In this episode I explain the expression “What gives?”. “What gives” is often used as a way of asking for an explanation or a reason for why something happened, etc.
Come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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By pete — 9 months ago
Learn Australian English in this expression episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I teach you how to use the expression RIGHT ON THE MONEY like a native English speaker and with everyday english examples.
AE 429 – Expression: Right on the Money
You may have seen some videos doing the rounds online. The new British £5 banknote and the new Australian $5 note being used as the needle for a record player.
It’s pretty cool. They actually play music. Oh! That’s so cool!
G’day you mob! How’s it going?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I’m your host Pete and this is the Aussie English Podcast. So, if it’s your first time listening, thanks for joining us, and if you have been listening for a while now, big thanks for coming back.
So, this is the Aussie English Podcast, guys, and the main aim of this podcast is to teach Australian English, whether you want to sound like an Australian when you speak English or whether you just want to understand how we speak, the different kinds of slang that we use, the expressions we use, and the various accents, this is the podcast for you guys, so welcome.
So, that intro scene there, guys, that was a really nifty little video that I found on a YouTube channel called BrainCraft where an Australian named Vanessa Hill talks about things such as science, psychology, neuroscience, and more.
So, I stumbled upon that when I came up with the Australian fact for today’s episode, which is going to be talking about Australian banknotes, the Australian money. And yes, our notes are pretty epic. They’re pretty cool. I’m sure that if you’ve lived in Australia you’ve seen them, and if you’re overseas and haven’t been here yet you may have still seen these online on TV somewhere, and our notes are so epic that they can play music on a record, but we’ll get to that in the end, guys.
So, a few quick announcements. I’ve been working my butt off, I’ve been working my arse off, trying to put together some new vlog videos for you guys up on the YouTube channel. Those will be linked in the transcript, and you can also obviously go to Aussie English on YouTube and just search for the word ‘vlog’, V-L-O-G.
So, these are where I go around Australia, I go around with friends, I see people, and I do daily life kind of stuff, and I’m giving you access to everyday kind of English. The way that I interact with strangers, when I order coffee, when I order food, how I speak to my friends. So, this is all in an effort to show you the real English spoken by a native speaker.
And also recently, my girlfriend was kind enough to buy me a GoPro, and I’ve been strapping this GoPro to my chest and walking around places like malls and shopping centres and just shops when I buy things, and again, I’m going to create videos that show you how I interact with people when I purchase things, when I ask for directions, when I ask where something is in a supermarket. So, make sure that you go over to Aussie English on YouTube, check out those most recent videos, and please leave a comment, let me know what you think, and also, if you have any suggestions for things you would like me to vlog about, make sure that you mention those in the comment.
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Anyway, that was a big intro, guys, but let’s get into today’s Aussie English joke. Okay, so this one as well is related to money. So, see if you get it. Okay? Here we go.
Why don’t cows have any money? So, why don’t cows, you know, those animals that go ‘Mooooo’, on farmland. Why don’t cows have any money? Because farmers milk them dry. A bit of a dad joke, but it’s a good one. Because farmers milk them dry.
So, I like this for several reasons. It obviously is talking about money, and then its talking about cows and farmers, but also, it uses the really cool expression ‘to milk someone dry’. And in this case, if you’re milked dry by someone or something, it’s that they have taken a resource from you. So, they’ve taken money from you and you have nothing left. So, it’s a joke. Why don’t cows have any money? Because they get milked dry. So, quite literally the farmers take milk from them, and then figuratively, they’re taking their money, right? Because they’re getting milked dry.
Anyway, today’s expression is ‘on the money’ and this was suggested by Emma. It was a great suggestion in the Aussie English Classroom private Facebook group where we all hang out, all the students in the Aussie English Classroom are always in their posting videos, and we choose the expressions for each week’s episode in there.
So, ‘on the money’ or ‘right on the money’. You can use either of these. I wonder if you guys know what this expression is, or have you heard it before? ‘Right on the money’ or ‘on the money’.
It’s a bit of a simple one, but we’ll define that after we define the words in the expression, okay?
So, ‘right’. ‘Right’, can mean a few things, right? I can use it like that to clarify whether or not you think I’m correct, whether or not you agree with me, right? You can use it to mean the opposite of left, you know if I turn to the left, while I’m driving, that’s the opposite of turning to the right. But we can also use it when something is exact, something is accurate, something is precise, okay? So, if I say that you are exactly right, you are correct, you are exact, okay?
‘On’. ‘On’ is a very common preposition that I am sure that you know. It means to be above a surface and touching it, resting on that surface. Okay? ‘On’. Right on something, exactly above and touching the surface of something.
And the last word, ‘money’. Again, I’m sure you know this one, guys. Coins, banknotes, things that are used as a medium of exchange. So, in order to exchange goods, you often use money, as opposed to just trading.
Expression Definition & Origin:
Alright, so the expression ‘on the money’, or ‘right on the money’, it just means that you are exactly correct, that you are accurate. So, if you’re right on the money, you are exactly correct, you are exactly accurate. You’re right.
So, I looked into the origin of this and there were a few different ones, but the one that I like the most that I thought that sounds about right was a story from a guy called Brad Friesen. So, he said he was a kid working as a surveyor’s assistant it was explained to him that when the earliest surveyors do their work they install what are called ‘benchmarks’, a 1-inch by 1-inch steel rod hammered into the ground at a known location and elevation. Over time, the top of these rods tarnishes as it rusts and it becomes hard to see in the viewfinder of a surveyor’s transit. So, putting a shiny coin on the top would render them more visible when the transit was setting level precisely above it. So, you’d be right on the money when you set that transit to be focusing on the coin.
So, there you go. That could be the origin, who knows, but it was an interesting explanation.
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So, as usual guys, let’s go through some examples of how I would use the expression ‘to be on the money’ or ‘to be right on the money’.
Alright so, example number one. You could imagine that you are a teacher in a classroom full of high school students. You’re teaching something like biology, maybe physics, chemistry, could even be English, and you ask a question to the classroom. So, maybe your writing on the board, you ask a question, you turn around, and you’re like, “Who knows the answer to this question?”. The students put their hands up. You pick one of these students, and he or she answers exactly correctly. They answer with 100 percent accuracy. They’re 100 percent correct. They are right on the money, and their answer is right on the money as well.
So, example number two. Maybe you like to gamble on animals. So, you like betting, so horse racing or dog racing. We have the greyhounds racing in Australia, where they use greyhound dogs that chase, like, a fake rabbit around a track. So, if you get a hot tip, like a really good tip, about an animal that you really should bet on, a mate of you maybe he tells you, “Oh, man, you definitely have to put money on this horse or on that dog”, and you do, and he ends up being correct and you win a lot of money based on his tip. You might go back to him and say, “Dude, that hot tip, that suggestion, was right on the money! I put money on it, I won, and I made a heap of money, because your suggestion was on the money.”.
Example number three, guys. Okay. So, now imagine that you are the CEO of a company, big or small, whether it’s Facebook or Google, or maybe some kind of small company that’s from your local area, you’re the one who makes all the decisions. So, maybe you’ve got to make a decision this week about hiring a new employee, or maybe opening a new store or branch of your business somewhere, or maybe even moving into a new area of business. If you make that decision and it pays off, meaning that it was successful, it was the right decision, it was a great idea, everyone in that company might tell you, “Dude, that was right on the money!”. Although, they probably wouldn’t say “Dude” to the CEO. They’d probably say Mr or Mrs or whoever, but probably a little bit more politely than ‘dude’, but they would say, “That decision was right on the money. It was a perfect choice. It was on the money!”.
Alright, guys, good job. So, we’ll go through a listen and repeat exercise. This is your chance to practice your Aussie English pronunciation. If you’re practicing any other accent too, that is fine. I know there are plenty of listeners from other countries around the world whether it’s England, Canada, or America, and they don’t necessarily want an Australian accent. All I would recommend is using your normal accent and still saying these sentences, and the good thing about this expression is that it is used everywhere, guys, all around the world. Okay. So, listen and repeat after me and practice your pronunciation. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
Right on the
Right on the money x 5
I was right on the money
You were right on the money
He was right on the money
She was right on the money
We were right on the money
They were right on the money
It was right on the money
Good job, guys. Remember, if you would like access to the video and the exercises and everything else that will more thoroughly go through the connected speech in these exercises, make sure that you enroll in the Aussie English Classroom. Remember, it’s just one buck, one dollar, for the first month. You can get in there and you can learn to speak better Australian English, and English in general, through the use of these pronunciation materials.
Okay, anyway, let’s get into the Aussie fact for today, guys, and then we’ll finish up.
So, today I wanted to talk to you all about Australian money, but more specifically, I guess, Australian banknotes. So, we’ll leave the coins for another day.
So, Australian banknotes are often touted as the world’s best banknotes. They are definitely very pretty. Now I wonder if you guys have seen these before. So, I was watching a video by a YouTube channel called StandUpMaths, this is definitely one worth checking out and I will link it in the transcript, and he was talking about how cool the maths is behind these notes. So, these notes are based on a log scale where the width doesn’t increase with value, but the length increases in a linear fashion with value, and according to the Australian Mint, even the thickness increases as well based on the value of the note. So, I thought that was very cool and it is something that is very unique to money in the world. I think only Australia does it. But if you want to learn more about the maths behind this, check out the video at StandUpMaths’ YouTube channel.
So, the notes that we have in Australia come in five sizes or five values. We have the five-dollar note, the ten-dollar note, the twenty-dollar note, the fifty-dollar note, and the hundred-dollar note, and they get larger or thicker, longer or thicker, as they increase in value.
So, these are brightly coloured and look like Monopoly money, as many people say, and the colours are pink for the five-dollar note, blue for the ten-dollar note, red or orange for the twenty-dollar note, yellow for the fifty-dollar note, and green for the hundred-dollar note.
And some cool stuff for you guys that I thought I would mention is that I’ve heard slang terms from time to time regarding the twenty, fifty, and hundred-dollar notes. So, I wonder if you can guess, if I said I wanted ‘a lobster’. What colour’s are lobster, specially, when it’s cooked? It’s orange. So, I’d be talking about the twenty-dollar note. I’ve got a couple of lobsters in my wallet.
If I said I wanted ‘a pineapple’, what colour’s a pineapple? It’s yellow. So, I’d be talking about a fifty-dollar note.
And then, I have also heard ‘a green tree frog’. Can I have a green tree frog? Oh man, he’s got a few green tree frogs in his wallet. And that would be talking about the green hundred-dollar note.
Now these aren’t necessarily things that all Australians use, but I thought it was a cool anecdote to mention as I’ve heard friends use those slang terms or, I guess, euphemisms in the past to talk about these.
So, why is Australian money so unique aside from the colour and the size? Another thing, another aspect, of money, the Australian banknote and why it’s so unique, is that it is made of polymers. And these are completely waterproof notes. They’re tear resistant notes. So, you can put them in water. They won’t get wet. And if you’re tried tearing them, they’re not going to tear. So, that’s pretty unique as well. So, they’re incredibly durable and they don’t really wear out unlike money from say, America.
So, Australia got its own currency separate from that of Britain in 1966, and after a nationwide competition to name our notes, we settled on the decimal dollar instead of the UK pound. Other submissions included names such as Austral, Boomer, Kwid, and Ming.
So, these were paper notes until 1988, when the Reserve Bank of Australia and the CSIRO, sort of a science company in Australia, teamed up to create the polymer banknote. So, I didn’t realise it was that long ago in 1988. Since then, the polymer bank note technology has been improving and has culminated in the series of beautiful polymer Australian banknotes that we have today that I hope you guys have seen. And if you haven’t, make sure that you give it a quick google after this. They’re beautiful.
So, there’s plenty of cool anti-counterfeiting science and features behind these banknotes, which you can check out via the videos I’ll link in the transcript, guys. Check out BrainCraft’s video, the one that the intro was from at the start of this episode, if you want to know more about the anti-counterfeiting science and if you want to see this banknote being used to play music.
So, that was the other thing about our banknotes. So, because they’re so resistant to wear and tear the edges of these notes stay incredibly rigid and sharp, and you can actually hold the note down onto the top of a record, as it’s spinning on a record player, and it will play the music. It’ll vibrate and you can hear the music. That’s pretty epic.
So, our unique polymer bank note technology has been licensed to at least 24 other countries all around the world from Canada to Romania and even Mexico.
So, who’s on the banknotes of Australia? I might go more into depth with this in another episode, ’cause there’s quite a few people. There’s two people on every single note, on the obverse side, the front side, and on the reverse side, except for the five-dollar note, which only has the British Queen Elizabeth II on it.
So, I’ll go through these another time, but specifically, but why do we have Queen Elizabeth on our notes still of where Australia and not Britain? Well, we’re still part of the Commonwealth of Nations, or what was previously known as the British Commonwealth. So, we were obviously a colony of Britain. So, besides Britain and many other countries, too, have the Queen’s face on their currency, including places like Canada, New Zealand, Mauritius, Fiji, and even Jamaica.
Anyway, that’s it. I hope you enjoy today’s episode, guys. I hope you enjoyed this episode on cash, on dough, on moolah, on money, and don’t forget to download the free MP3 and the free transcript for this episode that you can study anywhere anytime via the link below.
I’ll chat to you soon, guys. Have a good one.
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By pete — 9 months ago
Learn Australian English in this expression episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I teach you to use the expression WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE like a native speaker and also teach you about the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
AE 440 – Expression: Water Under the Bridge
The great job is done and the 7 years of “Thou shalt not trespass” to the public are relegated into the limbo of forgotten things. The bridge belongs to the man in the street and how he has taken possession of it. Posterity can never experience the thrill that we have known in watching it rise up slowly but surely, until today, it flung wide its gates.
G ‘day you mob! How’s it going? And welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
So, this is the Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to improve their English, and specifically Australian English. It’s aimed at helping you improve your pronunciation, your listening comprehension, your spoken English, and also give you a bit more knowledge when it comes to things like Australian slang, culture, food, all that good stuff. So, welcome to the podcast episode, guys.
Today, is an expiration episode and the expression is ‘water under the bridge’, which we’ll get into shortly.
So, quickly, that scene at the start there was from a video from a film covering the opening, the inauguration, of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the year 1932. So, there’ll be a link in the transcript if you would like to watch that entire video. It’s about, what, 80, 90 years old now? And it’s pretty cool seeing all these people wearing different clothing like hats and suits that all come from back in that period, not to mention the fact that the bridge is out in open space. You go there today in Sydney, in the CBD, and there’s buildings everywhere. So, it’s a very cool video to watch.
Anyway guys, this is the Aussie English Podcast, which is brought to you by, first and foremost, you the listener, everyone who supports the podcast whether donating via Patreon, where you can sign up to donate as little as a dollar per month, or whether you’re giving a one-off donation via Paypal, or you’re a student in the Aussie English Classroom. And that is an online classroom where you get access to all the bonus content for each of these episodes, and remember, you can sign up and try that for a dollar for your first 30 days. TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
Anyway, guys, let’s get into today’s episode. So, the expression is ‘water under the bridge’, hence why I’m talking about the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I thought that linked in nicely. And I also found a joke, a joke, about bridges. Okay. So, here’s the joke.
So, a man goes to see his doctor and he says to the Doctor, “Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m a bridge! I think I’m a bridge!”, and the doctor asks, “What’s come over you? Why do you think you’re a bridge? What’s come over you?”. And the man replies, “Three cars, a van, and a motorbike!”.
Woo! That’s killer. Alright. So, basically, the joke there is with the phrasal verb ‘to come over someone’. Okay? So, this has multiple meanings. The first one there is the literal version of ‘to come over someone’, like to go over someone, to go over the top of someone, i.e. getting run over by a car, for example. So, “What’s come over you?”. “Three cars, a van, and a motorbike.”, as would come over a bridge.
But, ‘to come over something’, as well, can mean to influence someone suddenly to behave a certain way. So, you could imagine that if the dog that you have in your house starts barking like crazy one night, you might say to it, “What’s come over you, mate? Why are you behaving like this? Why are you suddenly doing this? What’s come over you?”. So, that’s the joke.
So, today’s expression, guys, is ‘water under the bridge’. ‘Water under the bridge’. For something to be ‘water under the bridge’.
So, this was suggested by Kel in the Aussie English Classroom private Facebook group. This is where we all get together, all the members of the classroom, the Aussie English Classroom, and we chat in there, we do live videos, we work on our spoken English, and each week, I try to suggest expressions as well as get students’ expressions, and everyone votes on them for this episode.
So, it was a great suggestion Kel. ‘Water under the bridge’. So, great suggestion and it’s an English expression that’s used everywhere. This is not specific to Australia.
So, let’s go through and define the words in the expression ‘water under the bridge’. Okay?
So, ‘water’. I’m sure you guys know what ‘water’ is, a colourless transparent odourless liquid, which forms things like seas, lakes, rivers, rain, and it’s the basis for fluids used in living organisms. Right? You are probably 70 to 80 percent water, and you drink water. The sea is full of water. I’m sure you know what ‘water’ is.
The next word here is a preposition or a particle, ‘under’, right? ‘Under’. To be ‘under’ something that is to be beneath something. It’s the opposite of being above something or on top of something. If you are situated below something, if you are beneath something, you are under something. You know, animals live underground, animals like moles or worms or ants. They live underground.
The last word here is a noun, ‘a bridge’, right? ‘A bridge’. ‘A bridge’ is a structure built to carry a road or a path or a railway across river, road, valley, canyon, or any other obstacle. Okay? ‘A bridge’. So, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a bridge. And we have a huge one in Melbourne called the West Gate Bridge. And these usually cross things like rivers or bays or roads, as we said before.
Alright. So. they’re the words.
Expression Definition & Origin:
What does the expression mean, though? When we put these words together and we use this expression ‘water under the bridge’, what on earth does that mean? Water under the bridge. Yeah, okay. So, there’s water and it’s under the bridge, what does that mean?
So, literally, ‘water under the bridge’ is exactly that. It is water that is beneath a bridge or water that is flowing below a bridge. It is going under a bridge. So, it’s allowed to flow beneath the bridge and it’s not obstructed by anything. It can freely move underneath a bridge.
But figuratively, when we say that something’s ‘water under a bridge’, it means that whatever’s happened in the past can’t be undone, it can’t be changed, you can’t go back in time and change things, so don’t worry about it. Let’s move on with things. It’s not a big deal. The past is in the past. What’s done is done. What’s happened is unchangeable. Let’s forget about it. It’s a water under the bridge, right? So, imagine it like water passing by under the bridge and it’s gone. It’s done. It’s finished. There’s nothing you can do about it so it’s not a big deal.
And you also hear this used like expressions, ‘what’s done is done’ or ‘the past is in the past’ or simply ‘the past’s the past’.
So, where did this expression originate from? The earliest example I could find was from 1934. So, a song was entitled ‘Water under the bridge’ and it was written by Paul Francis Webster, Lou Pollock, and it was performed by Fred Waring, and this was all the way back in the 1930s, and the first line of the chorus begins as, “We kissed and love flowed through my heart like water under the bridge.”. So, it’s probably not being used exactly as we use it today, but there it is ‘water under the bridge’.
Most recently too, as a quick mention, artists like Adele and Olivia Newton-John actually have songs called ‘Water under the bridge’. So, check those out on YouTube.
So, as usual, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression. If something’s water under the bridge, what does that mean? How would I use this in day to day life?
Okay, so example number one. Imagine that I’m walking through the city and I stumble into an old friend from primary school. So, I bump into an old friend from school. It was by chance. I didn’t expect to see them. So, I haven’t seen them in like 12 years and we have a bit of a chat after we’ve recognised each other, and maybe one of us realises that the other one was a bit of a brat, a bit of a rascal, in school and maybe bullied me or I bullied them, maybe we teased each other, we paid each other out a lot as kids. If one of us apologises for that and says, “You know what, I was a real naughty kid, I was a bit of a brat, I was a rascal when I was in primary school and I was nasty. Sorry about that. I really apologise for being horrible.”. The other person might say, “Man, that was 12 years ago. Nothing to apologise about. No worries. It was so long ago, it’s a water under the bridge.”. So, it’s in the past it’s unchangeable. It’s so long ago, forget about it. It’s water under the bridge.
Example number two. So, in this example imagine, you know, countries in Europe, in the Americas, in Asia, were all fighting each other in World War II, right? All of these countries were at each other’s throats. They were trying to kill each other. They were fighting for power. People hated each other. There was racism, genocide, rape, murder, torture, the deaths of millions of people. You guys will know about what happened in the 20th century there, in World War II. But today, many of these countries consider themselves allies. They consider themselves friends. They have good relations. They… their relations have improved since that time. So, all of that stuff that happened was in the past. What’s done is done, and today, it’s water under the bridge, right? So, even though England and Germany were on opposite sides in World War II, they’re now good allies in Europe. So, what’s done is done. What’s in the past is in the past. It’s all water under the bridge.
Example Number Three. Okay, so here’s a personal anecdote from me. When I was growing up, my sister and I really didn’t get along. We used to fight each other all the time. We’d be yelling at each other, teasing each other. Maybe my sister would run to my mum and dad and, you know, complain about me, she’d dob on me, or tell on me for something. Maybe I’d pull her hair or steal her toys. And so, we grew up really disliking each other. However today, we get along like a house on fire. We are pretty close, we hang out, we chat, we see each other quite a bit. So, everything that has happened in the past is in the past. What’s done is done. It’s unchangeable, but it’s all water under the bridge. We have a really good relationship now. We’re on good terms. So, if I pulled her aside and apologised to her, she would probably say to me, “Pete, don’t worry about it. It’s so long ago, it’s water under the bridge.”.
Alright guys, so by now, I hope you understand the expression ‘water under the bridge’. Remember, we used this to talk about anything that has happened in the past, a long time ago, and it’s unchangeable. You can’t undo it and you shouldn’t worry about it. So, what’s done is done and what’s in the past is in the past. It’s water under the bridge.
So, let’s do a listen and repeat exercise as usual, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation, to try and focus on intonation and rhythm and connected speech, and if you really want to try and nail your Australian accent, it’s your chance to copy me as I speak. Otherwise, just say these words after me. Okay? So, listen then repeat after me. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
It’s water under
It’s water under the
It’s water under the bridge x 5
Good job. So, now let’s just do a little bit more and I want you to imagine a situation where you want to say to someone, if they’ve apologised to you, that, “It’s not a problem, it’s water under the bridge”. But let’s use some common Australian English phrases. Okay? So, listen and repeat after me, guys. And this is how you would say, “Not to worry. It’s not a problem. It’s water under the bridge.”. So, listen and repeat.
All good. It’s water under the bridge.
Don’t worry. It’s water under the bridge.
No stress. It’s water under the bridge.
No dramas. It’s water under the bridge.
She’ll be right. It’s water under the bridge.
Great job, and I will mention here, if you want to make it even more informal and very, very friendly, you can add ‘mate’ at either end of either of those sentences. So, you could say “She’ll be right, mate. It’s water under the bridge.”, or you could say “She’ll be right. It’s water under the bridge, mate.”.
So, we use ‘mate’ in Australia a lot to really sort of emphasise the friendliness of discussions. Now, we might avoid using this on women, and some women may not decide to use this when they’re talking, in fact, most women probably won’t say ‘mate’, but if you’re a guy listening to this and you’re talking to other guys, especially Australians, don’t be afraid to say ‘mate’. It’ll really come across like you’re being incredibly friendly. Okay? So, there you go.
Alright, guys, remember, if you want to get access to all the bonus content that will break this exercise down, this pronunciation exercise and go through things like connected speech and rhythm, intonation, then sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. Each week at the moment, I am releasing videos that take you through step by step all the aspects of connected speech and pronunciation and will better equip you to sound like an Australian English speaker, and you can sign up there and try it for one dollar for 30 days at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
So, let’s get into the Aussie English fact for today, guys, and then we will finish up.
So, the Aussie fact. Have you guessed what it’s about? It’s about the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So, I want to talk about that and I also want to talk about an interesting incident that occurred at the opening of the bridge in 1932. Alright so, let’s get into it.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is probably in the top three icons or iconic symbols synonymous with Australia. So, you would also know, obviously, the Sydney Opera House and Uluru. Those three things tend to be synonymous symbols with Australia. When you see them, you know you’re thinking about Australia at the same time. So, anyone who knows about Australia will definitely recognise the bridge. And let’s go through some facts about the bridge.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is steel, it’s made of steel, and it is a steel through arch bridge. So, it’s a… it’s made of steel, it’s in the shape of an arch, and you drive through the middle of it. It carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney CBD, and the Central Business District, and the North Shore. So, it crosses the bay there.
The bridge is nicknamed the ‘Coathanger’, because of its arch-based design. And ‘a coathanger’ is something that you would hang a coat or any other item of clothing on in a wardrobe.
So, it’s the sixth longest-spanning arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge measuring about 134 metres from the very top all the way down to the water level.
Its construction began nearly 100 years ago on the 28th of July in 1923. So, I guess 95 years ago. And it ended nine years later on the 19th of January in 1932. So, talk about a bridge that took a long time to build. Hey guys? And the gates were open to the general public about two months after its construction was complete.
So, the bridge was formally opened on Saturday on the 19th of March in 1932. And following the speeches being given at that event, Jack Lang, who was the Premier of New South Wales at the time, he was about to cut the ribbon and declare the bridge open when a man in military uniform suddenly rode up on a horse brandishing a sword, a sabre, and he slashed the ribbon in two and declared that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in the name of the people of New South Wales before the official ceremony could begin.
So, this man was promptly swarmed by security and he was pulled from his horse, arrested, and escorted from the scene. The ribbon was hurriedly retired and Lang performed the official opening ceremony and the bridge was inaugurated, and the inauguration was followed by a 21-gun salute, as in, 21 guns were fired into the air as a celebration, and the RAAF or ‘RAAF’ the Royal Australian Air Force did a flypast, where all of these planes flew past above the bridge.
So, the intruder on horseback was later identified as Francis De Groot who was ultimately convicted of offensive behaviour and he was fined five pounds after a psychiatric test proved he was sane, but this verdict was reversed on appeal. And strangely enough, de Groot actually successfully sued the Commissioner of Police for wrongful arrest and was awarded an undisclosed out of court settlement. So, he might have even got more money than was the fine he was originally meant to pay, the five pounds, right?
So, De Groot was actually a member of a right-wing paramilitary group called the New Guard who were opposed to Lang’s leftist policies and resentful of the fact that a member of the Royal Family hadn’t been asked to open the bridge. So, these guys were obviously royalists, very passionate about the Royal Family, and wanted them to be at the forefront of this inauguration.
So, De Groot was not a member of the regular army, but he’d worn this uniform and it allowed him to blend in with the rest of the cavalry. So, that’s how he snuck in to this event.
After the official ceremonies, the public was allowed to walk across the bridge and there were somewhere between 300,000 and 1,000,000 people, 1,000,000 people, who took part in the opening festivities. So, that’s ridiculous, that’s crazy, because Sydney’s population at the time was only 1,250,000. So, if we assume that it was 1,000,000 people, that’s almost like 80 percent of the people in Sydney crossing it. And even if it was only 300,000, that’s still something like 20 percent. So, it’s a crazy amount of people that came to check out the bridge. I guess today, we’d probably just, you know, use our iPhones.
Anyway, today you can go and see this bridge. It can be viewed from many parts of Sydney’s CBD. You can get a train across, you can drive across it, you can cycle or walk across it, and you can even climb to the very top of it if you desire.
Anyway, guys, that is it for today. A massive thank you for listening and, I guess, a small mention, just remember, guys, that I am in the process of doing up the website, and when it comes in in the future I will be charging a small fee for the transcripts and the MP3 downloads. And so, the whole point of bringing this in, and the reason I want to remind you, is because I’m hiring other people to work for me to try and help me bring better content for you guys.
So, I thank you so much for all the people who replied to me via email when I sent that out this week. I really, really appreciated the replies that I got, and you guys overwhelmingly told me it was a good idea and that I should definitely start charging so that I can afford to improve the content and improve my English.
So, a massive thank you to you guys, and yeah, thank you for encouraging me, because sometimes it’s difficult to know whether you are making the right decision and that’s why I really enjoy putting it to you guys and asking you guys for your feedback. So, thank you.
Anyway, I’ll see you next week. Have a ripper of a weekend!
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By Admin — 2 months ago
AE 506 – Expression: Out of the Blue
A male surfer’s been killed in a shark attack near Wedge Island north of Perth. The attack happened just after 9 O’clock local time. Joining us now for more on the story is Sky News Perth reporter Michael Hopkins. Mike, what do we know at this stage?
Yes, hello. Well, what we know at this stage is that police have confirmed that it was, indeed, a fatal shark attack at Wedge Island, a holiday spot to Perth’s north at 9 O’clock this morning. Now, police are still searching the area with boats and also with quad bikes on the beach in a bid to find the surfer’s remains.
What is up, guys? What is up, you mob? How are you going? This is the first episode where you guys get to hear from ‘married Pete’.
So, how’s it going? Sorry, it’s been a little while with these expression episodes. I hope, as well, that you’ve got to check out the marriage and wedding episode that I published recently on the podcast and on YouTube. So, go and check that out if you haven’t and if you want to hear about all of what happened last weekend with Kel and me getting married. It was an amazing day. Anyway.
So, the video from the start there, guys, the video from the start was from Sky News, which you can check out at SkyNews.com.au. You can also check them out on YouTube and Sky News if you would like to watch stories about Australia and other parts of the world.
So, that was about a shark attack that occurred in Australia, and Australia is relatively well-known for having shark attacks relatively commonly, I guess. It’s up there in the most dangerous places in the world for sharks, but we will talk about that later on in the Aussie Fact as well as about some other animals that are more likely to kill you than sharks, and those animals might surprise you.
So, as usual guys, if you would like to support the podcast and you would like to get access to all the transcripts and all the MP3s for these episodes, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com, go to the menu click ‘Sign Up’, and for just $4.99 per month you will get access to everything.
On top of that, guys, if you would like to get access to the Aussie English Classroom and all the courses that I make for these expression episodes with vocab, with expression videos, with pronunciation videos, and other courses too with Australian interviews and Australian pronunciation, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and then click ‘Enroll’, and sign up and get in there and start levelling up your English.
I want to say a big thank you to all of you guys who signed up in the last week. We had been doing a special promotion for year memberships and 3-month memberships and a heap of you guys signed up. So, it is so good to see that the Aussie English Classroom is expanding and helping so many people. And it was a way of thanking you guys for your hard work and giving you an amazing deal when you sign up for three months or a year.
Now, those deals are gone, unfortunately, for now. They are gone. However, you are still able to sign up. You just won’t save the same amount of money. Okay. So, you’ll just jump over to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com if you’re interested in that. Anyway. Enough of talking about all that stuff, guys. Get that out of the way and let’s get into the Aussie English joke.
So, today’s expression’s ‘out of the blue’ and that have me thinking about sharks. You might see the connection later on. And so, I thought I’ll try and find a shark joke. Okay. So, here’s the joke.
What did the seal with a broken arm say to the shark? What did a seal with a broken arm say did the shark?
Do not consume if ‘seal’ is broken. It’s so stupid. Do not consume if ‘seal’ is broken.
I wonder if you get that. Alright, let me explain. So, often when you go to the shops, if you buy something that’s in a jar or in some kind of packet, quite often it will say that if the seal of the jar of the seal of the packet is broken, don’t consume the food inside, because it means that air has gotten in and there may be bacteria in there and the food may have gone off, it may have gone bad. Okay. So, you’ll often see, ‘Do not consume if seal is broken’.
So, the joke here is that obviously a seal is also that animal, you know, that lives in the ocean and jumps on the land sometimes to sunbathe than have babies, but they are often hunted by sharks, and so, the seal with a broken arm says to the shark, ‘don’t consume if seal is broken’. Jesus. Anyway, guys.
Today’s expression is ‘out of the blue’ and this came from Fatimah in the Aussie English Classroom. We have the Facebook group. We vote on these expressions. Fatimah suggested this one and she crushed it, she did very well, and it got voted on by everyone. Let’s go through and define the words in ‘out of the blue’.
So, ‘out of something’, right. ‘Out of something’. If you’re out of something, it’s that you’re coming out of something, you’re exiting something, right. It’s sort of the opposite of going into something, ‘out of something’ is leaving something, from being within something. Okay. Pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure you guys know what ‘out of something’ is.
‘The blue’. Now, this might be more confusing. ‘Blue’ is obviously a colour, right. The sky is blue. The ocean is blue. My eyes are blue. What else is blue? I don’t know. Other things are blue. Anyway. In this case, though, it doesn’t refer to the colour, specifically. It’s referring to the sky, which I guess is blue. But ‘the blue’ in this case means the sky.
So, let’s define the expression ‘out of the blue’. I wonder if you guys have heard this. Something happens out of the blue, right. If it’s… just appears out of the blue. What could that mean?
‘Out of the blue’ means out of nowhere, to appear unexpectedly or surprisingly, you know. You’re not expecting that thing to happen or to appear. It is appearing out of the blue. It’s appearing out of nowhere.
So, ‘the blue’ in this case refers to the sky, the blue sky, as we said, and usually, thunderstorms with, you know, thunder and lightning, don’t tend to happen when there’s a clear blue sky. But when it does happen, it’s a surprise that no one expects, it’s unexpected, it’s surprising. And apparently an older version of this expression was ‘a bolt out of the blue’ or ‘a bolt from the blue’, which referred to a completely unexpected and surprising appearance of a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky, right, out of nowhere.
So, we can use this literally, if someone, say, appears in front of you. They appear out of nowhere. You know, it’s shocking, it’s surprising, unexpected. But we can use it to for things that people say or maybe emotions, you know, non-physical things, right. So, if someone suddenly says something or burps or yawns or, you know, does something like that where you could say, oh, that was out of the blue. You know, I got upset and it was out of the blue.
So, let’s go through some examples, guys, to try and show you how I would use this expression in my day-to-day life. Okay.
So, example number one. Imagine that you are going to the beach with your mates. You’re about to hit the beach. You want to go for a surf or a body board or a body surf or maybe just a cheeky dip in the ocean at your favourite beach, your favourite Australian beach, maybe Bondi Beach or Bell’s Beach down here where Rip Curl Pro is often held each year, the surfing competition. So, you all dive into it. You pile out of the car when you get to the beach. You put your wettie is on, or maybe you’re wearing board shorts, you put your boardies on, your grab your boards and you dive into the water to catch a first wave. The waves are about six foot. It’s incredibly clean, you know, it’s not choppy, it’s not… the water’s not rough, there’s an offshore wind as well making the waves perfect, and you and your mates are carving it up each time you catch one of these incoming waves. When all of a sudden, out of the blue, one of your mates spots a large fin pop above the surface of the water a few metres away. Now, you all panic, you all frantically start swimming to shore and fear the worst. You think, oh no, it’s going to be a shark and it’s going to ruin our awesome day. But it turns out to be a lone dolphin who wants to join your ranks to catch a wave or two itself. So, it just appeared out of the blue, unexpectedly, out of nowhere.
Example number two. You’re at home on a weekend and you plan on binge watching your favorite TV show, right. I was doing this recently watching The Walking Dead. So, you’ve got to drink out of the fridge, you know, your favorite beer, your favorite soft drink, you’ve got some chips or your favorite snack, and you’ve kicked back on the couch and you’ve put the first episode on. So, you get through most of the show, but the tension starts to build, the show starts to climax, there’s a bit of suspense, something big is about to happen in the show when all of a sudden, out of the blue, the power goes off, the TV screen goes black. You might scream out, no! I wanted to see what was going to happen. You’ll lose it, you get upset, because you can’t see what was about to happen on the show, because out of the blue, unexpectedly, surprisingly, out of nowhere, the power went out.
Example number three. You’re at home one day cleaning the house after your kids have been playing and they’ve made a bit of a mess of the place, right. They’d been mucking around with finger-paint or food or something. They’ve made a mess. So, you’re busy cleaning away, when all of a sudden, the doorbell goes or someone knocks on the door. So, you go and open it up and it turns out that it’s a long-lost friend who you haven’t seen since you were at school, you know, maybe 20 years ago. So, you might say, Wow! How did you know I was here? That’s so out of the blue. Where did you come from? I haven’t seen you in yonks. I haven’t seen you in donkey’s years. I haven’t seen you in ages. But what an awesome surprise. It’s great to see you even if it is randomly and out of the blue.
So, hopefully guys you understand the expression now ‘out of the blue’. It is for something to appear physically or figuratively out of nowhere, unexpectedly, surprisingly.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise where you guys can practice your pronunciation. You can work on your Australian accent if that is something that you are trying to master at the moment. Listen and repeat after me. Or work on the accent that you are currently targeting, you know, British, US, whatever it is, and say these words with that accent. Let’s go.
Out of the
Out of the blue x 5
It’s pretty interesting, actually. There’s quite a bit of pronunciation and connected speech modifying there when I say those words by themselves or when I say them together, right. Out, out of, out of the, out of the blue. That’s interesting.
Anyway, we’ll go over that more in the Aussie English Classroom pronunciation video for this episode, guys. Remember to sign up to that if you are interested in improving your English and improving your pronunciation. TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Oh! And I almost forgot, we’ll go through a sentence and now we will conjugate through, ‘I appeared out of the blue’, ‘you appeared out of the blue’. Okay, so listen and repeat after me.
I appeared out of the blue
You appeared out of the blue
He appeared out of the blue
She appeared out of the blue
We appeared out of the blue
They appeared out of the blue
It appeared out of the blue
Man, there’s a lot of t-flaps going on there. ‘It appeared out of the blue’.
Alright. Aussie English Fact for the day, guys. So, sharks. I wanted to talk about shark attacks as they tend to occur out of the blue, right, and they’re a common occurrence in Australia, at least the media would have you believe this. It tends to always be one on the on the TV every week or two, you hear about a shark attack. And then I want to talk about shark culling, okay? And this is a hot topic that pollies, politicians, are always yacking about on the telly as well.
Alright, so unsurprisingly shark attacks have been happening in Australia since the first humans arrived here nearly 50,000 or 60,000 years ago when they first surrendered to the enticing ocean waters that surrounded the continent. The earliest shark attack that was fatal that’s on record occurred in the early years of British colonisation in Port Jackson where an Aboriginal woman was swimming and she was, quote, “bitten in two” by a shark.
Between the years of 1958 and 2018, there have been 536 shark attacks in Australia, and we are number two on the list of shark attacks in the world. 73 of these shark attacks proved to be fatal to the victims. Australia comes in at number two with the US at number one with more than double the number of shark attacks at 1104. But despite this, there are actually twice as many deaths in Australia as there are in the US who recorded only 35 fatalities in the same period of time. Interesting. It seems that, statistically speaking, in Australia you have the highest chance of being attacked and killed by a shark than anywhere else in the world.
If you’re interested in taking your chances at the most dangerous beach in Australia, then I suggest heading off to Coffin Bay in South Australia whose name seems appropriate, although, there may not be enough of you left to warrant using a coffin.
Although, shark attacks often receive a lot of air time on national and state news, you’re far more likely to be killed by a bunch of other less-suspecting and cute and cuddly animals Down Under.
In 2011, Australia’s National Coronial Information System, or NCIS, released its first report into the trends and patterns surrounding animal-related deaths in Australia where they evaluated the first decade of this century from the years 2000 to 2010. The report discovered that horses, including ponies and donkeys, were Australia’s most deadly animal causing 77 deaths in a 10-year period. So, 7.7 deaths a year.
Next on the list of cute and cuddly but more likely to kill you than a shark were cows, including bulls and cattle, which accounted for 33 deaths, 16 of which, interestingly enough, were during motor vehicle accidents. So, to any cows listening, get off the bloody road!
Number three on the list was man’s best friend, dogs, who killed 27 people from attacks most of which were children under the age of four and the elderly.
And the final unsuspecting death bringer to humans on this list before sharks is the iconic and much beloved Australian kangaroo, which accounted for 18 deaths, albeit, indirectly, through motor vehicle accidents. So, again, Skippy, get off the road!
Place five and six was a tie with bees and sharks both accounting for 16 deaths in a 10-year period. So, 1.6 deaths per year. So, there you go.
Next time you’re second guessing taking a dip at Bondi Beach for fear of being devoured by the tooth-filled gnashing jaws of a shark, remember, that you’re much more likely to die from animals like horses, cows, kangaroos, dogs, and even bees than you are sharks.
So, why do sharks attack humans? Are they hunting us like the movie Jaws famously depicts? The answer is definitely no. Feeding is not the reason that sharks attack humans. In fact, humans don’t provide enough high-fat meat for sharks, which need a lot of energy to power their large muscular bodies. Sharks are just inquisitive animals and have no hands to explore the world around them and these unknown objects that they might stumble across bobbing around in the ocean. Therefore, they’re left with a jaw full of razor-sharp teeth to satiate their curiosity and explore any objects they may come across. Unfortunately, for us though, one simple exploratory nip from a large shark is usually a grievous and life-threatening injury to any human when coming from a great white, a tiger, or a bull shark, the three sharks that are the most common culprits for human fatalities.
Unfortunately, beach-loving Australians are insistent on partaking in one of their favorite pastimes, their favourite hobbies, enjoying the beaches and oceans around the country. And shark attacks often cause hysteria in the media and are quickly commandeered by politicians looking to gain favour and win votes by stirring up fear and promising easy solutions.
This is where the contentious issue of shark nets and drum lines come into play in Australia. Shark nets are often placed in the water to prevent sharks entering certain beaches, but they are criticised by environmentalists and conservationists alike who claim that these nets are extremely destructive to marine life and often harm or even kill sharks, which are an important part of a healthy marine ecosystem.
Drum lines are unmanned aquatic traps used to lure, capture, and kill large sharks using baited hooks connected to floating drums that indiscriminately kill any shark curious enough to take a bite of the bait. They’re often deployed in locations after an attack in the hopes of catching the perpetrating shark that attacked a human or at least reducing the numbers of big sharks in the area. However, like shark nets, drum lines have been heavily criticised as being ineffective, cruel, unethical, non-scientific, and environmentally destructive. One analogy I saw was if a tradie murdered one person and then disappeared, would killing five other Australian tradies at random make Australia safer?
So, finishing up, every time you decide to take a dip in the ocean you’re obviously at risk of a shark attack. True. But you’re much more likely to die from things like kangaroos and horses in car accidents than you are from a shark. So, just be safe, be smart, and if you want to bring your risk to 0%, stay out of the water. Simple as that.
Anyway, guys thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure when you guys join me and listen to these episodes. I know that they’re helping a lot of people. You get back to me, you send me emails, you send me comments on Instagram, on Facebook, and it means a lot to me, guys, and I’ll want to give you a big, big, big thank you from both me and Kel to everyone who gave us their well-wishes and congratulations after the wedding. That really meant a lot to both of us. So, thank you so much, guys, and we were so happy to be able to share that experience with you as well on Instagram and on YouTube.
So, that’s it for this week guys. I hope you enjoy the episode. I hope to see you in the Aussie English Classroom and I will chat to you very soon. See you, guys.
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