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Last updated at 14:42 BST, Tuesday, 12 August 2014



Helen is shocked when she hears about people described as 'dinosaurs'. Listen to the programme to learn what this slang expression means.

dinosaur skeleton

Giants from the past

The script for this programme

Helen: Hello, Welcome to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. I'm Helen.

Rob: And I'm Rob.

Helen: Rob, can I ask you something?

Rob: Yes, of course. Go ahead.

Helen: My son's friends came to visit at the weekend. They were all in the bedroom playing with dinosaurs.

Rob: Oh right. Sounds fun.

Helen: Yeah, I even let them watch a dinosaur film and play a computer game. Then I heard one of them say his parents were dinosaurs.

Rob: Oh, dear.

Helen: I'm a mum, I don't think I look anything like a dinosaur, do I?

Rob: No, you don't look like one at all. You are 100% human! What did the boy say about his parents?

Helen: He said that they don't have a TV at home, and that his parents don't have mobile phones either. I was quite surprised by that.

Rob: No wonder he thinks his parents are dinosaurs. When we call someone a 'dinosaur', we mean they're living in the past, they're not very modern, and probably don't use a lot of technology.

Helen: I see. So, if I don't have a mobile phone or have a computer, I could be… a dinosaur.

Rob: Exactly. Let's hear some examples.

  • My grandfather just bought his first digital camera. I've been telling him to get one for years! He's a dinosaur when it comes to modern technology.
  • A: Have you met Jane's new husband?
    B: Yes, he talks like someone from the 1930s. Really old-fashioned!

    A: I know, he said he hates modern technology.

    B: Oh, he's such a dinosaur.

Helen: So calling someone a dinosaur means they're not in touch with the modern world.

Rob: Yes, a bit old-fashioned, maybe conservative in their thinking, and not keen for new challenges.

Helen: Well, I love modern technology.

Rob: Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?

Helen: No, what are these?

Rob: Oh dear, Helen! You really are a dinosaur!

(sfx roar!)


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