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  • Hello and welcome to The English We Speak.

  • With me Feifei.

  • And I'm Neil.

  • So come on Feifei,

  • you've been grumpy all morning.

  • What's upset you?

  • We have a new tea-making rota and it

  • seems that Rob will be making less tea than me.

  • Are you sure?

  • Yes. Look!

  • Feifei: Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon,

  • Thursday morning and every other Friday.

  • Rob: just Wednesday morning.

  • This tea-making rota is so unfair.

  • I'm really going to complain about

  • this at the next team meeting.

  • He always has it easy.

  • Is it that important Feifei?

  • If I were you, I'd let sleeping dogs lie.

  • You could make things worse.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie?

  • You mean 'leave things as  they are to avoid causing

  • trouble or restarting an old argument'?

  • Exactly!

  • We had this argument before and the

  • result was this new tea-making rota.

  • So, just like avoiding waking up a dog

  • and making it angry,

  • let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Let's hear some more examples of this phrase.

  • I was going to mention the argument

  • we had last night but

  • decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Let's not go over last night's performance.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie and move on.

  • Don't remind her about the divorce.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie and  talk about something else.

  • This is The English We Speak from the BBC

  • and we're finding out about the phrase

  • 'let sleeping dogs lie',

  • meaning to 'leave a situation as it is and

  • avoid causing trouble or  restarting an old problem'.

  • That's all very well but it still

  • seems unfair that I'm the one

  • who has to make tea the most.

  • Come on, Feifei.

  • Can't you remember why we  had a new tea-making rota?

  • It was because Rob makes such awful tea,

  • that we wanted him to make less of it!

  • Oh, yes!

  • Rob does make awful tea.

  • You're right Neil, it's not worth making a fuss.

  • We definitely don't want Rob

  • to be making our tea too often.

  • Yes. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  • But hold on.

  • I didn't see your name on the rota.

  • Shouldn't you be making tea?

  • I thought you were keeping quiet.

  • You never make tea!

  • I'm going to say something about this.

  • Shhh! Don't wake up the sleeping dogs.

  • I'll go and make some tea now, ok?

  • Bye.

  • Bye.

  • And don't forget, two sugars!

  • Hello and welcome to The English We Speak

  • with me Feifei.

  • And me, Rob.

  • So, Rob, I have a very simple question for you.

  • Yep?

  • Why have you got enormous

  • whiskers glued to the side

  • of your face and why

  • are you wearing a running vest?

  • Well Feifei, it's a new year and

  • according to our Chinese friends,

  • it's the 'Year of the Rat'.

  • New Year, new resolutions so I've

  • decided to join the rat race!

  • You've decided to join the rat race?

  • You mean to get really

  • competitive at work and

  • concentrate on promotions and pay rises

  • at the expense of your free time?

  • That's right.

  • But why?

  • Money!

  • Right, well let's hear some

  • examples of this expression before

  • a little more explanation.

  • I am going to quit the rat race.

  • I earn all this money but I never have

  • enough time to spend it!

  • It's just work, work, work!

  • People complain about the rat race but if

  • you earn enough, you can retire at 50!

  • Nieves decided to quit the rat race

  • after she had a serious health scare.

  • She realised that the money

  • wasn't worth the stress.

  • You're listening to The English We Speak

  • from BBC Learning English.

  • In this programme,

  • we're looking at the expression 'rat race'.

  • It's used to describe a way of life in which

  • people work very hard for a lot of money.

  • But there's no free time and it's

  • very, very competitive.

  • You heard in the examples,

  • we often hear the word 'quit' used

  • with 'rat race'. Quit the rat race.

  • But you, Rob, have decided to join it.

  • You do know that you don't have to look

  • like a rat to join the rat race?

  • And you certainly don't have to wear a racing vest.

  • Just trying to make things clear

  • for our audience, Feifei!

  • I do quite like those whiskers, though.

  • (Squeaks)

  • Bye!

  • Bye bye!

  • Hello and welcome to The English We Speak

  • with me Feifei.

  • And me, Rob.

  • Hey, Feifei, I have a little challenge for you.

  • Oh, good. I like a challenge.

  • Right. Well. Can you name a bird

  • that has bright feathers?

  • A parrot?

  • No. It has big colourful feathers that

  • it sticks up when it's showing off

  • and trying to attract a mate.

  • Got it! A peacock.

  • Why are you asking?

  • Well, it's a clue for this

  • authentic English phrase.

  • Can you think of an expression

  • which describes someone

  • showing off to attract attention?

  • Yes, Rob. It's 'peacocking'.

  • I often use it to describe you!

  • But, Rob, peacocking never impresses me!

  • Well, Feifei, you are hard to impress

  • but maybe these examples of 'peacocking' will.

  • Why does Dev have to wear that bright

  • shirt and walk around the office

  • talking and laughing loudly?

  • It's obvious that he's peacocking,

  • but to me, he's just annoying.

  • When we first met, I was impressed by

  • John's flashy clothes and constant jokes.

  • But he was obviously peacocking because

  • now he just wears jeans and

  • never says anything funny!

  • I thought my peacocking skills

  • would work wonders on our blind date.

  • Unfortunately, she told me I was just

  • showing off and I just needed to be myself.

  • I don't think I'll be seeing her again.

  • You're listening to The English We Speak

  • from BBC Learning English.

  • We're talking about 'peacocking',

  • which describes someone showing off

  • to attract attention and impress people.

  • Originally, it described an extreme and

  • over-the-top way a man might dress and the

  • arrogant way he might behave to attract a woman.

  • Yes, I can see why you would have

  • been good at that, Rob!

  • Well, women do it now too, Feifei.

  • For example, by bragging on Instagram

  • about the amazing things they've done.

  • OK, it seems like anyone can be

  • guilty of peacocking these days.

  • Well, you'd never find me peacocking Feifei.

  • I'm not the sort of person to show off.

  • I hate to attract attention.

  • What do you mean, Rob?!

  • You're always centre of attention.

  • Hmm, thanks!

  • Bye!

  • Bye bye!

  • Hello and welcome to The English We Speak

  • with me, Feifei.

  • And me, Neil.

  • Nice bobble hat, Neil!

  • Thanks.

  • But not very practical.

  • Wearing a hat indoors must be quite hot.

  • It's the fashion, Feifei.

  • Some of us have to keep up with the trends.

  • Right! Maybe that explains the waistcoat

  • you're wearing as well.

  • To be fashionable?

  • Oh, you wouldn't understand, Feifei!

  • I understand very clearly.

  • You are a sheeple.

  • What are you bleating on about?

  • Sheeple. It describes people who just follow

  • the crowd, without much thought.

  • Basically, you are easily ledlike a sheep!

  • But you're not the only one.

  • Listen to these examples.

  • I can't believe all these sheeple who've

  • paid lots of money for the latest smartphone.

  • They'll be half price in a few months' time!

  • My brother's one of those sheeple who

  • has to follow the latest fashions.

  • He's now wearing ripped jeans but so

  • is everyone else at his college!

  • Although nearly everyone in my class has

  • one of those smartwatches, I'm not going

  • to be one of those sheeple.

  • I'm going to stick with the old watch

  • my grandmother gave me instead!

  • This is The English We Speak from

  • BBC Learning English and we're talking

  • About the word 'sheeple'.

  • It's a mix of the English words 'sheep' and 'people'.

  • It describes people, who just like sheep,

  • follow what other people do or things that are trending.

  • So, you're saying I'm trending?

  • No, I'm saying you are just following the trend.

  • You can't think for yourself.

  • Like a sheep!

  • I don't think so. Look, I'm wearing sandals and socks.

  • That's not fashionable but very comfortable.

  • Hmmm, that reminds me

  • of sheep as wellstupid!

  • Charming! I'd watch out, Feifei.

  • I might be a wolf in sheep's clothing!

  • Bye, Neil.

  • Bye.

  • Hello and welcome to The English We Speak.

  • I'm Feifei.

  • And I'm Rob. Hello.

  • Errr, Feifei, you're looking a bit angry.

  • Me, angry! I am angry.

  • Oh no, what's the problem?

  • I think you know Rob.

  • Somebody told the boss

  • that I spilt coffee over his computer

  • yesterday and now he's angry with me.

  • Oh no. What kind of mean and horrible person

  • would try and get you into trouble?

  • You and the boss were the only people

  • left in the office last night. Hmmm?

  • Whoa, hold on Feifei. If you are implying

  • it was me who told the boss, then you are

  • barking up the wrong tree.

  • Please don't make me any angrier

  • by saying that I am like a dog!

  • No, no Feifei. Just calm down.

  • I should be angry because you are making the wrong

  • assumption about who told the boss, OK?

  • That's what I mean by barking up the wrong tree:

  • you want to blame someone

  • but you got the wrong person.

  • I didn't even know you had done it.

  • OK, I'm sorry. So the phrase 'barking up the wrong

  • tree' means making the wrong assumption

  • when trying to achieve something.

  • Shall we hear some examples while I make you