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Hundreds of idiomatic expressions to give you an edge in English!
by Rachel Varra Edited by Christopher Warnasch
AC K N OW L E D G M E N T S
Thanks to the Living Language staff: Tom Russell, Nicole Benhabib, Christopher Warnasch, Suzanne McQuade, Shaina Malkin, Elham Shabahat, Sophie Chin, Linda Schmidt, Alison Skrabek, Carolyn Roth, and Tom Marshall.
CO N T E N T S
LESSON 1 2 3 4
My Toe Is Killing Me! 4 Tying the Knot 6 That’s a Weight off My Shoulders! 9 I Have a Bone to Pick with You! 12 Like Pulling Teeth 16 Honey, There’s Something on My Mind . . . 19 Now We’re Cooking! 21 Fits Like a Glove! 25 I’m Up to My Eyeballs in Work! 28 She’s Got You Wrapped around Her Finger. 3o That’s Putting the Cart before the Horse. 32 Like a Bat out of Hell 35 It’s a Steal! 38 Off the Beaten Track 4o Turning Over a New Leaf 44 Face the Music! 47 Let’s Catch a Flick, Then Grab a Bite. 5o Take the Bull by the Horns. 52 Just Checking In . . . 55 Just Go with the Flow! 58
Copyright © 2006 by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. 5 Living Language is a member of the Random House Information Group 6 Living Language and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. www. livinglanguage.com 10 Editor: Christopher A. Warnasch Production Editor: Carolyn Roth Production Manager: Tom Marshall Interior Design: Sophie Ye Chin ISBN: 978-1-4000-0659-5 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available upon request. This book is available at special discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions or premiums. Special editions, including personalized covers, excerpts of existing books, and corporate imprints, can be created in large quantities for special needs. For more information, write to Special Markets/ Premium Sales, 1745 Broadway, MD 6-2, New York, New York 10019, or e-mail email@example.com. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 7 8 9
My Toe Is Killing Me!
Doctor: Yes. We’re going to want to follow up on this in about two weeks. Paul: I’ll schedule an appointment with the receptionist. Thanks. Bye, Doc. Doctor: You’re welcome. And Paul, take it easy, would you? Paul: Yes, I will. I promise. 1. To be tied up with something or someone. To be busy. 2. To be killing someone. To be very painful. 3. A beauty. A very good or vivid example of something; in this case, a really good example of a bad injury. 4. To do a number on something. To damage, destroy, or hurt something badly. 5. A surefire way to do something. A way that will definitely have a certain outcome or result. 6. To live something down. To be allowed to forget about an embarrassing situation. This is used in the negative—to never or not live something down. A common way you’ll hear this expression is the phrase “I’ll never live this down!” 7. To outdo yourself. To do something very well. To do better than you normally do. Note that this expression is often used in a sarcastic way. 8. A tall order. An unusually difficult request. 9. To be out of the question. To be impossible to accomplish. 10. To be back in the saddle. To return to your normal activities, especially after an illness or injury. To be back in control of your normal activities. 11. To handle something. To cope with or manage a situation. 12. To be a piece of cake. To be very easy. 13. To take it easy. To do things slowly and carefully, without tiring yourself. 14. To baby someone or something. To treat very carefully and with great sensitivity. 15. To keep an eye on. To watch carefully. 16. To get in touch with. To contact, to talk to someone. 17. To drop by. To visit someone. 18. To follow up on something. To address or check on a situation later.
Doctor: Sorry you waited so long, Paul; I’ve been tied up all afternoon. What seems to be the problem this time? Paul: Doc, my toe’s killing me. I think it’s broken. Doctor: Hmm . . . Let’s have a look. Oh, yeah, that’s a beauty. You really did a number on that toe. How’d it happen? Paul: I was helping my brother move. I dropped a desk on my foot. Doctor: Well, that’s a surefire way to break some bones. Paul, didn’t I see you last year for some sprained fingers? Paul: Yeah . . . I was trying to fix the toilet and got my hand stuck. I yanked it out, and hurt myself. I’m still trying to live that one down. Doctor: Well, Mr. Fix-it, you’ve really outdone yourself this time. You won’t be walking with this foot for eight weeks. Paul: That’s impossible! I have a camping trip scheduled for six weeks from now. Can’t it be healed by then? Doctor: That’s a tall order, Paul . . . But I suppose it’s not out of the question. With a lot of rest now . . . and intensive physical therapy, you just may be back in the saddle again in six weeks. But the therapy requires a lot of work, and time . . . and specifically, following the doctor’s orders . . . Can you handle that? Paul: Piece of cake! Doctor: But listen, even if you are walking by then, you’ve got to take it easy during the trip. No climbing trees or jumping across streams or anything. You really need to baby this leg for a while! Paul: Sure thing. Doctor: Well, Paul . . . let’s get you bandaged up. We’ll have you hobbling out of here in no time. Now . . . I want you to keep an eye on the swelling in the rest of the leg and foot. And get in touch with Dr. Phillips . . . She’s the physical therapist. Paul: Okay, Doc. Should I drop by here another day?
I remember thinking I didn’t know how I would live without this woman. Mike: I guess so! What happened? Matt: Well. You’re a lucky man. I just saw my aunt arrive. . She was in a bad mood that day . Mike: Have you guys settled on a date yet? Allison: We’re close . You deserve a great woman. Who popped the question? Was it you. I guess getting ready for the big question. Sorry to bail on you Mike. Did she bully you into this? Matt: No. On the invitation. Sometime next July. Mike: Okay. you were telling me how you kind of missed playing the field. Let’s grab a beer and join the party. There’ll be no chance to get cold feet at this sizzling hot summer party! Takes place at Turtle Beach. But come on. June 15th. And he’d been acting so strange. you two! Matt and Allison: Thanks! Mike: Looks like a good turnout! Matt: Yeah. It seems like you’re really getting your life on track. I almost left him in the park. when I got the invite. we’re happy so many people could come. . Mike: I tell ya. I almost lost my nerve—I thought she was gonna turn me down! Allison: He’s right . . Matt. Allison? Matt: I decided to be the romantic one. it was a real wake-up call. . To follow through on a big or life-changing decision. Matt: Thanks. Mike: Wow. To get married. right when you get here! Mike: No. It refers LESSON 6 Allison: Mike! You’re here! So glad you could make it! Mike: Wouldn’t miss it for the world! Matt: Hey. buddy! How are ya? Mike: Great! Congratulations. It’ll be a blast!”Wow. and since I’ve proposed. See you both in a bit. . Mike: Great idea.2 Tying the Knot Mike: Hmmm . or did you propose to him. You’ll be around. 2. I appreciate that. It hit me—she was the one for me. I really want this. Mike: So you two are finally gonna get hitched. Mike: Fair enough. remember that car accident Allison had? When I found out. seriously . Stress at work. can I ask you something direct? Matt: Ha! It’s not like you’ve ever been one to beat around the bush. To take the plunge. . . it has a double meaning. I feel like a million bucks. She’s a great person. It was the right decision. this is supposed to be fun. What’s this card? “Join us! Matt and Allison are tying the knot! Take the plunge with them Saturday. Matt: I know. You’ve done a complete 180. . This party is no stuffy ceremony. it really threw me for a loop. Matt and Allison are getting married! Didn’t see that coming. . won’t you? Mike: You can count on it. we’ll catch up later on. no problem. . and asked her there . I had a terrible migraine. But things have changed. To tie the knot. 1. everything has been perfect. Allison: Oh. I took Allison to the park where we had our five-year anniversary picnic. . Matt: Really. 7 . . Mike: I have to hand it to you. I decided I should either marry her or stop seeing her. so join in if you want to see the couple let their hair down one last time before the walk down the aisle! RSVP by Friday. Just a couple months ago. I guess I’ve settled down. June 22nd. Give it to me straight. Allison: Great. at their Engagement/ Beach Party.
To get married. To turn someone or something down. To bully someone into something. To beat around the bush. 18. I can’t afford to break the bank with this gift. sure . Giovanni: Yeah. consideration. Notice that there’s also the verb “to turn out. To decide something after discussion. I was thinking we could go to the mall and look around. Giovanni: Hey. To say “no” to someone or something. 21. To make decisions and take actions about something that will lead to a favorable outcome. 3. To grow comfortable and content in a routine or situation. 15. 5. humorous. Formal. To get something on track. . To celebrate in a free and uninhibited way. To have second thoughts. . 19. To leave a person or quit a project earlier than expected. To walk down the aisle. or negotiation. 26. He’s a real bookworm. To be direct and honest with someone.” 9. To bail. I was wondering—do you wanna go in on a gift for him with me? Giovanni: Yeah. depending on how you look at it! 23.” 16. Often. Briona: You know. To be sure something will happen. 11. Giovanni: When do you want to go? Briona: Friday good? Giovanni: Sounds like a plan. Giovanni. 17. 25. I thought it might have slipped your mind. . A turnout.both to a “plunge” into water at the beach party and to the fact that Matt and Allison will be getting married. To be something that changes your view of what is important or possible. These days. To be or become afraid to do something. 13. 7. 22. To lose courage. how about a gift certificate to a bookstore? Dad loves to read. Briona: What about a new grill? Giovanni: Bri. To lose your nerve. To get hitched. and Aunt Linda is on the case. Giovanni: Oh man. this expression is an informal. To force someone to do something. Briona: Me neither. . To pop the question. To do a 180. To surprise someone. Maybe something will turn up. Notice that you can also say “have cold feet. To get married. So. To not see something coming. To be surprised by something. To get cold feet. 14. To settle down. To depend on something happening. especially in a relationship with another person. 20. I’m not a rich guy. To play the field. To count on something. To confuse someone with something unexpected. See ya then. Overly conservative in ceremony and style. 12. and exaggerated way to say “to get married. To date someone informally. To change in a drastic way. but I don’t have a clue what we should get him. To turn completely around. Stuffy. To let your hair down. It’s Bri. The number of people at an event.” 4. To hand it to someone. To acknowledge someone’s achievement. 9 8 . To throw someone for a loop. LESSON 3 That’s a Weight off My Shoulders! Giovanni: Hello? Briona: Hey. To settle on something. To be seeing someone. To give it to someone straight. Briona: Yeah. this implies growing older and more responsible. To be a wake-up call. To propose marriage to someone. To be indirect in approach in order to avoid confrontation. I almost forgot! It really sneaked up on me this year.” 10. You can also say “to bail out on someone or something. 8. 24. Briona: Okay. or less fun-loving and free. 6. Dad’s birthday is coming up in four days . we already thought of that. To date many different people. To not expect something.
I’ll pay the rest. All right. To not have a clue. because he feels like he’s not in shape? Giovanni: Yeah . To move through a place and observe without the intention of finding something in particular. . Something that really knocks his socks off ! Briona: Big help you are! You know. Briona: Don’t push your luck! 1. Bookworm. . Bri. To spend all your money on something. ? Giovanni: I don’t know .” meaning “to train your body and become physically fit.Briona: Fine. and a membership to a club! Giovanni: Hmmm . . To try to get too much of a reward. we could get him a pair of running shoes. 10 4. Giovanni: No. 20. To throw someone a bone. To be on the case. so we should get him something good. To be exhausted. you’re a great help! Your optimism is beginning to get on my nerves. Briona: What a weight off my shoulders! Giovanni: Mine too! And since I inspired it. you should treat me to lunch. . Briona: Well . wait . To be beat. 11. . to be greedy. then WHAT?! Every suggestion I make. 22. To break the bank. To decide that a project. To already be working on a certain project. . To share the cost or expense of something with someone. 15. 8. . To call it a day.” 21. I’m beat. 23. To sneak up on somebody. To be ordinary or typical. To shock or surprise someone in a pleasant or happy way by performing beyond expectation. To not know about something at all. 5. Briona: Like . But how much will I have to shell out? Briona: Don’t worry . . . What do you buy for the man who has everything? Briona: Oh. To be coming up. 10. 9. Note that you can also say “to get in shape. To be commonplace. often in a patronizing way. . To be in shape. 19. To dismiss or reject something. 2. . to want too much. To pay. Pay what you can. To push your luck. . you could at least . Neckties? Giovanni: Can you get any more run-of-the-mill? Briona: Well. Hey! That’s it! Didn’t Dad say he wanted to start exercising. . 13. To happen in the near future. 16. By the way. to pay too much for something. A person who loves to read. . To stop working on something for the day. To give your opinion or share your ideas about something. To put in or give your two cents. To be run-of-the-mill. To get on someone’s nerves. To knock someone’s socks off. you tear to pieces. To be in good physical condition. 3. At least throw me a bone here! It’s not helpful for you to just shoot down my ideas! Giovanni: Well. To find fault with something or harshly criticize. To shoot something down. Maybe we should just call it a day. I don’t know what to get him either. . to empty your bank account to pay for something. . or situation is over. To go in on something with someone. To happen or be about to happen without someone’s realization or preparation. . To be about to occur. To tear something to pieces. To appear or be found. 11 . That’s not bad. 6. Without a doubt. To be forgotten. To make a small or token gesture of support for someone. such as an idea or a suggestion. To be a weight off your shoulders. you want my two cents? Briona: Finally! Yes! What do you think? Giovanni: It’s his 50th birthday. 12. Giovanni: This is hands down the best idea I’ve heard all day. To annoy or agitate someone. Hands down. 24. . to have begun working to achieve a particular goal. To slip someone’s mind. To insult. 18. 14. To turn up. 17. To shell out. To look around. you’ll hear many people use the past form “snuck” as well. event. To no longer be a source of worry or concern for you. usually a bit unwillingly. . 7.
. Rob: Me? You’ve got to be kidding. like little Mr. Let me see . Rob. . You’re still living with Mom and Dad. . then. Rob: I have eyes. You said you had the directions covered. I got you that job. Why did you say you’d handle the directions if you weren’t going to handle them? Andrew: Look who’s talking! The only reason I said I’d handle them is because I knew you couldn’t be counted on. It’s that you lean on everyone else and expect them to pick up your slack. We just need to get directions. but what you do there reflects on me. at this exit? Rob: Beats me . Rob. Rob: All right. I hooked you up with a great job at a place where I’ve worked for three years. Andrew: You think I’m a slacker? That’s a bit harsh. . Rob: Yeah. You’re 22 years old and your room looks like a train wreck. Rob: Okay. that’s bull. let’s not fly off the handle here. Andrew: How am I screwing up? I work my tail off there! Rob: Sometimes. you need to get off your high horse. You were a goodygoody as a kid. . Rob: No. . fine. . and you hardly ever lift a finger around the house to help out. Andrew: Yeah. but I’m also driving right now. Andrew: It’s just a shirt! Are you really that bent out of shape over my borrowing a shirt? You need to lighten up a bit. You still act like a child sometimes. I think you’ve become a bit of a slacker lately. I took them out to double-check something and forgot to put them back in. it’s true. Oh man. last week you needed to borrow one of my shirts for work because you didn’t bother to plan ahead and buy one yourself. I needed a shirt for a new job. .4 I Have a Bone to Pick with You! Rob: It’s not just the shirt. too. ? Andrew: What? Rob: While we were at each other’s throats you somehow managed to get us to Aunt Helen’s. let’s talk about the job. Let’s get it out in the open before we get to Aunt Helen’s place. You’re still trying to show everyone up. . I can see. Rob: But it’s the same thing at home. Rob: They’re not here. You’re the one who doesn’t give a damn about anyone around you. . You don’t even pitch in with groceries . We can call or ask someone for directions. What’s the deal? (Silence. Andrew: That’s insane. If you have a bone to pick with me. Andrew: What about it? Rob: Well. It must have slipped my mind . 13 LESSON 12 Andrew: Don’t we get off here. If I were such a slacker I wouldn’t even have a job. . what do you know . I think I put them in there. There’s no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill. You don’t take responsibility—you’re always passing the buck. . Andrew: All right. Why would you say something like that? What’s eating you? Rob: Well.) Andrew: C’mon. Andrew: That’s not true at all! And how would you know? You’re not even there. Rob: Hey. . . Rob: This is typical. Rob: So we’re lost? That’s great. If you screw up it really gives me a bad name. Andrew: Oh. yeah. Andrew: And I’ve thanked you for it like a thousand times. for instance. and you haven’t changed since. . Andrew: Oh. but you also sit around twiddling your thumbs a lot. Andrew: They should be . Andrew: It’s no big deal. And you also seem to find a lot of time to chat up the pretty girls who walk in instead of doing your job. You’re the one acting like a child. Andrew: I’m a salesman! I’m supposed to talk with the customers. Perfect. Just look in the glove compartment. don’t beat around the bush . Andrew. Andrew.
10. That’s her house there. 12. 20. To put the blame or responsibility on someone else. 6. Literally. To give someone a bad reputation. To do nothing. to handle something. To be very messy or in terrible condition. To be responsible for something. 2. excited. 21. To give someone a bad name. To air a complaint or a grievance. To pitch in. . To have a bone to pick with someone. . Note that this expression suggests that the reason behind the emotion is insignificant or not worth being upset about. Upset. 23. To get something out in the open. 5. 4. to pause or take a break from some kind of activity. or frustrate someone over a period of time. I have no idea. To arrange for someone to have something. To put forth effort to do some sort of physical work. To rely or count on. To be aggressively attacking someone. 1. The ride home is going to be long . 8. 19. Something untrue or unbelievable. To help someone obtain something or to give someone something. 16. To lighten up. Slacker. Beats me. To not care. To compensate for someone else’s shortcomings. To look like a train wreck. 14. To lean on. 26. 3. To appear as if destroyed in some kind of accident. 18. to have your hands clasped and to move your thumbs in circles around each other. Pretty good for such a slacker. An expression that suggests that someone is afraid to do anything wrong. To stop acting superior or selfrighteous. To pick up someone’s slack. 29. To stop doing something. Note that this is a shortened. Rob: Ugh. Note that some people consider the word “damn” to be harsh and impolite. To hook someone up with something. To try to appear better or more competent than other people.Andrew: Oh. To work very hard. to turn a relatively minor situation into something much bigger or more important than it should be. To pass the buck. To be at someone’s throat. To talk to someone. To be eating someone. to perform poorly. Goody-goody. 7. To make mistakes. 9. To offer help. An unflattering name for someone who behaves very well. Nonsense. Just don’t criticize my parking job. 30. A lazy or irresponsible person.” 11. To assist. To show someone up. Bull. more polite form of an expression containing a four-letter word. and never gets into any kind of trouble. To bother. “Bull” on its own is not considered vulgar. Andrew: Gladly. To exaggerate a situation. to be dependent on someone else instead of being self-sufficient. To not be overly upset or angry about something. To give something a rest. To twiddle your thumbs. 15. 25. I don’t know. 31. to share in a responsibility. To make a mountain out of a molehill. such as housework or bill paying. To take a more casual or relaxed attitude. so an alternate expression is to not give a darn. Annoyed or bothered by something. To be forgotten by someone. To be fighting with someone. 28. To fly off the handle. Rob: Just park the car and give it a rest for now. To have a problem or complaint about someone. To not give a damn. 27. To react too strongly to a situation. To slip someone’s mind. To screw up. 17. though. To work your tail off. 24. 14 15 . yeah. to discuss something openly. To lift a finger. To have something covered. aggravate. Bent out of shape. To chat someone up. To become extremely agitated. 22. Look who’s talking! An expression of disbelief or irony meaning that someone is guilty of something he or she is blaming someone else for. 13. This expression is related to the verb “to slack off. To put forth great effort. to show interest in someone by making conversation. is very responsible. or angry. To get off your high horse.
Salena: Dario. ma’am. Salena: Oh. I really just want to have these late fees taken care of. but no one is available right now. If you’ll just hold . . 17 . everything should be fine. so the payment is already late by the time I get them. . . . Kurtis: I’m sorry ma’am. I’d like to go ahead and cancel my card. That’s not right . . and . look. . LESSON 16 Salena: What a pain in the neck! It’s like pulling teeth trying to get anything done with them! Dario: What? Who? Salena: The credit card company sent another bill to my old address! Dario: Not again . Salena: This is the third time! I thought we got things squared away after the last time I called. . Kurtis: Okay. . ma’am. but my hands are tied. . I need to speak to someone right now. Dario: Sounds like they’re giving you the runaround. right? Salena: I don’t know . Every time I call I get the same story. I see that your address is listed as 47 Maple Terrace . Salena: Kurtis. Obviously. I shouldn’t have to pay them. I’ll have that on my credit record. and I’m very frustrated. . . Okay. . . and we’ll . but the problem is that your company keeps sending statements to my old address. Salena: Call back later? Are you out of your mind? I . but I’ve really had it with your company. and I’m really at my wit’s end. A few times in fact. I’d call right now. . Kurtis: Okay. let me just put through a change of address. Kurtis. I’m really sorry. Kurtis: Ma’am. . . but I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels every time I talk to someone in customer service. Kurtis: Hello. And if I ask to speak with a manager. Dario: Don’t do that . please don’t put me on hold. Now they’re saying I have to cough up 150 dollars in late fees! Dario: You’re gonna call and get that ironed out. I know it’s not your fault. Dario: If I were in your shoes. Address changed. Wait. . . I’m very dissatisfied. Salena: Okay. ma’am. Just one moment. that you just work there. . my name is Kurtis. I have to call back later because no one is there. Fine . I’ve been down that road before. Kurtis: I’m really sorry you feel that way. Kurtis: Okay. it’s like flogging a dead horse . I don’t mean to get on your case personally. . . . Salena: Kurtis. Kurtis: All right. please don’t feed me that line! If I’m such a valued customer. You are a valued customer. then I’d like to talk to someone who does. . . If you’ll just hold . I’ll . . . I’m sorry to hear that. . you know what. let me just pull up your account. But the statements are still being sent to the old one. but if I don’t pay. that’s my new address. I’m so tired of dealing with them. Salena: Well. If you’ll just let me put you on hold or call back later. Salena: No. I’ve got a good mind just to cancel my card. Kurtis: I understand ma’am. . there we are. Salena: Okay . . Call again and insist on talking to someone who can get it off your record. for crying out loud . but I do understand. . . You’ll see. I will cancel the card. Salena: Kurtis. I’m going to transfer you to our Cancellations Department. Kurtis. why can’t anyone take care of my problem? It really is beyond me how your company can call me a valued customer but continue to . I got a bill saying that I owe late fees. . and . I’ve been trying to take care of this problem for weeks now. . I’m not going to take out my frustration on you. .5 Like Pulling Teeth Salena: Yeah. I think I might just bite the bullet and pay the late fee. . Just cancel the card and refuse to pay. How can I help you today? Salena: Hi. . so if you’ll just hold . but unfortunately I don’t call the shots in that area.
especially if it was not helpful or pleasant. 12. Well. This expresses complete frustration about a situation. To give someone the runaround. 6. 10. To tell someone something that is not genuine or truthful. To be working in vain. To direct anger or frustration about something at someone who is not responsible for it. Al: But I thought you were crazy about cartoons! Remember that time we saw the movie “A Bug’s Life”? You were smiling during the whole thing . Al: Oh. . To have had it with something or someone. . 13. sure . to correct a mistake in a process.” 7. Pain in the neck. 3. 9. To get on someone’s case. At your wit’s end. To bite the bullet. 20. That’s big news. This expression is very often used in response to someone who proposes something completely unreasonable. To make the important decisions. To be in someone’s shoes. To feed someone a line. Beth: I’m sorry to spring this on you. 2. yeah! This comes out of nowhere.1. To accept a disagreeable solution for a difficult situation. Like pulling teeth. The same old story. 23. Um. To solve the various smaller problems of a larger troublesome situation. Annoying or bothersome. but I think we should break up. . 18. . 22. To call the shots. Al: Well. how . . A reason would be nice. To be putting forth an effort that is having no useful effect. 16. To avoid answering a question or giving someone help by treating them evasively or by misleading them. 8. . Al: Wow . Very difficult and tedious. . For crying out loud . To have experienced or tried something before. . To use a trite or clichéd expression instead of the truth. Completely frustrated and confused about how to solve a problem. why do you want to dump me? Beth: I suppose it would be fair of me to give you a reason. too. this is important. To be out of your mind. To have a strong desire to do something. Note that this idiom is often used with “beat” instead of “flog. 21. To fix a problem. . I need to get something off my chest. 19. To aggressively bother or nag someone about something. There’s Something on My Mind . Al: That’s good. To have a good mind to do something. It couldn’t wait. To be impossible to understand. . Beth: I’m breaking up with you because you’ve become a real couch potato. . Beth: Let me go first. what’s up? Beth: Well. but I had to talk to you. 17. To get something squared away. I mean . To tie up loose ends. because there’s been something on my mind. . sweetie! How are you? Don’t you normally work on Fridays? Beth: Yeah. To be unable to do anything to help a situation. 14. And the only thing you like to watch on TV is cartoons. Al: Hi. 15. The same explanation for a situation given over and over again. LESSON 6 Honey. To flog a dead horse. To be inclined to do something. To not be able to handle any more of a situation or person. 11. To be spinning your wheels. To be beyond someone. To have your hands tied. To pull up. To be crazy. to be unreasonable or irrational. To access a file or other information on a computer. Al: Okay. Well. to be completely unbelievable. . To take something out on someone. To have been down that road before. . 5. And you 18 19 . 4. To iron something out. To be fed up with. To be in someone else’s position or situation. All you do is watch TV. To do something that has no hope of succeeding or bringing about the desired result.
7 Now We’re Cooking! Host: Welcome to Now We’re Cooking!—where eating gourmet doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. too! We used to go biking and play tennis. There are empty pizza boxes from two weeks ago on your kitchen table. watching your cartoons! Al: So. and take you step by step from 21 20 . To bring something up. To be a turn-on. . . To end a romantic relationship. To seem to happen without any logical explanation or warning. Later. To be crazy about something. To cause an attraction. . 8. I thought you would grow out of it. To be on your mind. To be in seventh heaven. To break up with someone. . 3. To drive someone up the wall. Each week we break down culinary masterpieces from world-famous chefs. you said you had something you wanted to tell me? I suppose how you hate that I try to control your life and change you . Why didn’t you bring this up sooner? Beth: I thought it was cute at first . . to stop focusing on one person or thing and to start to think about someone or something else. usually physical. . to be very happy. To be something you think a lot about. To allow yourself to be in bad physical condition because of diet or lack of exercise. but I then I moved on! You’re still obsessed with cartoons. 10. 6. To annoy someone very much. and now you just sit around eating cereal. To turn someone on. often just watching TV. I just don’t want to see you anymore. Couch potato. To become accustomed to or familiar with something.” meaning to be accustomed to or familiar with something. . I wanted to ask you if you knew where I left the remote control for the TV—I haven’t been able to find it for weeks. . Al: Well. that’s not the point. 16. To dump someone. and I’ve never exactly been tidy . 15. LESSON 5. 2. 9. or unavoidable. Anyway . Didn’t you enjoy it? Beth: I thought it was cute. 14. To come out of nowhere. I thought I would get used to it. To grow out of something. To say something important that you’ve been thinking about a lot. To get used to something. (Silence) Beth: So . You never want to go out and do anything. 13. to introduce a topic in conversation. and your apartment is a pigsty. To feel wonderful. To spring something on someone. . 12. 18. It really drives me up the wall! Al: Mmmm . We stay here all the time. 4. . To let yourself go. . To stop being in a romantic relationship with someone.were in seventh heaven for the rest of the night. often ironically. It figures. To give someone unexpected news with no preparation or warning. 1. To move on. what else? Beth: You’ve really let yourself go. To get something off your chest. 11. To start to talk about something. to mean that some outcome is logical. expected. Al: No—actually. Notice that this expression is similar to “to be used to something. Beth: It figures. To like something a lot. But we’ve been going out for two years now. To become too old for something. 7. This expression is used. 17. To begin something else. To be the point. You never do the dishes or the laundry. To be the most important fact or consideration about a topic. to stop having an interest in something that used to be interesting. . A person who sits around and does very little physical activity. I don’t turn you on anymore? Isn’t it a bit shallow to break up with someone just over looks? Beth: But that’s not all.
Well. Okay. Chef Charbelle: While Beatrice finishes up here. as always. we invite a member of our studio audience to lend a hand in the preparation of the dish. . Host: That’s why you’re here. we mixed the cheeses and spices. As usual here on Now We’re Cooking! to prove that even amateurs can make meals to die for. . Host: Let me help you . Thank you for joining us. something that would stick to the ribs. boiled the noodles. Chef Charbelle is here with us to share his recipe and teach us a few tricks of the trade. Host: When did you first dream up this special lasagna? Chef Charbelle: About eight years ago. Beatrice . . I mean. . . Beatrice: Okay. Charbelle. I’ll show you a tray that I finished and baked ahead of time. and then we’ll pick up with our lasagna where we left off. Host: Incredible! It took some time. This is so that they don’t dry in weird positions before we get a chance to put the lasagna together. Chef Charbelle: You said it. but you really came up with something unique. We’re just gonna put down a layer of noodles. Lookin’ good. don’t forget what we always say here at Now We’re Cooking!—The devil’s in the details and the secret’s in the sauce! 1. to be on a roll with ideas.choosing the right ingredients to serving them up. Host: So. Chef Charbelle. So I went home that night and baked about fifteen trays of it until I came upon this recipe. and keep on like that till we fill the tray. let’s take a short commercial break. let’s get to it. . Welcome. Today we have Beatrice from San Diego. . the rest of this is really a piece of cake. That’s really the secret to top-notch cooking. Chef Charbelle: Certainly. Chef Charbelle: No. Folks. Beatrice. . you want to undercook the noodles . Brian. . Mr. (Commercial break. Now. 23 22 . in this case. Here Beatrice. let’s get started. Beatrice: Hello. then cheese. or any pasta dish that will be baked or re-heated later. I guess the proof is in the pudding! Or at least the lasagna. . and made a sauce from home-grown tomatoes. Today we’ve got a lasagna by our guest chef Vincent Charbelle that will knock your socks off. it’s really out of this world. . . Host: And we’ll make it all from scratch . Just give it your best shot. To show the world that you too can make exquisite food. I was eating at a friend’s party and realized how lifeless most people’s lasagna is. Chef Charbelle: Now to give this lasagna some kick. I’ll try it. Host: That’s right. Chef Charbelle: Thanks for having me. .) Host: Hello. You caught them in the nick of time. then sauce. Beatrice! Beatrice: Thanks. . welcome back to Now We’re Cooking! During the commercial break. Host: Well. For lasagnas. Can our cameras get a shot of that? Now that’s a lasagna you can sink your teeth into! Thanks. you did fine . Beatrice. So now we’re ready to put this baby together! Beatrice: I think I over-boiled the noodles. That’s all for our show today. Beatrice: Okay. Brian. Chef Charbelle: Absolutely. Welcome. you try. Host: Are you ready? Beatrice: I’m really a terrible cook. and all with fresh ingredients. Chef Charbelle: You might notice that Beatrice has laid out the noodles flat while we were waiting to use them. . To be on the right track. you want to lace the lasagna throughout with a grated cheese that has bite . Host: The lasagna we’ll make today is your own recipe? Chef Charbelle: Yes. that brings up a good point. Host: Great. to be making very good progress. Beatrice is using a nice robust pecorino cheese. To be cooking. but wouldn’t weigh you down. I wanted a lasagna with zip. This prevents them from getting soggy when you re-cook them later.
6. it looks expensive. 9. psychological. Orlando: Well. Do you want to try it on? Jade: Wow. To make someone feel slow or tired.2. not for me. you’re right. How about these jeans? Nice cut. flavor. To lend a hand. Something to sink your teeth into. . little by little. To invent or conceive of. . . To stick to the ribs. don’t exaggerate. and kick are all used to mean the same thing. Tricks of the trade. The secret’s in the sauce. To be substantial. A saying that means that the true measure of how good something is can only be judged once it is made or done. 18. To weigh someone down. Note that zing. To help. To break something down. I don’t think so. Jade: Forget about it. . To come up with. To create something original. If I’m going to wear bargain basement clothing I want to be the only one who knows it. Orlando: I don’t know. It would turn too many heads. 13. 24 LESSON 8 Fits Like a Glove! Jade: I’m so tired of shopping! Trying to find the perfect clothes for me out of the hundreds of things we’ve seen is like looking for a needle in a haystack! Orlando: Oh. . . 17. We’d probably have to pay through the nose for anything we find. . from basic rather than prepackaged ingredients. it’s a bit low-cut. A saying that means that the secret that makes something special or valuable is hidden or not immediately visible. Let’s check it out. 11. Unless you want to cough up $150 for a pair of pants . to need a hand. I’m not wearing that in public. and you know you’re the jealous type. bite. 3. Jade: Just drop it! Orlando: Okay. Information that experienced people in a field know that makes their work easier or the product of their labor of a better quality. 23. 5. You’re the one who’s always complaining about your clothes being out of style. Let me see the price . in private then . To be very expensive. . To dream up. Right . To come upon. . . Spiciness. etc. Orlando: All right . basic. A saying that means that changes in seemingly small or minor elements can make a big difference in the outcome. to spread out. Also used in reference to non-food items. 7. Said of something experienced as a weight—emotional. Wait . those clothes in the window aren’t exactly my cup of tea. Hey look! That place looks nice. To arrange in a flat position. . The proof is in the pudding. . Orlando: Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or what?! Don’t be such a wet blanket. 15. Jade: Okay. 16. 21. Orlando: Hey. 22. Plus. To divide something into smaller parts in order to explain it or understand it more easily. tanginess. 19. 12. Just in time. . Something to die for. 10. . . don’t you think? And you can see right through it! Won’t leave much to the imagination . 14. . etc. Step by step. To cost an arm and a leg. they don’t cost an arm and a leg . I think it might be kind of hot. 8. Outstanding. We’ll give it a try. The devil’s in the details. what about these pants? Jade: Hmm . by hand. To discover by accident. to ask for a hand. Jade: Yeah. One piece or part at a time. look at this blouse. Zip. I let you drag me out shopping so you can keep up with the trends. so this is all for you. To try the best that you can. . with no extra time to spare. . To be filling. 20. Something that is amazing or great. To give it your best shot. . Not usually used with reference to sweet foods. Notice that “a hand” can be used to mean “help” in other expressions—to offer a hand. . From scratch. Those aren’t bad . Something of substance or depth. 4. . incredibly good. 25 . In the nick of time. Jade: I don’t know . Top-notch. Out of this world. Just as I thought. To lay out. . We haven’t seen that much. Homemade. but they look like cheap knockoffs. Of the highest quality. physical.
check out these pants. or it can be used generally to mean to try something and see how it feels or works. An expression meaning that people are judged by their appearance. It’s typical of something I’d wear. To follow new fashions or trends very closely. Orlando: I think they’re unusual. to cover less of the body than usual. Low-cut. To see or find out about something. (Pause) Orlando: Well. Why don’t you just try them on? You might like them. I told you it would be impossible to find . Notice that you can extend this idiom to “try something on for size. art. 12. Orlando: Speaking of which. patterns. Describing something that is overly designed—clothes. To check something out. To cough something up. Unenthusiastic or disagreeable. I like to make a nice impression. Unlike anything else. 26 27 . They fit you like a glove. 14. To be in a bad mood. Hand them over. Physically attractive. 2. to cause people to turn and look at you. all these pockets. The clothes make the man. 4. To give a certain impression. To try something on. 6. wallpaper. Unique. but those pants look great on you . really one of a kind. A cheap and low-quality reproduction of something expensive. 25. 10. 21. To wear a piece of clothing to see if it fits properly or looks nice on a person. or say. do. Bargain basement. Hot. One of a kind. but these pleats. 11. . .Orlando: Oh. including especially the clothes they choose to wear. No longer in fashion or vogue. Said of clothes that reveal a lot of skin. 9. these look fine. Knockoff. or to stop talking about something. 24. Wet blanket. or that are nearly seethrough. 22. Jade: Yeah . sexually appealing. To throw on. 18. I’ll try them on. The area of a store where older sale items are displayed for discount prices. etc. why do you give a darn what other people think? Jade: Didn’t you always use to say that the clothes make the man? Orlando: Well. all right. They’re really great. To keep up with the trends. To turn heads. To wake up on the wrong side of the bed. To be pleasing or interesting to someone. 3. 8. . let’s have a look! Can I see them on you? Jade: What do you think? I don’t think they’re me.” It can mean the same thing as to try an article of clothing on. To drop something. To pay through the nose. This expression is also used to describe any cheap or low-quality clothing. To be beautiful. To put clothes on hastily and thoughtlessly. To pay a lot of money. 23. 16. to suggest a certain attitude or style. 5. . Jade: Oh. Looking for something that is very difficult to find. To come off as. they’re a bit busy. to come off as someone who cares about the way she looks. Why are you frowning? We’ve finally found something that looks great! Jade: Now we have to find a top to go with it! 1. 13. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination. To forget something. lacking the appropriate attitude or spirit for a particular situation. Describes clothing that is cut to reveal skin. It’s representative of me. Out of style. To convince someone to go or come somewhere they don’t want to be. Make a nice impression. . 17. Jade: Well. Busy. . now I’m reformed. 15. To be someone’s cup of tea. 19. especially money. Like looking for a needle in a haystack. 20. come on. To give people a favorable idea of who you are. To find the means to provide something. Orlando: I hate to burst your bubble. I just throw on whatever’s clean and out the door I go. It’s very me. To drag someone somewhere. To fit someone’s tastes or interests. 7.—or has too many elements. that are very tight. And besides.
27. as you know. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I’m still not finding the time to get everything done. To be no more. 2. To cut corners. To like something very much. I’m burning the midnight oil six days out of seven. To be all about something. To talk about happier issues. To suddenly get very angry with someone and yell. And even though I’ve really buckled down and begun to study. 15. They’ve been at it since they were kids and I’m still green. The other day. or time on something. rowing is old hat. To be up to one’s eyeballs in something. To blow up at someone. I thought I’d try my hand at a new sport and joined the university’s rowing team this semester. To explode. When I said no. To not have a prayer. To be awake and doing something late at night. Coach said yesterday that if I keep at it. To try something for the first time. To go with something. but thought I didn’t have a prayer since. a difficulty. To be between a rock and a hard place. I’ll write again soon. And. 11. To break. turned on his music and started to do yoga! Anyway. How are you? It’s the end of the semester and I’m really under the gun. a hindrance. he got up. I’ll scratch yours. To bite off more than you can chew. money’s not so good now that I have to save for a new computer. he blew up at me. That made my day. he asked to borrow my car for a six-hour drive to visit his girlfriend for the day. To behave in an illogical or crazy way. effort. What else? Oh! My old computer finally bit the dust. To be in a position where you can’t do what you want to do because you’re caught between two options that are both difficult or disagreeable. To have a lot of or too much of something. Dear Mom and Dad. and then that night. To fail to spend the proper amount of money. as if the thing that fits were made specifically for that person. To commit yourself to more than you can handle. Love. What a pain in the neck—right at the end of the semester! It really puts me between a rock and a hard place. To burst someone’s bubble. to work very hard and seriously at something. that’s all for now. To be very interested or active in something. You scratch my back. about an hour after I had turned in for the night. but it’s only open until 11 p. I’m up to my eyeballs in work. But 29 . Said about a situation in which two people can benefit from each other’s help. I’m a shoo-in for a position on the competition team. I don’t think he’s playing with a full deck. so I have to ask my roommate if I can use his computer. 9. To die. I’ll scratch yours.m. Well. On a more positive note. I wanted to be on the competition team next semester. 13. Brad 1. and he then gets mad if I don’t agree to them. I try to use the computers in the library.26. 12. To match something. because I’d just have to replace it soon anyway. 14.“you scratch my back. To fit someone like a glove. The amount of reading my professors assign is ridiculous. for most of the guys on that team. To buckle down. 5. To be an annoyance. 16. To be something someone is accustomed to. I don’t want to cut corners and buy a cheap computer. my job. I never make it there on time. Between school.” but the favors he asks of me are usually outrageous. the guy is a bit odd. To be under pressure or stress. To not have a chance or hope. To look nice together with another thing. To try one’s hand at something. I always say. To disappoint someone. To be a pain in the neck. You know. 10. To turn in. To go to bed. 18. On a positive note. To be old hat. To fit someone perfectly. LESSON 28 9 I’m Up to My Eyeballs in Work! 3. and that. 28. To give someone disappointing news. With that decision. 8. 4. To be crazy. To not be playing with a full deck. But as you know. the only time I find time to study is late at night. 17. To dedicate yourself to an activity. To be under the gun. Each will do the other a favor in order to get what he or she wants from the other person. To bite the dust. Personally. or to turn in for the night. 6. 7. To burn the midnight oil. I’m all about this rowing thing.
To run into somebody. Not like with your own kids at all. How d’ya mean? Frank: Hardheaded. 31 LESSON 30 10 She’s Got You Wrapped around Her Finger. Said of children when they greatly resemble one of their parents in personality or behavior. To pay the piper. Frank: Heya Alan! Long time no see! How’s it going? Alan: Good. 11. same old. To turn your back on someone. To be the best or most likely candidate for something. 4. No. . To have a taste of one’s own medicine. To be a shoo-in.” 9. Ready. 1. 6. 21. Bobby’d have a fit. 8. she gets that same look in her eye Bobby used to get when he was a kid. To have the same traits or characteristics as another person. To be green. Alan: For sure . it’s not MY kid! So I caved in and gave it to her! Ice-cream for breakfast! Can you believe it? Alan: Yeah. 22. Note that this expression can also be used figuratively. To be expecting a child. I tell ya. or pride. Can’t turn your back for a minute before they’re already up to something. interesting. highly prepared. to turn away from or look the other way. I’m having a blast being a grandfather. You get to be a pushover without any of the guilt! Frank: Yeah . alert. To be on the receiving end of behavior that one has subjected others to. joy. Did he say Stacey’s got one on the way? Frank: Sure did. or amusing person. Frank: Yeah. after a long time of not suffering any consequences. Often said ironically. To take after. I thought. Literally. huh? That’ll give him a taste of his own medicine! All those years causing trouble in the neighborhood! Frank: Yep—time to pay the piper. Well. Notice that you can also say “keep at” something. A chip off the old block. meaning to abandon or stop caring about someone. To be new or inexperienced. Just here getting the ol’ ticker pumpin’. Something else. . 13. . the girl got it in her head that she wanted ice cream at 9 a. Don’t keep up with ’em like I used to. A chip off the old block. Involved in some kind of mischief. Alan: Ya don’t say. On the ball. Up to something. But then. Planning something.! She was set on it! At first I thought . I’m hooked when it comes to this grandfather business! Can’t wait for the next one. To engage or take part in something. I was baby-sitting. But I tell ya. To be pregnant. Hardheaded. They had a little girl ’bout a year and a half ago. . 10. to show that you don’t find something as interesting as someone else does. Two hours and I’m bushed. meaning to continue to take part in something. It’s really something else! Alan: So she takes after her father. Alan: I remember when my kids were that age—you’ve really got to be on the ball. A piece of work. . A complicated. 12. Like the other morning. To suffer the consequences of your actions. An expression used to show mild surprise. Stubborn. Alan: Hey—I ran into your son Bobby the other day. You don’t say. . 3. it’s easy to buckle when it’s your grandkids and not your kids! Sounds like she’s got you wrapped around her finger! Frank: Yeah. To cause someone great happiness.m. 5. To meet somebody unexpectedly.19. like saying “really?” This can also be a sarcastic expression. 20. . hey. What about you? Frank: Same old. To have one on the way. About four months along with their second. An expression meaning “something noteworthy” or “something interesting or worth discussion. To be at something. To make someone’s day. A piece of work. just like Bobby. and when she’s up to somethin’. 2. 7.
thank you very much. So. Tobias: But it still seems to me that this is all a bit premature. I think I’d prefer to keep a low profile. Tobias: Hey. to exert far too much influence on someone. . Don’t hold your breath. I guess it’s written in stone. . but I get the impression that this account has major potential. then. And of course. He wants to see a few different proposals by next week. . . I don’t want to have to be swamped for a week over something that might not even come through. No pink slips for me. right. 33 . To lose control of your emotions. To be easily convinced or persuaded.“hooked” can also mean “addicted. You’ve hit the nail on the head . To have a lot of fun. To be very tired. To influence someone very greatly. 15. Wilson has a big project for us. LESSON 32 11 That’s Putting the Cart before the Horse. . you could bring that up to Wilson. To be hooked. and most of the people there will be transferred here. actually. To go at the same speed or pace. I have a lot of work to do for our existing accounts! Sandra: Well.14. We can get in touch with some of the people we already use. Sandra: Yup. to be aware of changes or current conditions. 23. To cause someone to be obedient to you. but . He’s just covering his back. . Hanson Tech? Well. Well. To have someone wrapped around your finger. Sandra: Not to mention keep your job. They offered early retirement to all of the people whose positions were being eliminated. Set on something. Tobias: Ah I get it. To be bushed. Tobias: Yeah. Plus. he’d probably just jump down my throat. Well. I’ve been hearing about that through the grapevine for a while. When it comes to something. Tobias: Makes sense. Regarding. with regard to. to be convinced of something. Make a few phone calls to corporate and . 18. Sandra: Oh . In the context of drugs or alcohol. To keep up with something or someone. 17. 20. but I have the feeling that it would fall on deaf ears. they didn’t give many people the boot? Sandra: None. we’re going to be taking on all of the accounts that were managed out of Plainfield. and a lot of people at corporate have their eye on Wilson. and everyone leaped at the chance. Tobias: Yeah. . it can’t be his fault. . Sandra . . Sandra: What is? Tobias: The fact that we’ll all be staying late and eating a lot of take-out over the next week. I guess it was win-win. So. Sandra: Right. To be persuaded. Fixated on something and determined to have it. I got a bit bogged down with the budget forecasts. . Sandra: Or you could just go over his head. Sure. To display your anger. 22. To be a pushover. hold your horses . . Tobias: Whoa. what’s next for us? Sandra: You’ve probably heard about that big account they’ve been trying to win. Tobias: A big project already? What’s that? Sandra: Wilson wants us to set up suppliers and shipping for Hanson. To give in. Tobias: Plus. To have a fit. 21. Tobias: Gee.” 24. 19. or concerning something. then. To enjoy something very much. To have a temper tantrum. to change your mind. . If anything goes south with it. 16. Suppliers and shipping for an account we haven’t won yet? Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? Sandra: Probably. Could you fill me in on the meeting this morning? I couldn’t make it. Tobias: Yeah. He gets like that when he’s feeling cornered. To allow yourself to be persuaded or tempted. To have a blast. Wilson officially announced that the Plainfield branch will be closing next month. to have a great time. To cave in. To buckle.
To happen. the one that happened right in front of the tollbooths. 7. 17. but instead bring it up with another person who is higher in authority. 12. 35 . Here it is used to mean “lay someone off. Pink slip. To have your eye on someone. LESSON 12 Like a Bat out of Hell Officer: So. To get something. Cornered. To do nothing that would draw attention to you or distinguish you from others. 11. you’re both telling me this was a hit and run. Win-win. Jessup: I did. Hold your horses. Jessup. To end or stop because of problems. Mr. I have to admit I was rubbernecking a little at the other accident. Threatened. suggesting that the person you’d like to talk to won’t care about your complaint. Bogged down. to materialize. To go south. To become responsible for something. To fall on deaf ears. What he said is about right. To watch or examine someone closely. To leap at the chance. And I guess he didn’t see me coming up from behind because he swerved back into my lane. Mr. To take on something. 16. To make someone leave. Fixed. 3. To learn of something through an unofficial channel. To overreact and attack someone verbally. 8. He sped up to go around Mrs. To make it to an event. To give someone the boot. I noticed he had been riding her tail for miles. Here you go. To not wait for something to happen with much hope. To understand something. 9. To attend an event. 18. Officer: Can you tell me what happened? Mr. and this guy comes barreling out behind Mrs. To fill someone in on something.1. 2. to be very willing to accept an opportunity. Jessup and I pulled over and so did he at first. 19. He ended up sideswiping Mrs. 34 22. 13. To go wrong. Mrs. Feeling as if you don’t have many options left. To come through. but the other guy was gone like a bat out of hell. To not confront someone about a problem. or he didn’t like it. Jessup: That seems to cover it.” 25. to perform a step before its appropriate time. To be pointless to mention. To jump down someone’s throat. 15. Randall: And the other guy wasn’t expecting it. 10. we were coming out of the tollbooths. Written in stone. A situation that is beneficial to everyone concerned. To inform someone of something he or she missed. I slammed on the brakes. unchangeable. Officer: So. I must have been in his blind spot. Jessup: Yeah. opinion. Jessup. Officer: What about you. Wait. 4. To do something out of logical order. Randall: Well. To be very shrewd and cautious in protecting yourself against being held responsible for potential problems. I see we’ve got a little fender bender here. To be eager to do something. Did either of you manage to get his license plate number? Mrs. 5. Mrs. Move more slowly. 14.” 6. Very busy. 21. Then we got out of our cars to swap information. firm. but I ended up nailing him from behind anyway. 24. To identify the important issue or main point of a situation with precision. To cover your back. Busy. To hit the nail on the head. Randall: You can say that again. Jessup here. to send someone away. or problem. The full expression is “to get a pink slip. Swamped. To agree to a new responsibility. Notification that you’ve been fired. involved in tedious details. and then he tried to pull in front of her to cut her off. To not hold your breath. To take steps that will protect you in the future. To put the cart before the horse. 20. To keep a low profile. To hear something through the grapevine. or a win-win situation. ma’am? Can you tell me what happened? Mrs. 23. to become a real event. To go over someone’s head.
To be looking at. To hit or do damage to someone. A part of someone’s field of vision that is obstructed. 15. To rubberneck.Officer: Well. Officer: Well. To bark up the wrong tree. and I’ll have you right out of here and back on the road in no time. 24. In many of these cases. Jessup. you might be barking up the wrong tree. . I’ll just radio this in so we can track him down. 1. To give someone a piece of your mind. license plate numbers. I thought I was looking at a lawsuit. 11. To ride someone’s tail. To follow someone at an uncomfortably close or dangerous distance. To total a car. 12. etc. 21. To wait. To be involved in something wrong. or unethical. To be in a position to expect something. To speed up. come up from below. 3. Mrs. 20. A car accident that causes minimal damage. To track someone down. Usually it is a negative and harshly critical opinion. 5. Mr. Hit and run. Notice that you can also say come up from the side. It could have been a lot worse. etc. Blind spot. To accelerate. To come up from behind. To slam on the brakes. 19. To sit tight. To cut someone off. 26. because you might have been charged for damages to this guy’s car . To sideswipe someone. 6. To take someone to the cleaners. To lose sleep over something. 14. 23. To swap information. illegal. To be seeking something from the wrong source. To take off. To depend on a beneficial or positive future event as if it were certain. Like a bat out of hell. 17. 8. 13. Mr. To approach someone from behind. the perpetrators run because they are usually caught up in other illegal dealings or because they don’t have insurance. barrel down. To pass in front of someone very closely and prevent them from moving ahead. lucky for you Mr. . To count your chickens before they hatch. usually only to the front or back bumpers. To drive slowly past the scene of an accident while turning your neck to see what happened. Mrs. To leave quickly. Mrs. 25. Randall: That’s a relief. He could have totaled my car! Officer: Well. Randall: When you get him. To hit someone with the side edge of something. To fight for economic compensation until the other person has no more money left. barrel in. but because he took off from the scene of the accident. 36 37 . at least no one is hurt. To drive one’s car to the side of the road in order to stop. 7. To leave somewhere very quickly. Fender bender. you won’t be held responsible. if repaired. You two sit tight for a moment. 9. Notice that this expression doesn’t necessarily have to be used for driving only. To feel upset or guilty about something. Randall. 2. barrel along. To be asking for something from a source that cannot or will not provide it. Notice that you may also hear barrel up. To worry about something. 22. To give someone your opinion about him or her or something he or she has done. especially after a car accident. A car accident where the person responsible for the accident leaves the scene before the police arrive. To find someone by following clues. To be caught up in something. 16. Officer: If you give me a minute. Jessup: Fantastic. It was brand new. To inflict damages that. I wouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch. To press the brake pedal in a car forcefully and suddenly. and insurance company information. To pull over. If you expect compensation. 4. 18. so that things in this area cannot be seen. even though it may not happen. Jessup: And I won’t lose any sleep over taking him to the cleaners for my car. would cost more than the value of the car. to be patient. To exchange names. To nail someone. To barrel out of somewhere. Moving in a fast and almost crazy manner. 10. usually with little attention to your surroundings. I won’t have any problems giving him a piece of my mind. phone numbers.
and are chomping at the bit to buy it. To talk something over. value. to be a very small portion of some much larger total. To do something slowly and carefully. and to have a nest egg for retirement. You’ll really clean up. York: So what aren’t you happy with? Mrs. To make a very large profit. . To look at. York: Yes. . I’ll have everything right at my fingertips. York: Let’s not forget. to become higher or larger. though. even if we end up hating it here. . I’ll make myself scarce and wait for you outside. But we should remember why we’re doing this . dear . . anytime you make an investment. Mr.” To have an extreme. Besides. We just don’t want to rush into anything . there are two other couples who are eyeing the place up. If you decide to buy. 4. price. . To take your time doing something. York: Do you think we could have a couple minutes to ourselves to talk things over? Realtor: Of course. examine. York: From what I’ve seen. . for what you’re getting. To be burned. To clean up. To eye something up. 7. the kitchen is small. Realtor: Sure. and tell him it’s a go. To be small in comparison to something else. angry reaction. 10. . To want to buy something. we’ll almost surely make money—if not for the house. To get a lot of value for your money. To chomp at the bit. To think about something. 6. Mrs. . . if we move. York: It really is lovely. it’ll go through the roof. 8. What do you think? Are you in the market for such a wonderful house? Mrs. To be a steal. . what you’ll pay now is a drop in the bucket compared to what you could eventually sell it for. . Mr. to make a lot of money. York: I thought maybe you were hung up on the kitchen . 1. in a couple of years. Mrs. To go through the roof. . York: So what is the problem? LESSON 38 It’s a Steal! Mrs. To be a great bargain. To consider a situation. To go up. To be a drop in the bucket. 13. . . York: Oh. . And I do love that hot tub out back. . I know how you like your space in the kitchen. . And. But I will say . .“What’s the catch?” Mr. because the buyer’s market has never been better. this place is a dream come true. To discuss carefully in order to come to a decision. the scenic location. With reference to money. 5. . Mrs. Mr. or consider visually. 11. or hurt. then for the land. and Mrs. then? Mrs. so much money! We could lose our shirts with this! Mr. . . They would like to see the place next week. but that’s not a problem. 3. To increase. York: We’ll keep that in mind. you want to strike while the iron’s hot. . To strike while the iron’s hot. . We want to take our time with this decision . to be looking to buy something.13 Mr. York: We’ll make an offer. York: Nothing in particular. York: Let’s find Martin. . . you’ve seen the place three times now. 2. To be in the market for something. I keep thinking. We wanted to simplify our lives. fooled. To take advantage of a favorable opportunity. 12. You won’t find a better deal. York: You’re right . It does seem perfect—too perfect. but keep in mind. The value of this land is going up daily . And from what Martin tells us. dear. York: It’s just . York . To not rush. 39 Realtor: So. Mrs. Realtor: I should mention. right?! . To mull something over. it’s his job to talk the place up. 9. Mr. But I think we’d like another week to mull it over. To be betrayed. especially after expecting a positive outcome. it’s a crapshoot. I guess I always get cold feet before any big decision . it means “to become very high. the amenities—the place is truly a steal. We’ve been burned before. Mr. To be very anxious or eager to do something.
Well. . sure. Madeline: Ah. To make yourself scarce. this feels more like home to me than the city. ) Simon: Ah. Simon decided to take the scenic route. . In fact. now. 23. (A bit later . I had a bad case of writer’s block. Madeline: So. In other contexts. To lose a lot of money.14. what a great way to kick off our weekend in the country. something so good it’s as though it came out of a dream. 16. It’s a little bit off the beaten track. To talk something up. At first I was really afraid that it wasn’t going to pan out. You can freshen up. Simon: So. Jeff: Well. even in the middle of nowhere. so in a way. . I can feel myself unwinding already. When I bought the place. too. 41 LESSON 40 14 Off the Beaten Track Jeff: Simon! Madeline! Welcome! It’s great to see you guys! Madeline: Hi. Madeline: Your directions were perfect. I still have a little place in the city. but all in all I’m really happy to be out here in the boondocks. there are things I miss. Now there’s a way to end a long drive . but this is where I hang my hat for now. To find fault with something. I’ve really needed to recharge the batteries. Jeff. Jeff: Uh-oh. . 22. but giving me the cold shoulder at the same time. to identify a weakness or a drawback in something. . 18. Simon: I’ll say. sometimes I felt like a fish out of water in the city. To remember. A crapshoot. Jeff. and of course it will be a cold day in hell before Simon here stops and asks for directions. At your fingertips. Jeff: And here you both are. named after the dice game. A dream come true. of course. Rude when said to someone else. Thanks for inviting us. I didn’t know anyone. To be hung up on something. then? Jeff: Well. a fiesta in the country! I can’t wait. Madeline: Hey. a captain is only as good as his navigator. I think I stuck out like a sore thumb. I grew up in the country.“a catch” is a person who would be good to date. I’ve been looking forward to some R and R for a long time. Nest egg. but I told you I could wing it and find my way here. A sum of money saved up and set aside. A drawback or negative quality that might not be obvious. I’m glad to be able to offer you a weekend getaway for a break from the rat race. congratulations! Let’s have a toast to that! Simon: Yeah. Simon: And it must have been rough starting from square one when it came to a social life. come on in and shake off the dust. To become financially ruined. To leave. . how is the big change working out for you? Have you felt much culture shock moving out to the sticks like this? Jeff: No. Readily available. That’s why I love being out here so much. And sorry we’re a bit late. To speak highly of something or exaggerate its value. To consider. Something wonderful. Of course. We can relax on the porch and catch up as the sun goes down. A catch. that I’d really made a terrible mistake leaving my job and moving here to write. A chance or risk. . But then I snapped out of it. you’re here full time now. . Simon: And how’s the writing coming along? Jeff: It’s great . cheers! Madeline: And what about the locals? Are you meeting nice people here? Jeff: Oh. not at all . To praise something verbally. and I’ve actually just finished my manuscript. Madeline: Yeah. Simon: Yeah. Simon: Well. 21. 19. We just got a little mixed-up coming off the interstate. and I’ll whip up some of my famous guacamole and a drink or two. 20. To keep in mind. 17. To lose your shirt. too. . to move away from someone. because everyone knows everyone around here. Did I not give you decent directions? I know it’s hard to find this place. 15. People always seemed to be sizing me up.
14. Madeline: The guacamole? Jeff: Hey. The rat race. To be very visible or obvious. Simon: And speaking of which . as if you had been walking for a long time and were covered in dust from the road. To whip up. Notice that you can also say “off the beaten path. I could really get used to this. of course not. To examine or evaluate someone. in a fast and improvised way. I had a secret weapon. Simon: So. 5. A place to go to for the weekend where you can rest and relax. 19. A weekend getaway. To catch up. this is the life! 1. dealing with the stresses of life. 8. To do something without following instructions or directions. that was not easy. so I brought as much of the stuff as I could make. how did you break the ice? If I know you. Rest and Relaxation. Confused. 20.” 3. . The middle of nowhere. To snap out of it. The total system of life centered around working hard—commuting. We’re not on the clock here. To improvise. Reaction to a very significant change in way of life. Jokingly. you put on a big smile and had new friends lined up at your door in no time. A rural area. . when’s dinner? Jeff: Whenever we want. It will be a cold day in hell before something happens. 12. no honking horns . . no sirens. especially someplace wild and far away from people or towns. 24. you just started handing complete strangers bowls of guacamole? Gee. to get lost and take a long time to reach a destination. To unwind. hard to get to. or psychological fatigue. 11. To size someone up. To recover after a state of confusion. Off the beaten track.Jeff: Yeah. 22. 10. To shake off the dust. except to make small talk. The people who live in a certain place. you’d think that would raise a few eyebrows . Madeline: Great. 15. The locals. As soon as people started tasting it. faraway. . Madeline: So. Jeff: Actually. 2. To wash up and relax. I could sit here all weekend. a place to feel at home. To talk and share recent news after not having seen someone in a while. To rest and compose yourself after a long trip. A place to hang your hat. To pan out. 18. R and R. To tidy your appearance and overall condition after something tiring. To begin something. Simon: Yup. 42 7. Mixed-up. To rest and regain physical and psychological strength. and not very well known. worrying about bills. To be successful. Remote. not in your natural environment. the rural areas far away from cities or big towns. 25. 4. The sticks. To relax and free yourself from stress. A fish out of water. 13. Around here. to draw attention to yourself because you are different in some noticeable way. To take the scenic route.” 21. 6. To wing it. I told you it was famous. The country. especially visually. There was actually a good oldfashioned town picnic. struggling to be successful and get ahead. etc. No lights. To stick out like a sore thumb. A very remote place. To recharge the batteries. . Simon: A secret weapon? What’s that? Jeff: You’re eating it. sadness. 26. A place to call home. The local people. Culture shock. 23. to work out well. 9. No one reached out to me. 17. Out of place. The country. at least. To prepare something. Jeff: No. especially food. To freshen up. 16. It is highly unlikely or improbable that something will happen. To kick off. 43 . I had all sorts of welcomes and invitations to dinner! Madeline: So it’s true that the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Note that this expression is often shortened to “the boonies. . The boondocks. because that sunset is gorgeous.
To make insignificant conversation with someone. To break the ice. On the clock. My name is BJ. Keith: I hear ya. . . BJ: Likewise. they were already unhappy with me before. I guess I wanted to make a clean break. So I have to find new ones. I wanted to leave that job ages ago. 31. since I’m new. On a strict schedule. Showing up late was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. BJ: So what do you have in mind now? Keith: I was thinking of going back to school or taking writing classes. Are you new to the city? BJ: Yeah. To raise eyebrows. in a nutshell. Right now. Hope it turns out well for you. Lined up at your door. I’ve never considered that before! Why not? I might do that. you lost your job? So what did you do? Keith: I was working for a magazine. Keith: What do you teach? BJ: Dance. Eager and in large numbers. to ignore someone. Keith: Well. To bring attention to yourself. to cause people to notice you as someone different or unconventional. I have nothing but free time now. Four blocks that way. but I’ve never been sure I’d be good at it. especially on purpose. In any case. to put forth an effort to communicate with someone. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf myself. Keith: I’m Keith. right? BJ: Here’s my number at the studio. I’m sorry to hear that. Lots to do today! Keith: Good luck. especially only to be polite.Well. 33. Notice that this expression is similar to “stick out like a sore thumb. I’m sure you’re being hard on yourself. BJ: Wow. guess I better hit the road. The old students stick to the teachers they had before. To fail to be warm and welcoming to someone. BJ: Ya know. 35. Go ahead. I was just fired from my job. dance classes. Keith: Wow. I want to start taking some classes too. Mostly salsa these days. Nice to meet you. To start from square one.” but there’s a hint of a moral judgment with “raise eyebrows. BJ: Oh. Fourteenth and First Avenue. You see. Traditional. to start a process from the very beginning. I wanted to be a writer when I got out of college. Uff. you know. BJ: Thanks. To put an end to a time of silence or lack of communication. 28. To make small talk. I don’t have many students yet. actually. BJ: Really? What is it you do? . Good old-fashioned. by the way. I took this job as the assistant to an editor. . To initiate a conversation or friendliness with someone. . I guess. Excuse me. Could you tell me where the nearest subway stop is? Keith: Uhh. yeah . Keith: I’ve always been interested in learning salsa. . I teach. 30. To start again. You should come by the studio sometime and check out our classes. start over. I was wrong. To reach out. 45 LESSON 44 15 Turning Over a New Leaf BJ: Hi . BJ: Oh no. But it’s just to get on my feet until I get a break in performance. and a block to the left. 32. To give someone the cold shoulder.27. Actually. things are a bit up in the air at the moment. BJ: Do you mind me asking why you got fired? Keith: I showed up for work late one too many times. Keith: What brings you to New York? BJ: Well. I have two left feet. The truth is. Keith: No . come on. To extend a welcome to a person. . I just moved here two weeks ago. especially on working time. thinking it would be a foot in the door. 29. Keith: No big deal really. I kept putting it off out of laziness. Do you mind if I take a load off? I’ve been walking forever.” 34.
I can help you get the ball rolling. This expression introduces an afterthought. that’s an admirable goal. To be strict or difficult with someone. 15. Concisely and quickly explained. Give me a call. 6. You seem to brush them off like they’re games. Father: Actually. It will be a way to get your feet wet in business until you find something on your own. . It is used before saying something that is somehow related to what’s already been said.” 9. 19. An event or thing that by itself is insignificant. LESSON 1. To be looking up. To seem positive. to suggest a positive outcome or improvement. but you can’t go about it with your head in the clouds. To be up in the air. To have two left feet. To turn over a new leaf. I’d like to get you a job working at my company. to start fresh. To delay something. Maybe we can have coffee sometime. you’re smart. 13. In a nutshell. To arrive. To have an idea or conception about something. To hit the road. To have something in mind. To get a break. You’re not taking your graduation very seriously. To be hard on someone. especially while dancing. I guess things are already looking up . but you don’t seem to be thinking at all about your future. To stay with someone or something. but added to other problems is just enough to leave a big impact or cause a big change. Patrick: Well. 3. You’ve got to start to make your own way in the world soon. 14. We can’t put this off any longer. 12. you know. To make a clean break. Keith: Yeah. Keith: Gee. 18. To begin a new project or period in your life. And you aren’t putting away any of your money. to postpone something. To be in a situation that could lead to better opportunities. It’s my money. I’m tired. . To rest by sitting down. To be ungraceful. 17. 2. You need to start 46 47 . I’ll call you. To have a foot in the door. emotionally. 16. it’s no skin off your nose. 4. . By the way. You have to get a real job. To get on your feet. If you’d like. to procrastinate. We can’t support you forever. Notice that you may also “get a foot in the door” or “give someone a foot in the door. BJ: Cool. You burn through it and live paycheck-to-paycheck. To show up. Patrick: Fine. to be demanding. To forget about something in the past. 16 Face the Music! Father: We need to talk. What? Father: We want to talk to you about your life. Patrick: It’s like talking to a wall with you two! How many times do I have to tell you? I don’t want to work in business! I’m going to be a writer. To begin to travel or move. Father: Patrick. etc. 5. No big deal. Patrick: Give me a break! I do have a job. 11. Mother: You’re hardly ever home. To become stable financially. you know. Patrick: Here it comes . that would be great. Father: Patrick. To put something off. The straw that broke the camel’s back. To take a load off. Not important. To be given an opportunity to do something you want to do. socially. You stay out too late. Patrick. To set off on a trip. To stick to someone or something. 10. to move in a clumsy or awkward way.BJ: Nice talking to you. Patrick: Can this wait? It’s after two. Father: You need to be more responsible. See ya. 7. you’ve had three different jobs in the last six weeks. right? Mother: Yes. . to be overly critical or disciplinary. To not have direction or definite shape. 8.
The point is you are twenty-three and haven’t had a decent job since you graduated. Your father is just being dramatic. 6. because your mother and I have decided it’s about time you moved out. Patrick: What?! Father: Time to face the music. Mom? 1. To live paycheck-to-paycheck. Patrick: Oh. To get started doing something. To be of no concern or importance to someone. To fail to affect someone. To earn only enough money to meet weekly or monthly bills. to act. such as money. 48 2. it’s my life now. 12. does that mean I can drop my laundry off here for you. . to try something out. To fail to take something seriously. 18. we’re glad you think so son. 16. I can’t believe this! Father: Your mother just wants the best for you. 15. and if you . To have your head in the clouds.somewhere concrete. judgment. Welcome to the real world. To not matter or be important in the current context. To be a dreamer. We’ll be there to help if you need it. . To detach yourself from someone or something that you used to have strong influence or control over. To say “it’s no skin off your nose” means that there’s an inconvenience only for the speaker. Just because you don’t get along with Marcie! Father: Patrick. To use something very fast. 10. To get along with. To behave in an agreeable way with someone. or to perform in a situation or with a certain goal. To wake up and smell the coffee. It’s sink or swim. . To put something away. it’s true that we don’t see eye to eye with you on girlfriends. To get your feet wet. To cut the cord. Mother: Wake up and smell the coffee. But this is not about Marcie. To sell out. Neither here nor there. to not be able to save or spend on nonessentials. To not be the point. To treat something as unimportant or inconsequential. Father: Well. . This is about you taking charge of your life. This expression may also communicate the opinion that something should have been done a long time ago. To get the ball rolling. To save something. Marcie hasn’t set very high goals for herself in life. No skin off someone’s nose. We’re doing this because we love you. 14. Okay . Father: Honey. To agree. But your relationship with Marcie is neither here nor there. 7. To hold back criticism. . 13. To acknowledge the reality of a situation. To become responsible for something and make active decisions about it. . It’s about time. the way I see it. 8. 4. Let’s just . That’s what this is all about. . . To handle. So. Communicating with someone who doesn’t understand or listen. To get experience. 5. I don’t want to sell out and work for a corporation! Mother: Who put this idea in your head anyway? Was it Marcie? Patrick: I knew it. You two have to cut the cord. To give someone a break. Patrick. 11. To brush something off. 20. but none for the listener. son. or effort against someone. Patrick . To make your own way in the world. To be the right time. with little care for future supplies. to fail to be realistic or pay attention to realistic needs. 49 . and I’m the only one who should have to worry about it. Patrick: Must you constantly be on my case about this? Look. To take charge of something. To see eye to eye. of course not. Patrick: I’ve told you a thousand times. Patrick: Oh. 3. To go about something. 17. To betray your principles for money. 9. we agreed we’d focus on the job situation first. The image is of a baby being physically attached to his or her mother by the umbilical cord. But it really is time for you to face the real world. Like talking to a wall. to be responsible for your own needs in life. 19. Patrick: You’re just cutting me off ? Mother: Oh. but even before that you need to earn a living somehow. To burn through something. To support yourself.
. To not be accomplished. . To let off some steam. You still feel up to it? Logan: I do . . To give someone a break. 3. But in the meantime. Art: Uh-oh . . I hope. 4. To be gone. To have the desire to do something. Logan: I’ll think about it and let you know. To stand someone up. I said I was sorry. 9. I’m starving. To leave. I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off all week. we’ll meet in about an hour and a half? Logan: Perfect . I definitely need to let off some steam after this week. Guess I’ll just zone out for two hours . . . Art: All right. Art: Logan! There you are! Logan: Hey Art . To prepare a place in order to leave it. What else can I do? Logan: So . To cut someone some slack. 22. do you? Logan: Nope. Logan: Uh-uh. To face the music. then. . To fall through. There was an emergency.21. To be in a situation where you must either perform your best or fail. It wasn’t my fault plans fell through at the last minute . . . To not show up for a date or appointment without giving the other person advance warning. To be understanding of someone’s situation. . To do something in order to apologize. . . Art: You don’t let a person off easy. especially something that you’ve done wrong. No zoning out . . . Logan: How about catching a flick? . To bail on someone without warning or trying to make up for it in some other way. . anxiety. and that about evens the score. I told you I had to pick up my niece from soccer practice. 10. . . Hmmm . . something low-key. . . or pressure. Art: What do you mean? Logan: Dinner’s on you! 1. To leave someone high and dry. 11. 2. While waiting. Art: So . how ’bout grabbing a bite to eat before the movie. To compensate someone for something. To sink or swim. 6. Art: I was almost out the door too. you’d like to make it up to me . Art: Okay . all right. . . Glad you caught me . . 51 LESSON 50 17 Let’s Catch a Flick. What a headache! Art: Same here. To not work out. So. Logan: Don’t be such a sexist pig! You know . To be quietly angry about something. . are you? Art: Are you still stewing over that?! Cut me some slack. then I remembered you wanted to get together this weekend. In the meantime. . Logan. Logan: Great . there is that new romantic comedy with . 23. To be out the door. I was just packing up shop. Then Grab a Bite. . To cut someone off. . . . To fail to do something that someone else was depending on. I’m gonna ask for a play-byplay when the movie’s over. To confront or accept unpleasant realities or consequences of bad actions. . 8. Art: Oh. but you’re not gonna stand me up like you did last week. Her mom’s car broke down . To stop someone’s supply of something. To release or let go of built-up energy. Logan: Any ideas? Art: I dunno . But we never see eye to eye on movies. . . . In the time that passes between one event and another. To feel up to something. 7. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse right now. To pack up shop. Logan: You left me high and dry ten minutes before the concert started! Art: Logan. often money or support. 5. What’ve you got in mind? No chick flicks. . To make it up to someone. To stew over something. . I KNEW it! Logan: Hey! You owe me! Art: Fine. .
but has nothing to back it up. 14. . march in there. To be someone’s responsibility. . I’m not sure. . To be so hungry you could eat a horse. what’s your take on the situation? 53 . you and that job? A match made in heaven. . To be very hungry. Brad: Listen . Simple. To zone out. you’d be good at the job. To allow someone to get away with unacceptable behavior with only a light punishment. I’m earning peanuts now. and that he was sure he was a shoo-in for the position. To stop thinking or become unaware of one’s environment. I just want to make sure I’ve got all my ducks in a row before I step into her office. 19. Jolie left and they are hard-pressed to fill the slot quickly. . You’d be perfect for it . I worry that I won’t be able to take on more responsibility. to make things even. and that position won’t actually be open for another three months. . either as they happen or after the fact. Used humorously. and then be stuck here. Stephen: Well. A similar expression is “to let someone off the hook. Brad: What ducks?! You need more money. I really need this new job . A play-by-play. 13. Stephen: And I don’t want to jump the gun. Relaxed and quiet. Plus. A romantic or emotional movie. Stephen! So what’s the word?! Are you gonna go for the Sales Director position? Have you talked to Bonnie yet? Stephen: Well. LESSON 52 18 Take the Bull by the Horns. . That job has your name on it. Go tell Bonnie that you want that job! Stephen: Yeah. and with the baby. . . 20. as if without reason or thought. People in the same boat have been canned before. And you’ve got all the qualifications. I don’t want anyone to get the idea I’m not content where I am. A chick flick. It wouldn’t be like a new job at all. as opposed to an action movie or thriller. . . It will mean more to take home at night. or to not punish him or her for a mistake or misdeed. . there’s always a good and a bad time to do these things . . . Thing is. Plus there are some things that need to be fixed on the house.12. . To let someone off easy. and I just can’t afford to do that anymore. I already have my fingers in too many pies. You know what your obstacle in this is? You’re not assertive enough. 15. Brad: Hey. and problems with the car that I’ve let sit on the back burner for ages . suggesting (chauvinistically) that these movies appeal mostly to women. To settle things. to arrive at a fair resolution between two people. Low-key. I mean. usually outside of the house. 16. Larry talks a big game. . Moving around quickly and crazily. . . I heard Larry say he was going for the job. I don’t know . . .” This means to not hold someone responsible for something. Brad: Listen. Just take the bull by the horns. it’d be more like a promotion. . I just can’t seem to make ends meet. I’m still mulling it over. Like a chicken with its head cut off. 22. especially financially. Stephen: Exactly. all you’ve got to do is step up to the plate. And you’ve definitely got Bonnie where you want her . if you ask me . 21. Brad: Okay . Brad: I hear ya . Stephen: Maybe. To be “on” someone. A moment to moment description of events. . That kind of took the wind out of my sails. he’s a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to managing people. . To grab a bite. To see a movie. there’s also the issue of my family life. Brad: Well. To catch a flick. or at least passed up for promotion later on. 18. . To eat a snack or light meal. To even the score. but I want to be sure that I’ll get the position before I ask . and present yourself for the position. 17. . . They need someone. there’s no time like the present . .
Maya: What’s happening? Father: Well. to not be taken care of immediately. To take the bull by the horns. A take on something. . bull . to lend evidence or strength to something. To make ends meet. To have everything orderly and planned out. To talk a big game. . To make yourself responsible for something. . To jump the gun. 11. we’re having a rough time of it. To present your best attributes and qualities. To earn very little money. I’m sorry I haven’t called in a few weeks. . 19. Father: Hello? Maya: Hey Dad! How are ya? Father: Maya! Glad you called. 4. To be hard-pressed. Brad: Put your best foot forward. To support. To back something up. To be put off. your mother is feeling a bit under the weather. 9. To have someone’s name on it. To be inexperienced or new at something. To be on the back burner. I was so far behind in my schoolwork. To take on. To do something too early. horns . . 3. He seemed fine. LESSON 19 Just Checking In . to act responsibly in a time of need. An opinion or interpretation of something. to tell the truth. Father: Don’t worry. Maya: You’re kidding! I talked to him only two weeks ago . To earn enough money to pay for one’s expenses. . She’ll be back on her feet in a day or so. . To get or have someone where you want him or her. To step up to the plate. Maya: That’s good. To have your ducks in a row. Remember . 12. To have your fingers in too many pies. To fill a slot. Maya: I hope she gets over it soon. To be or get fired. Maya: Just checking in . 5. . . . 10. 2. to act too quickly. To belong to someone. . 7. To hire a person for an open or available position. To approach a situation directly and with determination. 23. What’s been going on at home? Father: Your mother and I were planning on calling you today to give you some bad news. To maneuver someone into a position or situation that benefits you. To exaggerate one’s abilities or powers. To earn peanuts. . . To fail to consider for something or to grant a reward for something. 17. To be pressured by extreme necessity to do something. To put your best foot forward. 15. . 14. 20. . 54 55 . she’s caught a bug is all. . Maya: Oh no. Father: Seems like a 24-hour thing . 22. In the same boat. In the same situation. 18. 13. How are things going? Father: Well. To be wet behind the ears. . To volunteer yourself. To be perfect together. Go for it! 1. to agree to an obligation. 8. . Maya: What happened? Father: Your great uncle Bill just passed away. 6. To be a match made in heaven. it took me some time to get up to speed for my midterms.Stephen: Do you really think so? Brad: Absolutely. 16. I think. To pass up for something. 21. To take the wind out of someone’s sails. To be committed to too many goals or projects. To take away someone’s enthusiasm or hope for something. to be the logical or rightful property or achievement of a particular person. To be or get canned.
18. 2. But your aunt says it was worth every dime . To feel ill. To visit the family of a deceased person in order to show you care and tell them you are sorry. To take a plane to somewhere. And how is Aunt Helen taking it? Father: You know your aunt—she’s hanging in there. To bend over backwards. to feel better after a difficult situation. To do more than is required or expected in order to help someone.Father: Yeah. To not attend your normally scheduled activity. To catch a bug. To have negative consequences for someone. To recover from sickness. or letting someone know that you’re okay. look after. To catch someone unprepared. To go downhill. Do you think you can catch a flight home? Maya: I don’t have Friday classes. Maya: All right. . To take something. To become sick with a cold or flu. and his health took a nosedive. To take a nosedive. to feel healthy again. He was smiling right up to the end. . Maya: Is there anything I can do? Father: You might want to call your cousin. 17. But he got an infection. To feel or be under the weather. sometimes on short notice. or take care of. . To take off from something. 57 . medication. such as work. 21. Bye. To respond to something. 8. . we were sure he would pull through. what with the funeral and all. Father: Not just that. To become worse very quickly. To pull through. Your aunt says she’s not eating and won’t talk to anyone. 12. Your aunt Helen said one day he was fine.” 6. Maya: I can’t believe this. the next day he was gone. She said the folks at the hospital bent over backwards to make them feel comfortable and at home. To happen without expectation or by surprise. Dad. To react to a situation emotionally. 4. To pay your respects. and I’ll take off from work. To pass away. To handle something as well as can be expected. And Uncle Bill didn’t suffer very much. Is there anything else? Father: Yes. 16. To be worth every dime. 10. 3. 11. we’ll be paying our respects this Friday. 1. 20. To become bad very quickly. To experience difficulty dealing with a situation. To check in with someone. To catch a flight. To be up to your neck in something. To take a toll on someone. To be up to speed on something. doctors. I will. Maya: This is terrible. To catch off-guard. To have a lot of something to deal with. to feel less than healthy. To deteriorate. Hospital. . It seems this is taking a big toll on Jackie. 7. To know or have all the necessary information about something. To no longer suffer the pain or discomfort of something. Father: It caught everyone off-guard. To be expensive.“to move on. To be back on your feet. 15. give me a call with the details and I’ll come and pick you up at the airport. 14. especially a very difficult situation. To get over something. Father: Okay. 13. But she’s up to her neck in bills. It costs a pretty penny these days. To be a reasonable match of value and cost. . Maya: Okay. To overcome a temporary difficult situation. I’ll be there in the morning. including a serious injury or illness. To die. He went downhill fast. Maya: You think she’ll talk to me if I call? Father: It’s worth a shot. Maya: I can imagine . This expression can also mean. To cost a pretty penny. To have a rough time of it. 9. 19. 22. To be hanging in there. To talk to or visit with someone for the purpose of saying hi. Notice that “nose-dive” is also a verb. . 56 5.
Pretend your knees are springs. . Literally. Marcus: You know what . . Mina: Right . . . Let them bend with the curve of the terrain. from the top this hill looks a lot steeper than I thought . . . Don’t be stiff. Marcus: Here I come! Mina: Wedge! Marcus: Whoa! Mina: That was great! You’re really batting a thousand! Marcus: I can’t believe I just did that! I’m actually taking to this skiing stuff! Mina: Like a duck to water! Marcus: Would you say that I’m poetry in motion? Mina: Well. . actually. . . . All right. they can be a distraction . You’ll really do a number on yourself if your body’s tense when you hit the ground. . . . good. whatever . When you hit a bump . Drift towards me . Now lean back. . . . there might be a couple of small ones . Marcus: Yikes. . it’s more about balance and your knees. Hey! What are you doing?! Mina: You’ll be here all day. . . pretend your knees are like springs. . . and make up your mind to follow it. . if I let you . I think you should know . ) Mina: Now. . but yeah . Marcus: Like this? Mina: Yeah . . don’t worry. Marcus: Well. Marcus: There’s falling involved?! Mina: You’re bound to fall . Mina: Same goes if you fall . . . . But soon enough. I must have a screw loose—I can’t ski! I’ve never been one to do anything athletic—I’m just gonna throw in the towel now. maybe not quite yet. You’ve always been my closest friend . . . . Marcus: Hey! Look at that kid! She’s not using any poles! Mina: Yeah. . You’re just learning . . so . . . Mina: Just keep your shirt on! You haven’t even tried yet! Don’t be such a stick in the mud! Here. Mina: Best thing about a day on the slopes is the evening. I’m just giving you a bit of a jump start. 59 LESSON 58 Marcus: I can’t even stand up on these things! Mina: Relax . . . Now to stop . . Mina: They always do . Marcus: Very funny. . Let’s go up to the top. Don’t try so hard. . and . you’re going to sleep like a log. . Whatever . . . . . my friend. you just have to see your path down. . . . Here we go . . . Let’s give it a whirl . Poles help balance. Now . Marcus: Uhh . Mina: All right. . Maybe you should . what do I do then?! Mina: Just go with the flow. . . My legs won’t let me. . . . . of course . Mina: Listen. . (A bit later . if I buy the farm on the way down. Now get going. It’s all downhill from here . . . . Good. First thing you want to do is bend your knees. but when you’re learning. .20 Just Go with the Flow! Marcus: No way . They’re my security blanket. . . Doing great. . . . . . Tonight. ready to get this show on the road? Marcus: Don’t I need more practice? Mina: This WILL BE your practice. Marcus: Mina. make your skis into a wedge shape. . . . . . . . Marcus: I can’t move. Anyway . Marcus: Sure . you have the basics. . and just let yourself slowly come to a stop. . . take my hand. . . . . Marcus: There’re bumps?! I thought we were on the bunny trail! Mina: We are . worst thing is if you’re stiff when you fall . . I’m keeping the poles.
To get the show on the road. To be batting a thousand. To provide help. 11. To give something a jump start. 3. To give something a shot.To find an interest in. To take to. To be bound to happen. To not worry or try to anticipate the future. To start doing something. Like a duck to water. 4. To quit. To be crazy. 14. To throw in the towel. 5. 16. To be extremely likely to happen. Relax. To die. A stick in the mud. To buy the farm. To decide. even if it does not actually provide safety. 7.Marcus: You wouldn’t! You’d really push your best friend down a ski slope?! Mina: See you at the bottom! Marcus: Whoooaaa! 1. To stop doing something. Something that makes someone feel safe. Someone or something that moves gracefully. 19. To be one to do something. 6. A security blanket. motivation. This expression is used to communicate someone’s typical or characteristic behavior. To sleep so well that you hardly move. Everything is easy after this moment. A boring person. 17. To be at ease doing something. To be thinking unreasonably. To be on a roll. To go with the flow. To take things as they come. or incentive to start something. To begin something. This expression is usually used in a lighthearted or joking way. 13. 9. Be patient. 2. 12. It’s all downhill from here. 60 . To have a screw loose. 15. To make up your mind. to learn that you enjoy something. To act as if you’re in your natural environment. Poetry in motion. To give something a whirl. Keep your shirt on! Remain calm. Someone who’s uptight and spoils the fun. to be certain. Note that this can also be used sarcastically to imply that someone is doing poorly. Notice that this expression is most commonly used in the negative. 8. To sleep like a log. 10. To be performing very well. To try something. 18.
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