In this Aussie English Expression episode I teach you guys how to use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST like a native Australian!
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Expression: To Have a Blast
As usual, I am here videoing the Expression episode now. I’m trying to play with this little lapel mic. I’m trying to see how this goes. So, I’m using this in a few episodes. And, yeah, I’m facing my window, (I’ve) got the light on me. Hopefully these episodes are a little nicer. Although, you have the backdrop of my desk. So, not the nicest thing to look at, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’ll save that expression for another episode.
Today’s expression is TO HAVE A BLAST. TO HAVE A BLAST. Obviously, you’re going to know what the verb TO HAVE means. That’s one of the first things anyone learns in any language, whether it’s English or not, you learn how to use the verb TO HAVE, TO HAVE SOMETHING.
A BLAST is just a (an*) explosion, a massive sound, some kind of bang, A BLAST. If you light some dynamite and throw it somewhere and it goes off, it explodes, it makes a bang, that’s A BLAST. That’s A BLAST.
So, the definition of the phrase TO HAVE A BLAST is just to have a great time, to have an amazing time, to have an incredible time, an awesome time, to really enjoy yourself. So, obviously, then this is associated with events or some kind of thing that you’ve done for the day, that you have had a lot of fun doing, that you’ve really enjoyed, that you would say WAS A BLAST. And, so that event WAS A BLAST. You can say that. But you yourself HAD A BLAST at the event. So, you HAD A BLAST and the event WAS A BLAST.
This is also similar to the expression A BLAST FROM THE PAST and I went over this in one of the 1-Minute Expression episodes. So, I’ll make sure I link that below. And so, yeah, it’s similar to that idea. Just to go over it quickly, A BLAST FROM THE PAST is just something or someone that evokes, that causes you to have a sense of nostalgia. So, you think of something from the past that you loved when you were young and you were like, “Oh man! Remember… you know, having these chocolates as a kid, this brand of chocolate. This was friggen amazing! You know, like, that IS SUCH A BLAST FROM THE PAST.”. Anyway, go watch that video if you want to see more on that.
Let’s go through some examples, guys, about what we could say when we’re trying to use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST. And again, this is going to be associated with doing things, with having things happen to you that are related to events, whatever it is.
So, for example, number 1. This is probably the most common example. You go to a party, and someone says at the end of the night, you know, you’ve been drinking, you’ve been seeing old friends, you’ve been partying hard, dancing, maybe got a little crazy and you took your shirt off. Anything could have happened. You had an amazing time thought. And at the end someone says, “Oh! You went to this party last night.”, you know, “How was it?” or at the end of the party itself they could say, “How was the party? What did you think? Did you like it? Was it fun?”, you know. It could be the person who actually ran the party, it could be the person whose house it was who organised the party, and they could be asking you, “What did you think?”. If you really liked it, if you really enjoyed yourself, if you had an amazing time you could say, “I HAD A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! It was an amazing night. What A BLAST! I HAD A BLAST!”.
Example number 2. Imagine that you go to a music concert and it’s a band you’ve never seen before. You aren’t sure. “Is it going to be good? Is it going to be an awful?”, you know, “I don’t know what this music’s like, I really hope it’s good.”. You end up going and you love it. You have an amazing time, you really enjoy yourself, you had your beer, the music turned out to be exactly the kind of music that you love listening to. You had no idea beforehand. Your friends had just brought you there and they’d said, you know, “You’ve got to check out this band, but we’re not telling you who it is. You’ll just come and you’ll…” Maybe you were a little skeptical at first and you were thinking, “Oh… it’s going to be horrible.”. Anyway, you had a great time, and at the end of your night your friends could say, “Well, what did you think? It was pretty good wasn’t it?” and you could say, “Far out, man! That WAS A BLAST! I HAD A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! What a crazy band. They’re amazing. It WAS A BLAST. I HAD A BLAST!”.
Example number 3. Could be that you try surfing for the first time. And this happens obviously where I grew up, you know, you would see people getting taught how to surf all the time on Ocean Grove main beach. If you haven’t seen that Google Ocean Grove, down near Geelong, so in Victoria, Australia. Ocean Grove beach. And there were… we used to have cars that would show up, or big trucks. Trucks? Maybe, vans. And they’d be filled with Malibu surfboards. So, the big surfboards and the ones that end in a round sort of tip that are really easy to stand on, not the sharp ones. Those are Malibus. Anyway, those trucks or vans used to show up all the time with trailers or just full of all the wetsuits and the different boards that you can use, you can hire, and you could get lessons on how to surf. And so, you would go to the beach on a lot of these days in summer and you would see a whole team of people out in the waves, not necessarily out the back of the waves, so in the really really big surf, but towards just the shallow end of the beach with the very very small waves that you can still catch. And these guys are learning how to surf, you know. Maybe they’re awful. It doesn’t matter. The whole point is that they’re in there. They’re having a go. And they’re always… they were always laughing, smiling, and you would see them come out and, you know, I would walk up and say, “What did you think? Was this your first time surfing? Did you love it?”. One of them could simply say in return, “It WAS A BLAST! I loved it. I HAD A BLAST! Surfing IS A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST!”.
So, those are some of the examples, guys, for how you would use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST, and that was all obviously in the past tense. You could use this in the Present Tense, I’M HAVING A BLAST, I HAVE A BLAST when I do something. Or you can use it in the Future Tense, I WILL HAVE A BLAST tomorrow at this party, I’m sure. It’s going to be good. I know I’M GOING TO HAVE A BLAST.
And, just to change things up a little bit here, guys, I’m going to make this a substitution exercise where I’m going to use a number of different synonyms for A BLAST. So, in the case of A BLAST as in a good time you could say, an incredible time, a great time, an amazing time, etc., etc.. I’m going to go through the different pronouns in this example, and the first sentence is going to end with, for example, “…a great time”. And I want you to change that into “A BLAST”.
So, you’ll work it out. Let’s dive in.
I had a great time.
I had a blast.
You had an incredible time.
You had a blast.
He had a splendid time.
He had a blast.
She had an awesome time.
She had a blast.
We had an amazing time.
We had a blast.
They had a terrific time.
They had a blast.
So, that’s really all there is to it guys. A BLAST, a good time, an amazing time, an incredible time. You went to something, you really enjoyed yourself, or maybe you’re going to something and you know you’re going to enjoy yourself. That is that you are going TO HAVE A BLAST. Something WILL BE A BLAST. The event’s going to be amazing. It’LL BE A BLAST. You know you’re going to have a good time. You’LL HAVE A BLAST.
Anyway, make sure you comment down below and use this in an example. Try and use this in language. Try and use this every day, you know, in order to learn these things you have to be using them. And also, jump on Facebook, send me a message, send me a comment, just say hello. I love hearing from you guys. Tell me what you’re up to. Tell me what you’re doing with English at the moment. Have you got anything that you’re finding difficult that you would like an episode done on? Can I answer any questions for you? And until next time guys, all the best!
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By pete — 3 years ago
In today’s episode I teach you how to use the expression “to beat around the bush”, which is a common idiom used in English when telling someone “to get to the point”.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Ep044: Expression – To Beat Around The Bush
Hey guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today we’re going to do a… another episode on expressions, and this expression is “to beat around the bush” or “to beat about the bush”.
So “to beat around the bush” is the US version. It’s the version of this expression that originates from the United States, or “to beat about the bush” is the version that originates from the UK. Now for me personally, and I’m not sure why. These things just happen in language, “to beat around the bush” is the expression that I would use and that I definitely think I hear more often. I have heard both before, but “to beat around the bush” is a lot more common today.
So, “to beat around the bush”. What does this mean? The definition of “to beat around the bush” means to avoid answering a question or to stall, to waste time. So, if you stall it means that you are trying to waste a lot of time before having to actually do something. So, say, someone was um… asked a question as a politician, for example, and they keep talking but they don’t actually answer the question. You could say they’re stalling. Um… they’re avoiding answering the question. They’re wasting time.
So, I’ll go through, as usual, the definition of the words in the phrase “to beat around the bush”, and then I’ll… might explain a little bit about the origin of this phrase because I looked into it and it was pretty interesting. I’ll go over some examples after that, and then we can do an exercise using this expression to practice your pronunciation.
So, “to beat around the bush”. “To beat”, “to beat”, it’s a verb and it means to strike, whether it’s a person or animal. To strike, to hit, to beat something, um… to strike something repeatedly and violently in order to hurt or injure it, and it’s typically done with an implement, so, a club or a whip. So, if you beat someone you could be holding a stick and if you hit the person with a stick you’re beating them. You can also beat them with your hands. So if you start punching someone you can beat them, and this is where we would also say “to beat someone up” means to… to punch them repeatedly, to keep hitting them until they are unable to… to move. You know they’re… they’re really hurt. They’re injured. You beat them up.
“Around” and in the sense “about”. So to beat around the bush and to beat about the bush. “Around” and “about” in this sense just means on each side of, or on every side of something. So, say, if I walk around my room I walk all around my room. I go from one side of my room to the other side of my room. I go everywhere. The UK English people would often use the word “about” to do the same thing. I can walk “about” my room. I can walk from one side of my room to the other, walking “about”. Um… however, yeah, for me at least in Australian English it would be a lot more common to say “walk around my room” than “walk about my room”. However, both make sense, and Australians would understand what you mean if you were to use either one of those words. So, “around” just means on every side of, on each side of.
“A bush”, or “the bush”, is a shrub or a clump of shrubs. And a shrub is just a small plant often a bushy shrubby plant. So it means that it’s… it’s not very tall. It can be often wider than it is tall, which means that it’s bushy, it’s shrubby. Um… so “a shrub or a clump of shrubs with stems of moderate length” is apparently the definition of a bush. In Australian English when you said “a bush” and you’re not talking about “the bush” as in the forest here in Australia or the outback, you’d be talking about a relatively small plant that is really thick with leaves and with stems. So it’s not like a tree. So that’s “a bush”.
So, the origin of the phrase “to beat around the bush” or “to beat about the bush”, it actually goes back a long way. So it’s actually really old. I was reading that it originates from the 1400s, so the 15th century. So, this phrase, or this expression evolved from people who would hunt for birds and they would have someone who wasn’t holding a gun but was instead holding, say, a stick or some sort of implement, some tool that they could beat with, and they would go to bushes, to plants, where they thought birds were, where they thought there were birds hiding inside of the bushes, and in order to scare the birds out of the bushes they would hit the bush, they would beat the bush with a stick or whatever implement or tool they had, and when the… the birds flew out of the bush the hunters could then shoot the birds. So, that was beating literally around the bush. So they would hit the bush on all sides and they would scare the birds out of the bush. And so, beating around the bush was everything that happened before the hunt. It was all of the boring stuff before they got to the good stuff of hunting the birds, getting the birds, and finishing up. And so, I think that’s where this expression of “to beat around the bush” comes in. It’s all of the needless and boring stuff that happens before the main event. Before capturing the birds in the literal sense, or before actually getting to your point. So, if you beat around the bush it means that you’re wasting a lot of time before actually getting to the main point of whatever it is, you know, it could be answering a question.
So, examples of where you would use this:
“Stop beating around the bush and just tell me what you want”. This could be say an argument between a couple, so, a man and a woman, or two women or two men. And, say, one of them wants something but is having a hard time explaining it, or isn’t explaining it well, or is avoiding the real topic, and the other person has said, you know, “Stop beating around the bush and just tell me what you want”, which means, you know, “Stop wasting time and just tell me what you want. Get to the point”.
Um… say, a politician has been asked a question that is really hard and is likely to make them look bad. Um… and the politician just keeps talking and trying to get around the question, we would often say in English, so he’s trying to avoid the question, he’s trying to talk around the question. Someone could say, “Look stop beating around the bush and answer the question”. “Stop beating around the bush. Get to the point. Answer the question!” “Stop beating around the bush”.
Um… one more example could be, say, I have to explain what I’ve done to my parents, you know, say something happened at school and I was in trouble. I got detention, and then the school rang my parents and said, “Your son’s been in trouble, you need to talk to him about what happened. We’re not going to tell you but we want him to tell you what happened”. Say I went home and my parents have said, you know, “What happened at school, you got in trouble, tell us what happened”. And I said, you know, “Oh nothing really. It wasn’t a bit deal. I just, you know… I had an argument… and blah… “, you know, so I’m really wasting time. I’m not explaining what happened. I’m not getting to the point. My parents could say to me, “Look stop beating around the bush, quit beating around the bush and tell us what happened. Get to the point. Stop wasting time.”
So, I’ll run you through an example sentence now and I’ll change the pronoun at the front for you to practice your conjugation as well as your pronunciation and the phrase is, “I like to beat around the bush”. So let’s get started:
I like to beat around the bush.
You like to beat around the bush.
He likes to beat around the bush.
She likes to beat around the bush.
We like to beat around the bush.
They like to beat around the bush.
And just for something different let’s do this at a more natural pace, at a more natural speed. So, I’ll say it as if I would naturally and you guys just listen, try and practice it at the same speed in order to practice your pronunciation and fluidity of speaking.
I like to beat around the bush.
You like to beat around the bush.
He likes to beat around the bush.
She likes to beat around the bush.
We like to beat around the bush.
They like to beat around the bush.
Awesome guys, awesome. So, as well don’t be too discouraged if the exercises are hard. They’re often tongue twisters, you know, they’re difficult to pronounce. It may take a few times where you listen multiple times, skip to the exercises and practice them, but I think that these exercises are really helpful. Even if you know exactly what all of these words mean, and you know how to conjugate these verbs. It’s not challenging. It’s not so much about practicing grammar and practicing the definition of these words and learning the words. It’s more about practicing pronunciation so that you can really nail that when you speak. You can really do well at um… saying these words with a very reduced accent, and it’s also about learning the cadence, learning the rhythm, learning how English speakers say these phrases, and the ups and downs of how our voices change, our intonation, our cadence. So, this is one thing that I definitely practice every day when I’m using other languages like French and Portuguese. Often languages completely differ in how they are pronounced, in full phrases, like the cadence and the intonation of the voice, and these are the things that you can’t really read about and practice. You just have to keep listening and repeating, listening and repeating, and if probably never ends. You’ve got to do it all the time to improve.
So that was this episode today guys. I hope you enjoyed it. Give me any feedback about the format of the lesson, what you thought, if you liked the exercises at the end, and if you have any other expression or sayings that you would like me to talk about please just comment on Facebook, send me a message, and I would love to do an episode of any expressions slang words, anything that you guys are having difficulty with and that you would like me to discuss. Feel free to drop them on Facebook.
Until next time guys, I hope you have a great week!
If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.
Also be sure to come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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By pete — 6 months ago
AE 488 – Expression: Bang for Your Buck
Well, Aussies have long had love affairs with their cars, right, in particular, the big V8 or the muscle car.
Well, as Mike Dalton reports, recently, there was a battle to find the best.
It’s a question of honour for local motoring enthusiasts, who makes the best V8s, the locals or the septics? And so, Unique Car Magazine’s drawn together two generations of V8s from either side to duke it out in the battle of the donk.
G’day… Oh! Wait a second, guys! Wait a second. Sorry, I’ve just realised. window’s open. Window’s open. All right. So, let’s try that again.
G’day, guys, and welcome to this episode of Aussie English. The number one Aussie… the number one Aussie English Podcast?! The number one podcast for anyone and everyone or wanting to learn Australian English or English in general, guys. This is an intermediate to advanced English speakers’ podcast for anyone who’s really trying to get to native-like level of comprehension when they’re speaking or just trying to understand English, and specifically, Australian English. Obviously, that is the accent that I have.
Anyway guys, if you would like to support the podcast, if you would like the bonus content for these episodes, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, you can sign up there for just one dollar for your first month, and you will get all the bonus videos for this episode, and about 40 or 50 previous episodes as well, and there are also mini courses in there for pronunciation, little bits and pieces on grammar, and I’m adding to that every single week. So, there’s a great community there too on Facebook where we all hang out and chat about these things and complete different speaking challenges related to these episodes. Anyway. If you’re thinking about trying to get your English to the next level and you like studying, check that out.
If, on the other hand, you are just after the transcripts and the MP3s for these episodes, because you just like to be able to study your own way, in your own time, with the transcripts, make sure you go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com, and you can sign up there for the price of a coffee every month. It is $4.99 for a monthly subscription there where you can download or the content for the episodes, the transcripts and the MP3s. Alright, anyway.
With that out of the way, the movie scene from the start there today guys it was a story from Channel 9, which is one of the 4 or 5 channels that we have free-to-air on Australian TV, although, free-to-air TV seems to be in its death throes at the moment and dying off as the Internet and media on the Internet becomes more and more consumed by people, right. I don’t think… I can’t even remember the last time I was watching normal TV. Anyway.
The story was from Channel 9 and it was on muscle cars. So, we’re going to tackle that in the fact about Australia today, and we’re also going to talk about it in one of the examples today. But if you would like to watch that entire story on muscle cars from Channel Nine, you can check out the link in the transcript, okay, to check it out.
Aside from that, let’s just get into it, guys. To start with, an Aussie joke, an Aussie joke. They’re all pearlers. They’re all rippers. They’re all beauties. I know you guys have a love for his jokes so I’m going to keep them coming. Alright, so here we go. Here we go. Today’s joke.
A guy walks into a mechanic shop and he says, I need a petrol cap for my Holden Commodore. The mechanic looks over to him and says, yeah, okay. Sounds like a fair trade! Sounds like a fair trade!
Do you get it? Do you get it, guys? Alright, so a guy walks into a mechanic shop, somewhere that some mechanic works who repairs cars, and he says to the mechanic, I need a petrol cap, as in the cap that goes on the petrol tank where you obviously fill up the car with petrol, I need a petrol cap for my Holden Commodore. Holden Commodores are a kind of car in Australia that are ubiquitous, they are everywhere, they are a dime a dozen, they are all over the shop. You will see them as far as the eye can see in Australia. So, he asked for a petrol cap for his Holden vehicles, as a result of Holden cars being cheap, common, the mechanic says, yeah, okay, sounds like a fair trade.
So, the joke there is that the mechanic thinks that this guy wants to trade his Holden Commodore for a petrol cap, right. That’s how cheap and bad those cars are in the mind of the mechanic. Whereas, the guy just wants a new petrol cap for his Holden Commodore. Anyway. That’s the joke. Okay? That’s the joke.
So, today’s expression is ‘bang for your buck’ and this is from Esmaeil. He suggested this in the private Facebook group for members of The Aussie English Classroom. Remember, if you want to sign up there and be a part of selecting these expressions, posting videos, hanging out with the community, then sign up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Good job, Esmaeil. This was an amazing suggestion, as it’s an expression that I use quite often.
You might hear this as ‘get more bang for your buck’, ‘to get the best bang for your buck’, ‘to get better bang for your buck’. So, it can be in different variations, but it is relatively common all over Australia and in America, and maybe even Britain as well, although, they may say ‘pound’ instead of ‘buck’, I am not sure.
Also, I want to give an honourable mention to Emma. She came equal first with Esmaeil and she had suggested the expression ‘to put the mockers on someone’, although, I’d never heard this expression before, and that’s why I said, you know what, I’m going to let Esmaeil have this one as I do use ‘bang for your buck’.
So, let’s go through and define the words in the expression ‘bang for your buck’, right. Okay?
So, ‘bang’. ‘A bang’. You know, ‘boom!’. ‘A bang’ is literally the sound of an explosion. You know? If a nuclear bomb goes off, I am certain it goes off with a bang. If you shoot a gun, it makes a bang. If a car breaks down, the engine quite often goes bang, right. But in this sense, when they’re saying ‘bang’, they mean ‘value’, the value of something. Okay? We’ll get to that when we talk about the definition.
‘A buck’. ‘A buck’, I’m sure you guys have heard of if you’ve been listening to this podcast for quite a while. I often say ‘a buck’ when I’m talking about ‘a dollar’, right. So, how much was the coffee? Four bucks. How much was the car? A few thousand bucks. How much was the camera? Two thousand bucks. So, you’ll often hear ‘a buck’ or ‘bucks’ used in Australia is also used in America. And again, I’m not sure, I don’t think it’s used in Britain, because they don’t use the dollar, they use pounds.
So, that’s it for the definitions in the expression ‘bang for your buck’, right. You guys all know what the word ‘for’ and the word ‘your’ mean already.
Expression definition wise, though, this is a simple expression. If you get good bang for your buck, the idea here is that ‘bang’ is value, so you get good value for your buck, you get good value for your dollar. So, it just means to get your money’s worth or to get incredibly good value for the money that you have spent on something, right?
So, I went and tried to find the expression origin for ‘bang for your buck’ and there was an early citation of this expression, ‘more bang for your buck’, that was placed in an advert in a publication called Metals and Plastics Publications all the way back in 1940. So, I assume the ad referred to a product that was low cost, but really high value. Hence, being ‘good bang for your buck’ or ‘being the best bang for your buck’, compared to other competitors. Right?
But then, I was also further reading about this on a Phrases.org.uk blog post and they were talking about the origin being related to nuclear weapons. Okay? Hear me out. Hear me out. Okay? So, I’m going to read out a little bit of this article for you guys, because I thought it was really interesting. Okay?
So, you can imagine that generals and political leaders have argued over the costs of military since the beginning of time. Their conversations have probably not changed much from the general saying, we need more cannons, nuclear weapons, and soldiers, and the country’s leader, the Emperor, the President, the king, saying, well, the people need food. Can’t you manage with what you’ve got? Right? So, there has been that push and pull throughout history.
So, American president Dwight Eisenhower faced something of a dilemma in 1953. He was a military man to his socks and was inclined to augment defense in the face of the perceived ‘reds under the bed threat’, right, the Communists being a threat there, but he was also a Republican US President and, as such, politically wedded to cutting state spending. So, his solution was simple, increase the armed forces by decreasing their budget.
In ordinary circumstances, that circle would be difficult to square. The solution that the US Joint Chiefs of Staff came up with, which they titled ‘The New Look’ was a policy of using nuclear weapons in any conflict bigger than what they called ‘a brush fire war’–I would take it a very small war, something that’s not very important–and that allowed them to radically reduce the numbers of servicemen and replace those servicemen with comparatively inexpensive atomic bombs.
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You may have seen those videos online sometimes where you see a nuclear bomb go off in the distance and soldiers start walking towards it. 1950s, guys, the 1950s.
So, this was described in a story in the Winona Republican Herald in December of 1953, and the story also reported that Admiral Arthur Radford as describing the policy as the ‘more bang for your buck theory’. Okay?
So, that’s where this idea really comes from and I think it climbed to popularity after the 1950s. Alright.
So, let’s go through some examples now of how you could use this expression, ‘bang for your buck’, ‘to get bang for your buck’, ‘to get more or better bang for your buck’ like a native speaker.
So, example number one. Imagine that you want to buy a muscle car. Right? So, you’re a bit of a rev head, you love your cars, and you want something with a lot of power. So, you’re probably after something with a bit of umph, probably a V8 of some kind, something with a lot of horsepower, a lot of kilowatts. So, you go to your local car dealership and check out the second-hand cars that he has for sale, and after looking for a few minutes the car salesman comes up and he says, well, what can I help you with? What would you like? And you might say, I want as much power as I can get for the best price. And he says, you know, not to worry! I’ve got the perfect car for you. And he goes off and finds you this beautiful second-hand V8 Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon, right. These are two very popular V8 sort of muscle cars in Australia. So, he finds this car and he says to you, this is going to give you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s going to give you the best bang for your buck. They’re cheap as chips to repair, and as well, Holdens and Fords are a dime a dozen in Australia. They are everywhere. So, they’re cheap to buy.
Example number two. You’ve decided that your house is old and needs renovating. And so, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and finally get around to beginning a reno on your house. ‘A reno’ being the slang term for ‘a renovation’. So, you’re trying to pinch pennies, you try to save as much money as possible, hence, doing the reno yourself or with your wife, family, friends, instead of hiring some professional tradies to do it for you, right? That would be a cheaper way of doing it if you had the knowhow and you could do it yourself. So, you hit up the local Bunnings Warehouse, a household hardware chain of stores in Australia. If you guys live here, you’ll know those huge factories that are green and red called Bunnings, Bunnings Warehouse. So, you go and chat to the people that work there and tell them that you are doing a reno at home, and you give them a list of things that you require. You give them a list to sink their teeth into and go and find all this stuff that you need. If you want to ask them to give you the best value for money possible so that the items you buy are of the highest quality possible that you can afford, you might ask them, how can I get the best bang for my buck? What should I buy if I’m trying to get more bang for my buck, if I’m trying to get my money’s worth, if I’m trying to get the best value, right? The worker might say to you, not to worry, I’ll search through every nook and cranny in this store, in this huge warehouse, and sort you out with all the gear that you need, all the supplies that you need, to renovate your house like a pro. And then Bob’s your uncle, he goes off, finds the stuff, comes back, kits you out with everything you need, and gives you great value for money. He gives you the best bang for your buck.
Example number three. Imagine that you are a gun enthusiast. Although, I don’t think there’s many of these in Australia, but for the sake of this example, imagine that you love guns. You are a responsible gun owner. You have a gun safe that you keep your guns in, and you have another safe that you keep your ammunition in, and you keep both of them safely under lock and key so that no family members or kids can get their hands on these weapons. So, maybe you loved hunting and that’s why you’ve got the guns. You like game hunting, maybe feral animals like deer or pigs or camels. You love hunting them in Australia. Or maybe even native animals. You can hunt kangaroos in Australia. You usually catch up with your mates on weekends and you guys kit yourselves out with your guns, with scopes, with the camo gear–meaning ‘camouflage gear’, the stuff that you wear to blend in with the surroundings–and all of the rest of it, and then you go bush, meaning you go into the bush, you go into the forest or into the isolated areas to go hunting. So, one day your mate shows up and he has a huge new gun of some kind, right? Maybe a rifle of some huge caliber. You know… I don’t know, a 50-caliber gun, right? This huge weapon. You might say to him, Wow, man! That’s a big gun. I hope you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew, I hope your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach, and I hope you can handle that gun as it looks like it’s a bit much for you. He might reply, no stress, mate. It’s fine and works well and I can handle it. I went to the gun store, told them that I wanted as much bang for my buck as possible, so they gave me this little beauty. And considering the value, she’s definitely the best bang for my buck that I could find. And figuratively, that’s true, but also literally, it’s probably also the loudest bang for his buck too. Right?
So, there you go, guys. That is the expression, ‘bang for your buck’. I hope you understand it now and it means to have value for your money, to get value for your dollar, to get your money’s worth when you purchase something.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. Today’s is a bit more of an advanced one. Okay? So, we’ll go through it. We’ll go through the expression ‘to get the best bang for your buck’ first, and then, I want to go through using the expression ‘to be after something’, ‘to be after something’. And in English this means, ‘to want something’. I’m after some food. I’m after a drink. I’m after a few friends in Australia. I’m after something. I want something. Okay, guys? So, listen and repeat after me, and remember if you would like to practice this lesson as well as all the previous expression lessons in more detail, sign up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Anyway. Listen and repeat after me.
To get the
To get the best
To get the best bang
To get the best bang for
To get the best bang for your
To get the best bang for your buck x 5
Alright. Good job. Now let’s go through the phrase ‘to be after the best bang for your buck’. Okay, we’ll conjugate through each pronoun here in the present tense. Let’s go.
I’m after the best bang for my buck.
You’re after the best bang for your buck.
He’s after the best bang for his buck.
She’s after the best bang for her buck.
We’re after the best bang for our buck.
They’re after the best bang for their buck.
It’s after the best bang for its buck.
Good job, guys. Good job. Let’s just dive straight into the Aussie fact today.
So, today I wanted to talk about racing in Australia, because it’s related to muscle cars and I thought, okay, muscle cars and racing in Australia, Bathurst, the Bathurst races that occur every year are always with muscle cars, with Holdens and Fords. Alright.
So, let’s talk about some motor racing history in Australia, specifically, I want to tackle the races that occur in Bathurst at Mount Panorama. Okay.
So, the Mount Panorama Circuit is a motor racing track located in Bathurst in New South Wales and Australia. This is the South East Coast, Central Coast of Australia. It’s situated on a hill with dual official names of ‘Mount Panorama’ and ‘Wahluu’. And it’s world-renowned for being the home of two annual races in Australia. Number one the Bathurst 1000 motor race, which is held every October each year, and number two, the Bathurst 12-hour event, which is held every February.
The track is approximately 6.2 kilometers long, which is exactly 4 miles long, and is technically considered a street circuit as it is on a public road, which has normal speed restrictions when no racing events are being held, and, as a result, there are numerous residences that live around this track where they can actually only get access on the circuit. So, that must be a real pain in the arse when these events are held, because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to their houses. So, they must have to stock up on food and stuff during those days.
So, from the start-finish line, the track can be divided up into three main sections. Number one: the short pit straight and then a tight left turn into a long steep mountain straight as the road climbs up the hill. Number two: the tight narrow section across the top of the mountain itself. And then, number three: the long downhill section of Conrod Straight with the very fast chase and the turn back on to pit straight to complete the lap.
Throughout its history, the race track has been used for a large variety of different racing categories including everything from motorbikes to open-wheel racers. However, due to the fact that the race track is considered somewhat unusual in its layout and because of tighter modern safety standards for racing, it’s unlikely that major race meetings in those categories will be held on the track again in the future. As a result, the race track has become the near-exclusive territory of close-bodied cars, specifically, Holdens and Fords, the V8s.
If you a bit of a rev head yourself or you’re just interested in checking out Mount Panorama and Bathurst itself, the Mount Panorama Circuit is open to the public as a public road on non-race days when it isn’t closed off due to an event. And if obviously, you want to check it out too, because you’re a rev head and love races, then obviously, go and check out the Bathurst 1000 in October or the Bathurst 12-hour event in February. So, I guess the next one coming is in October.
On your average day, cars can drive in both directions around this circuit for free. However, you will have to adhere to a snail-pace speed limit of 60 kilometers an hour unless you want to risk receiving a speeding fine from the local cops, the local police.
Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you guys like cars as well. I’m sort of a rev head, I guess, kind of, I kind of like cars. I’m not obsessed, though. Though, I do love cars. I do love a good V8. Anyway, I hope you have an amazing weekend, guys, and I’ll see you soon. Catch ya!
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By pete — 3 months ago
AE 517 – Expression: Go Out On A Limb
This is the signal for ‘Big Bill’ Neidjie to begin on of the most important duties in the maintenance of his tribal lands. Only he and the other elders are traditionally entrusted with the task of burning the grasslands. They must clean the country, they say, but strictly according to aboriginal law.
Bill’s son, Johnathon Yarramana, has come to learn just how and when the fires may be lit.
The time is right when the birds begin to migrate. The young animals born in the grasslands have grown to maturity by this time and so can escape fire.
It’s also a comparatively cooler time of year and beneath the dry stalks there is still dampness. Fires will not rage out of control and so the country will be cleansed, but not devastated. If the laws about burning are broken and fires are started later in the season of heat and dryness, there will be great loss of life.
G’day you mob! How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, but not just for them, for anyone who is trying to get to an advanced level in English and beyond as well. So, remember guys the Aussie English Podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom. This is my online classroom with my courses and all the content that I create to help listeners just like you improve your English. So, if you’re working on pronunciation, you’re trying to improve expression comprehension and use you, you want to expand your vocab and you want to do so with the bonus content for these episodes and much more, go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com and sign up and remember you can try that for just one dollar for your first month, ok?
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Anyway, guys, the movie scene at the start there, I hope you like that, that was a snippet from a David Attenborough doco, I’m not sure exactly which one, but I found that on YouTube and thought that I would chop a little part out of it and show you it because it has something to do with what we will talk about at the end of this episode and that is bushfires, ok? And Indigenous Australians use and have used for many thousands of years bushfires to control the land for hunting for many different purposes. Anyway, we’ll chat about that in the Aussie English Fact at the end of today’s episode.
Alright, so, as usual, let’s start with an Aussie joke. So, I decided to try and find a tree joke, a joke about trees, because today’s expression references the limb of a tree, as in a large branch on a tree, ok? So, here’s the tree joke, here is the joke about trees. How did trees get online? How did trees get online? They just log in. They just log in. Do you get it? There’s a pun there with the word log, right? A log is a thick part of a branch of a tree that has been chopped up, right? If you chop a tree down and you chop the trunk up or a large branch up, you get logs. Those small chunks of wood, that’s a log so, how to get online, they just log in, because log in to is to get online. I don’t know. I don’t know. Bad joke.
Alright so, today’s expression, guys, is ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb for someone’, you’ll usually hear it in that kind of pattern, so this came from Kel, my wife, in the Aussie English Classroom, seemed like a lot of you guys in the Facebook group were a bit busy this week so, we only had two expressions to choose from, Fatima, you almost got there, but next week, we’ll try next week. So, let’s go through and define the words in the expression ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb for someone’.
So, ‘to go out’. ‘To go out’. This is to move in an outwards direction, right? You can go out of a house, which is to exit the house, to leave the house, to move out of the house. You can go out of the city if you’re in the city and you go out of the city, you’re moving outwards from the city, you’re leaving the city. But if you go out on something, now by saying ‘on’ something we’re talking about moving out, moving outwards, moving in an outwards direction, but now we are on something, right? Like you’re standing on something. So, maybe you go out on a balcony. If you have a balcony in your house you walk out on the balcony, you go out on the balcony, maybe or a tightrope walker and you’re about to walk out on the tightrope you are going out on the tightrope, ok? So, to go out on something is to move outwards on something.
And the last word here ‘a limb’. ‘A limb’ can be an arm or a leg of a person or an animal or maybe the wing of a bird, right? ‘A limb’, but in this sense, it is a large branch of a tree which resembles a limb, I guess, of an animal. You know it’s a long thin part of an organism in that case, a large branch of a tree. So, what does the expression to go out on a limb or to go out on a limb for someone mean? So, if you go out on a limb, it can be that you are isolated, but generally it means that you put yourself in an isolated position in which you’re supporting someone, but you yourself don’t have the support from other people so, you can go out on a limb to support someone, to protect someone, to help someone and the idea there being is that you’re doing it alone, you’re not doing it with a lot of other people’s support behind you. So, maybe as well it could be that you’re in a position where you’re not joined or supported by other people when you’re supporting someone and another definition here was to do something that is strongly believed in, usually in support of other people when it’s risky or extreme and I guess that ties in, it’s risky or extreme because other people aren’t doing it with you, ok?
And the phrase is referring to climbing a tree and going out on the limb of the tree as if, I guess, you were chasing an animal or maybe you’re leaning out and trying to get an apple or some fruit, but you’re taking a risky course of action. You’re doing something that’s dangerous in order to get something. So, you’re putting yourself in a sort of uncomfortable position, to go out on a limb, to go out on a limb for someone.
So, the origin of this expression was that it was first used in a figurative usage back in the late 19th century in 1895, when it was used in the Steudenville Daily Herald, a US newspaper. However, here, it’s not actually referring to climbing trees, but instead it was referring to being having someone isolated, having them isolated so, that they were vulnerable, in a vulnerable position and the quote was:
”We can carry the legislature like hanging out a washing. The heft [the main part] of the fight will be in Hamilton country. If we get the 14 votes of Hamilton, we’ve got them on a limb or all we have to do is shake it or saw it off”.
Ok, so the idea here being I don’t know what the context is for trying to get votes, but if they get enough votes they will have, I take it, the opposition in a vulnerable position and he’s talking figuratively when he says he’ll have them on a limb and all they have to do is shake the limb or to saw the limb off, right? To get rid of them, I guess.
So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression in day to day life, ok?
So, example number one. Imagine you’re working in a factory. So, you’re a factory worker. You are a labourer. You work with big machinery with tractors, robots, conveyor belts, all of that sort of stuff. One day you make a catastrophic error and you accidentally leave a tool in a part or a section of the machinery. So, maybe it’s a spanner or a screwdriver or bolts, nuts, whatever it is and they get sucked into the machine and they do irreparable damage to that machine. They destroy that machine so, you notice that you see that, you freak out, you’re really worried, you think you might lose your job because you stuffed up and you’ve cost the company a heap of money because they need to replace that equipment, but your boss goes out on a limb and he saves you from losing your job. So, maybe he reports to the people above him at the company and he tells them how skilled you are, how important you are, how integral you are, how crucial you are for the company and maybe he explains it wasn’t really your fault or it was a simple accident. So, you don’t get fired because your boss went out on a limb for you. He puts himself in a vulnerable position in order to support you and maybe without anyone supporting him when he does that, but he’s saved your job.
Example number two. Imagine you’re an up and coming footy star. You know you love footy, you play footy, football, Australian Rules Football in Australia, you’re a kid, you’re a young kid who’s been playing all his life, training hard and your dream is to get selected and play on an AFL team so, you go to tryouts and you are showing a whole bunch of scouters, people who are selecting young up-and-comers to go on to these footy teams, and you have to show your stuff, you have to show them what you’re made of, right? So, ultimately, it’s their decision as to whether or not you get on the team. And if one of the scouts sees you, although you haven’t been performing incredibly well, you haven’t done as well as you would normally, but he sees you and he thinks this kid’s got a bit of talent. I think he’s going to go far. He might go out on a limb and support you when he talks to the other scouters and convinces them to put you through into the team, to select you, right? So, he goes out on a limb for you in order to get you through, right? He wants to support you and he’s doing it alone. He’s not doing it with other people’s help. He is isolated, he’s vulnerable.
Example number three. Maybe you are a fisherman on a fishing boat and you’re out at sea when there’s a huge storm with thunder, with lightning and it rolls in before you can do anything, before you can get back to port safely. So, the swell is really huge, you know, the waves are up and down, three, four, five metres you’re really worried that the boat is going to capsize in this swell, that your crew might get thrown off the boat, get thrown overboard and likely drown and, obviously, that you will lose the catch, the fishing catch that you’ve got this trip. So, the coastguard might come out to try and save your lives. So, these are the sailors whose job it is to help sailors or fishermen in distress at sea. So, they come out in their vessel into the storm and they find you, they get you guys on board, they hook your boat up to their boat so that they can tow it all the way back to the port and have your vessel get all the way back to safety without, you know, hopefully too much damage, despite the fact though that they’re putting their lives in danger, right? There’s a lot of peril. The storm could endanger them as well. So, despite the dangers, the coastguard went out on a limb to rescue you and your crew. They were isolated, they put themselves in a vulnerable position, in danger, in order to rescue you. They really went out on a limb to save your lives.
So, I guess, too I might add here because I just realised I haven’t touched on this, you can also use to go out on a limb when you’re talking about something you don’t know much about, right? Or when you put something forth and you’re not really sure. So, Kel came in before and I was talking to me about this suggestion and she had thought about it during IELTS, where if you get asked a question you don’t know much about, you know, maybe they say to you what’s your thoughts on the political situation in Bosnia? You might say okay… you’ve kind of caught me off guard. I’m not prepared, but I might go out on a limb and say that the political situation is not too good, right? So, you’re going out on a limb. It’s like here, it’s like saying you’re going to take a risk, you are going to put yourself in a vulnerable position, right? I’ll go out on a limb and say that this.
So, hopefully, you guys understand the expression ‘to go out on a limb’. Generally, it’s used when you’re putting yourself in an isolated position, but you’re supporting someone or you’re trying to help someone, right? Without the support of other people or it’s to do something you strongly believe in without the support of others when it’s very risky or extreme and it can be also when you want to comment on something that you don’t know much about, right? As in, you’re going to take a risk and give your opinion, you’re going to go out on a limb and say, blah blah blah.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys, where you can practice your pronunciation, and remember if you want to work on your specific accent, if you’re not working on an Australian accent, you’re working on a British, a New Zealand, a US accent, whatever it is, just copy the words that I’m saying, but don’t necessarily copy my accent exactly, but if you are working on an Australian accent then really try and mimic how I say these things, if you want a general Australian accent. Ok? Let’s go!
To go out
To go out on
To go out on a
To go out on a limb x 5
I went out on a limb for him.
You went out on a limb for him.
He went out on a limb for him.
She went out on a limb for him.
We went out on a limb for him.
They went out on a limb for him.
It went out on a limb for him.
Good job, guys! Good job! Now remember, if you want to get the full breakdown of all of these phrases all of these sentences step by step, join the Aussie English Classroom and not only will you get the video for the pronunciation, the connected speech, everything that’s in this section. Not only will you get that, but you’ll get all of the other videos for today’s expression episode including the vocab breakdown and the expression break down for the other interesting parts vocab expressions used in this episode. So, go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com, sign up and check out those videos for this episode as well as 50 other episodes that are up in there as well.
Alright, so I mentioned at the start today that I was going to talk about bushfires. So, that’s today’s Aussie English fact.
As you may or may not know, bushfires in Australia are relatively prevalent. They happen every single year. They’re always on the news during the dry and hot seasons are. So, let’s go through a little bit about bushfires. Bushfires are a frequent and important part of Australian climate and its environment so, prevalent in Australia due to the mostly hot and dry climate that we have here in Australia and fires occur on an annual basis, every single year, primarily during summer or during the dry season up in the North of Australia, and the impact is extensive. It happens all over the place to bushland, to forests and even to suburbia where people have decided to build houses around forested areas around or in forested areas.
So, although on one hand they have the potential to cause extensive property damage and even loss of human life, on the other hand bushfires are an important part of Australian ecosystems and the biology and life cycles of many native flora and fauna, for example, positive effects of bushfires include:
- Heating up the soil, cracking seed coats and triggering the germination of many plant seeds,
- Triggering woody seed pods held in the canopy to open up and release their seeds onto a fresh and fertile ash bed below, and this happens with Banksia plants,
- Clearing thick understorey in forested areas to reduce competition for plant seedlings. So, those seeds when they land in that ash bed are more able to grow quickly because of the ash as nutrients, but they also have less competitors because they have been burnt away from bushfires.
- Also, encourage new growth that provides food for many animals.
- And they also create hollows in logs and trees that can be used by animals for nesting and for shelter.
- And aboriginals in Australia often light bushfires, which is a practice called ‘traditional burning’, and they do this in order to: make access easier through thick and prickly vegetation, to maintain a pattern of vegetation, to encourage new growth and also attract game for hunting. So, they want to attract animals in to eat the new vegetation so that they can hunt these animals. And they also do it to encourage the development of useful food plants for cooking, warmth, signaling, and even spiritual reasons.
So, this practice was done for so long more than 40,000 years that many ecosystems in Australia have adapted to this and they rely on regular fires lit by humans in order to thrive.
That said, there are many negative effects of fires, which include:
- The damage done to vegetation in communities such as rainforests, where it can often take hundreds of years for rain forests to recover from a fire.
- They can kill and injure plants and animals.
- They can cause erosion and the subsequent sedimentation of creeks and wetlands, which is where the erosion goes into the water and it decimates the local flora and fauna. It makes it hard for them to survive them.
- It can also open up areas to the impacts of weeds and feral animal invasion. So, where trees and plants and everything had been burnt away, weeds can come in and live there, animals that have been feral and are introduced into Australia like rabbits, foxes, they can more easily get in too, and also, humans suddenly now have access to these places and they can vandalise these places as well.
How bushfires in Australia are managed? If you come to Australia, you may sometimes see practices such as back burning and prescribed burning taking place in places like national parks and other forested areas around the country near suburbs and this is usually outside the bushfire season. It’s usually done then when they set fires to the understorey, to grasslands, etc. in order to burn away excess wood, excess grass, etc., to make it safer and easier to control during summer and also communities as well as individual households in these areas usually have plans, they’ll be encouraged to have bushfire action plans so that if a bushfire should occur, they know exactly what they need to do in order to get out safely to evacuate the area.
So, let’s chat about the worst bushfire in Australian history. This bushfire was called ‘Black Saturday’, and it was actually hundreds of bushfires all on this one day, and it was the worst Australia bushfire in terms of lives lost. These fires were a series of bushfires that were ignited or were burning across the state of Victoria on Saturday the 7th of February in 2009, it was nine years ago, with the final fire going out or being put out more than a month later on the 14th of March.
The fires occurred during extreme bushfire weather conditions and resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire with a total of 180 fatalities and a further 414 people were injured as a result of the fires. There were as many as 400 individual fires recorded that day with the total amount of burnt area, including more than a million acres so about half a million hectares of land.
What caused these fires? There were various confirmed causes of these fires including:
- power lines,
- and even arson
So, people had actually lit these fires on purpose and more than 3,500 buildings including two thousand homes were burnt to the ground and completely destroyed. So, it was a very tragic event and if you ask any Australian about Black Saturday they will know what you’re talking about and they will know about the tragic loss of life.
Anyway, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode today, I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about English, some expressions, a little bit more about Australian history as well, although, recent Australian history and I hope you guys have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you soon. Peace out!
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