In this episode I explain the expression “to kick the dog” as well as how and when it is used. This may be a much more Australia specific, or even my family specific, expression, and it’s said in a more humorous setting.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Ep053: Expression – To kick The Dog
G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today I’m going to do another expression involving animals, and this one is
a little more Australian. It could be even a little more just my family, ‘cause it’s the kind of thing that my grandparents used to say quite a bit and especially my father, and I thought that I would add it in because it’s a little more humorous, it’s a little dirtier, it’s a little funnier.
So, the phrase today or the idiom, expression today is going to be, “To kick the dog”, “To kick the dog”. When do we use this expression? This is the kind of expression that my father would use if someone farted. So, if someone passed wind, if they let gas out of their rear end, you know, [the sound of someone farting], if you fart, and in order to sort of cover the fact that you accidentally farted and made a sound. So it’s done when people notice when you’ve made the sound [the sound of someone farting] So, when you fart [the sound of someone farting] when you’ve made that sound and someone’s accidentally overheard it. In order to kind of cover your tracks, in order to get away with it, my father would often say “oh, kick the dog!”, as in kick the dog and blame him for farting, you know? So, if the dog farted you’d kick the dog. So if someone overheard someone farting they could kind of cover it up or make a joke of it by saying “oh, kick the dog, mate!”
So, let’s go through what the different words in this phrase mean.
“To kick”, I’m sure most of you know what it means. It’s to hit with your foot. So, if you kick something, you can kick a ball, you can kick a person and you can kick a dog [as] in this expression.
And “a dog” is an animal with four legs, fur, it has a tail. It wags its tail. It’s known as man’s best friend in English, and dogs often fight with cats. I’m sure you all know what a dog is. That’s a dog.
So, yeah, it’s almost exclusively used in that sense at least with my family that is when we would use the phrase “to kick a dog”. However, you can also use this phrase when referring to people taking something out, so, say um…, say you’ve gone to work and you’re boss above you has taken out a lot of his anger or issues or something on you. If you go home and then kick the dog and take out your anger and your issues on the dog that phrase can often be used to explain that situation. So, for when someone is sort of being bullied or being mistreated by someone above them, someone like their boss, someone who is employing them, someone that’s above them. If they go then and take it out on their wife or their kids or someone who is below them that act can also be called “kicking the dog”. So, you’re taking it out on the dog, you’re kicking the dog. However, in this sense I would always think of, when someone says kick the dog to me, that someone’s farted. So I would always… you know, it’s kind of a humorous situation that you would use to kind of make a joke about the fact that someone accidentally passed wind, they accidentally farted and someone’s heard it.
So, let’s do an exercise quickly:
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
Jesus, mate kick the dog.
So, that was the phrase “to kick the dog”, guys. Hope you liked it, and I’ll chat to you soon. Have a good one!
If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.
Also be sure to 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 — 2 years ago
AE 258 – Expression: To Be Left Holding The Bag
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today we’re going to be going over the expression, “To be left holding the bag”, “To be left holding the bag”, and this one comes from Aussie English Supporter Pack member Khoi.
So, recently I decided to allow the Aussie English Supporter Pack members to choose the topic for one of these episodes a week, and Khoi was first in best dressed, first in first served.
He came up with this expression “To be left holding the bag”.
And so that’s the first expression that we’re doing.
And for all the members this episode’s going to be a little different where it’s the same layout but I’m going to be going in a lot more in depth with the exercises.
So I’m doing a revamp of the Aussie English Supporter Park at the moment where members are deciding on the lesson once a week for one of these expression episodes.
And then I’m going through more thorough exercises including the standard exercises that had been included until now the vocab glossary, the vocab table, the listening comprehension exercises and the substitution exercises, which often included phrasal verbs.
But on top of this a lot of the guys, a lot of the members, in the Aussie English Supporter Pack want to practice slang terms, their pronunciation and connected speech, as well as a point of grammar every single episode.
So, I’m going to try and add in all of those things as well where members can pick and choose the exercises that they are working on, because I know a lot of you guys aren’t working on the same things.
Some of you are trying to get better at vocab.
Some of you were trying to get better at listening.
Some are trying to learn phrasal verbs, slang, connected speech and then grammar.
Anyway, that’s long enough for the introduction guys.
Let’s get into the crux of the episode today, “To be left holding the bag”, “To be left holding the bag”.
So thank you Khoi for suggesting this expression.
And this is one that’s a little less common in Australia though I would know what you meant, but I think it’s a little more popular in the US at least too when I was doing some research online it was saying that it was a lot more common in the United States of America.
So let’s define the words in the expression “To be left holding the bag”, “To be left”, “To be left” is to be allowed or cause to remain somewhere.
So, to stay somewhere.
If someone leaves you doing something it means your allowed or your caused to stay somewhere and do that thing.
“Holding” is the Gerund form of the verb “To hold”.
So if, in this example, you’re left doing something, you’re left holding something, it means that you’re carrying out an action.
You’re left carrying out an action.
And in this case it is “Holding”.
And “To hold”, “To hold something” is to grasp something to carry something to support something with your arms or with your hands.
So if you’re holding something usually it’s that you’re grasping it with your hands and lifting it above the ground or holding it above the ground.
So, supporting it above the ground.
“A bag”. “A bag” is a flexible container.
So something that you can put other things in and contain them within that thing, a container.
And it’s usually made from a fabric or plastic, for example.
So you can put things in a bag and you can carry them around.
You can transport them.
And you use, for example, plastic bags or even hessian bags, fabric kind of bags when you go to the shops to get food.
So when you go to the grocery store you’ll use plastic bags quite often in Australia to carry the food home or to carry the groceries and other things you’ve bought all the way home.
And women often carry their phones and their purses in handbags.
So, we all know what “A bag” is.
To get into the phrase though “To be left holding the bag”.
Let’s define that.
If you’re left holding the bag it means that you are left with an unwelcome responsibility.
So, typically without warning, you didn’t expect it, and you’ve been left having to do this responsibility or with this responsibility.
So, when someone leaves you in a bad position where you get the blame for something that is when you could say that you have been left holding the bag.
So, as usual guys will go through three examples of where you could use this expression to be left holding the bag.
So, example number one, imagine that you are a business owner, you own a company, you have some kind of business and you have a partner.
So someone that you own the business with, that you work with, that helps you run the company, your business partner.
And it could be doing anything.
So you might have a laundromat where you do laundry.
You might have a cafe, a bookstore, a grocery shop.
It could be any kind of business, any kind of company.
And your partner has been “cooking the books”.
And the idiom “to cook the books” or “to be cooking the books”, it’s an idiom that means he’s been carrying out fraudulent activity in order to falsify the company’s financial statements.
So, in order to sort of save money and take money back from taxes.
So you’re stealing from the government, effectively.
If you cook the books, you’re writing down numbers that aren’t real, and it’s allowing you to save money illegally, effectively.
So you’ve got a partner who has been cooking the books at your business, but you didn’t know.
And all of a sudden he leaves the business and you’re the one left with the business.
You’re the one left running the business and all of a sudden you get audited by the Taxation Department.
So the Taxation Department comes and has a look at your books and they find out that they have been “cooked”, meaning that they have been falsified, that the partner who left had made up all of these numbers in order to save money.
If that happened and then you were in trouble as a result.
So you could be taken to court and sued by the Taxation Department.
You could say that your partner has left you holding the bag.
So my partner left me holding the bag, because he left me with an unwelcome responsibility.
He left me without warning, and I didn’t expect it.
I didn’t see it coming beforehand.
He ran off and left the books cooked at work, and now I’m responsible for that because I’m in the business.
So that’s example number one.
Example number two could be that you have gone on a date with someone so you could be a guy or a girl and you’ve taken someone else out on a date.
You’ve gone to a fancy restaurant with expensive food, fine wine, expensive drinks.
The person you go with, whether it’s a man or a woman, orders all of this expensive food.
All of this expensive fine wine.
And then after you finish eating and drinking you get the bill and it’s an exorbitant amount of money.
It’s a really really expensive bill.
You know, it could be three or four hundred dollars.
And the person that you’re with says they accidentally left their purse or wallet at home, and that they can’t help pay for dinner or that they can’t pay anything for dinner at all.
So it’s like “Oh, woops! I left my wallet at home. It seems I’m not going to be able to pay for dinner.”
And you could say in this case that you’ve been left holding the bag, they’ve left you holding the bag, because you’re the one left with the bill, with having to pay the bill for this really expensive dinner.
You’ve been left holding the bag.
You’re left holding the bag.
It’s an unwelcome responsibility that came without warning.
You didn’t expect it.
You thought this person was going to help you pay for the bill, you know, fifty-fifty.
So you didn’t expect it coming and you’ve been left holding the bag or (holding) the bill quite literally in this case.
So that’s Example number two.
Example number three.
So the best way to think about this idiom is probably literally thinking about the example that I am about to go through.
Imagine that you have a partner in crime.
So you guys are two criminals.
Imagine that you are thieves.
So you like to steal things.
You take part in burglaries or robberies.
So you could be a diamond thief hoping to steal the world’s biggest diamond from a museum in Switzerland or maybe your bank robbers or bank thieves, and you found a way to break into a bank and steal millions of dollars.
You know those movies where people dig massive tunnels from one building across the road of a bank underground all the way up under the vault of a bank, and they dig in and then steal millions of dollars and escape.
So you break in and successfully get the diamond or the millions of dollars from this place.
You literally put it into a bag in order to take it away and try and escape.
And then the alarm goes off whether it’s in the bank or some museum in Switzerland with this diamond.
And your partner in crime bails.
So he bails meaning he runs away, he leaves you there, he escapes.
He bails and you get locked up inside the building somehow, and the cops come.
The cops as in the police.
They come, they find you there and they catch you.
You you’re literally and figuratively left holding the bag.
So literally you’ve got a bag with stolen goods in it whether it’s millions of dollars or a diamond.
You’re holding this bag with this thing in it.
And figuratively you’re left holding the bag because your partner in crime has bailed, he’s run off, and he’s left you with this unwelcome responsibility, without warning, that you didn’t see coming, that was unexpected, and now you’re going to get caught by the cops, the police, and probably go to jail.
So by now hopefully you guys understand this expression “To be left holding the bag”, guys.
Let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise here.
So listen and repeat perfectly after me and practice the pronunciation guys.
Listen and repeat:
I was left holding the bag.
You were left holding the bag.
He was left holding the bag.
She was left holding the bag.
We were left holding the bag.
They were left holding the bag.
So it was a little bit of a breakdown here too, guys, I want to emphasise the fact that the past tense of “to be”, “was” and “were”, in this example, it’s actually jumped over really quickly.
So we don’t really pronounce it as a really well pronounced “was” and a really well pronounced “were”.
And we kind of contract it down and say “was” and “were”.
So, “You were left…”. “You were left…”, “…were left”.
It bounces really quickly.
“You were left holding the bag”.
And there “was”, “I was left holding the bag” gets contracted down to it “-ehs” kind of sound.
“I was left…”, “I was left…”, “…was left”.
So I mean you get into more detail with regards to that in the exercises in the Aussie English Supporter Pack.
If you guys aren’t already a member this is just a little reminder that you can now try the Aussie English Supporter Pack for just one dollar for 30 days, your first 30 days.
I know you guys are really going to love it if you get in there.
If you guys are hardworking ESL students who want to take your English to the next level, and you want exercises related to the episode that you just listened to in order to take your vocab, listening comprehension, and everything else to the next level so that you can learn phrasal verbs and slang and pronunciation, connected speech, as well as grammar, then I definitely recommend signing up for the Aussie English Supporter Pack.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Give it a go.
And you also get access to the Aussie English Virtual Classroom where you get to hang out with other hardworking Aussie English learners and chat to me and just work on activities to improve your English as a whole.
If it’s not for you after that first 30 days or before the first 30 days ends you can unsubscribe at any time.
Anyway guys that’s long enough for today.
I hope you haven’t been left holding the bag after listening to this episode and I will chat to you all soon.
Thanks again guys.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 971
By pete — 9 months ago
Learn Australian English in this interview episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I chat to my mate Cara Leopold from Leo-Listening about French vs Australian culture, moving to France, and learning French.
AE 441 – Interview:
French vs Australian Culture with Cara Leopold
What’s going on, guys? Today I have a really cool little interview for you and it is with Cara Leopold from Leo-Listening.com. So, this is a really cool interview. This is part 1 where we’re going to be talking about how she ended up moving to France, how she learnt French, and how she adapted to the French culture.
So, it’s a really cool interview, guys. She also has an interesting accent. So, see if you can pick where she’s from.
I hope you enjoy this one. And make sure you stay tuned for the second interview, which will be out shortly about how to stop using subtitles when you watch movies.
Stay tuned. It’s a ripper!
G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I have a special guest for you today, on today’s interview episode, and you might notice that she has a slightly different accent from me. Cara from Leo-Listening.com. Thanks for coming on the podcast and chatting to us about getting subtitle free.
Hiya Pete, yeah, thanks for introducing me, and yes, we do have a slightly… a slightly different accent.
Can you tell me where yours is from? Can you tell me about…
Well, mine is a bit… Mine is a bit of a mess… because I… I as a kid I used to live in Scotland. So I lived in Scotland until I was 11 or 12, and you know, All my family are Scottish, you know. And then so when I was 11, almost 12, we moved to England. We moved to a city called Nottingham, in England. So, like, my accent started to change really rapidly because I was kind of dropped straight into secondary school, and everyone was like, you know, “You sound so Scottish!, I can’t understand you!”, I didn’t have like a really… You know… I didn’t have like a really broad Glaswegian accent like…
I hadn’t even lived… I was born in Glasgow, but I actually lived somewhere else in Scotland. So… Like, I actually… like me and my brother had different accents to my parents, because my mum is from Glasgow, my dad’s from another place, so like, we all had different accents. So even the people talking about the Scottish accent, it’s so… Like… It’s quite fine tuning in the UK. Like, you kinda go 20 miles and it changes, which sounds crazy!
I always wanted to know how does that… how does that… I guess, continue into modern day life when the world is so connected, and you would think in England, that being such a small island or group islands in the Britain, that you guys would mix around a whole heap! But is it just that everyone is spending their developmental years, as kids, in a very small region, getting their accent kind of cemented, and then when they leave they still hold on to it?
Yeah, it’s a good point, because obviously, like… We’re massively influenced by, like… I mean I’ve always liked watching TV. Like, as a kid I would get up really early on the weekend and, like… Watch programs, and you know… A lot of them are obviously American or even Australian. So you’d think our accents would be influenced as well by like, media. But I don’t know, I think ultimately we’re more influenced by kind of the day to day, like… Context. So when you’re growing up it’s other kids: You don’t want to sound, like… Too different
Yeah, you don’t want to be the outsider, right?
Exactly! Yeah, and I mean obviously that was the case when I moved to England, and I think I quickly adjusted my accent because I didn’t want to, like, stand out… Too much, and I wanted people to understand me but I think they were exaggerating a little bit!
You get sick of repeating yourself, right? When people are like, “What!? What!? what did you say!?”, and you’re just like “ughhhh”, and that pushes you to kind of blend in.
Exactly, yeah. So my… My accent changed quite a bit. Like, some people… Some people still know that I’m… They know that I’m Scottish after speaking to me, even just for, like, a couple of minutes, like, they know. And I mean, I’ve had another Scottish person say to me, you know… Act like I basically know which village you’re from! Because he was from… He was from the same area! He was, like, from the next village. I mean, that sounds insane, but that’s how… Kind of, yeah, specific . Each… Each accent is. I mean, yeah… That sounds… That sounds crazy, because… In Australia, does it vary very much?
Not the same way. Ours is kind of… There are three… I just did a video on this… There are three sort of accents, or dialects. And it’s the cultivated which is more your upper class, received pronunciation, like the British, you know? you would speak with a very… Very clearly. You would pronounce all the words correctly. Or, at least properly, like according to the dictionary, and you would… You would be very well educated. Have… Tend to be from a rich family. Then there’s the general, which is kind of just everywhere. And then the broad. And the broad tends to be associated with people of… Either from, like, rural areas, where they’re away from the city, or it kind of blends in with the lower class a little bit. So especially with guys. Guys who hang out together a lot. Only Aussie guys. Together they tend to develop a bit of a broader… broader accent than uhm… And especially the further away you get from the cities. But that’s what England fascinates me: Because you guys don’t seem to have the same pattern. And we came from England, right? So we originally came from… At least the majority of us, when we colonized Australia, we’re all from small parts, I think, of England. Some of us kept the Cockney accent. I think that’s part of why we ended up with Rhyming slang. Yeah. But it’ s always funny! I just… It blows my mind how much difference there is in England, and how you guys still have trouble with each other. Because you would imagine, if you… You know, the average Australian hearing cultivated, broad or general will pretty much understand everyone. But then you hear people like, such as yourself, who say kids had trouble understanding you in school. And you’re kind of like, “Don’t you guys watch TV and see Scottish people on TV?”
Yeah… Yeah I don’t… I don’t think it’s 100 percent… I think everyone’s exaggerating a little bit. Like, it doesn’t take that much effort to tune in to someone else’s accent. Especially because, in general, like… It’s only… Like, not everything changes. Not every sound changes, you know? In Scottish… In Scottish-English, like, we pronounce our R’s at the end of the words, which you don’t do in other accents of English. Some of the vowels are different, like… But it’s not massively different. And especially when your accent is quite… isn’t very strong. But yeah it is weird… It is weird you know… And now, obviously, it’s more acceptable, like on TV and in the media, to hear all the different regional accents and some of them are considered quite cool. So yeah. In theory we should be a bit better at understanding each other, but…
It’s funny too. I find that, as an Australian, because we’ve watched so much media that’s not just Australian, as well as movies and TV series, we get so used to these accents. And so we tend to be able to pick where you’re from too in these different countries. Like, I’m not the best at it, but I can tell north versus south and, you know… Like, even in watching Game of Thrones, right? Where they separate them out based on the Scottish accents of the north. And, like, everyone else is down… It’s just crazy… But it’s funny when… Do you guys have trouble with Australians if we go to the UK? Or… Because you guys have watched a lot of Home and Away and Neighbours, you guys know the Aussie accent pretty well?
Yeah! I would be inclined to say that most people, like, even if they don’t watch those soap operas now, like Home and Away and all that… They watched them… Or at uni, instead of going to class they watched Neighbours or Home and Away. So yeah, I think it… I would imagine that it’s less… It’s less difficult. And also, like… Yeah it’s funny… Like, I live in France now and that’s probably also an important part of the accent-piece. And so last night on French TV, on one of the channels Crocodile Dundee was on.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Yeah! Oh you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff they put on French TV.
Was that dubbed though, or was that subtitles?
A good question! I… They probably offered… Because now, with like… Digital TV sometimes with the film we can put it into the original version.
I can’t imagine watching Crocodile Dundee with dubs! Oh my god, that would be atrocious!
It’s really common to dub films. And sometimes, on some channels… because the audience, you know… For that particular channel or film isn’t going to be English speaking, they just leave it in French. You can’t even put it in English if you wanted to!
So, like, last night we came across Kung Fu Panda. It was on some kid’s channel, and it was only in French! You couldn’t switch it into English.
Oh, wow… But that’s the part that I loved though, as well as I hated, when I was learning French really thoroughly a few years ago. I just love the fact that you could download Game of Thrones with dubs, with subtitles… All in French, and so… You know, you already had watched it in English, you knew the story, but now you could watch it with French voices. Even though was a bit strange, it was a lot more helpful for listening comprehension – not just having subtitles.
Yeah, Subtitles, yeah… that’s it, that’s…. It’s the advantage of France, because they are… They do do a lot of dubbing. You’re going to be able to find material. and sometimes it’s really well dubbed! Like… Like they really get it right, in terms of the tone and the register. So like… So the example I always go to is South Park! It’s a very rude cartoon! the French dubbing of that is amazing… it’s on point. It’s so funny… The kids are, obviously… They are really rude. They swear a lot. They insult each other. And, like… All of that is kept in there, but with… Like, appropriate French expressions for…
The equivalent, because that’s the hardest thing to convey, right? With TV shows like that, where there’s so much more depth to it, pop-culture wise, than just literally translating what they’re saying, you know? That… I am always mind blown when I have friends that have come over from Brazil or France or Spain or wherever it is in the world. They’ve learnt English, and then they get TV shows like South Park or Rick and Morty or even the Simpsons, because so much of it is like… Western pop-culture and references to these… You know, famous people and situations…
Exactly! But yeah, know some… that says what’s good in French and there’s lots of dubbed films that are that are really, you know, well done. So you don’t miss out. But you obviously do miss out on hearing it in English, but at least the dubbing is kind of… It’s, like, loyal to the spirit of the film. I didn’t stick around watching Crocodile Dundee long enough to actually see if it was an English or the dubbed version because it would be… I don’t know what they do to do Crocodile Dundee. Like, how did they make him speak? What accent did they give him? Like…
What’s a broad French accent? The Racaille or…?
Yeah! Sometimes what they do… Yeah they could make him speak like… Yeah, no, I don’t think that would work…What they… What they could do is make him speak like someone really rural I guess. Or sort of country folk. I don’t know where I was going with my was my train of thought… Oh yeah! It’s like sometimes… Like you know in South Park there’s a character who’s British: Pip.
Yeah, of course.
So what they do in the French version is that he is dubbed with a strong English accent in French.
Because, yeah, it’s like how do you convey that message too, of like, Pip has an English accent on an American TV show with American kids, which makes him sound incredibly pretentious and posh. How do you translate that into other languages and cultures? Because you can’t really just give him an English accent because people won’t get it. The French still leave him as English, but speaking French with a strong English accent.
Exactly! Yeah. Oh I’m so annoyed now! I should have watched a few minutes of Crocodile Dundee, just to figure out… Because they couldn’t do it like basically a French voice with a strong kind of Australian sounding, or at least anglophone sounding accent.
Je suis Crocodile Dundee, Comment allez-vous?! Yeah, that’d be amazing!
Ça, c’est un couteau!
Yeah! I was about to say that. “C’est pas un couteau!”. That’s not a knife!
Ça, c’est un couteau! Yeah, I don’t… I don’t… Yeah, I’m going to… I’m going have to YouTube that in a second and find the dubbed version just to double check how they… How they do it.
So how did you end up in France, though? What’s the story there? And how’ve you found the language learning experience over in France?
Yeah! So, like, I studied French at university.
Yeah, so I studied linguistics and I studied French, and… Yeah I just… I wanted to, and I had spent some time in France, like, during the summers, between years at uni, and I just was like “Yeah! I wanna… I want to go and live in France, after.” So, like, a lot of people do the year abroad where they go and study in a French university or something like this. I didn’t actually do that, for various reasons. And then my university had like a link with the university in the city where I live now, which is called Besançon. So, there was an opportunity for me to come over after my studies and teach English. So I was like “Yeah! I want to do that because I’m interested in teaching English as a foreign language. I want to live in France and… You know, there’s the possibility of us…
Ticking all the boxes, huh?
It’s ticking all the boxes! And it was a really cool job because it’s, like, they pay you the minimum wage but you have like 12 hours of teaching a week.
So you’re getting paid as if you’re doing 35… Wait! Obviously…
The lower end… The lower end of 35 hours a week right, though? Like, pay-wise?
But yeah… But, like, it’s fine if you’re a young single person on the minimum wage in France. It’s like… The cost of living is okay. So… Yeah it was really cool. I did. I had a job for a couple of years teaching in a university, which is quite… It’s quite a steep learning curve when you go to work in a university in France because it’s very different to the way a university works in the U.K., and the way I imagine it works in Australia.
So how does it differ?
It’s quite chaotic! Because, like, as long as you’ve got the baccalauréat, you can go to university. This is changing at the moment and this is why some French universities are on strike, because they want to introduce selection before you get into uni. Essentially what happens in France is loads of people turn up… The first year is really the year of selection. So, like, a lot of people just drop out because they don’t really know why they were there in the first place. Especially , you know, I was working in the sort of humanities, languages and faculté. A lot of people just kind of turn up there because they’ve finished school, they don’t know what to do, they’ve heard that if you study a language or sociology the workload is a bit lighter: You don’t have as many classes, so they are like “Okay I’m just going to enroll here!” because it’s very cheap to enroll, or even free, and some people get bursaries. So it is really good in that sense, it’s really open. But that means that, like, it’s quite chaotic because… you know they have classes that are supposed to be kind of seminar style, but, like, one time in one of these classes I had like 47 students. Like, obviously they didn’t all turn up… It didn’t all turn up, like, fortunately. But I think for the test, though, they were probably… They were probably all there. Yeah that was probably the time I had counted 47. So that’s supposed to be like an English class where they’re supposed to be doing oral expression. And even if the maximum is supposed to be more like 30, that’s still, like, way too many people.
Well you just don’t have enough time, right? To get them all to talk and to be involved more deeply.
Yeah, there’s a lot of crowd control because French people, they really like talking. Like, it’s not uncommon for people to talk all the way through even a lecture! Like… And I had colleagues from other countries who were so shocked! Like, I had a Brazilian colleague…
That ‘d be a big no-no in Australia. You would get thrown out.
Oh yeah! Like, it’s so rude. And yeah, so the Brazilian colleague was like, you know, “I was doing a lecture and people are just, you know, they don’t shut up, like… ,” So yeah it’s definitely different. You’re sort of less well looked after if you’re a student in France. You’re kind of left to your own devices to kind of muddle… Muddle through, you know, and then figure it out. So yeah, not everybody ends up finishing university. Like, a lot of people leave or do something else.
So was there a lot of culture shock though too, when you went over there? Like, the different food, the different, I guess, etiquette with people, right? There’s a bit of a difference there, too and…
Yeah, like, there were some there’s some stuff I knew from spending a bit of time, like… Like, I’d been to a summer school at a French university and I’d done some homestays with French families a little bit. So I kind of knew what to expect. So that helped a bit. But, yeah, I hadn’t actually spent that much time in France, like, in… When I was younger. Like, it wasn’t really a holiday destination for us, like, you know a lot of British people like to go to Spain.
I probably went there on holiday, or even just on holiday in Scotland, or whatever, so… But yeah, so like me the most important things I knew, but some things were still really, like, hard for me, when I arrived, like… Like, you know, it’s really important to… When you going to shop in France you have to say “Bonjour,” whereas in the English speaking world you can kind of… You can kind of just sneak in.
Enjoying this episode?
Get the bonus content for this episode with quizzes and vocab breakdown!
So you don’t always have to say, unless it’s a really small kind of independent shop, then you might say something to the person who is working there. But, yeah, in France it is really important to announce your arrival by saying bonjour, or they’re suppossed to say bonjour to you.
So, like, directly to them, or just like as in “Bonjour!”? Like, is it you walk in and you’re like “I’m here!”
Sometimes I’ll go into the bakery. If there’s a bit of a queue, I might be like “Bonjour”. It’s just like a general bonjour to everyone. Some people are a bit like… Like a sort of… Yeah, some people will come in and be like, “Bonjour mesieurdames!”, you know, they’re kind of addressing everybody in the shop, you know. I don’t I’d walk in there like I just kinda mumble a “Hello”.
It’s so funny, the differences I notice too, because like I’m learning Brazilian Portuguese at the moment, and they are so relaxed, and they have these same sort of expressions. Like, they’ll say things like “Oi gente”, which is like “Hi people,” or “Oi galera!”. “Oi galera”, which is like when you’re addressing a lot of people at once. On Facebook they’ll always write, “Oi galera!” in the groups, and it means like “Hi, gallery,” you know, like a gallery of people.
I love how that changes but that is it, “Mesieursdames”? like… It’s like “Mr., Mrs., hello,”
“Monsieurdame! Bonsoir, monsieurdame! Monsieurdame”. Yeah… That’s something you have to just be careful with. And then, yeah, because, like, some things are a bit more formal in day to day life, so the whole thing of going into the shop and saying “Bonjour!” And the thing that always cracks me up, right, I noticed… I caught onto the fact that if you don’t know someone, even if they’re more or less your age…
You’ve got to do the “vous” thing, right?
Yeah, well… Not that, but it’s, like, the first time you meet someone you would say “Bonjour.” So even if it’s a younger person around your same age, because I was like “Oh, surely I can just say ‘salut’,” which is like “Hi!”. But no! If you’ve never met you say “Bonjour.”
I never knew that.
I’ve noticed that, and I’m like, “This is stupid because otherwise, if you’re young and you meet another young person for the first time you can’t just “Tu”. You know, if you’re both 25 you just say “Tu”. I mean I’m 32 now, so I’m probably leaving that kind of zone of being able to just say “Tu” to whoever I want. Yeah, and if people perceive you as younger… Like, I had to go and see a sort of specialist doctor yesterday, and it got a bit weird because, you know, he’s calling me “Vous” initially, and then he was sort of using “Tu”, because it’s like “Oh, well she’s young.” I don’t know what… I was just like “You know, you’ve got to decide mate because…”
I guess, for the context of listeners, the French have “vous,” which is like polite, plural “you”, and “tu,” which is like singular… I guess not impolite, but is kind of informal, right? It’s what you would use with friends.
It’s how you get closer to someone, you know. So that concept is difficult for French people learning English. It’s like “Well how do I show I’m the same level as someone?”, and it’s like “Well you can’t do it with a pronoun. You do it with other things.”
And the funny thing is that I’m always telling my students that in Australia you will… It’s like we automatically call everyone “tu” because it shows that we’re all friends, and that we’re all mates. So if I met the Prime Minister of Australia tomorrow, you know, like that dude at the top of Australia, he would probably say to me “G’day mate,” you know, which he would treat me like I was his best friend and that’s just like a weird Australian thing, where I think it’s partly where the anti-British establishment from when we were a colony, you know, the last few hundred years, and as a result of rebelling against the classes we treat everyone like they’re our mates, and so it’s just so weird. Like, I don’t know how I would act in front of the queen, you know. Like, I mean I probably wouldn’t say “G’day mate,” but it would feel like…
“How’s it going?”.
“You alright, how’s Philip?”.
Yeah exactly! That’s it, I know. But that’s the funny thing: That in Australia the good thing is that you can get away with calling people “mate”, or even saying “dude”.
I noticed recently, going around to different stores I was filming some stuff for videos, and I was referring to people as just “Dude”… “Hey dude, how you going?” Like, you know and people… They just don’t even flinch, it’s just “Yeah, whatever.”
That’s interesting because French life is definitely more formal, like… Also the thing… For a couple of years I worked in a French company, and I was in… It was industrial, so there was a factory and then there were office bits. And it just… It’s comical to me, again, like just spending all day bumping into people in the corridor going “Bonjour,” or you like… You run into the HR manger, “Bonjour,” shake hands. You run into the boss of the factory, “Bonjour!”, shake hands, “Bonjour!”, shake hands. And it’s just like “Is this like a Monty Python sketch?” Like, you know sometimes it just feels really silly to me, some of this sort of, you know, formal rules. But yeah the craziest one for me is “Okay, you don’t know this person, but you’re about the same age, you know, but you can’t ‘salut’ the first time , you must say ‘bonjour,’ but after that you can say ‘salut’ to this person whenever you want.”
That’s an unspoken rule, is it too? Where you don’t even… It’s not even like “Oh yeah! Make sure you do this,” It’s just something everyone seems to do, is it?
I’m going to have to double check it with some French people and some Anglophones, but for me… I’ve definitely noticed that . Like, you know, I’ve said “Salut!” to someone I’m being introduced to and then they’ve said “Bonjour” back! And I’m like “well… that was awkward.” Like…
You could just be like “Quoi de neuf mon pot!?”, you know, “What’s up, matey?”.
I think I’ll try that! Then at the same time you have to kiss them on the cheek. So it’s like… Alright, so, I can’t just say hi to you but I kiss next to your face? How… This doesn’t make any sense! Like, I should be able to say “salut” when we’re getting, you know, very close physically but…
Do you get leeway though, too? because you’re obviously not French. Do people at least go “Okay. Alright, you know, she’s not trying to be rude or anything, she just doesn’t get that we do these things without… that are unspoken rules, you know?”
Yeah I think I probably get away with… Yeah, to a certain extent. And also it depends on the environment. So in the university environment people do tend to use “tu” with each other. Very easily between colleagues. Obviously it it’s the dean of the university you’d have to use “vous”. But that’s quite… Whereas some workplaces… I think it just depends on the workplace culture, like how formal it is or not.
It’s so interesting though, that even obviously we have these same problems, between two cultures… Two cultures that you would imagine would be incredibly close to one another, France and England, and yet you guys have relatively big differences that you kind of have to stumble your way through when you’re learning how to… how to navigate that culture.
Definitely, definitely. Yeah. You can’t really understand it fully, I think, until you’ve seen it, kind of, on the ground and you’ve tried things out and you have seen the reactions, when you’ve observed people. I think you have to a lot of, kind of, observation of what other people do and then you kind of go in and… You know, you can try it yourself but… Yeah, you have to be a little bit careful, but yeah, you always you can always play that kind of foreigner card.
Would you have any… Any advice for French people learning English and coming to England or even Australia, or even foreigners in general? And, sort of, dos and don’ts, or how to get past this sort of situation? Learn how to how to navigate these situations.
Yeah! I think, like… You know… Yeah, definitely look at what other people are doing and what’s kind of, yeah, acceptable or not. Because ye, some things that are weird from… if you’re coming from any culture where people kiss each other like in France. So when we say “Kiss”, actually what you do is you just touch the other person’s cheek with your cheek and then you make a kissing noise. You know, when you… When you meet someone that you know and you do the *kissing noises* on each cheek, right?
But don’t kiss them on the mouth! That might freak them out!
…Like people… In a lot of Anglican cultures people will hug and I know that’s a bit weird for French people, so…
Yeah, that’s something I’ve encountered quite a bit. Where people I’ll meet for the first time and I’ll just be like “Yea, give us a hug,” you know, “what’s up?” And they’ll be like “…What?” And you’re just like “but that’s just what we do! we’re just friendly,” you know. Like, we don’t shake hands, it’s a bit formal and the kissing, we don’t do, but we hug.
Yeah, yeah! That’s it. Because it’s kind of awkward for my… Like, my partners French, so he doesn’t really… He doesn’t even like doing the kissing, even though it’s, like, in his culture. Although there are some men that he kisses! Like . .. He’s quite into the concert scene here where we live, and he knows people who run record labels and organise concerts, so when he sees them they’re thing is to do the kisses on the cheeks, not the shaking of hands. It’s just… It’s just that in that context… That’s what they kind of do.
See, that’s a big point though, right? No matter what, you know, part of the world you’re going to you kind of have to not just learn in a book what the context is for what you should be doing, but get in there. And then you learn because it might be different for different groups, and friends, and family, and could be anything.
This is… Yeah, this is why it’s really . .. Even like the tu/vous thing, when you start learning about it in books it looks quite straightforward. You’re like “okay.” Do I know the person, or do I not know the person? And then when you’re actually in France they add on like a million extra rules! It’s really, really complicated! But anyway… But yeah, the hugging thing… Yeah, it’s maybe trial and error, or, I don’t know, if it makes you feel weird e d out you’re allowed to say it, you know, you’re saying that it’s…
You need to embrace the fact that you will get a free pass, you know, if you’re a foreigner. People aren’t going to… Their automatic assumption will never be “this guy’s being a jerk, he’s being rude intentionally.” Yeah. So as opposed to if I did. If I did it to another Australian, they would understand instantly that… Well they would have these assumptions about what I know, and what I shouldn’t do or should do. Whereas for you, people will give you a lot of leeway often, because they think you’re getting used to how everything works.
Alright, guys. So, that was it for today. I really hope you enjoyed that interview. Massive thanks to Cara from Leo-Listening.com.
Remember that we will be back, although, this guy won’t be back, but we will be back for the second part of this interview shortly so stay tuned and wait for that where you guys will learn how you can stop using subtitles, how you can get passed having to use subtitles when you watch TV shows or movies.
See you in the next one, guys. Bye!
Enjoying this episode?
Get the bonus content for this episode with quizzes and vocab breakdown!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 5,068
By pete — 1 year ago
AE 299 – Expression: To Cross That Bridge When You Come To It
How’s it going? How have you been? What you been up to? What you’ve been up to?
That’s a really good greeting in Australian English. What you been up to? What have you been up to?
“What have you been up to?” meaning “what have you been doing?”.
How has your week been going? I hope you guys have been well. I finally had my final presentation for the PhD.
So, I spent all week, well all the fortnight really, the last two weeks, putting that together practicing it, rehearsing it.
And then, yesterday, the day before yesterday, on Thursday, I got to present in front of the University.
That said, there weren’t that many people there. It was probably a small room of about 20 people.
It was pretty good. It took about, you know, 30 or 40 minutes for me to get through my 96 slides in my Power Point presentation for these guys.
But, yeah, (I) felt really good. We had pizza afterwards. I hung around with everyone there for a bit.
And then, (I) had to jump back home and give some private lessons.
So, it was a good day except for the fact that it pissed down rain.
So, it was raining cats and dogs as we had to walk from the Museum over to the University.
So, the University requires me to give my final presentation in the University or at the university, although I am based at the Museum.
So, I’m normally at the Museum because my supervisor is based at the museum.
That’s where he works. And so, I work there with him.
But I am enrolled through Melbourne University.
Anyway, so, aside from that, last night we went out. So, it was a big party with the lab that I work in.
So, all the people that I work with who are also students studying at the Museum.
We went out to a place called The Napier Hotel. N-A-P-I-E-R. And that is in Fitzroy.
So, for anyone living in Melbourne or planning to visit Melbourne, I really recommend going to the Napier, N-A-P-I-E-R, in Fitzroy, because they have the most amazing parmas.
So, “parma” is an Australian slang term for parmigiana. I’m probably saying that incorrectly.
Basically, a parma is a dish, a certain food, where you get… you usually get a salad, some chips, and you’ll get a chicken breast that’s been cooked in crumbs.
And then it usually has ham on top with cheese on top of that with tomato sauce on it as well.
Forgive me, my alarm just went off.
So, parmas are one of my favourite meals to go out and have in Australian pubs.
The Napier is an Australian pub.
This is one of these stereotypical Australian meals that you’ll find if you go out and about in Australia.
And so, the reason the one at The Napier is so good is because they use smoked kangaroo.
So, that may come as a bit of a shock to some of you guys, but we can eat kangaroo in Australia.
They are actually a pest species.
There’s way way way too many of them because of all the farming that we do.
They breed like crazy. Anyway, we can eat them. We have them often at restaurants.
You can get them at Woolworths, which is a supermarket chain.
But, the Napier’s so good because it’s smoked kangaroo that they use instead of ham.
Anyway, these parmas are huge. They’re about the size of your head. Really really really good good food.
On top of that, we drank a whole heap of beer.
Definitely more than I should have drunk, but I made it home in the end.
I, you know, walked home through the streets after hanging out with all of my friends, and we all parted ways, and (I) came home and pretty much got straight into bed.
So, I got home, walked through the door, and hit the sack. I hit the hay.
I went to bed pretty much straight away. So, that’s been my week.
That’s been my last evening. I am now sitting here in front of my computer chatting to you guys with a coffee.
So, (I’m) trying to sort of, hopefully, cleanse a little bit today, and be a little more healthy.
I might go get a salad for lunch. Anyway, today’s going to be an awesome episode, guys.
Let’s get into it.
So, today’s expression is “to cross a bridge” or “to cross that bridge when you come to it”.
“To cross that bridge when you come to it”. As usual guys, let’s just get into it.
Let’s define the words in the expression to cross that bridge or to cross a bridge when you come to it.
So, “to cross”, “to cross something”, this is to traverse something, to pass over something.
To go from one place to another place to cross something.
So, you could cross a river if you use a bridge to literally go across the river.
You cross the river. You could cross an ocean if you were in a boat. You could cross the ocean by sailing.
Or you could be in a plane and you could fly over the ocean, to cross it.
You could cross the ocean by flying over it. So, that’s the verb “to cross”.
“A bridge.” “A bridge” is a structure for walking, for driving, for riding across to pass over something usually a road or a river, a building, a path.
A bridge is a structure for crossing something else, for going over something else. A bridge.
“To come to”, “to come to something” is to arrive at something.
So, “to come to a stop” is to arrive at a stop. “To come to a place” is to arrive at a place.
So, I could say, “Today, I have come to this beach to go for a swim. I have arrived at this beach to go for a swim”.
“To come to” is to arrive at.
As usual, let’s go through and define the expression, guys.
So, if you say to someone, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” or you tell them that they need to cross that bridge when they come to it, it means that they need to solve that problem when and if it arises.
So, it’s a metaphor for solving a problem, for overcoming an obstacle when and if it arrives, when and if it happens.
So, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” will mean that we’ll worry about, quite literally, crossing that bridge, we’ll worry about going over that bridge, when we get to the bridge, when we arrive at the bridge.
But figuratively, if we use this as a metaphor, it means that we will solve that problem, we will overcome that obstacle, whatever the obstacle or whatever the problem is, when we get to it, when we arrive at it, when we come to it.
So, to cross the bridge when we come to it is to solve a problem when it happens.
As usual, let’s talk about some examples of how we would use this expression in everyday life guys.
So, imagine, number one, that you are going on a road trip. You’re going on a road trip around Australia.
So, maybe you’re driving from Perth all the way east to Victoria, to Melbourne, where I live.
And then, you’re going to drive all the way north up the east coast of Australia to Cairns.
And that’s thousands and thousands of kilometres.
I think it be about 12,000 kilometres to do those two legs of that trip.
To drive from Perth to Melbourne. The first leg.
And then, to drive the second leg from Melbourne to Cairns.
So, it’s a huge road trip that you’ve got planned, and you have an old car.
So, the car’s a bit of a bomb. You’re worried the car’s going to break down.
It’s going to stop functioning. So, that something in the engine is going to go wrong.
Maybe something will break. A cable will break. Maybe the radiator will blow.
Something’s going to happen and the car’s going to break down. This is what you’re worried about.
If you say to someone, “What happens if the car breaks down?”, the other person could say to you “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
And they’re saying that meaning, “We will worry about that problem when it happens. We’ll worry about overcoming that obstacle, the obstacle of the car breaking down, if it happens, when it happens. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Number two. Imagine you’re planning a surprise birthday for your mother, for your mum.
So, you want to plan this awesome epic surprise birthday with all your relatives, with all of her friends, with all of the gifts.
You’re going to cook up a barbie.
You’re going to have a whole bunch of food. It’s going to be an amazing party.
But your mother hates surprises. She absolutely hates surprises.
So if someone said to you, “Oh man! What happens when she gets here and she freaks out, she gets angry because it’s a surprise and you know your mother hates surprises?”
You could say, “Well, if she gets angry about it we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. You can cross that bridge when you come to it. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. We’ll worry about this problem, we’ll worry about the obstacle that is mum getting angry about this surprise birthday party, when and if it happens. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.“
So, the last example, example number three, is that you are worried about an upcoming exam for an incredibly difficult subject that you are studying at university.
So, I imagine that you’re studying something like, at least for me, maths.
I was awful at maths as a kid, and I was awful at university, and I still am awful at maths.
Imagine that you’re studying for an exam that you need to pass in order to continue studying, and you’re incredibly worried that you’re going to fail it.
Maybe you say to someone, “Oh, I’ve got to study for this exam. I have to go and complete it. I have to get at least this score. I’m really worried that if I don’t I’m going to get thrown out of university.”
Someone could say to you, “Look, just do your best. You’ve still got several weeks to study. Do your best. See how you go, and if things go badly we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. We’ll worry about that obstacle or that problem when and if it happens. You can cross that bridge when you come to it.”
So, as usual guys, let’s go in, let’s dive in, let’s do a listen and repeat exercise where you guys can practice your pronunciation.
So, listen and repeat after me, guys, and try to sound exactly like I do as a native English speaker.
Listen and repeat:
To cross that bridge.
To cross that bridge.
To cross that bridge when you come to it.
To cross that bridge when you come to it.
I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
You’ll cross that bridge when you come to it.
He’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it.
She’ll cross that bridge when she comes to it.
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
They’ll cross that bridge when they come to it.
It will cross that bridge when it comes to it.
Good job, guys. Good job.
So, now as usual, let’s have a little quick chat about pronunciation and connected speech, guys, and how it relates to the expression “To cross that bridge when you come to it”.
In this one, I want you to notice that when we say “To_w_it”, “To_w_it”, “To_w_it” we join the two vowels that “-o” and the “i-“, “To_w_it”, with a W-sound.
So, this happens all the time in English.
And this, again, is not just Australian English. This is all forms of English.
When we have two vowels either side of one another, one at the end of a word, for instance “to”, and the other at the start of a word, in this case “it”, we link them.
And we’ll link them with either a “Weh” sound, a W sound, “Weh”, or a “Yeh” sound, a Y sound, a “Yeh”.
So, in this case, it’s a W. It’s a W sound. “To_w_it”.
So, listen and repeat after me, guys. I’m going to say “To_w_it” five times.
Practice your pronunciation, and then we’ll go through the listen and repeat exercise one more time so that you can practice this pronunciation and connected speech tip.
Listen and repeat:
I’ll cross that bridge when I come to_w_it.
You’ll cross that bridge when you come to_w_it.
He’ll cross that bridge when he comes to_w_it.
She’ll cross that bridge when she comes to_w_it.
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to_w_it.
They’ll cross that bridge when they come to_w_it.
It’ll cross that bridge when it comes to_w_it.
Great job guys. Great job.
Remember, that as usual, as I always go over at the end here, if you want to sign up to be a member go over to www.TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com, and click on Learn English Faster.
You can sign up and become an Aussie English supporter straight away, you can become a member, and you can get access to all the bonus content for this episode, as well as all the previous expression episodes.
So, the bonus content includes MP3s, a more thorough PDF of the transcript, and you get access to all of these exercises that are designed to teach you to speak English and to understand English just like a native speaker.
So, we go through substitution and phrasal verb exercises, we go through pronunciation in connected speech exercises, grammar exercises, slang exercises, listening comprehension exercises, everything that you need to take your English to the next level faster.
Aside from that, guys, if you want to support Aussie English you can become a patron on the Aussie English Patreon page.
This is a page that you go to online where you can donate money.
You can choose the amount that you wish to donate. It happens on a monthly basis.
So, you can donate anything from one dollar each month in order to support me creating this content for you guys.
So, you can donate one dollar. You can donate more than a dollar if you choose.
It’s totally up to you guys.
But it is a way for you to support me directly and to be a deeper part of the Aussie English community.
So, thank you to all the current patrons on there.
It means the world to me that you guys are supporting me (to) create this content to help everyone learn Australian English.
Anyway, guys I hope you have a great week. Keep practicing your English.
Keep practicing speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
Keep at it, and I’ll chat to you soon.
See ya guys!
Not a Member yet?
Get bonus exercises when you upgrade to the premium transcripts
Want to support the podcast?
Click the image below to become a supporter on Patreon today!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,126