Learn Australian English in this episode of the Aussie English Podcast where we go through some fast English fluency training with 59 greetings and goodbyes in English to help you improve your pronunciation and listening comprehension in English.
G’day, guys. What’s going on? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
I’m in the car about to go for a drive, but I wanted to do the intro to this episode.
We’re going to be learning fast English, guys, spoken contractions.
How to sound like a native speaker.
We’ll be doing it slowly, and then we’ll be doing it really fast.
Let’s get into it.
G’day, guys. Pete here from the Aussie English Podcast.
Today, I want to train you guys to start speaking English faster.
So, this is going to help your pronunciation, but it’s also going to help your listening comprehension when you come across those English speakers who tend to speak a little too fast.
This video’s going to help you.
So, I’m going to say these greetings and goodbyes first slow,
I want you to repeat, and then I’ll say them fast, and I want you to repeat again.
So, let’s give this a go.
4. Good day
5. How is stuff?
6. How are you?
7. How is things?
8. How are things?
9. How is it going?
10. How do you do?
11. How is it hanging?
12. How are you going?
13. How (are) you going?
14. How are you doing?
15. How (are) you doing?
16. How have you been?
17. How (have) you been?
18. What is up? – S’up?
19. What is new?
20. What is the news?
21. What is news?
22. What is going on? -> s’goin’on?
23. What is the gossip? -> What’s the goss?
24. What is been going on?
25. What is happening?
26. What has been happening?
27. What the latest news?
28. What is the latest (news)?
29. What have you been up to? – Whatcha bin upta?
3. Bye bye!
5. (See you) later!
6. See you later
7. See you soon
8. See you
9. Catch you later
10. Catch you
11. Catch you soon
12. See you later on
13. Catch you later on
14. Chat to you later
15. Chat soon
16. Talk to you later
17. Talk soon
18. Have a good day
19. Have a good one
20. Take care
22. Peace out
24. See you on the flipside
25. Take it easy
26. Until tomorrow
29. Au revoir
So, there you go, guys. That is obviously in an Australian accent.
That isn’t every single different combination of greetings or goodbyes.
I’m sure there are other ones.
But this is going to be a big step for you guys to learn to pronounce things more like a native, to get those contractions happening and that spoken English to another level.
Okay? So, keep repeating, keep listening, keep repeating this exercise and eventually these sentences will just come out naturally, or you’ll hear them and you’ll know exactly what people are saying.
Okay? So, I hope you enjoy this, guys.
If I’ve forgotten any, make sure that you comment below and let me know, have you heard any other greetings or goodbyes in the English-speaking world?
Chat to you soon!
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode of Aussie English I teach you guys how to use the expression “To head + direction”, such as “to head to”, “to head north”, “to head out”, “to head down”, etc.
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Ep068: Expression – To Head + Direction
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I’m going to run you through an expression, an expression that I use quite a lot in English, and that a lot of other native English speakers use all the time, and the expression is “to head somewhere”, “to head somewhere”.
So, “To head somewhere” just means to move somewhere, to move in a particular direction, and it’s often substituted in instead of verbs such as “to go somewhere” or “To come from somewhere”, “To come somewhere”, depending on the direction you’re going. And this expression also, “To head somewhere”, it’s often paired with words such as, “To head to”, “To head from”, “To head up”, “To head down”, “To head north”, “To head south”, “To head west”, “East”. So, it’s often paired with a word that infers a direction. “To head into”, “To head out of”, “To head over to”, you’ll often hear it like that. So, some example sentences we should go through first. Um… you could say things like, “I’m heading to work”, and this just means, “I’m going to work”. “I’m heading north up to the coast for the weekend”, “I’m going north up to the coast for the weekend”. So, you can see there it’s paired with “North”, suggesting that you’re going up, or you’re going north in that direction. “I’m heading out tonight to go clubbing”, that just means, “I’m going out to go clubbing”. Ah… “We’re heading into a tunnel”. “We’re going into a tunnel”. So, this would be like if you’re in a train or something and you’re about to enter a tunnel or you’re about to go into a tunnel, you could say that you are heading into a tunnel. And then when you’re coming out of that tunnel on the other side you could say, “Hey, we’re about to head out of the tunnel”. So, “We’re about to head out of the tunnel”.
Um… a few more examples, “I’m heading to Pete’s place this arvo.” “I’m going to Pete’s place this arvo”, it’s the same thing. “We’re going over to Pete’s place”. “We’re heading to Pete’s place”. Ah… “Each day I head to uni at 9am.” “Each day I go to uni at 9am”. “How’re you getting to the party mate?” “I”ll head there from work.” So, “How’re you getting to the party mate?” “I”ll go there from work”.
Cool. So, there’s not really much more to it guys. It’s just the kind of verb that you will hear all the time, “To head somewhere”. “To head up”, “to head down”, “to head north”, “to head south”, “to head to”, “to head from”, “to head into”, “to head out of”. You’re going to hear this all the time in native[ly spoken] English, especially spoken by Australians I think.
Um… So, I thought I would run you through a substitution drill here at the end where I will say sentences using the verbs “to go” or “to come” and you have to try and change the sentence to use the verb “to head” instead of the verb “to go” or “to come” that I will have put into this sentence. So, try and repeat the sentence after me with the verb “head” and then I will say after that one the proper sentence so that you can check that you were correct. So, listen and repeat after me guys.
I go to work everyday.
I head to work everyday.
We’re going to the party tonight.
We’re heading to the party tonight.
They’re going to the servo to get petrol.
They headed to the servo to get petrol.
And a side note there, you’ve got to remember that “Servo” is “A service station” where you buy petrol, and diesel and fuel for your car.
I’ll go to yours in the arvo.
I’ll head to yours in the arvo.
And remember there that “Arvo” means “Afternoon”.
Are you coming to his?
Are you heading to his?
When are they coming to the pool?
When are they heading to the pool?
The train is going into the tunnel.
The train is heading into the tunnel.
The surfer’s coming out of the water.
The surfer’s heading out of the water.
I might go in for the night because I’m tired.
I might head in for the night because I’m tired.
Did you want to go out tonight?
Did you want to head out tonight?
I’ll go there from work.
I’ll head there from work.
We’re going up the coast for a holiday.
We’re heading up the coast for a holiday.
The train’s going south to Geelong.
The train’s heading south to Geelong.
I’ll go downstairs once I’ve cleaned my room.
I’ll head downstairs once I’ve cleaned my room.
The family’s going north to the NSW.
The family’s heading north to the NSW.
Are you coming down to my place later?
Are you heading down to my place later?
So, that’s probably enough substitution drills there for you guys today. Um… they may be a little bit difficult because I’ve tried to say these drills today at my natural pace, and with my more natural Australian pronunciation. So, you’ll probably notice when you go back and listen again that they have been said pretty quickly and that I’ve also joined some of these words, I’ve used the contractions that I would use when speaking such as saying instead of “Want to” I’ve said “Wanna”, all that sort of stuff. So, if you’re finding it difficult remember that you can download the transcripts online and you can read the transcript while you’re listening to these episodes and practice, and then later you can always listen to these episodes again without reading the transcript in order to keep practicing and keep learning English, and yeah, keep practicing my pronunciation if you want to learn an Australian accent the way that I speak. If you don’t, and you just want to be able to understand how I’m speaking, and the words that I’m saying and how I’m saying them then just repeat the sentences in your own accent as you would after I say them.
Anyway, that’s long enough for today guys. I hope you’re enjoying the episodes and I’ll chat to you soon. All the best.Post Views: 146
By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode of Walking With Pete I talk to you guys about two introduced pest species in Australia, rabbits and foxes, as well as the unrealistic language learning expectations many English natives tell me they have when I ask them why they don’t learn a foreign language.
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Walking With Pete: Rabbits, Foxes & Unrealistic Language Learning Expectations
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode… ooh!
G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I’m out in the park standing in a bit of a, sort of, a ditch. Not a ditch, but a big sort of drop in the land to try and get a little cover from the… from the wind. There’s a whole heap of wind today, and I wanted to go out for a walk but um… realised I couldn’t really record very well without getting a whole heap of “shhhh” kind of sound in the background whilst trying to record the episode. So, I found a little hidden away um… area that kind of dips down away from the wind next to the hospital. So, it’s acting as a windbreak. And, I thought I’d come and stand near these trees where there were a lot of lorikeets but as soon as I started recording the episode they just flew off. So, you’re not going to hear them squeaking in the background unfortunately. But there’s a whole heap of animals here at the moment. There’s a whole heap of magpies and some other birds sitting on the ground, look for worms and other insects, other animals. And there was also a rabbit just running around, which is kind of weird. You don’t really see rabbits around in Australia during the day. They’re an introduced pest species. So, I think they’re a massive massive problem, or at least they were a massive massive problem in the past, especially for farmers because they would… they would dig up a lot of areas and make what are called “rabbit warrens”, and a rabbit warren is the… it’s the name that um… we give their little homes that they create like mounds of dirt full of holes, like dig… they dig burrows in the ground, and that’s a warren. They create the warrens to live in. And so, yeah. Rabbits are a massive problem here in Australia and they’re out of control. And partly… part of the problem is that Australia cleared a lot of land in the last century or two centuries, the last 200 years. We’ve cleared a lot of land to create ah… grazing areas. So, areas and fields for… for animals, domesticated animals as well as farm animals, to live on and for us to grow them and farm them on, especially cows and sheep. They’re two of the biggest um… probably two of the biggest… Hopefully you can hear this magpie singing. Bit of wind. This male magpie has come right down next to me and is singing in the background. Um… yeah so we have a lot of cows and sheep. They’re probably two of the largest um… livestock animals that are farmed here in Australia. And… two other birds fighting. And because we’ve cleared so much land to grow these animals on, to graze them on, so that there’s a lot of grass for them to eat, as a result of doing this there’s a lot of land for rabbits to dig up and turn into warrens. And so, they’ve… they’ve sort of exploded in numbers as soon as they were introduced here by the English when they first arrived in Australia as a food source. So, the English brought the rabbits here and let them go as a source of food. So, that they could go and hunt the rabbits, and then bring them back and eat them. And as a result the rabbits soon, you know, spread across the entire continent of Australia and became a massive pest species, because not only did they sort of follow the farm land that was cleared, and then, you know, do really well on the farm land that was clear, but they also… they also pushed a lot of other species that were in that same niche. So, other species that dug burrows. The rabbits would sort of take that… that niche, that area, and push out native species. So, a lot of other native species had to either, you know, were displaced. They had to move and find other homes, and eventually ran out of homes to find. Or yeah, they were just directly outcompeted. And another problem was that foxes were also introduced about the same time. Foxes are the… they Australian ah… introduced fox species is the um… I think it’s just that red fox that you get from Europe. And that was introduced, again, from England, from Europe, as a species for us to hunt. So, they have fox hunts in the UK still, I think, today where they get on horses and they have hounds, and they, you know, let a fox go or they just go and hunt a fox and find one and then kill it. They did that here in Australia but as a result, just like the rabbits, the foxes just went off and, you know, escaped into the wild, went and bred, and pretty much took over the entire continent. So, we have not only a massive rabbit issue here in Australia as an introduced pest species that does a lot of damage to the land, but we also have a massive problem with introduced foxes, and um… The problem with foxes is that they kill off, as well, a lot of native species giving rabbits um… you know, an open niche to fill. So, they were… the rabbits were no longer competing with native Australian species that foxes were killing, um… and yeah the foxes were also hunting the rabbits. So, there’s this massive problem in Australia with introduced species. That’s you’re, you know, few minute little introduction to rabbits and foxes in Australia. Anyway, rabbits are normally nocturnal. We mostly see them at night on the roads and out and about, and it’s pretty pretty rare to see them during the day. So, that’s why I was shocked when I walked down here and there were a few rabbits um… chilling out underneath a uh… underneath a little bridge here eating grass. Um… and it’s like 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So I was pretty surprised.
Anyway, today one of the things I wanted to cover and chat to you guys about was the misconception that I think a lot of adults have with regards to language learning and how difficult it is at a… at an older age. So, one of the things that most people tell me when I ask them, especially other Australians, why you haven’t learnt another language, or what’s preventing you from learning another language? A lot of the time they tell me that it’s only young people, it’s only babies, it’s only very young children that are gifted at learning languages, and once you get to a certain age, you know, 20, 30, 40, whatever age they state, they normally say that it’s just too hard, you know. We don’t have the memory for it. We won’t be able to remember grammar rules or vocabulary. And I think… I think that’s a real misconception. I don’t think that… I don’t think we’re… we’re worse than children at learning languages. In fact, I would argue that we could be better, considered better, than learning languages than children in certain ways. Because one, children don’t have another language, when they’re learning their first language, to compare that language they’re learning to. So for instance, if you’re learning Australian English and you speak another language like French or Portuguese you get to learn English in the… in the context of your native language. So, you don’t have to learn from scratch what a language is, how a language works, what grammar is, how grammar works. And there’s often going to be quite a few similarities between the languages and, you know, I can’t imagine ever learning a foreign language and not comparing it to your native language as you learn it, and I imagine that it’s a big help to be able to compare your native language to the language you’re learning, you know. If… if not just that so much in so as to, learn the grammar but also because there’s going to be a lot of words and other things that are similar, if not the same, in languages. Granted that it would depend on the languages you’re learning. You know. If you’re learning English and you already speak German there’re going to be a lot of similarities, whereas, if you speak Chinese and you’re learning English then there’s undoubtedly going to be very few similarities in comparison. But also I think people have a misconception with regards to learning vocabulary, and they have an unrealistic expectation that they’ll learn a word once and they’ll remember it. And I think… I think this is garbage. I don’t think are like this. I don’t think adults are like this. The human brain doesn’t work like that. I think if you… if you want to learn something and you want to be able to remember something, you effectively have to prove to your brain, you have to show your brain that it’s worth remembering. And by learning it once that is not enough for your brain to say, “OK, this is important and I need to remember this thing forever, or at least for a long period of time.” It’s just like names. I feel like if you go to a party and you try and learn everyone’s names there and then, no matter how important the people are if you only learn, if you only hear their name once it’s very unlikely that you’re going to remember the person’s name. At least, this is what I’m like, you know, in my experience it’s very difficult for me to remember someone’s name until I’ve met them a few times or heard their name repeated a few times, or said it to myself a few times, I’m not likely to remember it. And I feel like it is exactly the same with languages. You have to keep exposing yourself to the things that you want to learn again and again and again in order to effectively prove to your brain, prove to your… to your mind that the thing that you’re trying to learn is worth remembering. You have to show your brain that this is important. I’m going to use this on a daily basis, on a weekly basis. It’s information that I need to know. And, if our brains didn’t work this way, you know, we would remember every single little bit, every single piece of information that ever went into our heads. And, I think that would be a nightmare, you know, imagine. People with photographic memories don’t often talk about the fact that they have a photographic memory as being a very pleasant thing particularly when it comes to things they see or things they hear. All those kinds of things that you want to forget you don’t have the ability to forget. And I think that what the brain is useful… the brain is good in that respect because anything that isn’t useful it turfs. It deletes. It’s kind of like your computer removing any files that you didn’t use within the last week. So, you’ve got to keep proving, say, to your computer that you’re… the only files the computer’s going to keep are going to be the ones that you use, and every other file on your computer that you don’t use within a certain period of time it just erases. Those kinds of computers would be probably a lot more efficient, or at least a lot more useful, and in terms of me at least, because I know I build up a lot of garbage on there and take up a lot of space, and then I have to go through and remove, you know, large swathes of files and movies and all sorts of things that I’ve saved. So, our brains are kind of like that where we only save the things that are really important, you know. Brain space is important, and it’s a lot better for us to only keep the things that really matter, that we’re going to use, that we need, than to keep every single little thing that we ever walk past, that we ever see, that we ever hear, that we ever talk about. And so, I feel like that’s the thing. Coming back to adults and learning languages, part of the reason people think language learning is so difficult is because they have an unrealistic expectation that when you’re an adult you should be able to remember, you should be able to learn things, you should be able to do things at sort of an expert level right from the get go. Right from the start, you know. There’s no… there should be no process of learning, effectively. I feel like a lot of people have… they should… they feel like they need to get things straight away. And, it’s just not the case. I think a lot of adults forget what it’s like being a child, you know. When you’re a child you are learning everything. There’s nothing that you’ve mastered, you know. Especially under the age of 10. You’re learning every single thing that you come up against, that you… you try and do whether it’s learning languages, riding bikes, learning math, learning to walk or run. All of those things you have to learn. And so, I think children just have the expectation that they’re not going to be good at anything as soon as they start it. Whereas, adults by the time they get to a mature age of 30, 40, 50, they are undoubtedly certain things in their life that they’ve mastered. And then they kind of have that unrealistic expectation of being able to rapidly master something new, or think that, you know, it’s going to be too hard to master because it’s taken them 50 years to get to where they are with whatever other things they’re… they’ve mastered. But yeah, I think if we take a step back and you just remember that there’s nothing wrong with being a beginner… you are always going to have trouble learning something from scratch. You… you just have to take your time, apply yourself, and keep using the stuff that’s important, and eventually you’ll remember it, eventually you’ll get better at it. It’s a process of strengthening neural pathways in your head so that you remember certain things and you can use them rapidly, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. So, don’t be stressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself to native speakers when you’re thinking about learning English, you know, they’ve had decades and decades and decades. The same with children. When you compared yourself to children who are learning a language, these children have 12+ hours a day for, you know, the better part of 10, maybe 12 years, of exposure to the language they’re learning before they can even hold a mature conversation with an adult. And the difference is for adults it could take you maybe 6 months, maybe a year, before you get to a point of learning a foreign language where you could have a mature adult conversation. So, if you compare that to a child it takes them a great deal longer to ever get to the same extent… you could probably learn 10 languages to a high level, um… you know, still be making mistakes, not be perfect, but be able to have mature conversations with native speakers, in the time that it would take one child from birth to get to the same level in their native language.
So, anyway, the podcast episode walking with Pete has probably gotten a bit long today, but that was what I wanted to talk about, I wanted to sort of chat to you about, not having unrealistic expectations when it comes to learning languages, and don’t be hard on yourself. Forget, forget, forget, forget until you remember. If you keep finding that you’re forgetting something just keep using it and eventually you won’t forget it. Some things you’ll remember straight away, some things you might have to read and use 10 times, 100 times. If it’s useful and if you need to know it, if you use it every single day in conversation, you will eventually remember it. So, don’t stress out. Keep persisting, and you can’t lose. Just aim to be better tomorrow than you were yesterday. Anyway guys, that’s probably long enough and it’s starting to rain. So, I hope you have a good one and I’ll chat to you soon!
As a result of…
- As a consequence, issue, or conclusion.
Not only… but
- used to present two related pieces of information
- A role taken by a type of organism within its community.
- To surpass in a competitive situations.
An open niche to fill
- A niche is a function or position of a species within an ecological community. An open niche in a community is a function or position that is not currently filled but could be.
To chill out
- To be relaxing; to be hanging out.
- To say.
In the context of…
- With regards to; when considering…
- From the beginning.
- Even assuming that…
When it comes to…
- As for…; When speaking about…
To turf (out)
- To throw out; to discard.
In terms of…
- With regard to a particular aspect or subject specified.
Swathes of something
- A lot of; a heap of; many.
Coming back to…
- Returning to the specific point.
Right from the get go
- Right from the start or beginning.
To be the case
- To be the point.
To come up against
- To confront; to face.
To take a step back
- To pause in an activity and consider what to do next.
To happen overnight
- To happen very quickly.
To the same extent
- To a similar or identical degree.
To stress out
Post Views: 130
- To suffer from high levels of stress.
By Admin — 1 week ago
AE 454 – Expression: Have a Skeleton in the Closet
As far as gripping, real-life crime thrillers go, this one has got everything. A mutiny, a psychopath, and a brutal mass murder. It’s a 400-year-old mystery, so it’s also Australia’s greatest cold case.
It starts in 1629, when the Dutch sailing ship Batavia strikes a tiny atoll off the West Australian coast near Geralton. Almost 300 passengers and crew survive the shipwreck, but over the next few months as they wait to be rescued more than 100 of them are slaughtered.
For centuries, their bodies lay buried, the story forgotten, but now the Batavia is a major archaeological project between Australia and the Netherlands, and every day macabre new discoveries are being dug up.
G’day you mob. What is going on?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, or just English in general.
So, the Aussie English podcast, guys, is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom, an online classroom where you guys get access to the bonus content for these episodes. It’s set up as courses, a series of courses. I think there are probably 50 or so courses now in the Aussie English Classroom. You can work your way through them at your own speed. You get quizzes, you get MP3s, you get exercise, you get videos, at the moment going through vocab, expressions. It’s just all the bonus content, everything else, that you could want if you want to upgrade your English faster. So, that is just one dollar. If you want to try that, go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com and enroll. It’s a dollar for the first month, and then it’s a monthly subscription after that.
And also, as you guys may have noticed, the podcast website is now also a membership website. So, if you want access to all the transcripts and the MP3s for every single episode of the podcast, you can sign up there and it’s only a few dollars a month. So, give that a go.
Anyway, today’s scene, guys. Today’s scene was from a program called 60 Minutes, a news program in Australia. 60 Minutes is pretty good if you’re interested in, I guess, what’s going on around the world, what’s going on in Australia, and you want exposure to many different Australian English speakers, usually, and you want to hear about interesting stories. You can find that all on YouTube. I will link the video for today’s Aussie Fact, which will be going over what happened in Western Australia in the 1600s, and it’s a segment called Island of Horror. So, I’ll link that idea. I recommend that you check out 60 Minutes on YouTube and that you subscribe to their channel and improve your English.
Anyway, a few announcements before we get into today, guys. So, this week has been pretty productive. I’ve been working like crazy. I put up a video recently showcasing my French and my Portuguese. So, this is the most recent video that I have put on YouTube. The Mass Sentence Method. So, I’m using a different method to learn French and Portuguese for the next few months and I wanted to make a video to sort of use it as… I guess, to show where I am currently with my skills, or lack thereof, in each of these languages. Anyway, check that out.
And aside from that, guys, I got engaged this week. So, I’ve… I got engaged to Kel over. We’ve spoken. We were chatting. It’s a long story, but we’re going to get married within the next, probably, six months to a year. So, yeah, that was… that was really amazing and I can’t wait to start my life with Kel, obviously, yeah.
So, that was that was really, really wonderful. I’m so glad she said yes. So, glad she said yes.
Anyway, guys, I’ve done a Walking with Pete episode about that, which will be up soon as well if you want to hear the story of how we got engaged. It’s not very crazy, but that will be up soon.
All right. So, today’s expression is ‘have skeletons in your closet’. This one comes from Belle who mentioned this in the Aussie English private Facebook group for members of the Aussie English Classroom. Every week we vote on a different expression and this was hers, ‘to have skeletons in your closet’.
Before we get into that, guys, let’s go through the joke today. So, the expression is obviously about skeletons so I thought it made sense to find a joke about a skeleton or some skeleton. So, here’s the joke:
Why did the skeleton drop out of medical school? Why did the skeleton drop out, as in, to fail, to leave, to quit medical school? Why did the skeleton drop out of medical school? He didn’t have the stomach for it. Another good one. Another good one. He didn’t have the stomach for it.
Do you get it? The stomach as in an organ in your body, but we use ‘to not have the stomach for something’ meaning that you can’t do it, you don’t have the guts, the strength, to be able to do it. And it sort of suggests that you get sick, you know, you feel sick at the sight of, say, dissecting a human body doing surgery. If you don’t have the stomach for something, it’s usually something disgusting and you’re going to feel sick if you see it. Okay? So, why did the skeleton drop out of medical school? He didn’t have the stomach for it, because he couldn’t handle surgeries, but he’s also a skeleton and he has inner organs. Pretty good joke.
All right, as usual, let’s go through the definitions in the expression ‘to have a skeleton in your closet’, and then we’ll go through what it means, where it came from, a little listen and repeat exercise, and then an interesting murder mystery Aussie Fact at the end, guys.
So, ‘to have’. ‘To have’ means to own or to possess something, right? If I have a dog, I own a dog. If I have friends, I possess friends. (I) don’t necessarily own them. They’re not my… they’re not something that I bought, but I have friends.
‘A skeleton’. ‘A skeleton’ is an internal or external framework of bone, cartilage, or rigid material that supports or contains the body of an animal. Okay? So, the human skeleton comprises 270 bones at birth, which later on then fuse and turn into 206 bones. If you ever went skateboarding as a kid or climbing trees as a kid you might fall out of the tree and break a bone, which is part of your skeleton.
And the last word here, ‘a closet’. ‘A closet’ is a cupboard or wardrobe, especially one tall enough to walk into. So, I have a few closets here in my room and it’s where I keep all of my clothes. I keep my clothes in the closet, in the wardrobe, in the cupboard.
So, let’s go through and define the expression, guys, ‘to have a skeleton in the closet’, or you might sometimes hear this as ‘to have a skeleton in the cupboard’, and sometimes too you might hear someone refer to ‘skeletons’. It could be plural. Someone has some skeletons in their closet. They have one or two skeletons in their closet. But the most common one is ‘to have a skeleton in your closet’.
So, if you have a skeleton in your closet, it has to have some kind of embarrassing fact or discreditable fact that you want to keep secret. So, it’s used to describe something that is an undisclosed fact about someone, which if this fact was revealed, it would damage the perceptions of the person or it would damage that person’s reputation.
So, obviously, it evokes the idea of someone having, presumably, a human corpse concealed in their home, you know, hidden in a closet so long that it’s decomposed. Except for the bones or skeletons. So, it’s been kept a secret that entire time.
So, let’s go through the origin, guys. So, it was known to have been used as early as 1816 in the monthly British journal The Eclectic Review, and ‘the skeleton’ in this case was disease, infectious or hereditary. And here’s the quote:
Two great sources of distress are the danger of contagion and the apprehension of hereditary diseases. The dread of being the cause of misery to posterity has prevailed over men to conceal the skeleton in the closet.
So, they’re trying to hide a disease that they have. So, a theory of where this originated is that it could have potentially derived from the era when body snatching was common. This is when people were stealing corpses in the UK. And so, prior to 1832 the United Kingdom’s Anatomy Act allowed the corpses of dead people to be more extensively used in medical research. And so, this is where you had people digging up graves and taking bodies. And so, the theory here is that maybe you would be a doctor who would conceal a body that had been snatched, that had been taken, in your cupboard or closet, which would be, you know, illegally used for teaching. Okay?
So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression, guys.
Example number one. Imagine that I am a politician and I am running for election. I’m likely to win, everyone really likes me, but a few days before the election it comes out that I am a racist. I’m a closet racist, meaning that I hide the fact that I am racist. So, I have racist opinions and I’ve tried to keep them closeted, I’ve tried to keep them private. So, when this gets revealed to the public, it’s obviously a previously undisclosed fact that I was wanting to hide that I had kept, you know, closeted and only my closest supporters may have known, but once everyone knew, it was, you know, a rather unfortunate skeleton in my closet that people found. So, racism was the skeleton in the closet that I had in my life. So, when the voters of my electorate found out about the skeleton in the closet that I was hiding, the fact that I was racist, they refused to support me and vote for me.
Example number two. Imagine that you are an ex-convict. So, you were in jail for maybe 5 to 10 years maybe for something like tax fraud or laundering money from your company. So, if when you get out of jail you’re now, you know, no longer a prisoner, but you are an ex-prisoner you are an ex-convict, you start applying for jobs at different companies, and it’s likely that you’re going to want to hide the fact that you had gone to jail for tax fraud. So, if you went to a job interview and they were asking probing questions about your past, you know, they’re probing, they’re trying to find out, “What were you doing for the last 5 to 10 years? How come you didn’t have a job?”. You probably want to keep that skeleton in your closet. You want to hide that skeleton in your closet. You want to make sure that the fact that you were in jail for tax fraud, that is the skeleton in your closet, you want to make sure that that isn’t known. You don’t want them to find out.
Example number three. Maybe you’re going on a date with a girl or a guy, and the person is trying to probe you to find out about your history to find out about your past. You know, as people on first dates tend to do. They want to know about each other and where you grew up, what you did, blah, blah, blah. If you’re being open and honest with this person, you might say to them, “I’m an open book. You can ask me anything.” And if you have nothing to hide, you could say, “Don’t worry, I don’t have any skeletons in my closet. I don’t have anything to hide. I don’t have any skeletons in my closet.”.
So, hopefully you understand the expression, guys, ‘to have a skeleton in the closet’ or ‘in your closet’. It is to have some kind of discreditable or embarrassing fact that you’re trying to keep secret so that your reputation isn’t tarnished, so that you aren’t embarrassed in front of a lot of people or, yeah, have damaged perceptions about yourself.
So, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we can go through the Aussie fact.
So, listen and repeat after me, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation. And remember, if you want to go more in depth with connected speech, with Australian pronunciation, with intonation, all of that kind of stuff and you really want to improve your accent, sign up to the Aussie English Classroom at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. There’s a whole course on pronunciation and there will be a video for today’s pronunciation exercise as well. So, let’s go.
To have a
To have a skeleton
To have a skeleton in
To have a skeleton in your
To have a skeleton in your closet
Do I have a skeleton in my closet?
Do you have a skeleton in your closet?
Does he have a skeleton in his closet?
Does she have a skeleton in her closet?
Do we have a skeleton in our closet?
Do they have a skeleton in their closet?
Does it have a skeleton in its closet?
Great job, guys. Great job. Let’s go through the Aussie English Fact and then let’s finish up.
All right, guys. So, the year is 1629. This is 140 years before Captain Cook discovered Australia in 1770. Dutch ship Batavia has hit a tiny atoll off Western Australia’s coast near the town of Geraldton and nearly 300 crew members have survived the shipwreck. But over the next three months, as you’re about to find out, hundreds of them were slaughtered. So, to this day, it still remains Australia’s first and biggest mass murder, and for hundreds of years, the bodies were left in the sand of this island and the story was somewhat forgotten.
So, what happened here exactly? So, the Dutch vessel Batavia was headed to the city of Batavia, which was Jakarta in Indonesia. That’s what its name was at the time. It sailed badly off course for some reason on its way, though, and it struck Australia as Abrolhos islands on the West Coast.
Forty people drowned just trying to swim to the small island after the ship had wrecked and the ship’s commander Francisco Pelsaert took a long boat and sailed north to Jakarta for help, meanwhile, leaving a man called Jeronimus Cornelisz in charge. And this guy turned out to be a total psychopath.
So, a few weeks after the shipwreck, Cornelisz ordered his supporters to murder any potential opponents as well as anyone considered a drain on supplies. So, the strong, the weak, and the old were all slaughtered as well as many women and children. However, some women were kept as sexual slaves. You know, typical, huh?
Many of the skeletons that have been recovered display incredibly bad signs of sharp weapon trauma, which goes to show the brutality that occurred on this island. Fortunately, there was a hero, a soldier named Wiebbe Hayes, and this guy was sent initially by Cornelisz to some surrounding islands, a small group of islands nearby, with some men to look for food and water, but I’m pretty sure based on what we know now he was sent away. They wanted him to be away so that they had more control and they could obviously carry out these murders. And this became evident when Wiebbe and his group found water and they set off a fire to show Cornelisz that they’d found, and Cornelisz ignored the fire.
So, Hayes and the group worked out something strange was going on, especially after a few people in some makeshift rafts made it to the island where Hayes was and started to tell of the horror that Cornelisz had been orchestrating.
When the survivors made it to the island, they raised the alarm obviously and they told him about what Cornelisz was doing, and Hayes knew that it was just a matter of time before Cornelisz would come for them as well. So, they built a makeshift kind of shelter made from stone slabs to provide some protection and to prepare for what they thought was an inevitable battle. So, this was the first European structure to be built on Australian soil.
Three months later the captain Pelsaert arrived back at the atoll with a rescue ship and both Cornelisz and Hayes had to race in their own boats to get to the ship first to tell their side of the story. So, fortunately, Hayes got there first and Pelsaert found out the truth about war Cornelius had done slaughtering all these people, keeping these women as sex slaves on this island.
So, there was a trial and 7 of the mutineers including Cornelisz were hanged. Although, Cornelisz had both of his hands chiseled off before he was hanged.
And the crazy thing is that Cornelisz showed absolutely no sign of remorse this entire time suggesting that he was indeed a total psychopath.
Luckily 80 to 90 of the people who were initially shipwrecked made it all the way back to Batavia alive with Pelsaert.
So, that is the story, guys. A pretty crazy story about the first and largest ever mass murder in Australia by the Dutch on these small islands off the West Coast.
So, I hope you enjoy this episode, guys. I hope you found that fact at the end incredibly interesting. Make sure that if you want the transcripts and the MP3s for the podcast episodes to sign up to be a member at theAussieEnglishPodcast.com. It’s just four dollars or so per month to get access to everything.
And if you would like to take your English even further, go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, It’s a different website. And you’ll get access to all the courses that I have created, guys. So, this is the ultimate one stop shop for anyone who’s trying to prove their English, but specifically their Australian English. And remember, guys, it’s just a single dollar for the first month. You can try it for 30 days. That’s how confident I am that you’re going to enjoy it. I want to give you enough time to get in there and try it, feel accustomed to how it all works, feel comfortable. It’s a single dollar for a month. Okay? So, get in there and give it a go. I’m sure you’re going to love it.
Anyway, I will chat to you soon, guys. Have a great weekend.
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