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The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Cool cat

Episode 220131 / 31 Jan 2022


There are people in this world who are just really fashionable and stylish! Maybe they’re just a great person to be around. Learn an expression you can use to describe them.


Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Jiaying...

... and I’m Neil. Hi, Jiaying. How are you? I’ve been looking for you! I’ve got something to show you...

Why are you talking to an empty chair? I’m here! And why are you wearing sunglasses? It’s quite dark in here already. No wonder you couldn’t see me.

Oh! There you are. Check out my new vegan leather jacket, isn’t it cool?

It is, but why are you trying to look so cool? Are you trying to be a cool cat?

Cool cat? What are you talking about? There isn’t a picture of a cat on my jacket.

No, Neil – I said you’re trying to be a cool cat. We use this expression to describe a person who is exceptionally fashionable and trendy. It is also used to describe someone who is funny, charming, and quite often relaxed. It’s thought to originate from the jazz scene.

Ahh that makes sense. That describes me perfectly! I’m a very cool cat! I never get stressed out and always look so trendy!

OK. Well, we can talk more about how cool you think you are after these examples.

Jethro is such a cool cat! He always dresses in the latest fashion.

Yuqing is so awesome to work with. She’s funny and never gets stressed out. She’s one cool cat!

I met Tano at a jazz music performance! He plays the saxophone and he’s such a cool cat.

You’re listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English, and we’re talking about the expression ‘cool cat’. We use it to say that someone is very stylish, trendy or relaxed – and it’s associated with the jazz scene.

Now I know I’m a cool cat, I was thinking what type of cat I would be. Maybe a big cat, like a lion or tiger.

Well, do you know that this year is the Year of the Tiger?

Really? Well, I hope that everyone has an amazing Year of the Tiger!

Thanks. But, Neil, why are you wearing a fake leather jacket inside the building. Surely, you should wear that outside.

The heating isn’t working, so I wore a cool jacket to keep warm. I’d rather be a cool cat than a cold person!

Haha – that makes total sense. Well, I hope you get warm soon. Bye, Neil!



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