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Last updated at 13:57 BST, Tuesday, 10 July 2012

To go bananas


Neil looks extremely happy and acts a bit over-enthusiastic. Li finds it difficult to calm him down. She thinks that he's gone bananas. What does this expression mean? Listen to more of their conversation with The English We Speak.


Will you go bananas if you win the lottery?

The script for this programme

Li: Hi and welcome to another edition of The English We Speak. Today I'm joined by Neil, who seems to be a bit agitated.

Neil: Ah, sorry Li. I'm really, really excited! Actually, I haven't even got a script for the programme! I don't need a script! I don't need anything! I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams!

Li: Oh, that's nice. How come that you've got rich all of a sudden?

Neil: …a Mercedes Benz and a Porsche. And then a boat, then a yacht. A big one!

Li: Neil, what happened? You are going bananas!

Neil: Bananas?! No cheap old fruit for me any more… caviar, champagne, lobster and…

Li: I'm not offering you bananas. You are not listening. I'm saying that you've gone bananas!

Neil: Sorry Li. I'm very excited because I won the lottery! You know, this week they've got this big jackpot to offer and I got all the numbers right!

Li: Good on you.

Neil: 'To go bananas' has nothing to do with food, as you know. It's an expression in English we use when we are so excited that we act almost out of control!

Li: It is a very odd expression. We'd better let people know how it is used.

Neil: Good idea. Let me write my shopping list while we listen to some examples of the use of this expression that has nothing to do with the actual fruit. Here they are:

  • I'm so happy that I finally got my promotion. Yesterday I went bananas! I ended up running around the office, hugging and kissing my boss and every single co-worker! They probably thought I was mad.
  • After the team scored its fourth goal in the final the fans went bananas and started to shout and jump up and down!

Neil: So 'to go bananas' is not an expression about food but about behaviour. It means to behave in a very over-enthusiastic way, like you’ve gone crazy – an explosion of happiness!

Li: All this excitement has made me want to go out shopping too. I'll get myself a toy boat to play with in my bathtub and down the park, in the lake. And then I'm going to the zoo.

Neil: The zoo? Why the zoo?

Li: All this conversation about bananas made me keen to watch the monkeys. I might give them some very big, shiny and tasty bananas – bright yellow, the colour of gold!

Neil: The colour of gold! The most beautiful colour there is! Golden bananas - the monkeys might even think that they've won the jackpot too!

Li: Goodbye!

Neil: Goodbye!


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