The English We Speak

Intermediate level

The English We Speak is your chance to catch up on the very latest English words and phrases. In under 3 minutes, we help you stay ahead of the pack by giving you 'must have' phrases that you can use in your everyday conversation. Amaze your friends, impress your teachers and delight your parents with these fantastic words and phrases.

Let us know how you get on using them on Twitter and Facebook.

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    Wet weekend

    Episode 170711 / 11 Jul 2017

    It's wet and there's no rain!

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    No picnic

    Episode 170704 / 04 Jul 2017

    Learn a phrase that involves effort

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    A busman's holiday

    Episode 170627 / 27 Jun 2017

    Learn a phrase about a working holiday

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    Fuddy-duddy

    Episode 170620 / 20 Jun 2017

    Not cool!

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    No great shakes

    Episode 170613 / 13 Jun 2017

    Not impressed!

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    Not a sausage

    Episode 170606 / 06 Jun 2017

    Learn a phrase that means ‘nothing’

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    Long

    Episode 170530 / 30 May 2017

    Love ironing? Or is it ‘long’?

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    Not half

    Episode 170523 / 23 May 2017

    Learn a phrase which isn’t half useful

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    All over the shop

    Episode 170516 / 16 May 2017

    The phrase about shops that isn’t about shops

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    It comes with the territory

    Episode 170509 / 09 May 2017

    Accept the situation!

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    It won't wash

    Episode 170502 / 02 May 2017

    A dirty phrase

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    Jack-of-all-trades

    Episode 170425 / 25 Apr 2017

    A multi-skilled phrase!

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    The coast is clear

    Episode 170418 / 18 Apr 2017

    Nobody's watching!

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    Pull a fast one

    Episode 170411 / 11 Apr 2017

    Don’t be cheated – learn this phrase!

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    Suck it and see

    Episode 170404 / 04 Apr 2017

    You won’t know until you try

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    To cut your teeth

    Episode 170328 / 28 Mar 2017

    Gaining new experience

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    Shrinkflation

    Episode 170321 / 21 Mar 2017

    Getting less for your money

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    La-la land

    Episode 170314 / 14 Mar 2017

    It's not Los Angeles!

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    A different kettle of fish

    Episode 170307 / 07 Mar 2017

    Fishing for a phrase? This could be the one for you

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    At the drop of a hat

    Episode 170228 / 28 Feb 2017

    Acting on impulse!

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    Brass neck

    Episode 170221 / 21 Feb 2017

    An expression about saying what you think

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    Reinvent the wheel

    Episode 170214 / 14 Feb 2017

    Doing it all over again

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    Frenemy

    Episode 170207 / 07 Feb 2017

    False friends

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    To be fair

    Episode 170131 / 31 Jan 2017

    Give both sides of the argument with this phrase

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    On the box

    Episode 170124 / 24 Jan 2017

    Watching a ‘box’ can’t be very enjoyable, can it?

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    Duck

    Episode 170117 / 17 Jan 2017

    When being called ‘duck’ is a good thing

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    Bottle

    Episode 170110 / 10 Jan 2017

    Don’t lose your bottle!

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    Got your number

    Episode 170103 / 03 Jan 2017

    Understanding someone's true intentions

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    A slap in the face

    Episode 161227 / 27 Dec 2016

    Words not actions

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    Clickbait

    Episode 161220 / 20 Dec 2016

    Click here for nonsense. Learn some cyber vocabulary

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    Mash-up

    Episode 161213 / 13 Dec 2016

    If you mix A and B, do you get C?

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    Air kiss

    Episode 161206 / 06 Dec 2016

    When is a kiss not a kiss?

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    Mansplaining

    Episode 161129 / 29 Nov 2016

    Has a man ever over-explained something to you?

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    Rolling in it

    Episode 161122 / 22 Nov 2016

    How much money do you need to roll around in it?

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    Photobomb

    Episode 161115 / 15 Nov 2016

    Someone's in my photo!

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    Cyberchondriac

    Episode 161108 / 08 Nov 2016

    Is the internet making you ill?

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    To wash your dirty linen in public

    Episode 161101 / 01 Nov 2016

    An expression about not keeping matters private

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    Cat got your tongue?

    Episode 161025 / 25 Oct 2016

    A phrase about not saying much

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    It takes two to tango

    Episode 161018 / 18 Oct 2016

    How many people dance the tango?

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    Knee-jerk reaction

    Episode 161011 / 11 Oct 2016

    An expression connected to the knee

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    To have an axe to grind

    Episode 161004 / 04 Oct 2016

    An expression for when someone's got a strong opinion

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    Close, but no cigar

    Episode 160927 / 27 Sep 2016

    A phrase about almost succeeding

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    Get somebody's goat

    Episode 160920 / 16 Sep 2016

    A phrase about something annoying

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    Bust a gut

    Episode 160913 / 13 Sep 2016

    An expression that means 'to make a great effort'

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    Old-school

    Episode 160906 / 06 Sep 2016

    A phrase that describes old things

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    Shedloads

    Episode 160830 / 30 Aug 2016

    A way to say 'lots'

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    Hangry

    Episode 160823 / 23 Aug 2016

    A phrase for people who get angry when they don't eat

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    To pull something out of the hat

    Episode 160816 / 16 Aug 2016

    What surprising things come out of a hat?

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    In the blink of an eye

    Episode 160809 / 09 Aug 2016

    An expression to show speed

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    Off the hook

    Episode 160802 / 02 Aug 2016

    Here's a phrase for when you free someone from an obligation

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    Barefaced

    Episode 160726 / 26 Jul 2016

    A phrase about being bold and shameless

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    To make a mountain out of a molehill

    Episode 160719 / 19 Jul 2016

    Don't overreact - use this phrase!

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    The last/final straw

    Episode 160712 / 12 Jul 2016

    Something tiny could cause a lot of problems

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    The university of life

    Episode 160705 / 05 Jul 2016

    Where's the best place to learn about life?

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    White-collar worker / blue-collar worker

    Episode 160628 / 28 Jun 2016

    What does the colour of your clothes say about your job?

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    Drama queen

    Episode 160621 / 21 Jun 2016

    Here's a phrase to describe someone who overreacts easily

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    It's on the cards

    Episode 160614 / 14 Jun 2016

    Learn a different way of saying that something is likely to happen

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    Until you're blue in the face

    Episode 160607 / 07 Jun 2016

    Can you face this phrase?

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    Clean up your act

    Episode 160531 / 31 May 2016

    Someone behaving badly? Here's a phrase that tells them what to do

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    You're pulling my leg!

    Episode 160524 / 24 May 2016

    Want to trick someone? Here is a phrase that involves pulling a part of your body!

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    One good turn deserves another

    Episode 160517 / 17 May 2016

    Has someone helped you with something? If so, here's a phrase that tells you what to do next

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    To fall at the first hurdle

    Episode 160510 / 10 May 2016

    Got an idea that's never going to work? Here is a phrase to describe the situation

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    Pain in the neck

    Episode 160503 / 03 May 2016

    Learn the phrase Helen needs to describe the headache her mobile phone company is causing her

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    Burn a hole in your pocket

    Episode 160426 / 26 Apr 2016

    Learn a vivid expression to describe someone who cannot save any money

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    To turn something upside down

    Episode 160419 / 19 Apr 2016

    Learn a phrase about doing a thorough search

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    Going forward

    Episode 160412 / 12 Apr 2016

    Office speak for 'in the future'

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    A recipe for disaster

    Episode 160405 / 05 Apr 2016

    A phrase that means you're heading for disaster

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    Crash course

    Episode 160329 / 29 Mar 2016

    A really fast way to learn something!

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    You've sold it to me

    Episode 160322 / 22 Mar 2016

    Learn a different way to express 'you've convinced me'

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    Full of the joys of spring

    Episode 160315 / 15 Mar 2016

    A seasonal idiom that puts you in a good mood

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    A leopard can't change its spots

    Episode 160308 / 08 Mar 2016

    Learn a phrase about keeping your bad habits

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    Six of one, half a dozen of the other

    Episode 160301 / 01 Mar 2016

    This expression may not have anything to do with numbers

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    Test the water

    Episode 160223 / 23 Feb 2016

    A water phrase which may have nothing to do with water

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    To lie through your teeth

    Episode 160216 / 16 Feb 2016

    Telling lies? Here's an honest phrase to use

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    To make a monkey out of me

    Episode 160209 / 09 Feb 2016

    Looking stupid? This is a phrase for you!

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    Hot potato

    Episode 160202 / 02 Feb 2016

    Learn a phrase to describe tricky situations

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    There's method to my madness

    Episode 160126 / 26 Jan 2016

    A phrase to describe your seemingly strange behaviour

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    In good nick

    Episode 160119 / 19 Jan 2016

    Learn a phrase to describe something in top condition

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    Cheap and cheerful

    Episode 160112 / 12 Jan 2016

    A phrase to describe an inexpensive but fun product

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    A bitter pill to swallow

    Episode 160105 / 05 Jan 2016

    Learn a phrase to describe a situation that is hard to accept

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    Potty

    Episode 151229 / 29 Dec 2015

    Learn a phrase to describe someone going mad

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    I'm game

    Episode 151222 / 22 Dec 2015

    Neil is dying for a game of squash but Li is not game

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    That'll put hairs on your chest!

    Episode 151215 / 15 Dec 2015

    An expression said when someone is about to have a strong alcoholic drink

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    Fancy someone

    Episode 151208 / 08 Dec 2015

    They seem to be getting on well... maybe they 'fancy' each other?

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    Down the pan

    Episode 151201 / 01 Dec 2015

    Learn a phrase to describe a disastrous situation

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    Part of the furniture

    Episode 151124 / 24 Nov 2015

    Learn a new idiom about being around a long time

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    Sweet tooth

    Episode 151117 / 17 Nov 2015

    Do you have a sweet tooth? Is it something that you are born with or do you develop it?

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    Bumper-to-bumper

    Episode 151110 / 10 Nov 2015

    It looks pretty bad on the road

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    Eye candy

    Episode 151103 / 03 Nov 2015

    Going out with a good-looking but uninteresting person?

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    Thingy

    Episode 151027 / 27 Oct 2015

    An expression for when you forget English words

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    Across the pond

    Episode 151020 / 20 Oct 2015

    Learn an expression which makes an ocean sound very small indeed

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    People person

    Episode 151013 / 13 Oct 2015

    An expression for those who get along with people

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    It's a steal!

    Episode 151006 / 06 Oct 2015

    An expression for when you get a bargain

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    Bull and bear market

    Episode 150929 / 29 Sep 2015

    Learn what we say when share prices go up and when they go down

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    Social media words

    Episode 150922 / 22 Sep 2015

    'Trolls' and 'haters' – the words for people who are just there to annoy you online

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    Don't give up the day job

    Episode 150915 / 15 Sep 2015

    Learn a phrase to give someone some friendly advice

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    A barrel of laughs

    Episode 150908 / 08 Sep 2015

    How to describe someone who is fun

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    To know something like the back of your hand

    Episode 150901 / 01 Sep 2015

    A popular expression for letting people know you are an expert

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    A face for radio

    Episode 150825 / 25 Aug 2015

    A useful expression for indirectly saying that someone is ugly

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    Give me credit

    Episode 150818 / 18 Aug 2015

    Learn a phrase that's full of praise. You won't need a credit card to use this one

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    To keep the wolf from the door

    Episode 150811 / 11 Aug 2015

    Who's that knocking at the door? Someone's here to tell you you're in financial trouble

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    Hot desk

    Episode 150804 / 04 Aug 2015

    Hot-desking is a modern way of working in offices. Learn how to use this phrase as a noun and a verb

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    Out of juice

    Episode 150728 / 28 Jul 2015

    Oh no - your phone's out of battery. We have just the phrase you need!

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    The penny dropped

    Episode 150721 / 21 Jul 2015

    What do you say when you finally understand something? Learn a useful phrase to do just that in this programme

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    Red tape

    Episode 150714 / 14 Jul 2015

    An expression for when there are lots of rules and regulations

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    Words for underwear

    Episode 150707 / 07 Jul 2015

    What do you call your panties, socks and bra? Listen to the programme to find out...

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    To drink someone under the table

    Episode 150630 / 30 Jun 2015

    Drink to celebrate the good things in life, drink to forget the bad. Here's an expression for people who like a drink

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    Me time

    Episode 150623 / 23 Jun 2015

    Both work and home are demanding lots of your time but what you really want is a few hours to yourself. Here's an expression to help you deal with that.

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    Cyberbullying

    Episode 150616 / 16 Jun 2015

    Is there someone tormenting you online? Here's an expression for when people hide behind a computer to attack others.

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    Take a back seat

    Episode 150609 / 09 Jun 2015

    Learn a phrase about not taking control. You won't need a car for this driving-related idiom!

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    In black and white

    Episode 150602 / 02 Jun 2015

    What two colours do we use to describe something that's official? Learn a phrase that leaves you in no doubt!

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    A sticky situation

    Episode 150526 / 26 May 2015

    What kind of situation has Rob got into when he bumps into a woman on the way to work?

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    A close shave

    Episode 150519 / 19 May 2015

    What's a razor got to do with Rob's bike ride to work? Here's an expression for when you've had a narrow escape

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    My mind's gone blank

    Episode 150512 / 12 May 2015

    Why did Rob ask Feifei to meet him in the studio? Here's an expression for when you've forgotten something

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    To sleep on it

    Episode 150505 / 05 May 2015

    How can sleeping help you make a decision? Learn a phrase that doesn't involve lying on a bed!

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    All over the place

    Episode 150428 / 28 Apr 2015

    What's wrong with Neil today? Here's an expression for when you're badly organised

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    To go around the houses

    Episode 150421 / 21 Apr 2015

    Where do you go if you waste time asking pointless questions? We explain a useful phrase

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    Done and dusted

    Episode 150414 / 14 Apr 2015

    When someone says the phrase done and dusted, do they mean doing some proper cleaning?

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    Chill pill

    Episode 150407 / 07 Apr 2015

    It's hard to swallow but maybe it's time for a chill pill! We explain what that is

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    Put a sock in it!

    Episode 150331 / 31 Mar 2015

    Why has Helen put a sock in the toaster and how is that going to keep her quiet?

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    A wild card

    Episode 150324 / 24 Mar 2015

    Who's the wild card in the office? Rob and Feifei use a phrase to describe an unpredictable colleague

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    To take a shot / stab in the dark

    Episode 150317 / 17 Mar 2015

    Feifei thinks someone's been killed but then discovers taking a stab in the dark doesn't involve using knives!

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    To keep a lid on it

    Episode 150310 / 10 Mar 2015

    Li and Neil get free coffee at a cafe but they need to keep a lid on it

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    To be on the ball

    Episode 150303 / 03 Mar 2015

    Learn a phrase to describe the ability to quickly react to things

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    Mind-blowing

    Episode 150224 / 24 Feb 2015

    Feifei and Harry use an expression to describe things that amaze and astound

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    Out for the count

    Episode 150217 / 17 Feb 2015

    Neil and Li talk about how a boxing expression can be used in everyday life

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    Game changer

    Episode 150210 / 10 Feb 2015

    Feifei and Harry use an expression for people and ideas that change the way we do things

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    Wow factor

    Episode 150203 / 03 Feb 2015

    Harry and Feifei look at an expression for when things surprise and impress you

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    Full-on

    Episode 150127 / 27 Jan 2015

    Harry and Feifei talk about a common colloquial expression for when things are intense

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    Stab in the back

    Episode 150120 / 20 Jan 2015

    Harry and Feifei talk about an expression that is not as violent as it sounds

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    To downsize

    Episode 150113 / 13 Jan 2015

    Neil and Feifei talk about a word made popular by the economic downturn

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    At the movies

    Episode 150106 / 06 Jan 2015

    Sci-fi, romcom, whodunnit – What kind of movies do you like?

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    Killing time

    Episode 141230 / 30 Dec 2014

    Neil tells Helen to kill time but she smashes up a clock. Find out why and learn a useful expression.

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    Like turkeys voting for Christmas

    Episode 141223 / 23 Dec 2014

    Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you like eating turkey? Do you think turkeys like Christmas? Learn this humorous idiom

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    Face the music

    Episode 141216 / 16 Dec 2014

    There's something Neil's forgotten to do and now he has to face the music. Listen to the programme to find out why.

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    Internet speak

    Episode 141209 / 09 Dec 2014

    'Snail mail', 'post' and 'hard copy' – learn expressions connected with computers

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    Viral

    Episode 141202 / 02 Dec 2014

    Li's cat video has gone viral. Will she be happy about it? Learn an expression from the internet age

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    Give the cold shoulder

    Episode 141125 / 25 Nov 2014

    Is Feifei's designer shawl a solution to her problems with Lisa? Listen to the programme to find out

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    Phishing

    Episode 141118 / 18 Nov 2014

    Rob is deleting some emails. He won’t take the bait sent in by criminals!

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    Take to the cleaners

    Episode 141111 / 11 Nov 2014

    Rob's very expensive shirt is ruined! Who will pay for it? Listen to the programme to find out

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    Eat humble pie

    Episode 141104 / 04 Nov 2014

    Is Rob hungry enough to win a pie-eating competition? Listen to the programme

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    Like water off a duck's back

    Episode 141028 / 28 Oct 2014

    Feifei has a thing or two to learn from the ducks in the park. So do you. Listen to the programme

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    Take for a ride

    Episode 141021 / 21 Oct 2014

    Cars that run on air? Sounds too good to be true. But Li thinks they're the future and wants to invest in a company that makes them. Will she lose her money?

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    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

    Episode 141014 / 14 Oct 2014

    Is Feifei giving up her job to take care of babies? Learn an amusing idiom

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    Joe Bloggs

    Episode 141007 / 07 Oct 2014

    Do you know Joe Bloggs? He might be just beside you

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    Butter up

    Episode 140923 / 23 Sep 2014

    Is this butter for a cake, for toast or... to put on a person? Finn and Feifei explain

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    Food for thought

    Episode 140914 / 14 Sep 2014

    Finn wants to buy a sports car. But Feifei gives him some 'food for thought'

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    Frogmarch

    Episode 140826 / 26 Aug 2014

    Rob challenges Helen to a word game about a funny-sounding phrase. But what has it got to do with frogs?

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    Proof is in the pudding

    Episode 140819 / 19 Aug 2014

    Feifei doesn't like Rob's cooking. But Rob wants Feifei to try his dumplings and promises 'the proof is in the pudding'. What does he mean?