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The English We Speak

Intermediate level

It escapes me

Episode 220620 / 20 Jun 2022


Roy’s got a dog, but what’s her name? Feifei has trouble recalling it and uses a phrase that makes Neil think that the dog has escaped. You won’t want to forget this episode of The English We Speak.


Hello and welcome to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. I’m Feifei…

…and hello, it’s me, Neil.

Did you see Roy’s dog today?

Roy has a dog?

Yes – it’s a shih tzu – and he brought her into the office today. She was so cute. 

Sorry, I missed her. So, what was her name? 

Oh, it escapes me.

What! She escaped? Did you find her? 

No, Neil! The only thing that escaped was her name – from my memory! When we say something ‘escapes me’ we mean we can’t remember something at that moment. I’m sure her name will come to me eventually, Neil. But what hasn’t escaped me is … these examples.

Thank goodness!

I went shopping for something, but it escapes me what I wanted to buy!

When you get there, speak to the manager – her name escapes me, but you’ll know who she is.

The keys are somewhere in the house, but it escapes me where I put them.

You’re listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. We’ve been explaining the phrase ‘something escapes me’, which means I temporarily can’t remember something. So, I can’t remember Roy’s dog’s name – he did tell me, but…

…it escaped you. Can I help jog your memory? Was it Fido? 


Lucky? Lassie? Toto?

I remember now. It was Leia – named after the fictional character in Star Wars.

How could a name like that escape you? I loved that android thing from Star Wars, called, errr, ermm…

Does its name escape you, Neil? I think you mean C-3PO.

That’s it. Honestly, sometimes I even forget my own name!

Bye, Neil.

Ah, Neil – that’s it!

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