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Last updated at 13:06 GMT, Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Over the moon

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Rob tells Li that John is over the moon about getting a new job - does this mean he's going to be an astronaut? Find out in this programme what being over the moon is really all about.

The moon over Alcatraz island, California

Has John really jumped over the moon?

The script for this programme

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

Rob: And hello, I'm Rob. Now Li, I need to tell you something. You know John in the office? Well, he's got a new job.

Li: That's great news. How is he feeling?

Rob: Well, obviously, he's over the moon.

Li: What? John is 'over the moon'? Is he going to be an astronaut?

Rob: No Li! Well, I don't think so. I just mean he's extremely pleased and happy.

Li: Oh I see. I know in the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle, "the cow jumped over the moon", but I've never heard of a man jumping over the moon, so he must be very, very, very excited.

Rob: It's just a saying Li. He's not actually jumping over the moon. We say it to show that he's so excited that, in theory, he could jump as high as the moon!

Li: And over it!

Rob: Li, do you know how high the moon really is?

Li: No, but I know it's a long way away.

Rob: It certainly is! Let's hear some more examples of people being over the moon...

  • When Jane heard she had won the lottery, she was over the moon.
  • When he found out he'd passed his exam he was over the moon.
  • I can't hide it; I'm over the moon about getting a promotion.


Li: So, being 'over the moon' means being very excited.

Rob: Of course John is not only over the moon about getting a new job, he's also on cloud nine.

Li: What? Now he's on cloud nine?! Is he going to be an airline pilot then, or even a bird?

Rob: Nothing like that. It's just another way of saying he's very excited and happy about something – he's up on a very high cloud – cloud nine.

Li: I see.

Rob: Here's some more examples…

  • Julie got married last week and she's been on cloud nine ever since.
  • I've never seen Fred so happy; he's been on cloud nine since he passed his exams!


Rob: So now we know what to say about someone who's very excited and happy.

Li: Yes, two good phrases. So, come on Rob, if John is not going to be a pilot or an astronaut, what is his new job? Something just as exciting maybe?

Rob: No – he's going to be an accountant.

Li: Oh, boring! Are you sure? Who is that I can see jumping over the moon? Look!

Rob: Is it a cow? Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Li: No, no, no – it's John – he really is over the moon! And he really is a star!

Rob: Come on Li, let's get down to earth and say goodbye to everybody.

Li: Bye! See you next week for more The English We Speak. Rob, I think he got stuck over there!

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