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  • Alisha: Hi, everybody and welcome back to English topics.

  • My name is Alisha and I'm joined today in the studio by.

  • Michael: Michael. Hello.

  • Alisha: And today, we're going to be talking about weird English idioms.

  • So, let's get right into it.

  • Let's start with you, Michael.

  • What is your first weird English idiom?

  • Michael: It is--let's see.

  • I'll pick it random.

  • Ah, that's a good starter.

  • Cut the cheese.”

  • Cut the cheese.

  • It's a weird one, we say it, we kind of accept it.

  • So, this means to fart, means to fart.

  • But I don't think it really sounds like a fart when you cut the cheese.

  • You ask, usually, you say who cut the cheese right?

  • What?

  • Alisha: I don't think that this refers to a sound.

  • This idiom.

  • Michael: No.

  • Yeah.

  • What do you think it comes from?

  • I don't have no idea.

  • Alisha: You are so full of it.

  • You're going to make me explain this one, aren't you?

  • This refers to the smell when you pass gas from your body.

  • You guys are going to make me.

  • Michael: Oh.

  • No.

  • I swear.

  • Alisha: You're going to make me explain this.

  • Michael: I swear I didn't know that.

  • Oh.

  • Alisha: It's a smell thing.

  • If you cut a fresh cheese thing it smells kind of bad.

  • Michael: Oh.

  • Cheese.

  • Alisha: So, your body as well if you release gas from your body, it may smell similar to

  • a freshly cut block of cheese.

  • Michael: Ah.

  • Alisha: And now, I've explained something fart-related on the internet.

  • Michael: Yeah.

  • Shouldn't be like fry the egg or something?

  • If we're talking about smell, cheese--

  • Alisha: What do you do to your eggs?

  • Michael: My cheese.

  • My farts don't smell like cheese.

  • They smell like eggs more than cheese.

  • I swear I thought that was the sound, you know?

  • Like to fart.

  • Alisha: Like how often--

  • Michael: Alright.

  • Well, that's...

  • What about you?

  • Alisha: My God, this is only the first one.

  • I'm supposed to talk about this now.

  • That is--I would like to point out that phrase, one that's used a lot by kids and parents

  • who are talking to kids.

  • That's like a nice way to, I guess a silly way to refer to it otherwise rather unpleasant.

  • Well, no, it's always unpleasant, I would imagine, bodily function.

  • So, I don't recommend using that with your adult friends.

  • But you meet a kid.

  • It usually uses a question I should point out.

  • Michael: So painful.

  • You're like--

  • Alisha: I'm trying to think of the last time I said this.

  • It's been like years since I've said that.

  • Michael: Yeah, it's likecheesy sitcoms.”

  • I don't think I've ever said it in my life, ever.

  • I think you just maybe you hear it, you see it on sitcoms.

  • Most idioms, a lot of these weird ones.

  • Alisha: Oh.

  • I don't know.

  • I say a few of them.

  • Do you use the phrasecut the cheeseas an adult?

  • Michael: No, no.

  • Never in my life.

  • Maybe SBD, silent but deadly.

  • That's something I've used, you know, fart-related.

  • But, “cut the cheeseprobably never.

  • Alisha: Okay.

  • Well, I'm going to continue on.

  • Maybe I'm going to pick something to combat that one.

  • Let's see.

  • I pick--I pick this one.

  • No, I pick this one.

  • I'm going to choose this.

  • They're kind of two variations of this one, “hit the sackandhit the hay.”

  • They both mean go to bed.

  • They're just casual expressions that mean go to sleep or I'm done for the day.

  • So, I'm going to go.

  • But, yeah, I have no idea--I guesshit the haykind of makes sense if you were

  • going to sleep on a pile of hay, maybe.

  • Michael: Back in the day, usually.

  • Alisha: Mattresses used to be made of hay, maybe.

  • And there was a sack involved, perhaps.

  • I don't know.

  • Michael: Great roll.

  • Alisha: No, we're on such a good, good job today.

  • Michael: I guess that makes sense.

  • Yes, mmm.

  • I think this one I actually use.

  • I don't I don't usecut and cheesebut I use I use this one for sure.

  • Alisha: Yeah.

  • I picked it.

  • Michael: Hmm.

  • Alisha: Sorry.

  • Michael: Hmm, hit the sack.

  • Alisha: Do you say anything else when you're going to go to bed?

  • Michael: “Pass out.”

  • I say, “pass out.”

  • “I'm going to pass out.”

  • Which is also like when you're sick.

  • You faint, you pass out or if you're drunk, you pass out.

  • It just means like deep, deep, deep sleep.

  • Alisha: Yeah.

  • Michael: Hit the sack?

  • Hit the hay?

  • Alisha: It's just casual mmm.

  • Friendly.

  • Michael: Hmm.

  • More laid-back.

  • Alisha: Yeah.

  • Okay.

  • That's all.

  • Good.

  • Michael: Yay.

  • Alisha: Michael, next one.

  • Please don't let it be fart-related.

  • Michael: Okay, it is--I don't know what is it.

  • Ah!

  • Steal someone's thunder.”

  • This one doesn't make sense at all.

  • So, whose thunder?

  • Is this God's?

  • Alisha: This is kind of a weird expression, isn't it?

  • So, the meaning of this phrase is like to take credit for something that someone else

  • has done, to steal someone's thunder.

  • Michael: Steal someone's thunder.

  • Alisha: I wonder where this expression came from, though.

  • Michael: Yeah.

  • Alisha: Cause, yeah.

  • You can't--thunder is not tangible.

  • Thunder, if you're wondering if that sound that occurs when there's a big storm, it's

  • usually accompanied by lightning, a bright flash of light in a storm.

  • Thunder is the sound that kind of rumbling sound that you hear.

  • I don't know.

  • That's a good question.

  • But to steal someone's thunder is actually to take credit for something someone else

  • has done.

  • Michael: Hmm.

  • Alisha: I wonder what the history of that is.

  • Michael: No, idea.

  • This is one I've actually used before or maybe you hear it sometimes.

  • But, yeah, I've got some good ones today.

  • These are real good topic starters.

  • Alisha: Alright.

  • Michael: What about you?

  • What's your next one?

  • Alisha: My next one.

  • Let's see.

  • I will pick, “to burn the candle at both ends.”

  • This expression means to work really hard.

  • I guess, at least in my mind, the meaning of this.

  • No, it's not?

  • It's not to you?

  • Michael: No.

  • I thought this is when like your life is a candle, right?

  • Or so I thought, maybe, I'm reading this wrong.

  • But, I thought your life is a candle and normally, you light it from the top and you slowly go

  • down and then you die.

  • So, if you live a crazy life, you know, you party all the time, you don't sleep and you're

  • driving fast with no helmet, you're lighting the candle at both ends.

  • So, you know, live fast, die young kind of-- however that phrase goes.

  • That's what I thought.

  • Alisha: I could see that, though, too.

  • In my mind, it was just that somebody who's working really, really hard it is like burning

  • the candle at both ends.

  • Like you're just you're just progressing so quickly and so fast through what you have

  • to.

  • But I can see that, too.

  • Michael: Yeah.

  • So, these-- Idioms are ambiguous.

  • Alisha: It seems.

  • It seems, depending on the person.

  • The nuance might be a little different.

  • More you know.

  • Okay, what's your next one?

  • Michael: Um.

  • I don't know.

  • Ah!

  • This is a classic one I know.

  • Raining cats and dogsis the one I chose.

  • Raining cats and dogs.”

  • So, you always hear this and it doesn't make sense to me.

  • Alisha: It just means it's pouring.

  • Michael: Hmm, pouring really heavy rain, right?

  • I think this is like the classic.

  • This is the archetype idiom that they use.

  • When they talk about idioms in English, you always hearraining cats and dogs.”

  • But, it doesn't literally rain cats and dogs and why cats and dogs instead of, I don't

  • know, “it's raining whales,” it's raining--

  • Alisha: Yeah, that's a good point.

  • Why cats and dogs?

  • Why not like apples and oranges?

  • Or, violins and harpsichords?

  • Or penguin and wombats?

  • Your questions for the ages.

  • I don't know.

  • But, yeah, it just means it's a downpour.

  • I wonder what the history of that one is, too.

  • I'm sure there's some kind of linguistic history to these phrases or maybe it was just some

  • guy who just said a phrase and then all of his friends picked up on it.

  • It wouldn't be the first time or the last.

  • Okay.

  • I don't know, I don't know where to go with that one.

  • Then, my last one, I picked another animal-related one then.

  • This one is tohear something straight from the horse's mouth.”

  • When you hear something straight from the horse's mouth that means you get news directly

  • from the source.

  • Why you're hearing it from a horse who is able to talk in this expression?

  • I do not know but it just means that you are getting the information directly from the

  • person who has the information as opposed to hearing it from via hearsay or something

  • like that.

  • So, tohear something straight from the horse's mouth,” it's kind of a weird phrase,

  • I think.

  • Why is it a horse, again?

  • Why the specific horse?

  • Why is that the specific animal that has been chosen to relay information to humans and

  • why is the horse also deemed reliable, a reliable source of information?

  • Michael: Don't worry.

  • Just ask the horse.

  • He knows.

  • Alisha: Yeah.

  • I know a guy who knows a horse.

  • Let me go ask him.

  • What is the history of that?

  • Michael: Yeah

  • Alisha: Anyway.

  • Michael: I was thinking the same thing when I was trying to think of idioms that are weird

  • is the grapevine.

  • Alisha: “I heard it through the grapevine?”

  • Michael: Yeah.

  • Again, it's anthropomorphizing and giving these random objects human qualities but why

  • a horse?

  • Why a grapevine?

  • I think a horse makes a little more sense because at least it has a mouth but a grapevine.

  • Is it a literal--?

  • Alisha: No, I think that the grapevine just refers to the way a grapevine grows, kind

  • of in this crisscross pattern.

  • And so, that's kind of the way that the information travels when you hear something through the

  • grapevine.

  • It transverses or crosses many different people and then it gets to you, much in the way that

  • a grapevine grows

  • Michael: That one makes ton of sense, huh.

  • Alisha: So, maybe, an expression liketo hear something through the grapevine,” meaning

  • to hear it from a few or via a few different people is kind of the opposite ofhearing

  • something from the horse's mouth.”

  • To hear