Last updated at 11:38 GMT, Tuesday, 08 November 2011

Sponger

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Neil tells Li about his plan to live in luxury after giving up his job. Find out more about how he will pay for his expense in this week's programme.

A glamorous life

A sponger enjoys life without working.

The script for this programme

Neil: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak, I'm Neil.

Li: And I'm Li. Neil, is that a new watch?

Neil: Yes I got it from my parents.

Li: Oh that's nice.

Neil: Did I tell you I'm going on holiday soon?

Li: No, where?

Neil: To Hawaii.

Li: Wow, how can you afford a holiday to Hawaii?

Neil: My in-laws paid for it. We told them it was too expensive but, you know, we just need a holiday.

Li: Hmm… so your in-laws have paid for your holiday too…

Neil: I'm thinking of giving up work actually, Li.

Li: Giving up work? What about the cost of living?

Neil: Oh my wife can work. You know what, Li? I really need to move into a bigger house in a nicer part of London.

Li: But you just said you're going to give up work! How can you afford a new house if you have no job?

Neil: My grandparents will give me some money. They always do.

Li: Neil, there's a word for people like you. You're a sponger!

Neil: A sponger!? How rude!

Example

A: When I was at university I had no money at all. I had to buy second-hand clothes and I could never afford to go out for a meal even though I had a part-time job.
B: Yeah me too, but there were all these other students with cars and designer labels eating in expensive restaurants all paid for by Daddy.
A: What a bunch of spongers.
B: Yeah.


Li: A sponger is a person who gets money, food and other things from other people without paying. Often it's used very negatively to describe people who live off state benefits.

Neil: Just like a sponge.

Li: Yes, a sponge.

Neil: A sponge soaks up the water all around it. A sponger soaks up gifts, food and money without working. And it can also be used as a verb – to sponge off someone.

Li: It's also a verb 'to sponge off someone.' Be careful to use the word 'off' with this verb.

Neil: Whether it's a verb or a noun, it's still not a nice thing to say about someone, Li.

Li: Well I'm sorry to be rude, but it's true – you are a sponger.

Neil: You're right. I'm a sponger but I'm proud of it. Do you fancy taking me out for dinner? There's a fantastic restaurant I've been meaning to go to. It's very expensive, but you can afford it Li.

Li: He's trying to sponge a meal off me! What a sponger…

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