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Last updated at 08:59 GMT, Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chew the fat

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Rob invites Feifei to have breakfast with him before they go to work. She might enjoy his company but what about the food?

English breakfast

The English breakfast has a high fat content

The script for this programme

(At the coffee shop)

Rob: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. Hi, Feifei. I saved this table for us. This is my favourite coffee shop.

Feifei: Hi, Rob. Thanks for inviting me to have breakfast with you. It's nice to have the first meal of the day in the company of a colleague before going to the office.

Rob: Yes, indeed. Let's chew the fat.

Feifei: Ah, you won't catch me this time! I know what you mean by 'chew the fat'!

Rob: Every language has some expressions that have a literal meaning and a figurative one. I'm glad you've heard this one before.

Feifei: In English, the expression 'chew the fat' means to talk in a friendly way, socially, without actually exchanging too much serious information. Maybe gossip a bit…

Rob: Yes. It's a casual conversation, like the one we might have now, over breakfast.

Feifei: But first, let's hear some examples of how to use the expression 'chew the fat'.

  • I don't want arguments at the dinner table! Let's not talk about football or politics – let’s just chew the fat about other things.
  • Mary left the company two years ago but she's always around chewing the fat with her old colleagues.

Rob: So now you know what 'chew the fat' means. Let's enjoy some fat. I took the liberty of ordering some food for you - and it's on its way now.

Waitress: And here you have two plates of your typical English breakfast, as you ordered, sir.

Rob: Thank you. Mmmmm - that smells delicious! Come on, Feifei, tuck in while it's still hot.

Feifei: Oh Rob. It looks nice but it's a lot of food. Fried egg, cooked mushrooms, half a tomato, a lot of bacon…
Rob: Yes. It is our typical fry-up.

Feifei: I like eggs and tomato but… there's a lot of fat here.

Rob: Come on, just chew the fat! It's very cold outside and there's nothing like a hearty meal to start the day full of energy.

Feifei: Well, it is really cold and the meal smells nice. Maybe eating a bit of fat occasionally won't make me… well… fat.

Rob: Come on, let's chew the fat. I've heard that John hired a new secretary. He's got one already so why does he need two?

Feifei: I know. And she doesn't have much to do anyway… Mmmmm… this bacon is really crispy. Let's chew the fat. Bye.

Rob: Bye. Mmmmm. Glorious greasy food! Mmmmm…

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