Neil says that Helen is looking rather sheepish when he sees her. Helen is in fact wearing a woolly jumper, but does it make her look like a sheep? Or is it just another new expression?
The script for this programme
Neil: Hi, I'm Neil and this is Helen!
Neil: What's wrong Helen? You're looking rather sheepish.
Helen: Sheepish? Like a sheep? I know my jumper is quite woolly.
Neil: I don't mean you look like a sheep. I mean you look sheepish, which is quite different!
Helen: Of course, looking like a sheep and looking sheepish are two totally different things, obviously!
Neil: Yes. If I say you look like a sheep, it means, well, you look like a sheep. But if I say you look sheepish, it means you look embarrassed or ashamed about something.
Helen: To look sheepish means you look embarrassed or ashamed – like you've done something wrong or silly?
Helen: Ah, yes.
Neil: Listen to some examples:
- Tom walked into the room looking sheepish.
- Emily grinned sheepishly as she closed the door behind her.
- James gave her a sheepish look.
Neil: So, come on Helen, why are you looking sheepish today?
Helen: Ah, well...
Helen: Well, you know that book you lent me?
Neil: My favourite book of all time – the original edition of The Private lives of the Greatest Cats in History?
Neil: OK Helen, now you're looking very sheepish indeed, so you'd better hurry up and tell me what happened to it.
Helen: I dropped it.
Neil: You dropped it? Well I hope it's not damaged, otherwise I'll have to -
Helen: ...in the river.
Neil: In the river! You dropped it in the river!
Helen: It was carried away, I couldn't get it out.
Neil: Oh no!
Helen: I'm so sorry. That's why I am looking sheepish.
Neil: You should be looking even more sheepish than that. In fact, I expect you to look sheepish for several days. It was the best book in the world! 'Sheepish' doesn't do it justice...