The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Jiggery-pokery

Episode 170829 / 29 Aug 2017

Summary

Here's an odd English phrase that Neil is about to test out on Feifei – will she spot his trickery? Listen to The English We Speak to find out - and learn more about this old fashioned expression.

Transcript

Neil
Hello, I'm Neil…

Feifei
… and I'm Feifei and this is The English We Speak.

Neil
Today I thought I'd impress you with an old Chinese phrase that we use in English now.

Feifei
Oh yes – go on then, Impress me!

Neil
The phrase is jiggery-pokery.

Feifei
Jiggery-pokery! Oh come on, that's not Chinese!

Neil
It is – everyone in China uses it – apparently.

Feifei
I don't think so. What does it mean anyway?

Neil
Jiggery-pokery refers to dishonest behaviour that is intended to trick people.

Feifei
Oh hold on… were you trying to trick me just to illustrate this phrase?

Neil
Yes! I almost tricked you, didn't I?

Feifei
Hmmm. I think we had better hear some better examples of this phrase in action.

Examples
The company is being investigated after some shareholders accused it of jiggery-pokery.

I was surprised that the businessman got away with so much jiggery-pokery before he was finally caught and sent to prison.

Feifei
That's 'jiggery-pokery', which describes dishonest or secret behaviour – but it is definitely not a Chinese phrase, Neil!

Neil
OK, I know. Now before I forget, don't you owe me ten pounds?

Feifei
No! I bought you lunch remember. Honestly, jiggery-pokery in action!

Neil
Well at least you won't forget the phrase now.

Feifei
True. Bye.

Neil
Bye.

ሐድሽ ፓድካስትታት ተመልከት The English We Speak

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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

  • Out of juice

    Out of juice

    Episode 150728 / 28 Jul 2015

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

  • The penny dropped

    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

  • Red tape

    Red tape

    Episode 150714 / 14 Jul 2015

    An expression for when there are lots of rules and regulations

  • Words for underwear

    Words for underwear

    Episode 150707 / 07 Jul 2015

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

  • To drink someone under the table

    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

  • Me time

    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.

  • Cyberbullying

    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.

  • Take a back seat

    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!

  • In black and white

    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!

  • A sticky situation

    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?

  • A close shave

    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

  • My mind's gone blank

    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

  • To sleep on it

    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!

  • All over the place

    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

  • To go around the houses

    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

  • Done and dusted

    Done and dusted

    Episode 150414 / 14 Apr 2015

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

  • Chill pill

    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

  • Put a sock in it!

    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?

  • A wild card

    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

  • To take a shot / stab in the dark

    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!

  • To keep a lid on it

    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

  • To be on the ball

    To be on the ball

    Episode 150303 / 03 Mar 2015

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

  • Mind-blowing

    Mind-blowing

    Episode 150224 / 24 Feb 2015

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

  • Out for the count

    Out for the count

    Episode 150217 / 17 Feb 2015

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

  • Game changer

    Game changer

    Episode 150210 / 10 Feb 2015

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

  • Wow factor

    Wow factor

    Episode 150203 / 03 Feb 2015

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

  • Full-on

    Full-on

    Episode 150127 / 27 Jan 2015

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

  • Stab in the back

    Stab in the back

    Episode 150120 / 20 Jan 2015

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

  • To downsize

    To downsize

    Episode 150113 / 13 Jan 2015

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

  • At the movies

    At the movies

    Episode 150106 / 06 Jan 2015

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

  • Killing time

    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.

  • Like turkeys voting for Christmas

    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

  • Face the music

    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.

  • Internet speak

    Internet speak

    Episode 141209 / 09 Dec 2014

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

  • Viral

    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

  • Give the cold shoulder

    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

  • Phishing

    Phishing

    Episode 141118 / 18 Nov 2014

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

  • Take to the cleaners

    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

  • Eat humble pie

    Eat humble pie

    Episode 141104 / 04 Nov 2014

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

  • Like water off a duck's back

    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

  • Take for a ride

    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?

  • Don't throw the baby out  with the bathwater

    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

  • Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs

    Episode 141007 / 07 Oct 2014

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

  • Butter up

    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

  • Food for thought

    Food for thought

    Episode 140914 / 14 Sep 2014

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

  • Frogmarch

    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?

  • Proof is in the pudding

    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?