costume – disfraz sinister – siniestro play a trick on someone – gastar una broma elderly – mayores goodies – dulces coin – moneda pennies – un centimo en EEUU barmbrack – un pan típico de Irlanda savory-sweet – agri-dulce Askance – de reojo pea – guisante
ring – anillo
rag – trapo
risk – riesgo
loved ones – seres queridos
flavor – sabor
lack – falta
death – la muerte
elaborately – detalladamente
mezcal – liquor típico del sur de México
autumn – otoño
to go commercial – hacerlo al grande
to dress up – ponerse un disfraz
carve pumpkins – esculpir calabazas
turnips – nabos
I’ve posted podcasts from this American Life before. I think they do an excellent job telling stories. This one is told by two sisters who take a road trip to learn about the history of their Native-American ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears.
Between 1838 and ’39, the US army uprooted 16,000 people from their homes, rounded them up in stockades, and marched them across the country. 4,000 died. Click here to learn more about the story. Remember, at the top of the webpage you have the option of reading the transcripts while listening. Enjoy!
Staycation – a holiday that you take at home or near your home rest – relax to turn out that way – to end up as offspring – children exotic – different and interesting tick things off – mark down that you have completed a task or visited a place on your list there’s a lot to be said for… – it’s a good idea with good reasons day outings – a day trip it all makes sense – everything is clear overwhelming – large or strong feeling apps – applications shades of tan – different colors of skin after being in the sun
‘Off the cuff’ is a common expression meaning to improvise
or to do something in an unprepared manner. The meaning comes from journalists
or even actors who wrote down short notes on their cuffs (puños), later having
to improvise on what they had written.
Locked up – to be in jail Lockdown – a temporary situation imposed by the government where the population must stay at home and/or limit activities outside your home for public safety. Face to Face – in person, commonly written as f2f Roller-coaster – Montaña Rusa – in the context here, it’s used to say there have been a lot of emotional ‘ups and downs’ A state of shock – an upsetting feeling due to an unexpected situation To climb the walls – to feel anxious or frustrated because you want to do something but can’t or because you have lots of energy but can’t do anything with that energy. Up-skill – to acquire more advanced skills in a specific area Tele-working – working from home or from another location through the internet Hybrid learning – learning using a mix of face to face and on-line classes Hybrid working – working partially from home and in the office The silver lining – comes from the expression ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ meaning that there is always a positive side (the sun coming out behind the storm cloud) to every bad situation To have teething problems – having problems when starting something new – comes from babies who have problems when their teeth come in To be ‘techno’ – to be good with technology Furlough – to temporarily lose your job (erte) To let someone go – to fire them Quarentini – comes from quarantine and martini- refers to a mixed drink you have while on lockdown To get locked – a colloquial Irish expression to say you have consumed too much alcohol ex: He got locked last weekend drinking too many quarentinies!
6 Minute English is a great tool to get…well… 6 minutes of English in everyday! Podcasts are downloadable and you can follow along with the transcripts if you would like. This is one of my favorite episodes as it talks about Wabi sabi and the tradition of celebrating imperfections. Click here to listen to the full show.
If you have had class with me, then you know that this is my favorite podcast. I talk about stories from here all the time. Don’t be afraid- it’s not too too American. 🙂 You can listen to the full episode or just one part. You can also read the transcripts if you prefer. But I highly recommend you click here and give it a listen. You won’t regret it.
I told my daughter 100 times to look where she’s riding when she’s on her bike. Then she ran into the wall. She’s fine and a tiny little part of me felt like saying ‘I TOLD you to look where you’re going’ Shaudenfreude. Tell us your stories… please! Click here to see the full article