In this episode I go over a number of different ways that you can call someone an “idiot” using a number of different more general English terms as well as some very specific Aussie terms.
Polite ways to call someone an “idiot” word list:
None of these are particularly rude, and I use quite a lot on a daily basis whether I’m seriously calling someone an idiot or using words in an endearing sense such as “dag” when someone has done something silly or stupid that I think is funny and we’re both laughing together about it.
As I say in at the end of the episode guys I would be careful not to go around using these like crazy in every situation, particularly formal situations, but at the same time they are the kinds of words you will hear a lot in informal and friendly situations. So I think it’s important to have some awareness of what they mean and when they will be used.
Also, be sure to check out the following episode (Ep023) where I interview my mate John about how he would use these words in conversation with other Aussies.
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!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.
About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
You Might also like
By pete — 6 months ago
AE 467 – Expression: Sink Your Teeth into It
The opposition here lead by Tony… yeah, Tony. As I’ve said, you know, I don’t mind Tony, personally, I think he’s not a bad bloke, but as I said during the campaign, he’s as mad as a cut snake. And he is on this issue. He is on this issue. I mean, totally irresponsible.
G’day, you mob. How’s it going? And welcome to this episode of the Aussie English podcast.
It has been a long day. It has been a long day and it is only at 1pm. I tell you what, guys, I’ve been working on this video for the sounds /i:/ and /ɪ/, right, from sheep and ship or beach and bitch. I know this is a hard one. I’ve been working on this video for ages, and I’ve turned into a perfectionist. It’s just taking forever to finish, but I hope you guys enjoy it. It’ll be up hopefully tomorrow or this weekend. And I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of kangaroos, because I keep finding them around close to where I live at the moment and they’re just really fun to film. So, it’s nice to add them in to these videos. Anyway.
Welcome to the Aussie English Podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, whether you want to learn English in general too, it’s all the same thing really. They’ll just be the odd slang word and slang expression in the Aussie English Podcast episodes. Anyway.
The Aussie English Podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom, guys. This is the online learning classroom where you guys get access to all the bonus content for these episodes, the transcripts, the MP3s, the videos that I create for each of these episodes. So, if you’re a serious learner, you’re an advanced learner, or intermediate to advanced, and you want to take it to the next level, the Classroom is really the place for you guys to go.
It’s just one dollar for your first month. So, you can really take a massive, massive advantage of this offer, guys. Get in there. You know, even if it’s not for you, you can unsubscribe at any time. But there’s about 50 courses in there currently that you can complete at your own time. And this is how I keep doing what I’m doing. So, if you sign up, you’re supporting me and you’re improving your English.
Remember, too, if you want the transcripts and the MP3s, and that’s all you want, for every single one of these podcast episodes, you can sign up at theAussieEnglishPodcast.com for about five bucks a month in order to get the transcripts and MP3. Anyway.
Let’s get into today’s episode, guys. That intro clip was from a short video that I found online where our ex-prime minister Bob Hawke is talking to our also ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard about another ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Bob Hawke calls Tony Abbott as mad as a cut snake, and we’ll get into what that means exactly at the end, but in today’s Aussie English Fact I’m going to talk about seven or so different Australian expressions that many people know in Australia, and some use them sometimes, they might use them as a joke, but they don’t often say them normally. Anyway.
The Aussie joke for today, guys. The Aussie joke for today. All right.
So, a bear walks into a bar and says, “Give me a scotch and…….. coke.”. And the bartender says, “Why the big pause?”, and the bear shrugs and says, “Oh, I’m not sure. I was just born with them.”.
“I’m not sure. I was just born with them.” Do you get it, guys? Okay, so the bear’s walked into the bar and he said, “Give me a scotch and coke.”. But he paused between the words “and…. coke”. He paused. He made a “….”, pause. That’s a pause like P A U S E. And the bartender says Why the long pause, P A U S E, as in, “Why did you stop talking?”, and the bear interprets this as paws, P A W S, to mean what the animal has as hands, right? The bear… the bear’s hands with claws aren’t hands, technically. They’re paws. P A W S. So, that’s the joke there, guys.
A bear walks into a bar and says, “Give me a scotch and….. coke”. The bartender says, “Why the big pause?”, and the bear shrugs and says, “I don’t know. I was just born with them.”.
So, today’s expression, guys, is to “sink your teeth into it” or to “sink your teeth into something”, and this one comes from Aykhan. He suggested this and he finally got it. In fact, it was a bit difficult Fatimah had actually won this one. Okay. So, props to you Fatimah. You did win this one with “a head like a dropped pie”, which we’ll get into at the end, if I remember correctly. But that one isn’t very commonly used and it’s a bit mean. It means that someone’s ugly. So, I thought, “I can’t really devote an entire episode to a rare expression that is not used very often and is just calling someone ugly even though it was funny.” Okay? So, I thought, “Alright. Aykhan he came second. To sink your teeth into something. That’s a good one. I’ve used that and I use that all the time. But to “have a head like a dropped pie”, I’ll mention at the end and talk about some other similar expressions.”.
Alright, to “sink your teeth into it” or to “sink your teeth into something”. Let’s go through the definitions of the words in this expression.
So, “to sink”, “to sink”, is to go down below the surface of something, especially a liquid. So, to become submerged. If you sink into something that is to go down into something, okay. So, for instance, a boat might sink, and if it sinks, it’s sinking into the ocean. And, for example, if you’re on the beach and you walk to the water, your feet might sink. And if you want to talk about what they’re sinking into, you could say they are sinking into the sand. They’re sinking in to the sand. So, to go below the surface of something.
“Your”. I’m sure you’ll know “your”. It’s the possessive pronoun for you indicating that something belongs to you. Your dog, your friend, your food, your Australian English podcast. “Your”.
“Teeth” is the plural of the word “tooth”. Again, I’m sure you guys know this one. And “a tooth” is a bony enamel-coated structure in your jaw that you use for biting things, for chewing things. Okay? “A tooth” and the plural is “teeth”. It’s another one of those words where it’s a… it’s an irregular plural word, okay, like “geese” and “goose”, “teeth” and “tooth” as opposed to “tooths”.
So, what does to “sink your teeth into something” mean? To “sink your teeth into something”. If you sink your teeth into something, obviously literally, that would be that you’re biting something, right. You’re sinking your teeth, your teeth are going below the surface of some food, you’re sinking your teeth into something. So, we can use to “sink your teeth into something” to mean to take a bite of something good to eat, to eat something. Sink your teeth into this food. Eat it.
But we can use it, figuratively, to mean to start doing something or to become involved in something, especially, if you do this with one’s utmost energy. So, to do this energetically or to do it with determination or enthusiasm, that is to sink your teeth into something, figuratively.
So, let’s go through three examples, guys, of how I would use the expression to “sink your teeth into it” or to “sink your teeth into something”.
So, okay, example number one. Imagine that you’re at a mate’s place. He’s asked you around for a barbie, a barbecue, he wants to have a cook up at his place. He wants you to bring your wife around so that she can hang out with his fiancée, wife, or partner, and everyone else’s as well while you guys are out on the deck sinking a few tinnies or sinking a few stubbies. So, that’s like to drink a few cans of something, to sink a few tinnies, or to drink a few bottles of something, to sink a few stubbies. That’s a very Australian thing to say. To sink a drink, okay, to sink something. So, you’re hanging out on the deck. It’s a potluck party where you’ve had to bring your own food, right. You’ve brought something to offer or to contribute to the barbie. You remember, when you were at home, you remember you had some kangaroo snags, some kangaroo sausages, that you really wanted to bring, but they were hidden away somewhere in one of your freezers or your fridges. So, you had to search through each one, you had to go through every nook and cranny, and finally you found them and you and your wife headed over to the party. So, you get cooking. You’re out on the deck shooting the shit with your mates, which is an informal way of saying “having a yarn”, “having a chat”, “talking with friends” on the deck cooking up all the snags and other food on the barbie whilst your missus, your wife, is inside laughing it up, having a good time, with her girlfriends. So, when the food’s finally ready, you might yell out to the girls, “Hey, girls! Grub’s up! Come out and sink your teeth into this. Come out and sink your teeth into this food.”. So, sink your teeth into the food start eating…. Start eating the food vigorously and enjoy it. Okay? That’s the literal use of the expression to “sink your teeth into it”, start eating.
Example number two. Okay. Carrying on from the previous example, so this is connected to that previous example, imagine that it is now late in the evening after this party. So, you’ve eaten a heap, you’ve drunk even more… more than your fair share of grog, you announce to everyone that it’s time for you and your wife to pull up stumps, to finish for the evening, and to head home, ’cause you’re wrecked, you’re tired, you need to sleep, you need to pack it in, you need to hit the sack, go to bed, because in the morning you’ve got a bunch of work waiting for you that you have to sink your teeth into. So, you have to start doing this work. You have to do it in a determined fashion, even though you might not be that enthused about doing this work, but you need to finish it. So, you might say, “Look, guys, we’ve got to pack it in, we’ve got to pull up stumps, and head home, because tomorrow morning I’ve got to get up at the crack of dawn, I have to get up at sparrow’s fart, [another informal expression there] I have to get up really early, and I have to sink my teeth into this work. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve got a sink my teeth into it.”.
Example number three, guys. Example number three. So, now imagine you and your wife, you are real bookworms. So, you love to read books. You’re bookworms. You head out to Readings or to Dymocks, these are two different book stores in Australia or maybe you jump online on Amazon or on eBay, and you buy a couple of books to read there. You order them in the post. Okay. So, they’re coming to you in the post, you are really excited, they’re going to arrive in a week or two, and you can’t wait for the postie to ride up on his little motorbike and deliver these books. So, the day comes. You open the door, you hear the post riding up on his little motorbike. He shows up at the door, hands you the books, and says, “If I’m not wrong, these feel like books in this parcel.”, and you might say, “Yeah, that’s it and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them. I can’t wait to start consuming them, to start reading them, I really can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.”. And he might reply, “Well, here you go! Have at them! [as in, begin doing what you want to do with them, have at them], go and sink your teeth into them. I won’t hold you. Enjoy!”. And you might head inside, rip the parcel open, pull out the first book, sit down in your couch and start sinking your teeth straight into the book.
So, hopefully now, guys, you understand the expression to “sink your teeth into something”. This could be the literal meaning of this expression to take a bite of something or to start eating something, sort of ravenously or vigorously.
But it can also be used figuratively to mean start doing something or becoming involved with something with one’s utmost energy determination or enthusiasm.
So, as usual guys, now we’ll go through a little listen and repeat exercise, and this is your chance to practice your pronunciation. So, I leave a bit of space after each word or phrase that I say and this is where you should repeat this out loud or maybe, you know, if you’re around other people, you could do it quietly, but I would really suggest saying these words out loud and trying to mimic, trying to copy, my pronunciation. Okay? So, listen and repeat after me, guys.
To sink your
To sink your teeth
To sink your teeth into
To sink your teeth into it x 5
I sank my teeth into it.
You sank your teeth into it.
He sank his teeth into it.
She sank her teeth into it.
We sank our teeth into it.
They sink their teeth into it.
It sank its teeth into it.
Good job, guys. Good job. Remember, if you would like to work on your pronunciation, definitely sign up to the Aussie English Classroom and go through the pronunciation course specifically designed in there to help you reduce your accent and sound more like an Australian, and I’m adding videos to that course at the moment for all of the word pairs that I say, the minimal pairs. So, sort of like “ship” and “sheep”, “bitch” and “beach”, like the video that’s about to come out. And there are also tongue twisters that I’ve put in there. So, sentences with loads of these complicated words that have pronunciations very similar to one another that are difficult for a lot of ESL learners to pronounce. So, if you’d like to improve your pronunciation, get in there and give it a go.
Anyway, today’s Aussie Fact, guys. So, today’s Aussie fact is just going to be talking about seven different stereotypical Aussie expressions that I sort of found online or I knew myself. So, I want to show you a bit of Australian humour, our sense of humour, our love for a bit of vulgarity and informal language when we’re hanging out with mates and talking with friends. But I do want to warn you that these are informal and some are potentially rude.
So, it’s good that you learn these because it gives you a sense of our history, our culture, what we’re like as a people, but it also shows you how we use the language and when and where we would use this language. Okay? So, let’s just take that as a warning. Don’t use this in formal situations, if you’re in a job interview or something, but if you’re hanging out with mates, having a drink, having a good time, you could probably use these and people will enjoy it, they’ll have a bit of a laugh. Okay? So, it’s a good way of learning a bit more Australian culture. Anyway.
1. A Face Like a Dropped Pie
The first one here was from Fatimah. This was the one that she suggested in the Aussie English Facebook group, and it was “a face like a dropped pie”, “a face like a dropped pie”. So, you can imagine that if you have a meat pie in your hand, you know, you’re at the footy or something and you’re holding a meat pie, if you drop the pie, it tends to not look very appealing afterwards, and that would be the idea here that if someone has a face like a dropped pie, they’re very unattractive, they’re very ugly. It’s a very colourful way of describing someone as being unattractive, to “have a face like a dropped pie”. Obviously, if you were to say this to someone directly, they’re going to be upset, they’re going to be offended, but if you’re being silly, you’re joking around, maybe you’ve got a real blokey mate who’s your friend, and you’re like, “Ah, yeah he’s a bit of a… he’s a bit of an odd looker. He’s got a face like a dropped pie.”. That would be a situation where you might be able to use this.
2. A Face Like a Smashed Crab
Now this one made me remember number two here, “a face like a smashed crab”. So, this is sort of the same thing, someone who’s unattractive, who has an unattractive face. If they have a face like a smashed crab, that would be like the crustacean, a crab, thing with claws and, I think, 10 legs that lives in the ocean. If you were to get one of these crabs, whether you’re in a restaurant eating it or you’ve accidentally stepped on one on the beach or something, when it’s crushed, it looks very unappealing, right? There’s guts everywhere, there’s bits of cracked shell, so it’s very ugly, it’s very unappealing. So, if someone has a face like a smashed crab, they’re unattractive. Again, I’ve heard this, I’ve probably used it as a joke with very close friends at some point in the past, although, I probably wouldn’t use it today unless I was really just trying to be stupid or get someone to laugh at the fact that it’s sort of such a silly expression, which is the case with most of these. Alright.
3. As Mad As a Cut Snake
Number three. Number three is the one that you heard in the intro, guys, “as mad as a cut snake”, “as mad as a cut snake”. This means incredibly angry, to be incredibly angry or upset. It could also mean, as mad as a cut snake, as crazy as a cut snake. So, if someone’s crazy, insane, mad, you might use this too. So, our Prime Minister used it, and this is one that I hear more often, and it just means that someone is crazy, is mad. And you would imagine that if you cut a snake, you know, if you found a snake on the road, drove over it, and you accidentally cut its tail off, it would become incredibly enraged, incredibly angry, and it would be mad. Okay? As mad as a cut snake.
4. As Flash As a Rat With a Gold Tooth
Number four here. “As flash as a rat with a gold tooth”. “As flash as a rat with a gold tooth”. I must admit I’ve never said this, though I have heard it. “As flash as a rat with a gold tooth”. So, you can imagine here a rat, you know, a rodent, with a gold tooth, which is something we would associate with someone poor trying to appear rich, right, or trying to be flashy like, “I have money!”. And so, we can use “as flash as a rat with a gold tooth” to talk about someone who doesn’t usually get dressed up or is not the kind of person who looks good in a suit or in a very nice dress, and so if they’ve tried really hard to dress up, which is probably what I look like in a suit, to be honest, they’ve tried to wear some clothing that’s very expensive to make them look good, although, they don’t look like they are the kind of person who should be wearing that, they are as flash as a rat with a gold tooth. So, they are “the rat” and “the gold tooth” is the dress or the suit that they’re wearing.
5. Run Around Like a Headless Chook
Number five. To “run around like a headless chook”. To “run around like a headless chook”. Now this is what I hear from time to time, and I think a lot of the time it’ll be women that use these, generally people’s mothers, and they’ll say it to kids, if kids are going crazy, if they’re running around like nuts, they might say, “They’re running around like a headless chook!”. So, you can imagine when you chop the head off a chook, although, you know, not many of us do that now, but if you are on a farm and you behead a chook, you cut its head off, it flaps around, the body moves around quite a lot for a while. Okay? So, it runs around without its head. It runs around like a headless chook. And so, can mean to be very busy doing a lot of things, but it’s also in a way that’s not very effective, and in general it could be that you’re just running around like crazy, you know, a kid who’s drunk too much red cordial or even too many lollies.
6. Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle
Number six here, and I’ve done this before, to “be up shit creek without a paddle”, to “be up shit creek without a paddle”. This means to be in a lot of trouble. If you are obviously in a creek, which is like a very small river, and instead of water it’s shit, which is a rude word for “poo”, you’re obviously in trouble, and if you don’t have a paddle, you can’t maneuver the canoe that you’re in, you’re obviously in even more trouble. So, “up shit creek without a paddle” is to be in trouble. Again, (it’s) very informal, but I would use this with mates. If I was saying, “Yeah, that guy’s in trouble, man. He’s up shit creek without a paddle.”.
7. Go Off Like a Frog in a Sock
The very last one here, guys, before we finish up is to “go off like a frog in a sock”, to “go off like a frog in a sock”. “A frog” is that animal that goes *ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit*, and if you were to put that in a sock, if you caught a frog in a pond or a stream or a creek, hopefully not “a shit creek”, if you put that frog in a sock, you would imagine he wouldn’t be very happy and he would be hopping around, he’d be trying to escape, he’d be moving around like crazy in that sock. So, that would be him going off, he’s getting angry, he is getting upset, he’s moving, he’s going off. So, if you go off like a frog in a sock… in fact, it wouldn’t be you. It would usually be something like a party or an event. It’s going off like a frog in a sock. It means for that event to be in full swing, to be really loud, for everyone to be having a great time, for it to be in full swing, that would be like, “Oh, yeah, this party is going off. It’s going off like a frog in a sock.”.
So, there you go, guys. There are seven stereotypical Aussie expressions. Remember, these are very informal. I would use them with friends. I would not use these in any kind of formal situation at work. I would not use them in job interviews. I would probably not use these with people I haven’t met or don’t know properly. Okay? So, when you first meet someone, don’t use these. But they’re worth knowing, they’re worth understanding, because the more you become accustomed with Australian English, with Australian culture, and you realise when and where you can use these correctly, they will make a lot of people laugh and make you seem a lot more like you’re part of the Australian culture. So, that’s why I think it’s important to teach these.
Anyway, guys. thank you so much for joining me. It’s been a long episode. I hope you have a ripper of a week and I’ll chat to you soon. All the best, guys. See ya!
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 2,552
By Admin — 8 months ago
AE 452 – Expression: Look Before You Leap
G’day, you mob! What is going on? And welcome to this episode of Aussie English. It’s been a pretty good week. I have been chilling out a bit at home, working on the website. You guys may have noticed that as of yesterday, well, it’s going to be Sunday when this comes out, today’s Thursday when I’m recording there, so yesterday was Wednesday. As of Wednesday, I have brought in the membership for theAussieEnglishPodcast.com a website. So, for anyone who may have missed the boat, not actually caught up with this message, the membership that has come through for the podcast website is just a cheap five dollar a month subscription, although, you can save money if you save up for six months or a year at a time, and this is to get a little bit of money coming in from the podcast website so that I can pay for transcription. So, I’m running out of sort of important time for making all these resources, I can’t do everything, and I need to hire someone else to transcribe these episodes, and in order to do so, I need the episodes to be making some kind of income. So, that is why I’ve decided to charge a minimum of five dollars per month. Again, you can save money if you get six months or a year memberships to the website, and this money is going to be used for transcription of every episode that I now put up on the podcast. That is the aim. Okay? So, you’re going to be able to read everything. You’ll be able to download everything, the transcript, the MP3, and yeah, that’s the whole aim here, guys.
I guess, a quick difference between these two things for anyone wondering, I obviously have the Aussie English Classroom membership as well, but that is for all of the courses that I create with some of the podcast material. The things like the interviews and expression episodes like this one. So, for anyone who’s a member of the Aussie English Classroom, nothing’s going to change for you guys. You will still get what you’ve always gotten on theAussieEnglishClassroom.com. But for those who are just using the podcast website and just want the transcripts and the MP3s to download and read in their own time or on their phone or on their computer, whatever it is, this is the membership for you guys. And I guess, anyone who is in the Aussie English Classroom, the reason you would sign up for this membership as well would be that you want access to the transcripts and MP3s for episodes that aren’t used for courses in the Aussie English Classroom.
Anyway, that is a bit of an intro, guys. This is the Aussie English podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. It’s brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom, which I’ve just mentioned a little bit. Remember, you can sign up for that for one dollar for your first 30 days at theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and that is where you get all the bonus content for the expression episodes. And I design them in a course. You get videos at the moment where I go through bonus vocab, bonus expressions, and how to improve your pronunciation in connected speech. So, if you want all the bonus content, if you want to complete these episodes as courses online on a weekly basis as well as get access to the previous courses, then go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
Anyway, guys. Today’s expression is a “look before you leap”. This was a really good one that came from Kel in the private Facebook group for the Classroom. As usual, we voted on all these different expressions and Kel won this one. So, “look before you leap”.
But before we leap into that, before we get into that, we’ll go through today’s Aussie joke. So, today’s Aussie joke is, and it’s another one that involves kangaroos. Today’s Aussie joke is: What do you call a talking kangaroo? So, what do you call a kangaroo that can talk? “Unbe-leap-able”. Do you get it? Woooo! “Unbe-leap-able”. So, the pun here, guys, is obviously with the words “unbelievable”, as in incredible. That’s amazing. A talking kangaroo? Unbelievable! And the word “leap”, because kangaroos leap or hop or jump. Okay? So, they’ve put the word “leap” in side of the word “unbelievable”, “unbe-leap-able”. What a pun. Okay. That’s a massive dad joke. I hope you enjoyed it.
Anyway, as I said, okay, today’s expression is a “look before you leap”. As usual, we’ll go through and define the different words in this expression. We’ll go through the expression definition itself, the origin of the expression, some examples, and then listen and repeat exercise, and then go through a few news articles that I found this week. Something different here at the end. Okay?
So, the words in this expression, “to look”, “to look”. I’m sure you guys know what “to look” means. It is to direct your gaze in a specific direction. To take your eyes, to point them in a specific direction, and examine something. Look at something. “To look”. And in this case, it is to examine something. So, it may not necessarily be literally use your eyes to look at something. It may be more the idea of just having a look, as in examining something, see if something’s safe, see if something’s okay. I look in the fridge for food. You know, I am looking with my eyes, but it’s also that idea of searching. Okay? Examining. If someone knocks on the door, you might look to see who it is. It’s… it’s using your eyes, but it’s also examining, it’s also finding information and searching. Okay?
The other word “before”, “before”. This is during the period of time preceding another event or period of time. In the past prior to an event or time. So, I brekky before I lunch. I walked the dog before I went to work. I studied before my exam.
And the last word here is “to leap”, or the last two words, “to leap”. This is a verb that just means to jump, okay? To leap, to jump. It means to jump, to spring, a long way, to a great height, or with great force. So, many animals are said to leap. A frog leaps. It could leap off the river bank into the river. If a gazelle was trying to evade capture by a lion or a cheetah in Africa, it might leap into the air. So, it’s jumping vigorously to show how strong it is and that it will be hard to catch so that hopefully the lion and the cheetah goes for a weaker gazelle.
Alright, let’s go through the definition of the expression “to look before you leap”. So, if someone tells you to “look before you leap”, they’re trying to say that you shouldn’t act without first considering the possible consequences or the possible dangers of that decision. So, it could be that, literally, you are about to leap off something or you’re about to leap over something, and the advice here is make sure that you look where you’re about to land, you’re going to leap to… say, over a fence, make sure you look to see what you’re going to land on so that you don’t suddenly see that there’s something bad there during that leap when it’s too late to jump backwards, when it’s too late and there are severe consequences or dangers. So, to check things are clear in front of you before making a decision from which you can’t go back. “Look before you leap”. Okay?
The origin of this expression. This was interesting. So, it’s a proverb that was first recorded in John Heyward’s “A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue”, and this dated back to 1546. So, that’s on the way to 470 years old almost. 470 years. Pretty crazy. And so, I thought I would read out the part from this book that this was used in, and it’s in Middle English. So, this is not modern English, it’s Middle English, so my pronunciation might be off, but yeah, definitely check out the transcript if you want to see how things were spelt back then in English, ’cause it’s quite different.
And though they seeme wives for you never so fit,
Yet let not harmfull haste so far out run your wit:
But that ye harke to heare all the whole summe
That may please or displease you in time to cumme.
Thus by these lessons ye may learne good cheape
In wedding and all things to looke ere ye leaped
So, I guess, the basic premise here, guys, is that he’s giving someone advice when trying to find a wife, and he’s trying to say, “Make sure that you have thoroughly investigated this woman. Make sure that you find out she is of sound mind, that she is, you know, a good person. Look before you leap.”. Okay? So, don’t rush into that decision.
So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use the expression “to look before you leap” in real life, okay?
Example number one. Imagine that you’re hanging out with some mates. You’re hiking out in the sticks, out in the bush. You know, you’re in some farmland or some forest in Australia. We usually refer to the bush that’s like far away from the city as “the sticks”, “out in the sticks”, ’cause the trees are sticking up like sticks. “Out in the sticks”. So, imagine you’re out hiking, you come to a fence, you want to climb over it’s pretty big, but your mates are a bit nervous. Maybe they got cold feet and they don’t want to go first. So, you put your hand up for it, you say, “I’ll do it. I’ll climb over. It’ll be fine.”. You climb up the fence, you get to the top, and you leap off the top, and land straight into some cow pats, into some cow poo, some manure. Okay? “A cow pat” is that flat circular cow poo that hardens on farmland. So, you tend to see them quite a bit in Australia. So, you’ve landed literally in the shit. Okay? So, your shoes are ruined and your mates are laughing at your predicament. They’re making fun of you. They might yell over the fence, “I thought they said you should always look before you leap.”. So, that might be some sound advice that they give you. “Look before you leap”, because in this case you climbed over the fence, leapt over, and landed in some cow shit.
Number two. So, you get into a new hobby, you fall in love with this hobby, you become obsessed with it, and maybe it’s a really exy hobby. So, it’s a very dear hobby. It’s really, really expensive. Exy. So, maybe it’s something like fishing or boating or four-wheel driving or skiing or snowboarding. The kind of hobbies where you can’t really do it unless you spend a lot of money either buying the equipment or renting the equipment. So, as a result, you really rush into things, because you’re so passionate about it, you’re so into it, and you decide you’re going to get all kitted out, you’re going to get all the equipment that you need to do this hobby, and instead of taking things slowly, and say, you know, renting some gear or buying some second-hand gear, you lash out thousands of dollars, you spend thousands of dollars, on all the new gear required. You know, if it was for driving, maybe you bought a car, you’ve raised the suspension, you’ve bought a fridge to go in the car, you know, all this related paraphernalia, pieces and parts and things you need in order to do this hobby. So, after doing this, you didn’t really investigate the prices, you didn’t investigate where you were going to buy them from, and it turns out that the equipment’s really dodgy. Maybe you get a car that’s broken or busted or it’s cactus, it’s… it needs to be repaired, it’s not working very well. So, you’ve wasted or you’ve lost a lot of money. Your mates might bag you, they might make fun of you for rushing into things, and say, “You should have looked before you leaped. You should have looked before you leaped. You should have investigated things more thoroughly before you just spent all this money and leapt into this decision.”. Okay?
Example number three. So, you’ve gotten into university and you have decided that you want to learn a foreign language. So, you’ve been accepted. The university said, “Yes, we’ve accepted you, but now you have to decide what language you want to study.”. Imagine you don’t have any real preference. You just know, “I want to be fluent in a language by the end of university.”. Maybe you’ve got a few different choices of languages that you could study. Maybe you’ve got languages like German or Indonesian or Chinese. If you sort of rush things and you decide that maybe you’ll go with Chinese, because you really like say, Chinese movies. Maybe you’re a big fan of Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee. And so, you decide, “Yep. Chinese is the language I’m going to learn.”. But only later, you find out just how hard Chinese is, whether it’s Cantonese or Mandarin or Honkien, these languages, as as an English speaker, are incredibly difficult, and they’re much, much, much more difficult to learn than say, German or Indonesian.
And for all of the Chinese speakers learning English, guys, I understand your pain. I know how different the languages are. I did Chinese for three years at high school and it was incredibly difficult. So, massive respect for all of you guys who speak Chinese and are learning English.
So, yeah, you’ve decided to do Chinese, but you could have chosen German and Indonesian, and then only later do you find out, “Oh my God! The grammar is harder. They use tones in this language. They don’t have a writing system like English. It’s character-based.”. So, you find out how hard it is and you want to go back but you can’t. It’s too late. So, people might say to you, “Well, you should have looked before you leapt. You didn’t look before you leapt, so this is what happens. You didn’t think about the consequences, the results of this decision. You rushed into it. You should have looked before you leapt.”.
Alright, guys. So, by now I hope you understand the expression “to look before you leap”, or the proverb, “to look before you leap”. And remember this is that you shouldn’t act before considering the possible consequences or danger. So, don’t rush into something before understanding what could happen.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation. So, listen and repeat after me. Let’s go.
Look before you
Look before you leap x 5
I should’ve looked before I leapt
You should’ve looked before you leapt
He should’ve looked before he leapt
She should’ve looked before she leapt
We should’ve looked before we leapt
They should’ve looked before they leapt
It should’ve looked before it leapt
Great job, guys. Remember, if you want to get more in-depth information regarding pronunciation and connected speech, intonation, all of that sort of stuff, if you want to take this exercise to the next level, make sure that you sign up for the Aussie English Classroom at theAussieEnglishClassroom.com and it’s just one dollar for your first month, and you’ll get all of the videos, all of the exercises, the quizzes, the bonus content for this episode and all of the previous episodes when you sign up. So, this is the best way for you to improve your English as fast as possible.
So, this week, instead of going through an Aussie Fact, I thought I would mention three different news articles that I had read this week. So, these different news stories that I had read on different websites, and the links for each of these will be in the transcript if you would like to go and read them.
So, the very first one here is about a humped back whale that was seen off Sydney, I think it was off Bondi Beach, and it was tangled in some ropes. So, this was seen a few days ago and this whale was in trouble. It wasn’t able to swim properly and it had this netting or these ropes wrapped around its body. And so, they had tried to get close to the whale and cut it free, but they didn’t manage to do so completely on the first day, and the next day they’d set up all of these searching parties to go out and look for the whale to try and completely free it, but unfortunately, it turned out that the sea conditions became incredibly severe so obviously there was a lot of swell, maybe there was a storm or rain, and it became very difficult and they couldn’t find this whale. However, they were hoping that as a result of having loosened the ropes the day before and cutting some of it free, they were hoping that this whale had actually escaped and just swam off. So, that was story number one. A really interesting one.
The next story was an interesting one from ABC, and this was talking about the Australian accent and how this originated. So, you guys may or may not know that Australia was colonised by the British in the late 1700s, and the people that came to Australia initially were from all over Britain. So, they actually had all kinds of different accents. They weren’t just, you know, from one area, say, London or from Glasgow in Scotland. And so, the accent, or the accents, in Australia at that time, it wasn’t homogenous, it wasn’t just one single accent like it is in at least many places, many districts, today. And the cool thing about this is that the Australian accent evolved as a result of this, right? So, it’s kind of like you have a paint tin and you have poured all these different colors of paint into that tin, as you mix this tin more and more and more it eventually turns into one color, and this color is going to be unique. Right? And so, that’s what happened in Australia. We had all of these immigrants, these are convicts, soldiers, there were a whole bunch of people who came over here from all different walks of life, many different places, with many different dialects, but as they had children, the children started to speak the same as one another. So, even though they would have had parents who spoke with different accents, the children, as a result of wanting to fit in with one another, get along, homogenised their accents. So, the accent of Australia, and of any other place in the world, at least that was colonised, places like New Zealand, America, and Canada, a lot of the time the children are the ones who actually created the accent. So, their parents had all kinds of different accents, and then the children, or the following generations, eventually all kind of settled on a common accent. So, I found that really cool that the children of convicts and migrants and soldiers were the ones who actually designed or created, whether they knew it or not, the Australian accent.
The very last story here that I wanted to share with you guys was this crazy story about some Egyptian antiquities being uncovered during a Sydney house clean-up, and these were donated to a university. So, it turns out that this lady donated all of these Egyptian antiquities. So, all of these old objects from Egypt, I think, about 1000 years B.C. They were donated to a museum in Australia. So, these were actually taken from Egypt in, I think, the First World War by the grandfather of this woman who donated these, and he had gone over there and bought them as artifacts during the First World War. And so, it was crazy that a little house in Australia had things like a mummified cat and some bronze Roman coins, some scarab beetles, some small amulets, all of these things from Egypt, you know, first millennium B.C., in this Australian house. And it turned out that these were all authentic when they were donated and tested.
So, I hope you enjoy this episode, guys. I hope you enjoy the way that I talk about three different news stories there at the end instead of a and Aussie fact this week. Just thought I would try something a little bit different.
Don’t forget if you want access to the transcripts and the MP3s for the website that you can download them if you sign up to be a member, guys. That is on the website. Just go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com and click on “Sign Up”. So, it’s only five dollars a month or you can get a six month or yearly membership, guys, and this is going to help me transcribe these episodes for you, for everyone who wants to read and listen to their podcast and learn English even faster.
Anyway, guys, thank you so much for joining me. I hope you have an amazing week and I’ll see you later. Catch ya!
Learn Australian English even faster in The Aussie English Classroom!
Each course is a comprehensive English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,705
By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode of Ask Pete Anything I answer Estefania’s question, “Why are red kangaroos so ripped?”.
Here’s the YouTube clip I was talking about where the kangaroo has been chased into a small pond by some dogs. Scary stuff.
Do you guys have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Ask Pete Anything episode? If so, message or comment here on the webpage or on Facebook and I’ll make an episode answer your question as soon as I can!
If you like what I’m doing and you want to support the podcast please considering donating a few bucks a month to my Patreon.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 3,049