G’day guys! Welcome to the very first Aussie English podcast. My name’s Peter Smissen. I’m a 28-year-old PhD student from Melbourne a very large city in Australia, down under. I started this… I decided to start this podcast to assist people in learning Australian English. I have a lot of friends here in Melbourne who are from Europe and from other parts of the world, and quite a few have told me when they first moved to Australia to work, to travel, to live permanently, they had quite a bit of difficulty understanding the Australian accent when they first arrived, and it took, it took some of them quite a few months before they really understood a lot of what people were saying.
So, the average Australian can have quite a thick accent. I’m not too bad. I consider my accent to be pretty soft. It’s not overly strong, but I can turn it on if you want me to speak like a real Australian.
But yeah. So I thought I would start this podcast in order to produce some resources, some materials, that people learning English as a second language can use, particularly if they’re interested in working in or moving to, or travelling in Australia, or if they simple have an interest in Australian history and culture, and more broadly learning the English language and different dialects and having exposure.
So, who’s this podcast for? Ultimately, I think the main audience will be people wanting to come to Australia whether it’s for work, travel or to live here permanently, and they want to practice before coming to the country or just after having arrived in Australia they want to practice listening comprehension for the Australian accent and for our mannerisms, our expressions and terms, and especially all of the slang terms that we use, because we have quite a few slang terms. It’s funny, every day that I’m talking with, especially Australian friends, I don’t realize just how much slang I’m actually using until our group of friends has a foreigner or someone who speaks English as a second language in the conversation with us having to verify the odd thing that we say. So, I think that Australian English is a really beautiful dialect of English, I mean it’s my native tongue and I love sharing English as well as Australian English a dialect and our slang terms and expressions with other people. So, so yeah. I guess that’s why I decided to start this podcast and I hope it’s interesting. We’ll see how people react to it and I look forward to getting comments back in the future about how I can improve it, what else I can add to it, and yeah, anyway.
So that’s the first little introduction to Australian English. I might record a few more things today. I’m sitting in the park, The Royal Park, across the road from my house in Melbourne. It’s a beautiful summer day and I’m looking forward to giving you a bit more insight into me personally as well as everything Australia. So, all the best and you’ll hear from me soon! See ya!
Come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice your Aussie English, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 2 years ago
Ep074: Expression – To Wait And See
Hey guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I’m going to explain to you an expression, a new expression that I haven’t covered before, and this expression is “To wait and see”, “To wait and see”, “To wait and see”.
So, I’ll quickly go through and describe for you the definitions of these different words. So, it’s obviously two verbs, “To wait” and the verb “To see”.
“To wait” means to remain ready for something, to stay somewhere until a certain time or event. So, that’s “To wait”. You’ll often wait somewhere for a bus or a train, or you’ll wait for someone to come and meet you for coffee, etc., that sort of thing. You’ll all know the verb, “To wait”.
The verb, “To see” is obviously the verb that explains to perceive, to view, to experience something with your eyes, to discern something visually. So, “Seeing something” is using your eyes. That’s another verb that you’re going to know.
But you may not know the expression “To wait and see”, “To wait and see”, and “To wait and see” means to wait to find out what will happen before it happens or before doing something.
So, what are some examples where you might hear someone say “To wait and see” or “Wait and see”?
Say for example it’s a kid’s birthday tomorrow but he is incredibly impatient and he wants to know what his parents have bought him as a present. So, he could pester his parents, he couldn’t annoy them, he could be asking them constantly, “What did you get me? What did you get me? What did you get me?” and his parents could say to him, “Look, you’re just going to have to wait and see. You’re just going to have to be patient and want and see what it is tomorrow. So, you’re going to have to WAIT and then tomorrow’s going to come, you’ll get to open the present at which time you’ll SEE what the present is.” So, that means… yeah, “Wait and see”, “Wait and see”.
Another example could be you had your final exams for the semester at university or at high school, at school, and just after coming out of them you say “Oh I really hope that I went well. I hope I did well in these exams. I’m looking forward to seeing my results. I can’t wait, I can’t wait!” and your friends could say to you, “Well there’s not much more we can do, we just have to wait and see. We just have to wait and see what our results are when they come out in a month, in however long it is you have to wait. We have to wait and see. We won’t know until then”.
So another example could be that your parents have had a big fight and you and your sister are worried that they are not going to be able to patch things up, to fix things. I might add that the phrase “To patch things up”, is to fix a situation. So, it’s literally, you think about putting a patch on say, pants that have a hole in them, to sort of patch the pants up, to fix them. So, if you patch things up with someone it means you fix whatever fight you’ve had. So, the parents have had a fight, the kids are worried that they’re not going to patch things up, to fix things and stay together. And so, one of them could say to the other one “I hope they don’t get divorced” and the other kid could say “Well, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens. We’re not going to know. It’s up to them. We have to wait and see.”
One last example could be that you’ve just finished the most recent released book in a series of books that you’re absolutely obsessed with, and I mean, for me this could be Game of Thrones, for example, or back when I was in high school it could’ve been Harry Potter, any other book series that you’re really keen on. And so, imagine that you are one or two books away from the very end of that series, like with Game of Thrones at the moment there’s only two books left, and… So, for instance, in Game of Thrones you want to know who’s going to end up on the Iron Throne, who’s going to end up effectively winning the Game of Thrones. Is it going to be John Snow? Is it going to be Tyrion? Is it going to be Daenerys? But ultimately, you’re just going to have to wait and see. You’ll have to wait and see. The books are going to have to be released. You’re going to have to read the books. You’re going to have to wait and see until you’ve read the books to find out who’s going to end up on the Iron Throne. So, that’s a little… a little segway into Game of Thrones there, which I absolutely love as a TV show and as a book series.
Anyway, let’s do some listen and repeat exercises. So, listen and repeat after me guys, and I’m going to do these in my natural accent. I’m not going to really annunciate them incredibly distinctly and well, like I just did that quick phrase. So, bear with me. I hope it’s ok.
Note: the following sentences are written phonetically as I say, “…just going to have to wait and see”. You would never write English like this.
I’m just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
You’re just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
He’s just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
She’s just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
We’re just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
They’re just gonna havda wait ‘n’ see.
So, just practice that a few times guys. You’ll get it. It’s… it’s so rhythmic when you start speaking this way with a lot of these contractions. So, in that instance you will have heard me say “Gonna” and “Havda”. “I’m just gonna havta wait ‘n’ see”, I don’t really say the “And” in between “Wait and see”. I say “Wait ‘n’ see”, “Wait ‘n’ see”, “Wait ‘n’ see”. Practice those things and you will be able to speak a lot more fluently. It just comes naturally. It’s a very interesting thing that I’ve noticed with French, and I started practicing these kinds of contractions that I heard other people do, and it just comes naturally. So, just practice these things and then go away and you’ll probably eventually find that you’re saying them without thinking when you speak or have conversations with other natives.
Note: if I speak very quickly “Have to” will often be said with a “D”, “Havda”, though as I slow down it can be a “T”, “Havta”.
And so, that’s really it guys. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it. It was just a quick one, and you’re going to have to wait and see what the next episode is. You’ll have to wait for it to come out, you’ll have to wait and see, and when it comes out you’ll know. See you then guys!
Check out all the other recent Aussie English Expression episode below.
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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!
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By pete — 12 months ago
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AE 399 – Expression: Like A Stunned Mullet
G’day, guys. How’s it going?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast that teaches you Australian English whether you want to understand it, speak it, use slang words, practice the Australian accent, Aussie English is the podcast for you.
And today, I am so happy to say it is Episode 399. 399, guys. That is absolutely insane. If you had told me two years ago when I started this podcast that I would be 400 episodes in within the short period of only two years, I wouldn’t have believed you. I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s insane. So, I guess, massive thanks to all of you guys who have made this possible. Every single person who has signed up to The Aussie English Classroom, who has sent me messages saying thank you, which have really touched me and encouraged me to keep doing what I am doing, everyone who has watched the videos on YouTube, liked the Facebook page and interacted with me, and everyone who has donated on Patreon as well. Thank you so much, guys. Thank you so much. And I’m saying thank you in this episode, because I’m sure there will be several episodes out before the next expression episode that would go over number 400. So, I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to say thanks before we ticked over episode number 400. So yeah, thanks, guys. And thank you dear listener. The person who is listening right now, I’m talking to you. Thank you so much for everything that you have done. Your ongoing support means the world. Thank you.
So, a few announcements before we get started, guys. The Aussie English Classroom is about to increase in price that is going to happen on Monday morning. I am going to change the price as of Monday morning. So, if it is… it should be Sunday when you’re listening to this. Hopefully, not too later on in the week, but hopefully if you hear this on Sunday, and if you wish to save 17 dollars a month when you sign up for the Aussie English Classroom, I suggest that you do so now, because the price is about to increase. And remember you can try it if you want to sign up and give it a go for a month, it’s a 30-day money back guarantee, and it is just one dollar to try it for the first 30 days. So, you’ve got nothing to lose guys and everything to gain.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s get into today’s episode with an Aussie joke.
So, today’s Aussie joke is, and it’s just a one-liner. It’s not a question.
I’m only friends with 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know “Y”.
Do you get it, guys? There’s 26 letters in the alphabet. I’m only friends with 25 of them, because I don’t know “Y”. The letter Y as well as the word W-H-Y. That’s the joke there, guys.
So remember, it’s your mission to go out there and tell someone today that English joke. Make it a point of conversation, start a conversation with it, but get out there and use that joke somewhere today. That is your mission.
Anyway, let’s get into today’s expression. Today’s expression is ‘like a stunned mullet’, ‘like a stunned mullet’. And this is an Australian expression. This is very common. I hear this all the time. My parents used to use this when I was a kid all the time. You’d hear it on TV. And I suggested today’s expression. This one was voted on by everyone, and shockingly everyone voted for mine. So, ‘like a stunned mullet’.
Before we get into what that means let’s go through the different words in the expression ‘like a stunned mullet’, and explain what those mean.
So, the words ‘like’, ‘like’. To be similar to something. If you are like something, you are similar to that thing. So, my car is like my sister’s car. They are similar. Okay? I look like my parents, because I’m related to them. I look like them. We’re similar in appearance.
‘A’. I’m sure you guys know what ‘a’ is. ‘A’. The article ‘A’ means one thing. A thing. it’s non-specific. A thing.
‘Stunned’. The word ‘stunned’. Okay so, if something is stunned, it is that it could have been knocked unconscious or into a semi-conscious state. So, if someone hit me in the head, I would be stunned. But it can also mean, if I am stunned talking about, I guess, more the emotional state, that is to be astonished or to be shocked by something temporarily, or to temporarily be unable to act or react to something. To be ‘stunned’.
‘A mullet’. Okay so, this is two things in English. ‘A mullet’ can be that weird hairdo, where men have this hairdo in Australia sometimes where they’ve shaved the sides and they’ve shaved the top, but they have long hair at the back. This was a very famous haircut, a very common haircut, back in the 80s and 90s. There was a footy player called Gary Ablett who is a famous footy player for Geelong, the footy team Geelong, and he used to have a mullet.
But in this case, ‘a mullet’ is a type of marine fish, or at least primarily marine fish. I used to catch this when I went fishing and they were called a yellow-eyed mullet. So, it’s a fish that you can catch to eat. But we’ll get on to that… I’ll talk a bit about that at the end.
So, the expression ‘to be like a stunned mallet’ is to be dazed, uncomprehending of something, to be stupefied, shocked or astonished. Those are all synonyms for ‘to be like a stunned mullet’. So typically, someone looks like a stun mullet as a result of suddenly being shocked or surprised, or it could just be that they are dazed, confused, they look like they don’t know what they’re doing. They look like a stunned mullet.
So, when I looked up the origin of this expression it refers to, funnily enough, the fish, the google-eyed stare, and sometimes gaping mouth, of a fish that has been recently caught and stunned. It’s been made unconscious. And usually, that happens by the fishermen picking the fish up and hitting its head on the ground or perhaps using a hammer or some kind of tool to stun the fish by hitting the fish over the head. And when that happens it obviously looks like it is dazed, stupefied, shocked, surprised, I’m sure. But that is where it comes from and that’s what it alludes to.
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And this expression was first used in 1918. In 1918, it was in The Examiner newspaper, and there was an excerpt that I read here from the First World War, and it went like this.
“We finally dug into shell holes and that dark opposite the Boche trenches and waited there like stunned mullets for three hours with the Huns shelling us.”
So, in this case, ‘Boche’, B-O-C-H-E is a French word for German, a German person, and ‘Hun’ is an English word for German as well. And both of these I think are derogatory terms that English men, Australian men, American men, would have used for Germans in the First World War. Okay? And I had to look this up. I didn’t know this beforehand.
But so, these guys were sitting in the trenches in the dark, and they were obviously being shelled, so they were being bombed from above, and they were sitting there for three hours like stunned mullets, because they were obviously shocked, dazed, confused. They looked like stunned mullets.
So, as usual guys, let’s go through some examples, and then we’ll go through a listen and repeat exercise, and then I’ll go through an Aussie fact, and we’ll finish up.
So, example number one imagine you have renovated the house. So, you’re having a reno. You’re renovating your house. And you need to clean out your house. You need to clean out the garage. You want to get rid of all your old stuff. You want to sell it. So, you want to have a garage sale. And a garage sale is common in Australia where people will often use their garage, they’ll open their garage up, they’ll have all their stuff strewn about in the garage, and they’ll be selling it, and usually, without labelling it. They’ll just say it’s for sale. It’s a garage sale. You offer them something if you want something that’s at the garage sale, and they’ll… you know, you’ll barter with that person, and then hopefully buy the thing and go home. So, imagine you’re having a garage sale, maybe is selling your lawn mower, your whipper snipper, some old tools, and you want help from your daughter, but she’s not into it. She’s not keen to help. So, she’s just sitting around watching you whilst you organise everything for the garage sale, you might say, “Don’t just sit there like a stunned mullet! Can you help me?!” So, she’s just sitting around, she’s dazed, uncomprehending, unhelpful, you know, useless, you can say to her, “Don’t sit around like a stunned mullet! Come and help me with the garage sale.”
Example number two. So, it’s your first day on the job. It’s your first day at work. And we love to say ‘on the job’ in Australian English. So, you’re working as a paramedic. So, that’s someone who works resuscitating people, healing injured people. These are the ambulance drivers. So, we call them ‘ambos’ quite often. If they’re working in ambulances, they’re ‘ambos’. ‘Ambos’. So, imagine it’s your first day on the job. You get called to some horrific scene where there’s been a car accident, and you’ve got to act quickly to save some lives. So, you see dead bodies for the first time. There’s people that have obviously been killed in the accident, unfortunately. There’s body parts on the road. And you’re shocked, you’re astonished. You think it’s it looks like a scene out of a war movie. And your partner… if you’re just standing there shocked, your partner might yell out, “Don’t just stand there like a stunned mullet! Come and help me. You need to start saving lives, you need to start helping. Don’t stand there like a stunned mullet!”.
Example Number three. So, this time imagine you are a teacher at a school and you’re running an exam for a class. Maybe it’s a physics exam or a maths exam or a chemistry exam, something that was difficult and required quite a bit of study before the exam if students wanted to pass it and do well. So, imagine most students have studied really hard, they’re doing pretty well in the exam, they’re focusing, but there are a few students who look incredibly confused, and they’re not acting. They’re stupefied, they’re uncomprehending. So, you could say, they look like stunned mullets. So, you might walk up to them and say, “Why do you guys look like stunned mullets? Why are you sitting there like stunned mullets? Didn’t you guys study for this exam? You had plenty of time.”. So, that’s example number three.
And so, I hope you guys now know if you are like a stunned mullet, so you could be you could look like a stunned mullet, you could be sitting there like a stunned mullet, you could be standing there like a stunned mullet. It is to be shocked or astonished, or dazed and confused. So, it’s a good one. I recommend using it.
So, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys. So, just listen and repeat after me, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation. So, go find somewhere quiet away from people where you can speak out loud, and try and say these words and sentences exactly as I do, and also focus on the connected speech. I love teaching you guys connected speech. So, focus on that aspect of this exercise. So, let’s go. Listen and repeat after me, guys.
Listen & Repeat:
Like a stunned
Like a stunned mullet x 5
I looked like a stunned mullet
You looked like a stunned mullet
He looked like a stunned mullet
She looked like a stunned mullet
We looked like a stunned mullet
They looked like a stunned mullet
It looked like a stunned mullet
Good job guys, good job. And remember, if you want to focus on pronunciation and you want to focus on connected speech so that you sound a lot more like an Australian English speaker, or just an English speaker in general, make sure you sign up to The Aussie English Classroom, guys. There are loads of exercises in there. And this week I have actually uploaded every single vowel in Australian English with 10 or more examples so that you can practice every single vowel, and there is also now every single consonant including the T-flap, including the dark L. So, I’m really trying to fill out the Aussie English Classroom with material for you to focus on your pronunciation. And then also, with every expression episode like this there will be a pronunciation or connected speech exercise.
So, if you want to get in there, remember, jump in there before tomorrow, before Monday, and you will save 17 dollars a month, and it is just one dollar for your first month, for your first 30 days. You can try it. There’s no risk. You can unsubscribe at any time. You can pause your subscription at any time. But definitely get in there, if you take your English seriously.
Anyway, guys. Let’s get into the Aussie fact before we finish up.
So, today I didn’t really have a specific fact that I wanted to tell you. I more felt like talking about camping when I was a kid, and fishing when I was a kid, and what this was like. And the reason that I thought of this was because of the word ‘mullet’, the word ‘mullet’.
So, I used to go fishing when I was a kid down here in Ocean Grove at the river, and also my parents used to take me camping in summer to a place called Wilson’s Promontory, Wilson’s prom. And I’m sure that some of you guys listening, especially if you’re in Victoria and near Melbourne, have been to Wilson’s prom. It’s an absolutely beautiful place.
Anyway, when I went camping and fishing in these areas I used to catch mullet all the time. So, my dad and my entire family sometimes my grandparents and my uncle and auntie as well, we would go to Wilson’s Promontory, Wilson’s prom, we’d go camping down there. We each had four-wheel drives. Each one of the families would have a four-wheel drive, which is a kind of… a big car that you can drive on really difficult to drive along tracks. You can go up hills, down hills, if you get bogged in mud you tend to be able to get out of it. But that’s what a four-wheel drive is. Four-wheel drive. We’d take our tents. We’d have sleeping bags. We’d have blow-up mattresses and torches. Always a lot of insect repellent to get rid of the mozzies. The mozzies would always get you. And I used to have fishing gear. I would take that even though the rest of my family seemed to really dislike fishing. They just found it boring sitting there waiting for fish to bite the bait and get on the line. And I would also take things like Game Boys. I used to play Pokémon a lot. And we also take books. My sister used to love to read. So, I have an image in my head of her sitting up late under the covers in her sleeping bag in the tent with all of us and she would have her torch on whilst reading through one of her many books.
So, we used to go down there. We would pile out of the car, get all our stuff out, and I would help dad put the tent up. So, we would erect the tent. We’d get all that ready, and then usually, when we got to Wilson’s prom, it would be pretty close to a river, and the river’s called Tidal River, and I’d go fishing down there. So, I’d grab my rod, I’d grab my line, the sinkers, the hooks, the bait to put on the hook to try and catch the fish, or I’d have a lure, and so, all of my fishing tackle, and I’d run down to the river and start fishing.
And Tidal River at Wilson’s prom is a very interesting river, because it’s so close to the ocean, at least the part of the river that is near the camping ground, that when the tide goes out the river is able to flow downstream properly and you can see all of the brown tannins from the plant material in the water. And so, when the tide is out and the water’s flowing down the river, at the river mouth, it’s all brown. But then when the tide comes in the river changes colour and it goes blue or green, because now it’s all seawater that comes up the river. And that’s why it’s called Tidal River, because the tide goes in and it goes out, and it changes the colour. So, it was very cool. I used to love that river. And there was a huge rock nearby. This big granite rock that looked like a whale, and was funnily enough it was called ‘Whale’s rock’. So, I wonder if some of you guys have seen that rock if you’ve been to Wilson’s prom.
Anyway, I would go down there, I would cast my line out, and every now and then while I was fishing, I would catch fish like snapper, whiting, maybe some flathead, and often yellow-eyed mullet. So, the fish ‘the mullet.
Anyway guys, I just thought I would share that with you to give you an idea of what it was like as a kid to go fishing, to go camping. If any of you guys are living in Melbourne or in Victoria or are planning on traveling this way in Australia, definitely go and check out Wilson’s Prom. It is phenomenally beautiful. Okay?
So, that’s it for me today guys. Once again, massive thank you. I can’t believe we are almost past 400 episodes. That is absolutely amazing. That’s incredible. And I will chat to you in the next episode. Peace out, guys, and I hope you have an amazing Sunday.
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