In this episode of Aussie English I teach you guys how to use the expressions “To have a crack at something”, “To give something a crack” and “To take a crack at something”.
[sdm_download id=”1268″ fancy=”1″]
Expression: To have a crack at something
Hey guys. Welcome to this episode. I hope you guys have all been well. I just wanted to say hey to everyone, thanks for supporting me, thanks for listening to this podcast, I really appreciate everyone’s support and everyone’s interest. I’m really really glad to be able to produce a podcast that is able to help you guys improve you English, whether it’s just your listening comprehension, your understanding of expressions and phrases that we use as natives. And yeah, if you have any suggestions or you have any other sort of things you’re interested in hearing about, about Australia, about the world, about whatever it is that you would like different podcasts to be themed around then definitely jump on the Facebook page. Come over, chat to me, say hello to me, I’m always reading these comments and trying to engage with you guys as the Aussie English community. And, yeah, just come and practice your English. You’re always welcome to come and chat to me on there. Anyway, we can dive straight into this episode today.
Today I want to go over the expression “To have a crack.”, “To have a crack at something”. So, what does “To have a crack” or “To have a crack at something” mean? It means to have a try at something although you’re unsure if you’ll succeed. So, more generally it’s to have a go, to have a shot, to have a turn, to have a try. So, I might also add that you can use this phrase in different forms with different verbs such as “To give” and “To take”. So, you might also hear “To give something a crack” or “To take a crack at something” and not just “To have a crack at something”. So, this is just another way of saying to have a shot at something, to give something a shot or to take a shot at something.
So, what is the definition of the word “Crack”? Interestingly, in this phrase, I guess, it has nothing to do with the literal sense of the word “Crack”, but the literal sense of the word, of “A crack”, it’s multiple things. The first being a line on the surface of something along which it’s split without breaking apart. So, you can see a crack in the concrete on the ground as you’re walking along the pavement, or you could see a crack in the wall of the building, a crack in a tile in your bathroom. And then the second sort of common definition of the word “Crack” is in terms of it being a sound, like a sudden sharp explosive noise or sound. So, if someone let off, as is in the name, a firecracker and you hear a bang. It’s a sharp crack, you know, bang, crack.
So, the origin of this phrase I tried to look up but I couldn’t find anything really about where it had originated from. Someone online suggested it could originate from baseball, the game of baseball where the sound of hitting a ball with the baseball bat is a crack. And so, I think he suggested that by saying to someone “Do you want to have a crack?” it’s telling them, or suggesting to them, that they can have a hit or a try or do you want to have a hit or a try of [hitting] the ball. So, “Do you want to try and give it a crack?” Do you want to try and hit the ball with the bat?
Another way that I thought about it was say that someone’s bought a whip, because a whip crack or the crack of a whip is the sound that a whip makes when you crack it. So, it’s obviously a verb there as well. If you crack a whip it does that [whip sound] sound. So, obviously this phrase may have come about when people ask someone if they wanted to try using that whip. “Do you want to give it a crack” literally means do you want to use the whip and get it to make that crack sound. So, “Have a crack”, “Give it a crack”, “Take a crack”. It could be that, it could absolutely not be that. I’m not sure. But that was another way that I was thinking about it.
So some examples of how I would use the phrase “To have a crack at something”, and again you could say “To give something a crack” or “To take a crack at something”.
Number one, I got the idea for this expression from a video I saw recently, and I posted it on the Aussie English Facebook page where a man gets swooped multiple times by a magpie during nesting season. And the word “Swoop”, the verb “To swoop”, “To be swooped” is when a bird or some kind of flying animal dives at you and tries to attack you or scare you away. So, in this video that I’ll link in this episode the magpie swoops him something like 13 times while he’s riding his bike down the road, and he’s holding the camera so that you can see his face and his head as he’s getting swooped by the magpie. And towards the end of the bombardment of swoops he says something along the lines of “This guy’s really giving it a crack” or “This guy’s really having a crack”. And what does this mean? It effectively means that this guy, the magpie, is really having a shot at attacking him. So, “He’s really having a crack” at attacking him. He’s really having a go, he’s really trying to attack him, he’s trying to hurt him. “He’s really having a crack”.
Another example could be that you want to play a game on your Playstation 4, so your PS4, Playstation 4, your game console, and someone’s come over with a new game. You want to have a go on it but your mate is showing the game, and it’s a one-player game, so only one person can play at a time. So, you can’t play at the same time as your mate. He keeps dying in the game and taking the next turn. So, he dies, he has another turn. He dies, he has another turn. Usually, you would probably give the controller, you would give the turn to your friend, and you keep switching every time someone dies. So, if that’s not happening you could say to your friend as you’re getting impatient that he’s hogging the game that he’s just playing himself and not letting you play, you could say, “Hey dude, can I’ve a crack?”, “Can you give me a crack”, “Can I take a crack at the game now?”, “Can I’ve a crack”. So, can I have a turn, can I have a go, can I have a shot?
Example number 3, maybe a friend has bought a new car, and he’s driven over to your house, he wants to show you the car, he wants to take you for a drive. So, he comes to your house, knocks on the door, you come out, you see the car, you get in the car, and you guys go for a drive, but your friend’s driving obviously, as it’s his car. So, he keeps telling you about how good the car is, how well it handles, you know, the sensation of what it’s like to drive, how it responds, and keeps telling you you’ll get a go eventually but it just doesn’t really seem to be happening and the guy’s not, you know, pulling over and letting you in the driver’s seat. So, if this was happening you could say, “Ok ok ok, dude, dude, dude. I understand, I want to have a go, give us a crack. Give me a crack already. I want to have a crack. Can I take a crack at driving the car?”
Example number four, say your son is competing in a surfing competition this weekend, say at Bell’s Beach, which is one of the most famous surfing competition beaches in the world. And this is down near where I live in the south of Victoria. So, on the coast, Bell’s Beach. He’s up against the country’s best young surfers, your son, he paddles out, he catches a few really good waves but unfortunately the rest of the competition is just too good and they beat him on points. So you could say that “He gave it a really good crack”. So, he tried really hard, he gave it a really good shot, he had a good go, but he ended up losing. So, he didn’t win in the end but “He gave it a really good crack. He had a good crack at the competition but lost.”
So, that’s really all there is to it guys. That’s the phrase to have a crack at something, to give something a crack or to take a crack at something. And it just means to try something without necessarily being sure that you’ll succeed or wanting to have a go, have a shot, have a turn or have a try at something.
So, as usual, we can go through some listen and repeat exercises guys, and I’ll keep this one simple today where I’ll just repeat the phrases “Give it a crack”, “Have a crack”, and “Take a crack” four times [each]. So, listen and repeat after me guys.
Listen and repeat:
Give it a crack x 4
Have a crack x 4
Take a crack x 4
So, that’s it guys. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Remember, come over to the Facebook page. Engage with the community. IF you want to practice your English comment on things, ask questions, share things that you’re passionate about or interested in knowing more about, or things you see and do related to Australia or related to anything else. I’m always willing to chat to you guys if and when I have time. Don’t be a stranger. Come over and say hello, and I’ll chat to you next time guys. All the best.
If you wish to support me and the many hours of hard work I put into The Aussie English Podcast then please consider donating a few dollars a month via Patreon! The more support I get, the more I can work on The Aussie English Podcast!
Check out all the other recent Expression episodes below!
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 — 11 months ago
AE 408 – Interview: Crocs, Muppet Pollies, & the Legend of Wildman with Damian Duffy
G’day, guys, how’s it going?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. This is another interview episode, and today I have the pleasure of interviewing Damien Duffy, a.k.a. Wildman.
But before we get into that, guys, welcome to The Aussie English Podcast the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, whether you want to understand how we speak, the accent, the slang that we use, or whether you want to sound like an Australian when you speak, The Aussie English Podcast is for you. And The Aussie English Podcast is brought to you by The Aussie English Classroom. So, that is my product. That is the online learning environment where you guys can get courses that go with these lessons. They go with the interview lessons. They go with the expression episode lessons that are on the podcast. The whole point of this online classroom is to help you study and learn Australian English even faster.
Anyway guys, today, I had the pleasure of chatting with my mate Wildman, with Damien. He was up north at the time in Darwin doing a whole bunch of stuff up there running cruises, feeding crocs. We talk a little bit about that. We talk about crocodiles. We talk about muppet politicians. Someone who is “a muppet” is an idiot. So, we’ll use that in Australia to refer to people we don’t like. It’s kind of a polite way of saying that someone’s an idiot. He’s a muppet. So, we talk about pollies, politicians, who are total muppets, and then we also talk about how Wildman got the name ‘Wildman’ and got started with his career running around Australia, photographing animals, and doing all sorts of larrikin-esque kind of activities.
Anyway, Wildman’s an absolute champ, guys. I have broken down one of his videos previously. So, you may have seen him on YouTube. If you want to check that out, just search “Wildman Aussie English”, and you’ll see me break down his accent. He has a very very thick Australian accent. It’s incredibly okkar. It’s actually one of my favourite Australian accents, and I have a little bit of accent envy. So, make sure if you have trouble understanding anything that he says, and anything I say, to jump online and download the transcript so you can read everything that we’re saying whilst you listen.
Anyway guys, without any further ado, let’s get into today’s episode. Let’s go and chat with Wildman.
So, I mean, welcome to this episode of Aussie English, man. Thank you for joining me. Thank you for, as well, letting me do that video originally on your content. That was amazing and everyone listening to it was…. it was right up there Ali. They were loving it, dude.
Yeah, no dramas, mate! Too easy.
So, I’ve got a bunch of questions here for you, Damien. I mean, just a start: “Wild Man”. How did that get started? How did you… Tell us a bit about yourself, introduce yourself, and how did it all get started?
The Wildman got started just because I’m a bit of a loose unit and I kind of get it in a while. So, the name kind of stuck the Wild Man. I start off just with the photography, because I do the wildlife photography thing, and I needed a good name for it, and I thought, Wildman Photography’s a pretty good name. And gradually, I progressed from there and thought to myself the adventures that I go on to get the photos that I get are interesting in themselves and I’m going out to all these pristine, amazing places, beautiful landscapes. Why not start doing videos? And they took on a life of their own. So, yeah, that’s hopefully kicking off.
So, when did that start? How long have you been doing the photography side of things?
Think I’ve been doing photography for about…Actually, decent photography, for maybe about two and three years. I bought a camera about four years ago and I just taught meself how to use it. Got a few hints and tips off some other people, and just went from there. And then, I’ve managed to get myself to where I am now. There is always learning, there’s always something else to learn, but having a lot of fun with, mate.
Yeah. And what are the best experiences been so far? What are the best shots that you’ve caught or the best adventures you’ve been on? Or are they all good?
To be honest, they’re all good, mate! But going into the National Park, for example, Litchfield National Park’s always phenomenal. I didn’t… I used me GoPro the other night to swim in a freshwater crocodile at night time and filmed it underwater with an underwater torch and my GoPro. So, that was amazing. But, basically anything, mate. Whenever you are you going out and finding wildlife, the experience in itself is invigorating and makes you really enthusiastic about what you’re doing, because you don’t just walk outside and you got like black neck stalks, and crocodiles, and kangaroos, and snakes, and they’re not just sitting at the front waiting for you. You gotta go and look for ’em. So, it’s all part of the adventure, and when you find something that’s really, really exciting, then you can take photos and show other people what you saw, and that’s exciting as well.
And so, have you always lived up north in Australia? Did you grow up in Queensland? Whereabouts did it all begin for you?
Oh, mate, if I go by the legend, I fell out of the dingo’s arse in the bush somewhere. But… No, to be honest, mate, I was born in western Sydney.
Yeah, no judgment. I’m from Melbourne, no judgment, no judgement.
A Mexican! I’ve got relies down in Melbourne, in Mornington, Mount Martha, I’ve got a few mates in Frankston. Franga, Frankghanistan, they’re rough units. But yeah, I’ve lived in and around Sydney, Parramatta, Rosehill, Mt Druitt, all the rough areas, you know. I was pretty young then, and then I moved away to the Central Coast, around Lake Macquarie, a couple of hours there in Newcastle. I think I’ve been to nine different schools, you know, like I’ve lived there in the bush in New South Wales. I’ve been near the city. I’ve lived… I moved… I went to Noosa. Lived there for a couple of years, went back to the other side of the Blue Mountains in a little one-horse-town called Portland that snowed there, it’s horrible. And then I ended up back in Brisbane and I was there for, like, a couple of years, and then I went and joined the army, ended up back in Sydney doing paratrooper, then I went back to Brisbane, and I was there for seven years, and then I moved to North Queensland, and I was there for, maybe, for four, four and a half years, and then… and now I’m in the Northern Territory, and I’ve finally found a place where I’m meant to be. I thought it was North Queensland, mate, but since I moved here… North Queensland will always have a place in my heart, but Northern Territory, mate, is just next level, phenomenal place.
You were at The Daintree Rainforest, right?
And, so, how do the two compare, then? Obviously, just saying Darwin’s a lot better, is it, or…?
Yeah, it’s better for me, because it’s just more loose, mate. Like everything is so relaxed and chilled out here. My favourite pub is the Humpty Doo. I don’t have to wear shoes when I go in there. People occasionally bring in snakes or crocodiles or ride a water buffalo in, like, it’s loose! And that’s what I love. It’s the last wild frontier in this country, unless you count suburbs like Campbelltown or whatever, you know. But, that’s too loose. That’s even too much for me. But it is just… it is the final wild frontier as far as wildlife goes, even at the end of the dry season, there is still animals everywhere.
It blows my mind. Like, my camera has had one hell of a workout. Thanks goodness Nikon make tough cameras, but in the… it’s a completely different environment. Over in North Queensland, it’s a tropical rainforest, and you do have pristine, beautiful waterfalls, and you’ve got your rainforest snakes and all your reptiles and all that sort of jazz, and of course you got some crocodiles there, small density, but some.
Yeah. The salties as well as the freshies?
Yeah, there’s freshies that live out on the tablelands out towards Chillagoe if you go further inland, but you’ve got a few salties along the coast. If you ask Bob Katter how many salties there are, they’re probably about 10 million and they’re waiting at your front door to mug you when you go to get up for work the morning.
10 million too many.
Yeah mate. But, there’s bugger all, man, there’s bugger all up there. But in the Territory there’s heaps more and that makes me happy because I like seeing ’em. And of course, I work with ’em now, but you can’t compare. Two completely different environments. They’re both as tropical as all buggery with the temperature.
But, it gets hotter in the Territory, the wet season is much bigger in the Territory, but the sheer amount of wildlife here is just… ’cause their big vast wetlands, mate. And the biodiversity here rivals the biodiversity of places like the Amazon, you know?.
Heartbeat’s per square meter is just still of tap, so…
What’s the population of Darwin, again? It’s like tiny, isn’t? Compared, to say, Sydney.
Oh yeah. But even Cairns it’s small compared to Sydney, but Darwin is still… it’s barely even a city. I think it barely counts as a city. So, and it’s small. There’s like one main street in town. I went into town the other day and it was like… it was like just a, you know, a rural town. It wasn’t… you know, it doesn’t have all the skyscrapers and all that, you know, what you see. It’s not a very touristy place. You’ve got tourist shops and whatever that sell souvenirs all that crap, but of course, you do. It is a tourist destination, but it’s not… you don’t go there and think, “oh it’s a tourist town”. Like, you go to Port Douglas and you’re like, ” this is very touristy”, but everything’s bloody expensive. But you go to Darwin, and it’s just like a place in Australia where people live that just happens to be awesome.
And so, for, I mean, the listeners, a lot of them are going to be people coming from overseas into Australia, and I’m sure all they will have seen Steve Irwin docos and all those, you know, TV shows showing the 10 top deadliest Australian animals, do they… Should they expect to come to places like Northern Queensland and Darwin, get out of the car and be, like, killed by something instantly? Is that a realistic expectation?
You got more chance of getting killed by a local, mate, than by the animals. But… So, but no like, in the middle of the city, people… Like, I’ve told people that I used to ride a kangaroo to work, to school*, not to work, to school, sorry, when I was a kid. They were like “oh really?”, you’re like… no.
But, they’ll believe anything if you tell them. I once convinced a group of American biology students that Australia had bush monkeys, the Australian bush monkey in North Queensland.
No, no, they were proper the bush monkeys related to the slow Loris from Southeast Asia, and I gave this big evolutionary spiel. And we spent about 40 minutes in the rainforest trying to look the bush monkeys and, ah, then went back to America thinking that. But, as long as it is a convincing argument, you can tell them anything. But, they think that they’re going to get off the plane and had to dodge brown snakes in the airport.
And it is vastly different, and unfortunately, because of the amount of foot traffic from people, like, cars, and etc., Even in some of the national parks, like, you’ve got to really go looking for the wildlife.
So, what’s the best way to do that too and the safest way? If these people want to come to Australia and see these kinds of animals in the wild, what’s the best way to do it, and what’s the safest way to do it, and is there any danger when they do do it if they do it on their own as well?
If you do it on your own, unless you know what you’re doing, stay in the car. You can go night spotting for reptiles and cruise along some of the rural roads and you will see snakes. You put enough time in, you’re guaranteed to see snakes in the early evening on the road, after the… within the first couple of hours after the sun’s gone down, because they’re getting that warmth off the road. So, and they’ve got to cross the road somewhere. There’s no snake crossing. But if they’re going to do that, by all means, and you can even hop out of your car and take a photo, but just do it from a distance. There’s no need to touch these animals or interact or antagonise them. You can take… and if you don’t want to get out of the car, don’t get out of the car. I mean, that’s the safest thing. You can spot it and go, “Hey, cool”, and wind your window down and take your photos, a snake’s not gonna on your window. But as far as any other animals, and snakes included, you can go on tours. They’ve got tours down at Corroboree Billabong. They’ve, of course, got the spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise that I work on. There’s plenty of different tours around here that will show you, not only the places, but they’ll point out animals, and these tour guides have been working here for years, some of them decades. So, they know where to spot everything, they know how to spot it. They’re good at what they do, and they can show you these animals in a safe environment, and it’ll still blow your mind.
And what’s it like, yeah, getting up close and personal with crocs? You recommend that as a good experience, I take it? Nothing like it?
You’re exactly right, mate. When I was working in North Queensland I was feeding four-meter crocodiles with nothing in front of me, hanging a bit of chicken in a wildlife park so that was phenomenal. But, and now, I’m working on the river with them. It’s totally different in the wild, because they… the captive crocodiles, although they still have all the wild instincts, they’re a captive animal, and they just go through the motions of the show, and whatnot, but when you’re out on the river, you’re not always interacting with them, a lot of the time you’re just observing their behaviours, and explaining their behaviours to other people, and we’re watching these crocodiles out in the river interact with each other, interact with the environment around them, including potential prey items. They go and fend for themselves. They don’t rely on us for food. They take advantage of it, but it’s not uncommon to see one of the crocodiles swim around with a pig or a wallaby.
And so, what are your thoughts currently with the numbers of them too? ‘Cause I know, since like, about the 70s they’ve come right back, right? They’ve shot up. But then, now we have politicians like Katter, who are saying we need to cull them again after they were all closely, you know, hunted to extinction. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, in the past I’m pretty sure I’ve made my thoughts on Katter quite clear. He just… he bases none of his argument on scientific fact. It’s all scare tactics and fear mongering, and using words like “infestation”, “plague proportions”. He’s trying to say this is a fatality every year, and… but then he goes off and goes, “Oh, Queensland is getting ripped to pieces and there’s no way safe to swim”. It’s an absolute load of rubbish, and there’s a enough… bunch of people that have jumped on the bandwagon saying, “Oh we can’t go swimming anywhere any more”. Now, I can tell you what a dozen places, off the top of your head, where you can swim safely, not to mention the lagoon and a flipping swimming pool, you know?
That’s it. Your own bath.
I guess, if you that hard up run a cool bath, but everyone’s got a swimming pool in North Queensland, you’ve got the manmade lagoon, but the numbers were up around half a million before the shooting era. Then, between the early 30s and 70s, they dropped in around 3000.
That’s right, they almost got exterminated, right?
Almost, almost right out of this country. So, at a rough estimate, and I say very rough estimate, numbers are between 250-350,000, that’s the experts reckon. But they’re currently doing a study to ascertain how many there actually are in the country now. But their numbers are far lower than half a million. So, you can still fit, let’s say 100… another 150,000 crocodiles in comfortably, before they have a natural density. And I’ve never understood this concept of humans wanting to manage the environment. These animals have been around for 100 million years in their current form doing just fine. Never were they overpopulated. Never were they in a plague proportion, or an infestation, or never were they damaging the environment around them.
On the contrary, they’re very, very important as an apex predator for their environment. So, for a human to go, “Nup! We should manage them”… well, no mate. They manage themselves. And as human beings, we need to manage ourselves. Yeah? I do agree with if there’s a crocodile in suburbia, going up a suburban creek, like, and there’s a three metre a crocodile there. It’s got to be removed, because that is a very immediate danger, and it’s gone right up into the middle where people live. But, if you’re living out in the bush on a cane farm or if you’re living in a rural area and there’s crocodiles around you need to be aware of that and manage yourself, and if you do so correctly, you’ll never ever get attacked by a crocodile.
It seems like.
So, basically, I think that’s a really long way of saying Bob Katter is muppet.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
I don’t know, it always seemed like one of these things, it’s kind of like a murder happens in Melbourne and it’s, “What’s the answer? Oh, we’ll just cull 10 percent of the population.” You’re like, that didn’t solve anything, like… But, so, what would an Australia look like without crocs?
It’d have a pretty serious impact on the ecosystem, and because they’re an apex predator, so, not only do they keep their own numbers in check to a degree. You’ve got crocodiles eating other crocodiles, which they do. Only one percent of crocodiles survive anyway from being an egg to adult. But crocodiles, young crocodiles, their eggs provide a food source for goannas and snakes. And then, once they’re born, they provide a food source for fish, snakes, other crocodiles, sharks, birds, then once they get older, it’s kind of more the bigger animals like your sharks that’ll get them. And then, once they’re a little bit bigger, crocodiles do potentially eat each other. They are opportunistic and cannibalistic. So, they’re a food source not only for themselves, but for the environment around them, but they keep other animals in check. They also are beneficial to, let’s say, fish numbers, because where crocodiles hang around, they hang around near fish nurseries and they’ll prey on animals that eat fish eggs. So, if you’ve got crocodiles preying on them, less of them are taking the amount of fish eggs, therefore, where you’ve got crocodiles, you’ve got more fish. Everything in nature has a balance, and it’s a delicate balance. If you remove a big puzzle piece out of there, everything else… it might not happen overnight, it might not happen in two months or six months or a year, but you will definitely notice a cascading effect and things will fall apart. They really will.
I think they showed that in Yosemite National Park, right? When they got rid of the wolves and the deer just went nuts and destroyed the land. Like, just trampled all the plants, the grasses weren’t growing properly, the rivers actually changed their courses as a result, and then once they reintroduce the wolves, they were like, “Oh, look, everything’s back in balance now”. And it’s kind of like… “Well, you need the guys at the top there”, right? Yeah.
I think it’s something similar that’s has happened with the dingoes, mate. Because where they took dingoes out of the area they had a lot of problems, and now they’ve reintroduced dingoes in some areas. They’re attacking the wild dogs that are attacking the cattle. The cattle are getting attacked a lot less, because the dingoes don’t see ’em was food. And a lot of the feral animals, like foxes and rabbits and cats, their numbers are dropping, because that’s what the dingoes are eating. That’s been established in this country for thousands of years. They’re natural apex predator here now, and they’re important, they’re part of the ecosystem. So, don’t take them out. Utilise them for what they’re here to do, to get rid of the actual feral animals.
So, how do they control, though, the mixing between the dingoes and the wild dogs? Because I would take it, if you’ve got too many wild dogs and they start interbreeding with the dingoes, you’re effectively just going to absorb that that population of dingoes, right?
To be honest with you, that is a very very difficult question, and I can’t base that on any scientific fact, because I don’t have enough information regarding the interbreeding of dingoes and wild dogs. But, yeah, that’s a problem for someone with a bit more expertise to figure out, I think. But, what they do at the moment is use 1080 poison, and 1080 poison isn’t just eaten by the animals that they wanna do over, it’s eaten by everything. And they die a very horrible death, and then, if anything else comes along and eats that carcass, they get poisoned too. So, I mean, like, personally, I think that crap should be banned. It’s used extensively in New Zealand, and there’re areas there where you can’t hear a bird tweet because of the extensive death that that poison has caused. They just go and spray everywhere. It’s ridiculous.
I know. Well, I was doing a Master’s Degree on the lace monitor down in Victoria here and they were eating them from time to time. We were just like how do we, you know, make these… I was studying them and I’m like, well you’re finding them dead, and you’re just like, “Why are we using this stuff for foxes when it’s just destroying everything and anything that can fit it in its mouth?”.
Yeah. If history has shown anything, mate, it’s when humans interfere, you have problems. Case in point, the bloody cane toad.
I was about to ask you about that.
If you ever wanted an example, mate.
So, how is that going in Darwin? I take it, you would have seen it in Queensland, the cane toad in Queensland, and it’s obviously well and truly made it to Darwin and beyond and it’s potentially threatening the Kimberley’s now, right? And whether it’s even gotten there and is going down to the Pilbara, what is it like in Darwin, now that you’ve moved from from Queensland, where they originated, over to Darwin? Is it just the same thing, exactly the same thing?
There’s toads, but there’s more in North Queensland. Just from looking around, you notice a lot more toads there. That said, there’s still a lot of toads here. There’s more than they should be, because they shouldn’t be any. But even on… just basing it on anything, there’s still a lot of toads, and they’ve had a big impact on freshwater crocodiles, on snakes, on goannas, all monitor species have really suffered from it. Birds are starting to figure it out, because they grab ’em, flip ’em over, and eat the gizzards out of them and everything, and leave the rest. So, birds are clueing on, but we can only hope that other animals do so too.
Yeah. So, is that happening slowly? Are there like goannas and the crocs and that becoming evasive of eating them, because the only ones that are left are the ones that didn’t need them to begin with, or… ?
Pretty sure they’re learning, mate. I think the term they used is “forced evolution”, because animals figure it out, you know, they adapt and overcome and they evolve. So, eventually, you know, like some animals when they’re born… crocodiles are a perfect example. When they’re born, they’re not taught anything, everything is ingrained into their mind biologically, they know how to hunt, stalk, and hide, and do buoyancy and everything. They already know when they’re born, which is phenomenal. Two days out of their egg, they just know what to do. But with other animals, I believe it’d work in a similar fashion, where, like, some animals just know that they shouldn’t eat something. So… and that’s just ingrained into them. So, let’s just hope that that’s the way it’s working with these animals. It is a slow process. Evolution doesn’t happen overnight, but I think when they’re faced with something is detrimental as cane toads, maybe it’ll speed the process up a bit.
And so, what do you think the future is going to be for cane toads in Australia, especially, across the northern… the top end there? Permanent residents now?
They’re here to stay, mate. They’re part of the ecosystem, and, hopefully, everything else around them will adapt, because to get rid of them is an impossible task. Good luck to the people who are faced with that task, who have been given the responsibility of trying to rid Australia from bloody cane toads. But, they haven’t got Buckley’s, mate.
As long as they don’t bring something in that’s worse.
Well, that’s always an option, isn’t it? That’s how we got into this mess in the first place. I was reading a study on the cane toad, apparently because of the insecticides and pesticides they use on the crops, and the cane toads are getting covered in it and they’re also eating all the insects that have died ingesting or getting covered in this poison, it has increased the toxicity of that bufo toxin in the poison glands. So, now, they’re even more toxic than before. Once again, directly due to human beings. When will we learn? The mind boggles, mate. It’s 2017 and our Government’s more worried about spending 120 million on a plebi-‘shite’, deciding whether people get the rights… the same rights as other people. I mean, has the world gone mad? Australia’s gone backwards.
Enjoying this episode?
Get the bonus content for this episode with quizzes and vocab breakdown!
That blew my mind the fact that the plebiscite, like, it’s something I don’t mind saying that I support gay marriage, but, at the same time, the equivalent of two thousand teachers’ jobs going for 122 million dollars could’ve employed two thousand teachers or, you know, we could probably save how many extinct species with that same amount of money? If you just threw it at that, instead of just a postal vote. Yeah, that was insane.
There are more things that we could’ve used that money for, than there are reasons why it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I mean, there’s every reason why the plebiscite is absolute bullshit before you even start on the money side of things.
I mean, I’m only voting because, if I didn’t vote, dickheads would, and then, it would go through. So, you know, you’ve got to do it.
And then I can’t complain!
So, you know you gotta get involved, because, at the end of the day, mate, we’re all human beings, and fair enough, like, all these people are saying stupid rubbish about, “And then they’re going to marry dogs next or want to marry kids”. That’s… It was never a part of it. And all they doing is focussing, specifically, on the sex. They’re going, “oh same sex marriage means people of the same sex are having sex”. Piss that off! That’s got nothing to do with it.
It’s happening anyway, buddy! They are not waiting for permission.
That’s right. So, and they’re not doing it in the street in front of you. So, why don’t you just get over that, and put that aside, and just think yourself: “These are two human beings that love each other. Why don’t they have the right to get married just like anybody else?”. So, like, that to me, it’s as simple as that. And all these other bull crap fear mongering that’s going on, man, they’re just talking out of their arse trying to fire people up. But if this doesn’t go through all hope is lost, mate.
Oh, God, I tell you what. Far out. Well, I know you’ve got a busy, busy schedule ahead, You’re probably want to hit the sack. But, before we finish up, do you have any slang terms you’d suggest newcomers to Australia should learn? Any Aussie slang terms, you reckon that… I mean, you’ve being using… every single time I see any of your videos, you throw out about five or six, at least, in 30 seconds. It’s just infinite ammo for the podcast and for the YouTube channel. So, are there any you think, as soon as you get off the plane, guys, learn these these X number of slang terms, and you’ll fit right in?.
Oh, bloody hell, I don’t know, mate. “Mongrel” is a good one, a good word to use. It’s very diverse. You can go, “Oh you’re a bit of a mongrel” or “you mongrel”, you know, like, “I’m getting half a mongrel”, so… There’s a lot. Don’t… maybe don’t tell them what that one means. But I don’t know, mate, like.
“She’ll be apples” and “No dramas” are the ones I’ve heard you use.
“She’ll be apples, mate”, “She’ll be apples”, “No drama, cane farmer.” like, “Everything’s gonna be ‘right”, “No worries”. What else? You don’t have to swear at people. You can call them “a boofhead”, you know? If someone does something, you go, “Geez, you’re “a boofhead”. So, that’s good. And “A ning-nong”. “A ning-nong”, believe it or not, is highly offensive, ok?
“A ning-nong” is? Ah, ok!
It’s just a really nice way of saying, “You’re a dickhead”.
Oh, brilliant, dude. Thank you so much for your time, dude. I really, really appreciate it.
I appreciate you giving me a bell mate. This has been an absolute hoot.
Anytime, anytime. Thank you very much, sir.
Alright guys, so I hope you enjoy this interview with Damien Duffy, a.k.a., also known as, Wildman. Remember, that you can find Damien at Wildman Photography on Facebook. You can also find him at Wildman Adventures on Facebook. Both of these pages will be linked in the transcript below so you can go and check him out. He does some wonderful photography as well as some videos quite a lot chatting about different things that he comes across in Australia. So, it’s a great way to practice your listening comprehension of the stronger Australian accents if you check out his videos and his posts on his Facebook pages. Also check out his Instagram, guys, and that is @WildmanAdventures all one word. Okay? So, again, all of this will be linked below.
Massive, massive thanks to Damian Duffy, to Wildman, for coming on the show. I absolutely love chatting to this guy, and we will be in touch soon to chat about what he’s been up to this year. So anyway guys, I hope you guys enjoy the episode, and I’ll chat to you soon. See ya!
Follow Wildman here:
Struggling to understand and speak Australian English?
I’ve created the perfect solution.
Each course is a comprehensive English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,950
By pete — 11 months ago
AE 410: Looking on the Bright Side of Life – Walking with Pete
G’day, guys. What is going on? Welcome to this episode of Walking with Pete. It has been and while. It has been a while, but I thought it was time to smash it out and do another one.
I know that you guys enjoy these episodes, and I feel like they’re important because they allow me to sort of… I guess, talk to you like you’re here with me, you know? Like I’m a friend, you’re a fly on the wall, we’re hanging out and you get to know a bit more about me, and, I guess, the way that I think about things, you know? That’s why I really like podcasts. I really like podcasts where you can be a fly on the wall or be a flea in someone’s ear and kind of get to know them a little bit more and how they think and…. just had some birds fly by… get to know about, you know, the kinds of thoughts that they normally have privately. So, and that’s why I think podcasting is so powerful because it’s a long form, meaning that you guys listen for a long time. It’s not just a, you know, two-minute video on YouTube that you click through really fast before you’ve even finished it. You get to sort of get to know me a little bit better and you get to know, you know, the kinds of things I’m interested in, my personal feelings on things, my thoughts my emotions, you get to hear a lot more in my voice because too you’re just focusing on my voice, you can’t see me.
So, yeah! I love podcasts. And so, at the moment, I am in Ocean Grove. Just walked down the hill that leads up to my house. So, my parents live on a hill that has a really nice view of the surrounding ocean and it’s quite steep. So, I’m just walk down it. I’m thinking about going to the shops to get a coffee and to get some meat. I’ve got to get some meat for the barbie. So, my folks are having a barbecue this evening and my sister…you hear this? They’ve stopped. There’s two magpies in front of me. There’s a baby one, making noises… Hello! Very calm, very tame, and there’s a parent magpie walking around looking for food to feed the baby magpie, and he’s just making these noises. He’s obviously very tame though, because I can walk right up to him.
Anyway, what was I saying? Yes, so we’re having a barbie tonight, we’re having a barbecue. Sister, her boyfriend, and their daughter, hopefully are coming around, or I guess, we’ll go to theirs. So, I’m going to the shops to get some meat. Heading up to the shops. I went down the hill, normally I go up the hill, but I went down, because I thought I’m going to be chatting to you, guys, for a little bit so I’ll go the long way, and yeah, I’ll get a little bit more time to chat. I’ll get a little bit more time to chat, ’cause if I get to the shops in five minutes, it’s sort of pointless, right? I wanna stretch this out, make it a more interesting podcast, and chat to you about a few things.
So, yeah! It’s kind of cool. I wanted to talk about where I’m at in life at the moment. I obviously finish my PhD, the doctorate, that I was doing OK the evolution of native Australian rodents. So, I was looking at how they were related to one another and how they had moved into different environments in Australia, because we have 70 different species of rats, of rodents, of mice, in Australia that are native. These aren’t the introduced pest species like the rat that you’ll see in the city or the house mouse. These are native species and they live in the bush, and the desert, in river systems, all over the place in Australia, and because Australia is so vast, we have a lot of different species. So, I was putting together how they were related from my PhD and really enjoyed that, but it was a little unfulfilling. Science is fun and the sort of… the result of science I find really interesting and entertaining and satisfying, but the process to get those results… there is a lot that is… that occurs behind the scenes. So, maybe we can talk about that for a bit, if I can catch my breath while I’m walking up this hill.
So, why did I leave science? Why did I leave science and decide to teach you guys English? One of the biggest things was that it’s very lonely. Science is you at a desk or you in a lab or you out in the field, which is the more… probably the more interesting of those three things, being out in the field than actually doing them work, at least for my kind of science. And you would be on your own. You might be with one other person that you see every day, you know… I mean you get to chat to people, sure. You get to sort of hang out with the same people all the time, but it’s a very kind of private, lonely existence, at least that was my subjective personal experience. I’m sure it’s different everywhere, but that was me, and I think I’m a lot more of a social person. I like to interact with people. I like to help people. I like to just be more active socially, and it felt like, at least with the… once I’d done the Bachelor of Science, that was good because it was kind of like high school where you have classes with 30, 40, 50 people. So, it’s still social, still fun. The Master’s degree that I did after that was kind of good too, because there was still a lot of classes, even though there was also research, a research project, that was done on my own, but the classes were fun, and, again, I still got to sort of interact with other people, but then when I did the PhD, I was effectively on my own, at least with regards to my project, right? It was all project, there’s no classes, and there’s just… Keep waiting for these cars to pass. It’s just kind of you do your own thing, you might get together with other students, you’re around other students, but you kind of… there’s just fewer of them, I guess. So, it led me to end up wanting to leave science… Cars, cars, cars! Maybe I picked the wrong road to walk up, guys.
But, yeah, so yeah! What am I trying to say? I felt a little lonely, I felt alone, and not satisfied, because it takes so long to get anything done. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved. The work itself requires long hours. For instance, my first chapter of my PhD took probably a year to get the data for. It would have taken a year or more to write up. And then it was in review at journals for another year or two. And so, despite having sort of done the science and getting the result and me knowing the answer to the question that I was asking for my first chapter, it’s still in review and hasn’t been published and hasn’t been accessed by other people, and so, like… far out! The amount of work that goes in to scientific papers and scientific research before it’s even made available to other people is just enormous. And I mean, you kind of need that to happen, you need to go through that process especially, obviously, collecting the data, doing the analysis correctly, and then going through the peer review process, which is where, for those of you who don’t do science or don’t know science, any paper that’s published in a scientific journal, a journal is an organisation or a, I guess originally, it would have been like a yearly book that came out full of these papers that people had submited and that were accepted into this journal, but now it’s all online, obviously. So, these are the places that actually publish the scientific literature. And you have to get it into those journals by the journals sending it to two or three independent scientists that may know you, but that don’t work directly with you, and so aren’t biased, and they have to review your work, critique your work, give feedback on it, you know, “Change this. Do this. I agree with this. I don’t agree with that.” And only after that’s happened and you’ve responded to the criticisms that were given to you by two independent reviewers can the article then be published through the journal. And so, that’s what we call “the peer review process”, when it comes to science and scientific research. So, you can’t just write whatever you want. You can’t just make up a story and then put that in a journal. It has to be correctly vetted by independent people and sort of assessed, criticised, critiqued, before it goes through to the final process or the final stage of being published online or in a journal.
Anyway, that process takes frickin’ forever. It takes a very long time, and it’s very annoying, it’s very laborious, it’s very boring. I think I like to see things change quite a bit. I don’t like sort of looking at the same thing repeatedly, again and again and again, for a long time, and that’s probably part of the reason that as well I sort of got bored with science, because it felt like I was just doing and looking at the exact same paper, whilst were trying to review it, for years. Again and again and again. Obviously, with the podcast, where doing Aussie English stuff changes every week. It’s still English, but I get to express myself differently. I get to sort of look at different things. I get to create. I get to help. I get to interact with you, guys. And so, it’s it’s ever-changing, and, I guess, that’s why I find that so much more fulfilling, so much more satisfying, and why I was so drawn to doing this full time, as opposed to doing the PhD into the future.
And so, I guess yeah… it’s… I’m really, really, happy at the moment, like, I’ve, you know, grown Aussie English to such an extent, to such a point, that I can now support myself. You know, I’m not living a lavish lifestyle by any means, by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m making enough money to, at least, pay for the bills and to afford rent. Although at the moment, I don’t have to pay rent because my parents are kind enough to let me stay with them and save up a little.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Obviously too, I’m moving to Canberra. So, that’s going to be fun. That’s happening in the next six days. I’ll be leaving on the 27th, I think, of this month. And so, that’s kind of interesting. I’m looking forward to it. Initially, Canberra has this reputation in Australia of being, we’ll put it bluntly, a bit of a shithole. It’s very informal language to say that a place is not good, “a shithole”. So, it’s a very reputed, it’s a very renowned for being in the middle of nowhere, away from Sydney, away from Melbourne, away from anywhere interesting, away from the beach, away from the mountains, and there just not being many people there. So, it’s somewhat boring and isolated. However, that was my opinion originally. I’d been there when I was a kid, but I hadn’t really paid much attention. I think we went to a friend’s house stayed the night then left, but going there more recently, when I went there maybe two or three weeks ago, it’s actually a really nice town. So, this is another example, guys, it’s another example of not judging a book by its cover. Not judging a book by its cover. Not assuming that the first glance at something or first impressions are a good representation of what that thing is in reality. So, we went there and I liked it for several reasons. One, it is kind of on its own. There aren’t many people around. There’s a lot of nature nearby, which I really enjoyed. I liked the fact that there were trees everywhere, and there was a bushland right near the city, and there were farms near the city. There were lots of animals. We could see kangaroos. We could see birds flying around. So, it’s not like that in other parts of Australia. For instance, living in Ocean Grove here there are no kangaroos very close by. You’d have to… you have to drive for probably an hour or so before you saw any of that kind of nature nearby, because it’s suburbia. Whereas, Canberra’s kind of a little island within a sea of farmland and bushland, and so, there’s a lot of wildlife nearby. So, yeah don’t judge a book by its cover.
I’m looking forward to doing that. That should be interesting. Hopefully, it’s a good change. Hopefully, I enjoy it there. Hopefully, make friends, because I only know two people in Canberra, and one of them has just had a baby with his wife, and so, I imagine that he is not going to be very free to hang out whilst I am in the process of moving there and finding my feet. “To find your feet” is sort of get established, you know, be able to sort of stand on your own, find your feet. So, I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’m looking forward to it, though and yeah, really happy that I can do that and I can afford to do that thanks to you, guys. Thanks to everyone who’s supporting the podcast by Patreon. Thanks to everyone who has signed up to the Aussie English Classroom with whom I am working to help improve their English on a daily basis. So, thank you to you, guys. You guys are the ones who make this possible.
I can’t remember what else I was going to chat to you guys about. But, yeah, they’re the big change sort of happening, and it’s funny because… If you’d told me this was going to happen six months ago, a year ago, two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would have assumed you were wrong because I would have assumed, no, I’m gonna get a job doing the PhD staff, or no I’m not going to have a girlfriend by that point, no I’m not going to be moving to Canberra. Why would I be moving to Canberra? So, it is funny how life can change rapidly. Things can turn on a dime. So, things can turn very quickly. They can turn on a dime. They can change.
And I think one of the biggest things for me mentally and emotionally is just being open to changes. I don’t really fight against these kinds of things that come up in front of me, and I feel like that’s really good for my wellbeing, because I’m not really a stressed out, stressful, kind of person. I don’t really suffer from, you know, worry. I don’t really worry about work too much, obviously. I enjoy it. I don’t stress about a lot of things. I’m not very…I’m not really that emotional when it comes to extreme feelings. I guess, you guys might know this to some degree from having listened to me, but I’m not a very… not a very stressed person. I’m not a very angry person, but I am a very, I would say, romantic, loving. I have that side of the emotion covered.
But yeah, so be open to things changing. Be open to opportunities coming up, because you never know what’s going to be around the corner or what’s going to be waiting for you. You know? So, that’s why I guess I’m staying positive and I’m looking forward to this opportunity of moving to Canberra, because who knows what’s going to happen. Who knows what’s waiting for me once I get there with regards to opportunities, whether it’s making friends, meeting new people. Who knows? It could be job opportunities, travel opportunities, anything and everything. I’m in a very good spot at the moment, guys, in no small part thanks to you. So, in other words, in a big part. In a big part of my happiness is related to you, guys, and what I’ve been able to achieve with you guys on the podcast. So, massive thank you to you, guys.
But yeah, that’s what I’m currently at. And I guess, the goal for the next year is mainly just keep growing Aussie English, keep growing Aussie English, keep trying to help more and more people and expand my circle of influence, and just keep enjoying life I guess, you know? You don’t need to be rich. You don’t need to have everything in the world, but if you enjoy each day and you get to help people, it’s… what else can you ask for, right? Like, that’s the main purpose of being around, ’cause life would be pretty boring even if you are rich, if you couldn’t have a positive effect on anyone else out there, if you couldn’t help anyone, I feel like that kind of life would be very unsatisfying for me.
So, yeah, I thought you guys would enjoy this little Walking With Pete episode. I’ve just sort of done a few circles. I’ve done a few circles around the streets here to avoid getting to the shops, ’cause I wanted to sort of keep chatting to you, guys. Keep having a rant. Keep having a yarn. Hope you’re enjoying all the content that I’m putting out constantly for you, guys. I just want to give you lots and lots and lots of stuff to listen to, stuff to read, stuff to help you upgrade your English, and just keep you thinking about these sorts of things.
So, that’s probably enough for today, guys. I wonder… (I’ve) probably gone for about 15 minutes. Nup, almost 20 minutes. So, yeah, I guess, my little point today would be keep smiling, guys. Stay happy. Look on the bright side of life and find a reason to be positive today, and I will chat to you in class. See you, guys!
Learn Australian English even faster when you enroll in The Aussie English Classroom!
Each course is a comprehensive English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 966
By pete — 2 years ago
Expression: To Tinker With Something
G’day guys. How’re you going? Welcome to this expression episode. Today I’m going to do the expression for you TO TINKER AWAY or just TO TINKER. And I mentioned this phrase in a recent episode that I uploaded for you guys, and Estefania from Spain asked me if I could do an episode on TO TINKER AWAY or just TO TINKER WITH, TO TINKER.
So, here we are. If you guys have any expressions, any sayings, any idioms, any grammatical issues, pronunciation issues, any kind of English issue that you would like me to do an episode on in the future make sure you send me a message or comment below, because I’m going to try and turn this around and focus in on you guys, and try and do as much as I can that you guys ask for specifically. So, I’m going to put you guys first from now on.
Anyway, before we get started I’ve got some good news. I bought some gadgets recently. Some gadgets, and GADGETS are like little devices, little computer technology, machinery, gadgets, gadgets. I’ve got here a lapel mic that I can plug into my phone and put here to talk (into). And I also have a directional microphone that I bought that I just plug in to the side of my phone. And so, I thought I would start this episode obviously just using my phone without any microphone plugged in. It’s just using the normal phone microphone. And, I thought I’ll plug this in while we are recording so that you can see the difference. So, let me just see here. There, we’re plugged in. And hopefully, I’ll have to check after I’ve recorded this, hopefully the sound is better.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s dive right into the episode guys. So, TO TINKER AWAY, TO TINKER AWAY, or just TO TINKER. TO TINKER WITH SOMETHING, TO TINKER AWAY AT SOMETHING, you can say TO TINKER AWAY AT an activity, so something you’re doing. If you’re TINKERING AWAY you could be repairing something, playing with something. I’ll define it in a sec, but yeah, TO TINKER AWAY WITH an activity or AT an activity, or TO TINKER WITH something.
So, the definition of TO TINKER is to busy oneself, to occupy oneself, to be busy with something an to be making subtle changes, to be making adjustments, so to adjust something, to attempt to repair something. But ultimately, you’re doing this without any real skill in that field, in that area. So, you don’t know how to repair these things but you’re trying to anyway, you’re TINKERING with the device, with whatever it is that you’re trying to repair. And you could also say that it’s kind of in a clumsy unskillful way with no real results.
And so, you can also use TINKER in the form of a noun. So, not only can you use it as a verb, TO TINKER WITH something or TO TINKER AWAY at something but you can also have A TINKER WITH something. And that means to fiddle with something, to try and adjust it. A TINKER is like an adjustment, a fiddle, a play, you’re… It’s that noun. It’s that idea of the action that you’re doing. So, if I go and HAVE A TINKER WITH my car, I’m going out to my car and I’m having a fiddle, I’m having a play, I’m adjusting things, I’m trying to repair it with no real result. Whereas, if I use it as a verb I can say that I am going TO TINKER WITH the car, or I’m going to the car and I’m TINKERING AWAY with trying to repair the car.
So, that’s TO TINKER, the verb and the noun. A bit of background, where did TO TINKER come from? TO TINKER apparently is… or A TINKERER back in the old days, I would never use this phrase anymore, but A TINKERER was someone who mended kettles and pots and pans. So, things that you cooked with. And this was back in the mid 1300s onwards. So, 1300s, 1400s, 1500s. Back when it was obviously incredibly important to be able to repair those kinds of objects that everyone used in their houses to cook with. And so, it was also a surname, I think TINKERE, I’m probably mispronouncing that, but it dates back to Middle English in the 1200s and onwards. And so, surnames in English quite often reveal to some extent what that original family did as a job. And so, if their surname was TINKER or TINKERE these are probably the people who first started to make themselves known for mending kettles, pots and pans, and that’s where the verb came from (TO) TINKER and the noun came from A TINKER.
So, let’s just get straight into some examples of how I would use this phrase, or how I would use this word, this noun. So, imagine that you’re grandfather is, like, really really intensely interested in clocks, old antique clocks. So, he collects, maybe they’re not always in mint condition, maybe they’re not always perfect, they don’t work very well, and he has no real training in how to repair these things, but all the same, he likes to play around with the clocks and the mechanisms in the clocks. He likes to fiddle with them. You could say, “He likes TO TINKER WITH his clocks. He likes TINKERING WITH his clocks. He likes to go and have A TINKER with his clocks on weekends.” You know, it’s his hobby, just to play with the clocks, to adjust them. Maybe some of them are broken and he tries to repair them. He likes TO TINKER WITH clocks.
Another example could be that you are a mechanic and you love building cars. So, you may not necessarily be a mechanic in a sense that it is your career, but say you’re just… It’s your hobby. You’ve always loved cars, you love building cars from scratch, you love making the engines and then finally getting the car on the road and going for a drive. It’s your passion. You’ve got a garage at home with all your tools on the walls, you know, you’ve got oil pans on the ground to catch the oil if it starts leaking from the cars. Any time that you go into the garage to build your car, to try and repair the cars, to fiddle with the engine, to make adjustments, any time you go in there and have a play, have a fiddle, you could say that you’re having A TINKER. So, there’s the noun, to have A TINKER. You’re TINKERING WITH the car, you’re having A TINKER WITH the car, the engine, parts of the car, whatever it is that you’re fiddling with. You could say you’re having A TINKER WITH it. Or you could use it as a verb and you could say “I am TINKERING WITH the car. I am TINKERING WITH the engine. I’m TINKERING WITH the parts. I’m having a play. I’m having a fiddle.”
The third example could be that say, you’re at home, you’re trying to cook one day and you got the dishes in the dishwasher running. They’re cleaning, the water’s going inside the dishwasher and all of a sudden you hear some clunking and then the dishwasher stops working. And your dad runs out and he’s like, “Ah! I got this. I’ll fix this. It’s fine, it’s fine!” He gets in behind the dishwasher, you know, (he) pulls it out. (He) tries to get in there and have a fiddle to see if he can fix the dishwasher and get it to keep working again obviously. Maybe he wants to do this because he wants to save money and not have to pay for a repairman to come out, because it’s expensive to pay a repairman to come out to fix the dishwasher. Maybe he’s afraid he’s going to be told, “You’re going to have to buy a new dishwasher. This one’s kaput, it’s broken.” And so, he gets in behind the dishwasher and he has A TINKER or he’s TINKERING AWAY behind the dishwasher. He’s trying to repair things, he’s trying to find the problem, he’s having a fiddle with the dishwasher, he’s playing around, he’s adjusting things, he’s hoping that he finds the fault or the problem but ultimately he has no skill when it comes to repairing dishwashers, and it’s a clumsy kind of effort to try and fix it with no real result. And so, that’s when you can say, “He’s TINKERING AWAY” as he’s doing it, “He’s TINKERING AWAY” or “He’s having A TINKER behind the dishwasher trying to fix it.” SO, that’s example number three, TO TINKER WITH the dishwasher or to have A TINKER WITH the dishwasher.
So, the fourth example that I’ve got here is, imagine that your government is trying to set up a really nice healthcare system. And so, it implements some kind of strategy initially to try and improve the health care system of the country, but it’s unsatisfied with the initial setup and it keeps making changes to how the healthcare system that they have implemented is setup. You know, how much things cost, how much funding it’s getting, how many people are hired and working in this area, whatever it is. If they keep making changes, in terms of this it’s not a machine, it’s not a device or a gadget, it’s a system, some kind of setup that is not necessarily a physical thing. If they keep making those adjustments, they keep playing around with how it’s setup, they keep fiddling with it, you could say, “They’re TINKERING WITH it.” So, they’re playing with it, they’re trying to fix it, they don’t really know what they’re doing ultimately, they’re just trying to make changes and then hope that things work better or that they repair, that they get better, that they work more efficiently. So, then you could say that the government is TINKERING WITH their healthcare system strategy. They’re having A TINKER with it, they’re playing with it, they’re not really sure what they’re doing, it’s a little unskillful, it’s a little clumsy. And so, they’re having A TINKER WITH it.
Alright. Those are all the examples. By now I’m sure you’re getting the idea. You probably understand how to use the verbs TO TINKER, TO TINKER WITH something, and TO TINKER AWAY AT something. I haven’t looked up the specific reason that English speakers use AWAY. And so, at the moment when I try and explain this it’s just off the top of my head, I’m just thinking of it as I make this video. But I think whenever you do something and then have a AWAY after the verb, so if you’re WORKING AWAY, if you’re RUNNING AWAY, not in the sense of escaping but you’re running a lot, it’s that idea of that you’re in the process of doing it. So, if you’re TINKERING AWAY WITH something it means that when someone says you’re TINKERING AWAY WITH it, you’re in the process of doing it right then and there. So, when someone’s saying that you’re literally doing it, you’re in the process of TINKERING AWAY. So, it means you’re TINKERING AWAY. So, what else is another example? I’m WORKING AWAY AT my podcast at the moment. I’m WORKING AWAY, I’m TALKING AWAY, ‘cause I’m currently talking. If I’m TINKERING AWAY, if I was fiddling with the camera and trying to do stuff right now in the video you could say I was TINKERING AWAY WITH the camera, WITH the microphone. So, that’s that sort of idea of you’re literally doing it as we speak, you’re in the process of doing it. That is when you’ll add AWAY after verbs like TO TINKER AWAY, TO WORK AWAY, TO TALK AWAY, TO PLAY AWAY, TO RUN AWAY. In that sense, it means to be doing it right then and there.
Alright. So, you’ve got the idea of what TO TINKER AWAY WITH something or TO TINKER AWAY AT something is and TO TINKER WITH something. And so, as usual we can dive straight into the substitution exercise, or the exercise that I love to give you guys at the end of these episodes. This is the first time I’ve done this one on video. So, hopefully it’s not too boring and the good aspect, I guess, is that if you’re watching this on YouTube and you don’t like these exercises or you want to find specific sentences in them, you can skip forward or skip over it completely.
So, let’s just get started guys. And in this substitution exercise I want you guys to switch the verb TO FIDDLE (or the noun A FIDDLE) that I’m going to have in different sentences with the verb TO TINKER or the noun TO A TINKER. So, I’m going to have FIDDLE in the sentence, the first one that I say, and then TINKER in the second one, and I want you to switch the word FIDDLE with the appropriate version or conjugation of TINKER. So, let’s get started.
Substitution exercise: To fiddle/A fiddle – To tinker/A tinker
Stop fiddling with the engine and take it to get repaired.
Stop ________ with the engine and take it to get repaired.
He keeps fiddling with his broken watch.
He keeps ________ with his broken watch.
Granddad loves fiddling with his antique clocks.
Granddad loves ________ with his antique clocks.
I’m going to go have a fiddle with my car.
I’m going to go have ________ with my car.
He’s having a fiddle with his clocks.
He’s having ________ with his clocks.
You’re having a fiddle with your computer.
You’re having ________ with your computer.
She’s fiddling away with her broken earring.
She’s ________ with her broken earring.
We’re fiddling away with our new laptop.
We’re ________ with our new laptop.
They want to fiddle away with their broken radio.
They want ________ with their broken radio.
He’s going to fiddle with it for a while.
He’s going ________ with it for a while.
Here are the answers:
- Stop tinkering with the engine and take it to get repaired.
- He keeps tinkering with his broken watch.
- Granddad loves tinkering with his antique clocks.
- I’m going to go have a tinker with my car.
- He’s having a tinker with his clocks.
- You’re having a tinker with your computer.
- She’s tinkering away with her broken earring.
- We’re tinkering away with our new laptop.
- They want to tinker away with their broken radio.
- He’s going to tinker with it for a while.
Alright, guys. I guess that’s all there is to it for this episode. This has been a pretty long one. I hope you like the video aspect of it, for you guys who are more visual based and love seeing people talk, seeing people do gestures, seeing my reactions. I hope also for those who like the podcast episodes that it’s also good. Let me know what you think of the new mic. Is the audio better? Is it improved? Do you like it? Also, if you guys have expressions, verbs, pronunciation issues, any aspects of English that you guys would like me to do an episode on for you, in order to help you improve your English, definitely let me know in a comment or a message. I’ll design it like I do these episodes. I’ll go through the definition of the words or the grammatical themes, and then I’ll go through how I would use them in certain contexts, and then I’ll also go through some substitution exercises. And that’s the whole point. The whole point of me being here is to help you guys with the problems that you have. So, don’t be afraid to come and send me a message, comment on Facebook, whatever it is, let me know what you’re having an issue with at the moment and how I can help you improve your English. Until next time guys, I’m wishing you all the best. See you later!
If you wish to support me and the many hours of hard work I put into The Aussie English Podcast then please consider donating a few dollars a month via Patreon! The more support I get, the more I can work on The Aussie English Podcast!
Check out all the other recent Expression episode on Aussie English below!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 2,345