Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Bad hair day

Episode 220425 / 25 Apr 2022


Sometimes we get out of bed in a rush and we don’t look or feel great. Discover a phrase that describes this kind of day, and then get a brush and do something about your hair!


Welcome to The English We Speak with me, Jiaying…

{GRUMPY} And me, Neil.

What’s wrong, Neil – you don’t sound that happy?

I’m not. I went to bed late and this morning, I overslept. It’s all been a bit of a rush and I haven’t even had time for my morning coffee.

Oh dear, Neil. I guess that explains it.

Explains what?

Why you are a mess – your clothes are scruffy, you’ve got food stuck to your beard and your hair!

What about my hair?

It’s not very…. tidy.

Am I having a bad hair day?

I think you are! A bad hair day describes a day when everything goes wrong, just like there are days when your hair is a mess. Don’t worry Neil – you’re not alone – listen to these people….

Today’s a bad hair day for me – I feel a complete mess.

Oh no! I’ve got an interview today, and it’s a bad hair day.

I’m having a bad hair day – I think I’ll go back to bed!

This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we’re talking about a bad hair day – a phrase that describes a day when you feel and look messy, especially because of your hair. It can also be used to describe a day that doesn’t go well. Oh, Neil, I think you better go and tidy yourself up.

Really? But I’ll need your help.

Do you need a brush?

No, I need a cup of coffee.

OK. If that will help to make your bad hair day become a good hair day.

It will. Thanks.




Latest The English We Speak

  • Bitten by the bug

    Bitten by the bug

    Episode 220627 / 27 Jun 2022

    Is this a phrase to get excited by?

  • It escapes me

    It escapes me

    Episode 220620 / 20 Jun 2022

    A phrase about forgetting something

  • Onboarding


    Episode 220613 / 13 Jun 2022

    New job, new word!

  • Thereby hangs a tale

    Thereby hangs a tale

    Episode 220606 / 06 Jun 2022

    A Shakespearean phrase for when there's more to something than you think

  • The royal treatment

    The royal treatment

    Episode 220530 / 30 May 2022

    Are you ready to feel like a king or a queen?

  • Tell me about it

    Tell me about it

    Episode 220523 / 12 May 2022

    Learn an agreeable phrase

  • Creatively bankrupt

    Creatively bankrupt

    Episode 220516 / 16 May 2022

    Learn a phrase about being unoriginal

  • As if

    As if

    Episode 220509 / 09 May 2022

    Learn an unlikely phrase

  • Ish


    Episode 220502 / 02 May 2022

    Learn an imprecise phrase

  • Bad hair day

    Bad hair day

    Episode 220425 / 25 Apr 2022

    Is this an unattractive phrase?!

  • Promises, promises

    Promises, promises

    Episode 220418 / 25 Mar 2022

    Is a promise a promise?

  • Not see hide nor hair

    Not see hide nor hair

    Episode 220411 / 11 Apr 2022

    Have you seen this phrase?

  • Curate's egg

    Curate's egg

    Episode 220404 / 04 Apr 2022

    Learn a phrase that is good and bad at the same time.

  • That'll be the day

    That'll be the day

    Episode 220328 / 28 Mar 2022

    When will be ‘that day’?

  • Gathering dust

    Gathering dust

    Episode 220321 / 21 Mar 2022

    What’s gathering dust in your house?

  • Easier said than done

    Easier said than done

    Episode 220314 / 24 Feb 2022

    This phrase shouldn’t be complicated!

  • The plot thickens

    The plot thickens

    Episode 220307 / 07 Mar 2022

    A mysterious phrase!

  • All at sea

    All at sea

    Episode 220228 / 28 Feb 2022

    Don’t let this phrase confuse you

  • Don't mind me

    Don't mind me

    Episode 220221 / 21 Feb 2022

    Don’t ignore this phrase

  • Cramp my style

    Cramp my style

    Episode 220214 / 14 Feb 2022

    Who’s cramping your style?

  • Cool cat

    Cool cat

    Episode 220131 / 31 Jan 2022

    Do you know someone who is hip and trendy?

  • There's nothing to it

    There's nothing to it

    Episode 220124 / 24 Jan 2022

    Learn a simple phrase

  • As sick as a parrot

    As sick as a parrot

    Episode 220117 / 17 Jan 2022

    A phrase about disappointment

  • Eke out

    Eke out

    Episode 220110 / 10 Jan 2022

    Don’t waste this phrase!

  • Say no more

    Say no more

    Episode 220103 / 03 Jan 2022

    Do you get me?