The English We Speak

Nivel intermedio

That'll put hairs on your chest!

Episode 151215 / 15 Dec 2015

Summary

Feifei’s friend told her a shot of liquor would put hairs on her chest. She did not understand what the expression meant so she has brought the question to this programme. Listen to find out how Rob explained it.

Transcript

Rob
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Rob.

Feifei
Hello everyone. I’m Feifei. Rob, I have a question about a saying that I heard recently. Can we talk about it in this programme?

Rob
Yes, sure – what is it?

Feifei
Well, last night I was in the pub with some friends, it was getting late and they were starting to drink shots of liquor; one of my friends was encouraging me to give it go and he said “Drink it, it’ll put hairs on your chest!” What did he mean? Why would liquor put hairs on my chest? I do not want hairs on my chest!

Rob
Haha, I’m sure you don’t but that’s very funny, Feifei. ‘It’ll put hairs on your chest’ in that context means it’s good for you, it’ll make you a strong man or a woman!

Feifei
To have hairs on my chest means I’m a strong person? What a strange expression!

Rob
Yeah, I suppose it is a little strange. Traditionally, we say ‘that’ll put hairs on your chest’ to someone when they are about to have a very strong alcoholic drink or a very satisfying hearty meal. It is used in a humorous way.

Feifei
Ah, that’s what it means. I was so confused last night. Can we use this saying in any other context?

Rob
Yes, we can. These days we can use this saying in many contexts. For example, we can use it to mean something that will make you healthy, strong and tough.

Feifei
Can we hear some examples, please?

Rob
Of course.

Examples
Have another drink! It’ll put hairs on your chest.

Why don’t you try the spicy fish dish? That’ll put hairs on your chest.

I was told eating dates everyday would put hairs on my chest.

Have some more green vegetables – they’ll put hairs on your chest.

Feifei
So we can use ‘it'll put hairs on your chest’ to mean something that is good for you and makes you strong.

Rob
Yes. So Feifei, would you like to try some sloe gin that I’ve made for Christmas?

Feifei
Sloe gin? Mmm, I will only have some sloe gin if it doesn’t put hairs on my chest.

Rob
Haha, I am sure it will…here you are…

Feifei
Thanks! See you next time.

Rob
Bye