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Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Banger - Describes a song that is really awesome. 

Example 1
Paul: Have you heard that new Kanye song? It's a banger!
Jake: Dude, I've been listening to Kanye's new album non-stop ever since he dropped it.
Paul: Really?
Jake: Yeah. Every song on that album is a banger.

Example 2
Mika: So let's plan out a surprise party for Rick. It's his 21st birthday, so it has to be really good.
Ted: Well, we should definitely have a live DJ so that everyone can dance.
Mika: OK but don't hire that DJ who did the last party we had. All the music he played sucked.
Ted: Don't worry. I know this new DJ and every song he plays is a banger! People are going to lose their minds.

In example 1, Paul and Jake are talking about Kanye's new album and how the songs are all really good. In example 2, Ted assures Mika that the new DJ only plays songs that are bangers, or really good.

Check out this video clip where two guys are talking about music:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Catch-22: a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Example 1
Son: Dad, I'm going to apply for a job at the ice cream store downtown.
Dad: Why? What happened to your last three interviews with the New York Times, Newsweek, and Vogue Magazine? Don't you still want to be a journalist?
Son: Yeah I do... But they all said that they're not going to hire me because I don't have any experience.
Dad: Well, how do they expect you to have any experience if they don't give you a chance?!
Son: You're right, it's a catch-22.

The son tried to apply for a job in journalism but no company would hire him because he doesn't have any experience. But he can't get any experience because no one would hire him. There are two problems that are dependent on one another and there seems to be no way out.

Example 2
Jason: I had a disappointing visit to the bank today.
June: Oh no, tell me what happened.
Jason: I tried to apply for a mortgage loan but the bank rejected the application because I still had debt from student loans. They said that they'll let me borrow money only if I don't have any existing debt.
June: That's ridiculous, the reason why you need the bank's help in the first place is because you don't have enough money.
Jason: Yeah, I guess I'm stuck in this catch-22.

Jason tried to borrow money from the bank to buy a house but the bank will not help him because he still owes money from student loans. In conclusion, the bank doesn't allow Jason to borrow money because he doesn't have enough money. The two problems are tied together and there seems to be no solution.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A broken record

Example 1
13-year-old son: Oh, mom, just a reminder. I don't have soccer practice today so you have to pick me up right after school. I'm just reminding you so you don't forget to come and get me. Remember, you forgot one time and I waited for you for an hour all by myself? I didn't know if you were going to come at all!
Mom: OK, I got it. I'll put an alert on my phone so I won't forget this time. Of course I remember that one time I forgot. I'm still very sorry about that.
Son: Yeah, I can't believe you forgot about your own son!
Mom: I was very busy that day and I'm still so sorry! 

Son: I would never do that to my own kid.....
Mom: OK, young man! You are really starting to sound like a broken record. I have already apologized for that at least 10 times! Will you ever forgive me so we can move on?!

Example 2
Politician on TV: "...yes, but my opponent had done the same thing and no one accused her of any wrongdoing. Why is everyone being so unfair to me? This is the worst witch hunt in Presidential history....."
Me: Let's turn the TV off. This guy is a broken record; constantly making the same false claims and accusations. Let's not give him the attention he craves and hopefully he'll go away soon.

a broken record is a person who is (annoyingly) repeating themselves and/or talking about the same thing over and over again.
you can use the verb phrase sound like  OR  the be verb
examples: She sounds like a broken record, constantly complaining about the food. OR She is a broken record....

In Example 1, the boy is continuing to talk about the time that his mother forgot to pick him up even though he was never in danger and his mother had apologized many times for it. He continues to talk about it until his mother gets annoyed!

In Example 2, the politician on television is talking about the same points that he always does. The viewer opts to turn the television off because it's always the same in their opinion. It is implied that the viewer is not a supporter of this politician and finds the speech annoying.

Are you familiar with vinyl records? It is said that when a record is scratched or "broken," the needle skips while playing and repeats the same portion of the record over and over until someone stops the player.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

To feel like a new person

Definition: to feel completely refreshed and renewed, especially after an exhausting and difficult experience
Grammar form: Verb:  feel-felt-felt

Example 1
Husband: Hi honey!  How was your day at work?
Wife: The store was so busy today because of the long weekend.  I worked 12 hours straight. I am so exhausted that I don’t feel like doing anything.
Husband: Oh no!  Why don’t you go take a long warm bath?  I am sure you will feel like a new person after.
Wife:  Thanks!  That’s a great idea.

Example 2
After Tina broke up with her boyfriend, she was so sad that she stayed home for days. She didn’t feel like doing anything.  In order to take her out of her depression, her friends decided to take her on a short camping trip. By being out in nature and talking to her friends, she felt like a new person again.

Meaning:  to feel like a new person means to feel refreshed and reenergized after you have experienced something unpleasant.  

For instance, in Example 1, the person is exhausted from a long tiring day at work. Taking a bath will make her feel reenergized. She will feel refreshed mentally and physically.

In Example 2, the person is extremely sad at first, but by spending time with friends outdoors, she was able to feel happy again. She wasn’t depressed anymore. This was a feeling that she hadn’t felt in a long time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In a pickle

Definition: in trouble, in a difficult situation, or mixed up

Example 1:
Sue: I might lose my home.
Marvin: Why? What happened?
Sue: Well, last year I got laid off and I haven’t been able to find another job. I haven’t been able to paythe mortgage on the house so the bank is threatening to take over.
Marvin: Wow! I’m so sorry. You really are in a pickle.

Example 2:
Larry: I’m in a pickle.
Mary: Why? What happened?
Larry: The police caught me for drunk driving and took my driver’s license away. Now I can’t drive and I cannot get to work without a car.
Mary: Oh dear! You are in a pickle!

Meaning: ‘To be in a pickle’ refers to a person being in a difficult situation. This situation is challenging to get out of, like a pickle in a pickle jar. The term can also mean that a person is drunk and mixed up.

Origin: A pickle is a preserved vegetable. Usually the vegetable is put in a jar with vinegar, salt, herbs and spices. In Dutch this preservative mixture is called “pekel.” So, the person is like a pickle in a jar, being mixed up with other ingredients.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Until the cows come home or till the cows come home

For a very long time, indefinite amount of time; forever. 

If you say that you can do something until the cows come home, you mean that you can do it for a very long time.

#1 - My girlfriend was talking on the phone with her sister until the cows came home last night!

#2 - They could argue till the cows come home and still not reach an agreement.

#3 - You can keep talking till the cows come home, but you'll never persuade me to go with you! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

a (bit of a) stretch

Example 1 - 2 friends talking on a Monday morning
Tony: What's up, Milly? How was your weekend?
Milly: It was crazy! You'll never believe it.
Tony: Wow, sounds so interesting! Tell me about it...
Milly: Well, we had a birthday party for my roommate. We had over 80 people in our apartment! The party went on until 4 in the morning!
Tony: Hmm, well I've been to your apartment before and I know how small it is. 80 people you say? That's a stretch! I doubt you had barely 30 people. Any more than that, the neighbors would complain and the police would have been called! You're totally exaggerating!

Example 2 - 2 friends talking about plans for the summer
Frank: I don't think I'll be able to take any vacations for at least 5 years!
Monica: Why not? Surely you can take a weekend to San Diego or somewhere else nearby. What's the issue?
Frank: Well, for sure I will lose most of my paycheck to taxes. I don't have enough left at the end of the month for anything fun.
Monica: Oh, Frank! That's a bit of a stretch! I know taxes are a pain, but to say most of our money goes to taxes is an exaggeration! Let me show you some cool apps on the iPhone for money management....

a (bit of a) stretch =  an exaggeration
The speaker is "stretching the truth"

In Example 1, Milly claims to have had over 80 people in her apartment for a late-night party. Tony knows that Milly is likely exaggerating because her apartment is small. He tells her, "That's a stretch!" Which is the same as saying "That's an exaggeration!"

In Example 2, Frank is claiming to lose most of his money to taxes each month. Monica says he's slightly exaggerating. The word "most" generally refers to quantities of 50% or higher.

This expression is most often used with that's (that is contracted). Use a bit of a  when it's not a huge exaggeration as in Example 2.

More examples:
"I haven't slept at all in a whole week!"   "That's a stretch! I saw you taking a nap in class this morning!"

"I haven't slept at all today." "That's a bit of a stretch! I saw you taking a nap in class this morning!" 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Ghosting, To Ghost on (Someone) - Cutting off all contact or communication with a friend or a person one is dating, not giving any warning that the relationship is over,  and ignoring any attempt by the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend to communicate or make contact via the phone, social media or in public.

Situation #1 - Two friends are talking after class
Selena: Hey, Amanda! How is everything?
Amanda: Not very good.
Selena: Oh, no! What happened? You've been so happy recently because of that new guy you are dating. His name is Gene, right?
Amanda: Yes. Well, I thought that Gene wanted to be my boyfriend, but recently he has been ghosting me. He hasn't called in four days!
Selena: Well, maybe he is just busy.
Amanda: No, he also blocked me on Facebook and is not returning any of my Instagram messages even though I know he has opened them.
Selena: That sucks. If he is going to be like that, then he isn't worth it!
Amanda: I guess you're right, but I really liked him, and I thought he liked me too.

Situation #2 - Two roommates are talking about having a small get-together at home
Trey: So let's get together next Sunday with everyone and watch the football game. We can get some snacks and beer.
Gerry: That sounds good. Who do you want to invite?
Trey: Well, Greg, Marty, and Lenny to start with. Then, maybe Ron since he is a big Rams fan.
Gerry: I see most of those guys at work, but I haven't heard from Ron in a really long time. I think he is ghosting on us!
Trey: Well, it's his loss if he doesn't want to stay in touch. We'll party without him.

Meaning: In the first dialogue, Amanda is sad because the guy she has been dating suddenly stopped all communication via phone and social media. So she finally realized that he was ghosting her. In the second dialogue, Trey and Gerry have a group of friends they want to invite over for a football game except one friend, Ron, hasn't been in contact for a long time. They suspect that Ron is ghosting on them. Ghosting is used with and without the "on."

To find out more about ghosting, click on this link:
7 Signs someone is about to ghost on you

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Beat around the bush

Meaning: avoid the main topic, not speak directly about the issue
Grammar form: verb; to beat around the bush
Verb Forms: beat-beat-beating-beaten

Example 1:  She beat around the bush for a while before telling her friends everything about the new guy she was dating.

Example 2:
Son:  Mom, I borrowed your car last night to go meet some friends.  While I was driving, I got a text and started to read it because I thought it might be urgent.  Unfortunately, I was focused on my phone and didn't really pay attention to the road.  Because I was multitasking while driving, something bad happened.  I am sorry, I know it's my fault.
Mon:  Oh, stop beating around the bush and tell me exactly what happened.
Son:  I crashed your car into a tree!

The expression to beat around the bush is used when you are feeling nervous or scared to tell someone something right away or directly because you are worried or unsure about how they will react.

In Example 1, the girl is nervous about telling her friends about the new guy in her life.  She clearly cares about what they think and she knows that her friends would be very curious about this new piece of information.  She is just teasing her friends by not telling them instantly in order to build excitement and suspense.

On the other hand, in Example 2, the son is definitely not in as positive situation as the girl in example 1.  Here, the boy has made a big mistake and is hesitating telling his mom about what he did.  He knows that once his mom finds out about that happened, she won't be happy.  That's why he is stalling giving direct information as much as possible, not out of excitement, but out of fear.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Break a Leg

Situation #1
Martha:  I’ve been practicing all week.  I have a concert tonight.
Sam: I hope you break a leg.
Martha: Thanks!

Situation #2
Sarah: I’m excited to go to the theater tonight and see your performance.  I love Romeo and Juliet.
Terry:  It’s a very dramatic story.  I have been in this play before, but it is the first time for me to play Mercutio. 
Sarah: I can’t wait to see how you do it.
Terry:  Thanks.  He’s a difficult character.
Sarah: Break a leg.
Terry:  Thanks so much. I appreciate that.

Meaning:  “Break a leg” doesn’t seem like a good thing to say to anyone but it actually means “Good Luck” or “Do a great job!”  This idiom is commonly used in the world of stage performance and it is said to a person before a performance.  It seems that the speaker is wishing the performer to have an accident on stage, but in fact, it is the opposite.  The speaker is telling the performer to have an outstanding performance.

This is a very old idiom whose exact origins are not known. In the tradition of theater as well as in horse racing, there was a superstition that if you wish out loud for something good to happen, then the opposite will happen instead.  So it’s best to wish someone a bad thing, like break a leg, so that the person will have the opposite – a good thing.  People say: “I hope you break a leg” so that good luck will come to the person.

One theory is that when a performance is so great, then the performer has to take many bows when the show ends.  In a bow like a curtsy, one must put a leg behind the other and bend it while bowing. So it looks similar to a broken leg next to the straight one.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Dressed To Kill

If someone, especially a woman, is dressed to kill, they are wearing very smart or attractive clothes which are intended to attract attention and impress people.

To dress in extravagantly fancy or stylish clothes so as to thoroughly impress others.

#1 – Dressed Up for a Date
Jasmin: It must be a very special event that Stephen is taking you tonight. You’re dressed to kill!
Therese: Yes, he’s taking me to a fine dining on a cruise ship. It’s an elegant place so I did my best to put on something nice.
Jasmin:  You look gorgeous. I hope you have a great time!
Therese: Thank you. I’m sure I will.

#2 – Going to Attend a Celebrity Party
Abby: Hey Cate, are you going to that fancy party next Saturday night?
Cate: The one in Beverly Hills for the movie producers? I wouldn’t miss it.
Abby: Yes, that’s the one. I’m wondering about what to wear.
Cate: Well, you better dress to kill cuz’ it’s going to be one extravagant party! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

To show someone the ropes

Example 1- John is starting a new job at Burger Town
Manager: Hello, John. Welcome to Burger Town! We are excited to have you on our team.
John: I'm excited to be here. I'm a little nervous for my first day, but I will do my best.
Manager: Don't worry! We've arranged training for today. Your supervisor will help you. She will show you the ropes before you have to help any customers.
John: Great! Looking forward to getting started.

Example 2- New international student at LSI
Longtime student: Hi there! My name is Jack. You must be new! Nice to meet you!
New student: Hi, yes. I'm new. Nice to meet you, too.
Longtime student: You seem a little lost. Are you OK?
New Student: Not really. Everything is really confusing.
Longtime student: Don't worry! I can show you the ropes. It's pretty easy once you know where everything is. Let's have lunch together.

To show someone the ropes is to teach someone a task, or to show someone how a place functions. In example 1, John's supervisor will show him the ropes. She will teach him to do his tasks. In example 2, the new student's classmate will show him around the campus; he will show him the ropes so he can know how to function in that place.

(Often used with can and will)  subject/subject pronoun can/will show + object pronoun + the ropes → George can show you the ropes.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Slaps: to taste great; to be amazing or awesome; to describe music that is really good

Dialogue #1
Jenny: Where do you want to go for dinner?
Kevin: Have you tried that new pizza place around the corner.
Jenny: Yes, last week. Their vegetarian pizza slaps!
Kevin: Great! Let's go.

Dialogue #2
Kelly: Have you heard the new Billie Eilish song?
Cassandra: No, I haven't listened to her music very much.
Kelly: Really? You should. Her new song slaps!
Cassandra: OK. I guess I'll listen to it.

Meaning: In the first dialogue, they are talking about a new restaurant that has delicious pizza, or "the pizza slaps." In the second dialogue, they are talking about music and a new song from the singer Billie Eilish. Her new song "slaps" or is really amazing. "Slaps" is often used to describe music.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

To sleep on

To Sleep On (first meaning): The most common meaning is to think more about something (usually overnight) and make a decision about it later.

Jenny: Are you going to take that new job working in Thailand?
Casey: It's a great job. I would be teaching children English.
Jenny: So, are you moving to Thailand?
Casey: Well, even though it's a great job, I need to sleep on it before making a final decision. It's a big change to move to another country.

Meaning: In this situation, Casey has been offered a great teaching job in Thailand, but it is a big change in her life, so she needs to think about accepting the job a little more or she needs to sleep on it.

To Sleep on (second meaning): More recently, it means to ignore or not pay attention to someone's ability or talent; to not get the attention one deserves.

Kevin: You should let Callie sing at your party on Saturday night. She has an amazing voice.
Amber: Really, I didn't know that she can sing or perform.
Kevin: Everyone is sleeping on her. I don't understand it because she is so talented.
Amber: Maybe she needs to promote herself more to let people know how good she is.

Meaning: In this situation, Callie is really talented and can sing well, but no one knows it. They are ignoring her talent. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

To be a fly on the wall

To be unnoticed while listening and observing others.

Example #1:
I wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear what he says to his boss when he tries to explain why the project failed.

Example #2:
Tom never came home to his girlfriend last night. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when he told her the reason.

Example #3: The rival company is going bankrupt. If I could be a fly on the wall at their meeting I could learn what is going on there.

Example #4: They made the documentary with a fly on the wall style.

To be a fly on the wall: This idiom uses the image of the small but silent fly resting on the side of a wall, and observing while human activity continues in the room. The definition is to listen and watch others closely but they don’t notice your presence. To observe a situation as if you are invisible.

In example #1, the speaker wants to hear how the co-worker is going to explain his failure and how the boss will respond to him.

In example #2, the speaker is interested to hear the boyfriend’s excuse and his girlfriend’s response and would have liked to hear how they interacted with each other.

In example #3, the speaker is from a rival company and wants to learn what kinds of internal difficulties the company is facing without them knowing that he is listening.

In example #4, a fly on the wall documentary is an observational style of documentary filmmaking in which the camera records participants doing things in their normal way and responding to situations in their normal way. The style avoids using interviews. The effect is such that the camera, and therefore the viewers, too, are like flies on the wall observing the situation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cray cray (adjective)

This slang word is used to describe someone or something that is really crazy.  It is just another way to say "crazy" and is widely used by the younger generation.  This expression has been around for about 10 years and but it really became popular when the rapper Jay-Z used it in one of his songs.

Example 1
I have so much work to do today.  I think I am going to go cray cray.

Example 2
My brother met this girl recently.  She keeps texting him and calling him all the time.  She keeps asking him to go out on a date even though he clearly told her that he is not interested in her.  I think she is really cray cray.

Example 3

Tom: Hey John, can I borrow your new car?  I want to go to this cool party tonight.
John: Oh ya?  Are you a good driver?  How long have you been driving?
Tom: Of course, I am a good driver.  I mean I failed my driving test 2 times, but I passed it the third time.  And I have gotten in an accident only once this year.
John:  Dude!  You must be cray cray if you think I am going to lend you my car.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

To promise the moon

To promise the moon: to say that you will do more than is possible for you to do. To promise more than can be delivered.

#1 - A politician giving speeches to potential voters
In his speech, the politician promised the moon to the people so that they would vote for him. He promised that he would reduce their taxes and that under his leadership crime would drop.

#2 – A boyfriend asking his girlfriend to marry him
The man promised the moon to his girlfriend. He told her that he would become wealthy and that in two years she would be able to quit her job and focus on her art. He told her that they would go on exotic vacations and have a winter home in Spain.

To promise the moon: This idiom is used when something is unlikely to happen even though the speaker has said that it would. The speaker is presenting an attractive future in the hopes that he will also appear attractive.  

In example #1, the politician is trying to convince people to vote for him by promising attractive things in the future even though he may have no intention of even trying to fulfill that promise.

In example #2, the boyfriend is hoping his girlfriend will accept his proposal for marriage. Perhaps he fears that she will reject him, so he is making her future with him look very attractive. He may feel especially positive about his future. It could be that he is not trying to deceive her, only afraid that he may lose her. He wants her to feel that he will work hard for her and make their lives together as wonderful as he can. He may be unrealistic about what he can do for her.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

To Have A Green Thumb

To Have A Green Thumb: To have a special ability to make plants grow well or to be skilled at gardening.

#1 - A friend visiting your home.
Cindy: Wow, look at the roses on the dining table. They're so beautiful! Where did you get them?
Doris: Oh, thanks! Fred grows them in our backyard. Aren't they gorgeous?
Cindy: Yes, he must have a green thumb!

#2 - Visiting Grandma.
Jennifer: Hi Grandma, how did you make your garden look so nice? It's full of colorful flowers and lush green grass.
Grandma: Thanks darling, I just love spending time in nature. I put in quite a bit of work here on my free time.
Jennifer: What is the secret in creating such a beautiful garden, Grandma?
Grandma: Well, I guess it's my green thumb!

#3 - Talking to a roommate.
Kelly: Hey Pat, would you please water my cactus plant once a week when I'm away on vacation?
Pat: Sure Kelly, but I got to warn you, I do not have a green thumb...
Kelly: I think it'll be just fine. The cactus doesn't need special attention anyway. Don't worry about it!

To Have A Green Thumb:
This idom can be used to describe one's self or another person with a talent to make plants grow. Example #1, after Doris told Cindy that Fred was the one who took care of the roses, Cindy realized that Fred was good at growing flowers. #2, Jennifer asked her grandmother how she made her garden look so beautiful. Grandma's response was that she has a special ability to grow plants in the garden. #3 Kelly's roommate was not confident in her ability to keep the plant alive when her friend goes on vacation. Kelly reassures Pat that it'll be ok even if she doesn't have special talents for growing plants. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

High horse

Example 1
Debbie: How was your job interview, Sam?
Sam: The office was nice, but I didn't really try too hard because I'm sure I'm overqualified and the pay isn't great.
Debbie: What do you mean?
Sam: Well, the person who interviewed me was clearly not at my level. I don't want to work for a company where the manager isn't as qualified as I am.
Debbie: Are you kidding me? You haven't worked in over six months and you've gotten into lots of debt! How can you waste any opportunity? You need to get off your high horse and be grateful they invited you in for an interview in the first place.

Example 2
Carly: Is there anything I can do you help with the party?
Lisa: Yes, we need some more ideas for decorations. What do you think?
Carly: Well, I think we should hire a professional party planner. That's what I always do for our parties.
Lisa: Sorry, but that's not an option. We're on a strict budget.
Carly: Well then the party will probably look really shabby and no one will have fun at a party with cheap decorations.
Lisa: I asked you for advice but you're just passing judgement from your high horse. You are not offering any real solutions.

Common ways to use high horse:
be on your/her/his high horse- to act as if you are better than others
get off your/her/his high horse- to stop behaving as if you are better than others (example 1)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

To have (something) both ways

First Example: Mario has been dating Erika for six months, but he also likes Tina and would like to ask her out. Mario wants to have it both ways. He would like to date both Erika and Tina.

Meaning: to have (something or it) both ways means to get the best of a situation by getting the benefits of two opposite things. In this example, Mario likes his relationship with Erika, but he also likes Tina. However, he can't date both of them at the same time because he has been dating Erika for six months. This idiom can apply to any situation where there are two opposite things that can't be done at the same time. It's used as an infinitive in this example.

Here is another example: John works long hours and makes a lot of money, but he would like to have more time off to do the things he enjoys. However, John can't have it both ways. He either works hard and makes a lot of money, or he takes more time off and makes less money.

Meaning: In this case, the two opposite things are working a lot and taking more time off. John can't make a lot of money if he does both of these things at the same time. He must choose one thing. In this example, it's used with the modal "can't."

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

To hit the sack (verb)

Meaning - to go to bed in order to sleep

This expression is used when you want to tell someone that you are ready to go to bed in order to fall asleep.

Example 1
I had a long and busy day at work yesterday.  So, I hit the sack as soon as I got home last night.  I am glad I got enough sleep because I feel much better today.

Example 2
John: Hey! You are home.  How was school?
Lisa: It was fun and we practiced a lot of new words.  But now, I am so tired.  I think I am just going to hit the sack.
John: Already?  Aren't you going to study for your test?
Lisa:  I don't think I can.  I am just so sleepy.  I will wake up early and study tomorrow morning.
John: OK, good luck!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fender bender

Example 1:
Jack: The freeway was moving really slowly today.
Jill: What was the problem?
Jack: There was an accident.
Jill: Was it bad? Was anyone hurt?
Jack: No. It looked like just a fender bender.

Example 2:
Doreen: Your new car is dented already!
Maureen: I know. I had a fender bender the other day.
Doreen: What a bummer. What happened?
Maureen: It was my fault. I feel so stupid. I was texting when it happened. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse.

Fender bender: a small accident in which only minor damage occurs. The fender of a car is the panel above the tire. In this case bend refers to a dent, which is not as bad as a crack or a break. It is relatively inexpensive to repair the fender of a car compared with the trunk, door or hood.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

To be on point

To be on point: To be exactly right or perfect; extremely good, attractive, or stylish

#1 - Two Friends at a Party
Susan: Did you see Mitzi, yet?
Beth: Yes, I did! She looks so good. Her outfit is on point!
Susan: I know! She always dresses to impress!

#2 - A couple talking after a movie
Brett: That movie was amazing!!
Brittany: Really? I didn't think it was that great. I almost fell asleep.
Brett: What? I thought it was very entertaining. And the lead actress was great.
Brittany: Well, I will agree with you about the actress. Her acting was on point! She will probably be nominated for an Academy Award.
Brett: Yes, I also think the movie was on point and deserves an award!

To be on Point: This idiom can describe a thing, such as a movie, song, etc..., or a person's style and skill; it means to be exactly right or perfect; extremely good, attractive, or stylish. In #1, the two friends are talking about Mitzi's outfit, which is extremely stylish, or on point. In #2, Brittany thinks the actress has excellent acting skills and Brett thinks the movie was amazing, or on point.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

In the dark

Example 1
Toby: Have you heard from Jim? He hasn't returned my calls about the party. I don't know any details yet.
George: Don't worry, that's just how Jim is. He likes to keep people in the dark about things until all the details are finalized.
Toby: Well that's understandable, but I'd at least like to have the time and place so I can make sure I'm free!

Example 2
Tony is leaving the company this month. We were all in the dark about his plans until he announced it this morning. I'm shocked because I had no idea!


Keep someone in the dark about something 

Be in the dark about something

This expression is used when you don't have information about something, but someone else does. In example 1, Jim has the information, but Toby and George do not. Jim keeps them in the dark about the details. In example 2, Tony has the information but didn't share it with his coworkers. His coworkers were in the dark about his departure.

Monday, June 24, 2019


Dope (adjective): A word that describes something that is very cool, such as music, movies, clothes, people, etc.

Example 1:

Listen to the song by Outkast "So Fresh, So Clean"

Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm dressed so fresh so clean...Outkast

Example 2:
Kristina: Hey, Brad! Did you go to Trey's party last Saturday night?
Brad: Yes, it was dope! There were tons of people and a live band. 
Kristina: Oh, I'm sorry I missed it. I had to work.
Brad: That sucks. Maybe you can catch Trey's next party at the end of the summer. 

In example 1, the singer is talking about how dope he is because of his nice clothes. In example 2, Brad says that Trey's party was dope, or awesome, because of all the people and live music. This word as a noun is also used to describe drugs, but recently it is used as an adjective to describe a person or thing that is really cool. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Fam - a word used to describe people that you can trust dearly, someone you consider like family, derived from the word "family", referring to people that are extremely close; a new name for one's friends. 

Example 1: Two good friends seeing each other after a long time
Britt: Hey, fam! Long time no see!
Karl: Hey, Britt. Nice to see you! 
Britt: So how's life in San Francisco?
Karl: It's OK, but I miss you and all my friends here in LA.

Example 2: Use in Social Media
"Fam" can also be used to describe a group of people that you feel connected to on social media. For instance, you might use the hashtags #fitfam to refer to other people who live healthy lives or #foodiefam for people who love trying new types of food. 

Hey, I'm trying fried grasshopper for the first time! #foodiefam #streetfood”

It's 5 AM and I'm headed to the gym! #fitfam #gym

In the first example, Britt uses the word "fam" to refer to his really good friend, Karl. Even though they are not actually related by blood, they are so close, they feel like "family." In the second example, "fam" is used to refer to a group of people connected to you with the same interests like "#fitfam" for healthy people and "#foodiefam" for people who like trying different kinds of food.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

To Floss

To Floss (slang): 1) To show off material things or expensive lifestyle, 2) To do a popular dance move featured on social media 3) To slide a piece of string in between your teeth for cleaning

Paul is talking to his friend Devin during a party
Paul: Jose is flossing on everyone with that outfit today.
Devin: Yeah. The shirt and pants are from Supreme. Super expensive!
Paul: So, how was your weekend?
Devin: I was flossing in my Tesla with the ludicrous mode on.
Paul: Wow, I guess everyone is flossing these days but me!

Two friends at a night club
Cindy: Look at Frankie out on the dance floor! What's he doing?
Kat: Oh, haven't you seen it on social media? They even put it on Fortnite. It's called "The Floss or Flossing," and it's a special dance move.
Cindy: It looks fun and easy!

Jimmy at the Dentist's Office
Dentist: Jimmy, you have 8 cavities!
Jimmy: Really? But I floss my teeth at least once a week.
Dentist: You need to brush and floss your teeth every day in order to avoid getting cavities.

Explanation: "To floss" has several meanings but has recently been used as a slang term for showing off something expensive. In the first example, Jose is showing off his expensive clothes at the party. Later, Devin says that he showed off his Tesla last weekend. In the second example, Frankie is flossing on the dance floor. It is the name of a popular dance move that you can see an example of here.

Finally, the traditional meaning of "floss" is related to cleaning in between the teeth with a string. In the third example, Jimmy has 8 cavities because he doesn't floss his teeth regularly.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Not a fan

Grammar use: to be not a fan of someone or something.

1.  She is not a big fan of scary movies because every time she watches them, she has trouble sleeping at night.
2.  I am not a big fan of our new boss.  He is very strict and makes us work longer hours.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Not your cup of tea

Example 1:
Harold: Hey Dirk, do you want to go get some sushi later?
Dirk: No, that’s okay. Sushi is not my cup of tea. I would prefer some barbecue.

Example 2:
Julie: Hey Pam, have you ever been to New York?
Pam: Yeah, but I didn’t really like it.
Julie: Really? Why?
Pam: It was very busy and fast. It’s just not my cup of tea. I like Los Angeles because it’s relaxed.

Example 3:

Rob: Does your girlfriend like ice-cream?
Wes: No, it’s not really her cup of tea. She only eats it once in a while. She likes cake more than anything

To say something is “not one’s cup of tea” is to say that a person doesn’t like something or it is not their favorite. If something is not your cup of tea, it is not your preference, but it might be an acceptable choice. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

New Blood

New member of a group or organization.  Typically it’s a younger person or group of people beginning or starting in a new place or group.

Example 1:

Manny:  Hey Mark, do you know if the new team members will be arriving today?
Mark:  Oh that’s right!  Today we get to meet the new blood coming in for the internships
Manny:  Yes, it’s that time of the year again.  Summer is always interesting and we get to meet a lot of newbies.
Mark:  Let’s just hope they are up to the challenges of this work.

Example 2:
Emily:  Who’s the new blood in the office.  He’s so energetic and good looking
Brenda:  Settle down Emily, don’t get yourself in trouble at the office for liking the new guy.
Emily:  Yes I know, no fraternizing with co-workers.
Brenda: That’s the best way to go.  I will admit though he is cute.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

To catch feelings

Example 1:
Denise: Hey, Becky, how is it going?
Becky: It's going well. Actually, I'm kind of annoyed these days.
Denise: Annoyed with what?
Becky: Well, you remember Mike, that guy I've been texting with. It's been just casual and fun but I think he's starting to catch feelings. He's really starting to become clingy, he wants to hang out all the time! He's trying to make plans for the summer time, but I doubt we'll still be talking by then. It's annoying that he thinks we're in a serious relationship.
Denise: Yeah, I see what you mean. It's always annoying when guys catch feelings when you're not interested.

Example 2:
Eddie: Good to see you, Mike! How have you been?
Mike: Hey, man! I've been great!
Eddie: You seem happy! Did you win the lottery or something?
Mike: It's better than money, bro! It's because of my special girl Becky! I think I'm in love!
Eddie: You mean Denise's friend Becky? You can't be serious. I thought you guys were just friends and only texted here and there.
Mike: Yeah, but I think this is something more. I can't stop thinking about her.
Eddie: No way, Mike! I think you're just catching feelings for her because she showed you a little bit of interest. I really don't think you should read too much into it.


to catch feelings is to begin to have romantic feelings for someone. This usually has negative connotations as it is unexpected or inappropriate. In example 1, Becky is annoyed that Mike is catching feelings  because she believes their relationship is casual and fun. In Example 2, Eddie is trying to tell Mike that he shouldn't be thinking too seriously about their relationship. Eddie seems to be reading the situation better than Mike.

More examples:
Becky didn't mean for Mike to catch feelings.
Mike is starting to catch feelings for Becky.
Eddie thinks Mike caught feelings because Becky gave him some attention.
(Becky) I think Mike is catching feelings. I should stop replying to his texts. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Staycation or Staycay

Staycation or Staycay -  A vacation spent at home involving day trips to local attractions. Instead of traveling somewhere for vacation when you have time off, you stay at home and visit local attractions.

Two friends are talking about taking time off from work

Julie: I'm so stressed out lately! I really need a vacation. The only problem is that I don't have any money to travel anywhere.

Terri: Why don't you just take a staycation? You live in downtown LA, so there are plenty of places for you to see without having to pack a suitcase.

Julie: You're right. I've lived in LA for five years, and I still haven't visited half of the places on my list.

Terri: Last year, my staycation was the best. I unplugged from work, just slept in all day, and went out at night. It was also a lot cheaper than traveling to another city or country.

Julie: sounds nice. I could relax at that spa near my house that everyone says is so good. Then I could check out some of the museums. There is so much to see just in my area.

Terri: Yes!

Julie: Thanks for the advice about the staycay. I'm feeling better already!

Staycation or Staycay - Staycation is a combination of stay (meaning stay-at-home) and vacation. Staycay is a shortened form of Staycation. Their meaning is the same, a vacation spent at home involving day trips to local attractions. Instead of going somewhere for vacation when you have time off, you stay at home and do the local scene.