Learning Vocabulary: Captain Blade (part two)
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, we return to the second part of our Captain Blade story. Will Captain Blade get away with her evil plan? Can Jack and RIch save the day? The language focus is on idioms and idiomatic phrases we use in the roleplay. This week's task is to pretend you are a police suspect and answer the police's questions. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: Captain Blade (part deux)
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich
Jack: And welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: Do you know something, Rich?
Rich: Erm ... what?
Jack: This podcast is special.
Rich: Really? Why is this podcast special?
Jack: It’s hard to believe, but this is our 500th podcast. Can you believe that? 500 episodes.
Rich: Is it really? That’s amazing. I think we should celebrate.
Jack: Yeah - um. I guess we should. I think we should also thank our listeners.
Rich: Yes - absolutely. We have a lot of fun making these podcasts and love to see the comments and reactions we get on the Premier Skills English website and on Apple podcasts and on Facebook.
Jack: That’s true. It’s been really great watching the numbers grow as more people find the podcast. We have listeners all over the world.
Rich: That’s right. Thank you everybody that listens to us. It’s great to have so many listeners. We really hope you enjoy these podcasts. I think we should get back to the podcast now.
Jack: You’re right. In this week’s roleplay, we’re going to return to our story about Captain Blade.
Rich: Remember that Jack and I have been taken hostage by evil Captain Blade - an imposter that is pretending to be Sheffield United’s club mascot.
Jack: Evil Captain Blade has a plan to get the team relegated to the Championship and someone needs to stop her.
Rich: This week you’re going to find out what happens to us and to evil Captain Blade as we finish the story.
Jack: After you hear the roleplay, we’ll look at some of the language we used. This week we’re going to look at six idioms that we use during the roleplay.
Rich: If you’re listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.
Jack: On the Premier Skills English website you’ll also find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, and a task for you to complete.
Rich: You’ll also find a community of friendly listeners to interact with, in our comments section.
Jack: And that includes us - we’re always around to answer questions and join in the discussions.
Rich: But if you listen on Apple Podcasts you can always write answers to our questions or any other comments in the review section.
Jack: Before we do the roleplay let’s look back at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Jack: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now.
Rich: Last week’s football phrase was just a word and it was ******. A ****** is something that represents a sports team. It can be a person, an animal or something that a team believe brings them good luck. In sports, a ****** is usually linked to a team’s nickname. Sheffield United’s ****** is Captain Blade. You usually see it at the side of the pitch cheering on the team and interacting with younger fans.
Jack: We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase. The first listener to get it right last week was Izabela from Brazil. Well done Izabela! You beat everyone else to be first last week.
Rich: Lots of other listeners got the right answer too. Well done to Alex from Ukraine, MoBeckham from Turkey, Gergo Nagy from Hungary, Hayato from Japan, Max Alex from Vietnam, Lakerwang from China, and Elghoul from Algeria.
Jack: Also well done to Marco Zapien from Mexico, Robert Tavares from Brazil, Mohamed Kuna from Sudan, WSanta from Argentina and Emmanuel from France. It was great to see so many of you having a go at last week’s task and thinking about how we might finish our story with Captain Blade.
Rich: Gergo Nagy from Hungary and MoBeckham from Turkey definitely had some imaginative ideas.
Jack: If you haven’t heard last week’s podcast it’s called Learning Vocabulary: Captain Blade Part One. It might be a good idea to have a listen to the first part of the story before you listen to this week’s roleplay.
Rich: You can find it on the homepage on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts.
Jack: Don’t forget that we’ll have a new task for you to do and a new football phrase later in the podcast.
Introduction to roleplay
Rich: If you can recall last week’s episode, evil captain blade wants to take revenge on Sheffield United for not giving her the job as the official Sheffield United mascot - Captain Blade.
Jack: She is trying to take revenge by putting itching powder in the team’s boots before the team’s most important match for years. A bad result will mean relegation.
Rich: However, we uncovered evil Captain Blade’s plan on a tour of the stadium. We thought we could stop her but she has taken us as hostages.
Jack: It seems there is only one person that can stop evil Captain Blade now and that’s the real Captain Blade.
Rich: But how can we tell the real Captain Blade what has happened? Let’s find out …
Jack: Hold on a second. While you listen to the conclusion of the story we have two questions we want you to answer:
Rich: Question one: How is evil Captain Blade stopped?
Jack: Question two: Who is evil Captain Blade?
Rich: OK, so here’s the conclusion of Captain Blade.
Rich: It’s useless. You can stop banging on the glass. It’s a waste of time nobody can hear us.
Jack: We can’t just throw in the towel. We can’t let this happen. Evil Captain Blade will have put the itching powder in all the player’s boots by now.
Rich: And all we can do is watch the match and watch the team lose.
Jack: We need to do something. We need to get help from somewhere or someone.
Rich: But we are stuck. We can’t get out. We can’t warn anyone.
Jack: What about Captain Blade?
Rich: How can we warn Captain Blade? How can we let the real Captain Blade know what is happening?
Jack: The Captain Blade chant. Remember. One, two, three Ooo argh! Captain Blade show us where you are?
Rich: Really? Do you think it will work?
Jack: We need to give it a go. Ready?
Jack & Rich: One, two, three. One, two, three Ooo argh! Captain Blade show us where you are?
Jack: That’s strange. I really thought that would work.
Rich: We just sound a bit silly. At least no one else can hear us!
Jack: There’s nothing we can do. Evil Captain Blade is going to get away with it.
Rich: Look there the real Captain Blade. On the pitch. What about the whistle?
Jack: We need to blow the Captain Blade whistle. Blow it now.
Rich: Captain Blade is waving at us. Captain Blade can see us. Captain Blade’s not stopping.
Jack: But look there is evil Captain Blade. She’s running towards the real Captain Blade. This is not going to end well.
Rich: There’s a bit of shouting going on there, a bit of pushing and shoving between the two Captain Blades.
Jack: Who is who? I can’t tell.
Rich: Jack, Evil captain Blade has last year’s kit on. Look.
Jack: I can’t look. They’re fighting.
Rich: Oh my word! A vicious right hook from evil Captain Blade.
Jack: She’s not captain hook. She’s got a cutlass not a hook.
Rich: Evil Captain Blade has both hands on her weapon. She’s thrusting forward, slashing wildly at real Captain Blade.
Jack: But real Captain Blade is ready for her, sidestepping nimbly and catching evil Captain Blade with a bash across the back of her shoulders.
Rich: Evil Captain Blade recovers quickly and turns. She’s not going to make the same mistake. It looks like she’s using her big inflatable hand.
Jack: Real Captain Blade is backing off, making space and getting ready for the attack.
Rich: Evil Captain Blade fakes a thrust to the left, wrong-footing her nemesis and now she’s on top. She throws a punch and it connects hard with the real Captain Blade’s head. And again, and again, and, and another thunderous right from evil Captain Blade.
Jack: This is not looking good for our hero. How many punches from an inflatable hand can one mascot take?
Rich: Both mascots look tired, but the real Captain Blade is in real trouble.
Jack: The real Captain Blade is on the ropes now. Hold on Captain Blade is rolling out of Evil Captain Blade’s reach. Captain Blade is up again, but not throwing any punches at all. Captain Blade looks very tired.
Rich: The real Captain Blade is staggering, but Evil Captain Blade is still coming. She’s going for her cutlass. Is this it? Is this the end for the real Captain Blade? She swings the blade hard...
Jack: What’s this? Captain Blade sidestepped the blade and swung a mighty inflatable fist at evil Captain Blade.
Rich: That one must have hurt. Look! Evil Captain Blade is hurt. She’s staggering ... she’s out on her feet.
Jack: And real Captain Blade is coming back. There’s the wind up and wow. With a powerful blow, the real Captain Blade has knocked Evil Captain Blade to the ground. Evil Captain Blade is down.
Rich: I can't believe it. I don't think evil Captain Blade's going to get up.
Jack: It’s a knockout! She’s won. Evil Captain Blade has been stopped.
Rich: But Jack, we still need to get out of here and tell everyone.
Jack: Blow the whistle.
Rich: Captain Blade’s seen us ... Captain Blade’s just waving again. We’re still stuck.
Jack: Nobody knows we’re here. Nobody’s coming for us.
Rich: What about Captain Blade?
Jack: Captain Blade doesn’t know we’re trapped and probably thinks we’re fans. The match is about to start.
Rich: What do you think that big red button is next to the door?
Jack: It says exit. You don’t think it’ll open the …
Rich: Really? We could have got out all the time. Great. Quick. Let’s go.
Jack: Captain Blade is staying to watch the match but sounded exhausted. Evil Captain Blade is locked in the interview room.
Rich: What about the itching powder?
Jack: Captain Blade says that the players noticed the powder immediately and they got the entire team’s boots cleaned before the match.
Rich: It was an awful evil plan. It was never going to work. Crazy.
Jack: It sounds like the police are on their way. Let’s go and see what she has to say for herself. Let’s see if she spills the beans or keeps mum.
Rich: And United are already two-nil up on Chelsea. That’s not going to improve evil Captain Blade’s mood.
Jack: Here we are. The interview room. The police are already here. We won’t be able to get in. I bet she’s cracking under the pressure already.
Rich: Look through the window. Has she taken the mascot outfit off?
Jack: Oh my god! You’re not going to believe this!
Rich: Evil Captain Blade it’s … it’s Rowan!!
Jack: Before we look at some of the language we used in the roleplay let’s think about the answers to the questions we gave you.
Rich: The first question was: How is evil Captain Blade stopped?
Jack: Well, we were no help. All we did was watch a fight between the real captain Blade and evil Captain Blade. It was the real Captain Blade that saved the day and was the hero by winning the fight against the evil captain Blade.
Rich: Our second question was: Who is evil Captain Blade?
Jack: At the end of the roleplay, it was revealed that evil Captain Blade was Rowan.
Rich: Rowan has been working with us for months on these podcasts and all this time she has had a secret life as a criminal mascot mastermind.
Jack: That is of course why she is not with us today. She is being questioned by the police. Will she be back? We will have to wait and see.
Rich: I think it’s time to look at a bit of language. This week, we’re going to take six idioms or idiomatic phrases that we used in the roleplay and explain their meaning.
Jack: OK, first of all, what’s an idiom?
Rich: That would be helpful to know if you’re not sure. An idiom is a fixed phrase that has a non-literal meaning.
Jack: The words in an idiom don’t have their normal meaning. Let’s look at an example. I really like the idiom to let the cat out of the bag.
Rich: To let the cat out of the bag has nothing to do with cats or bags. This idiom means to reveal a secret - usually by accident.
Jack: In superhero stories, the bad guy often lets the cat of the bag. They reveal their evil plans which allow them to be beaten.
Rich: Evil Captain Blade let the cat out of the bag when she told us her itching powder plan.
Jack: Let’s look at some more idioms. In the roleplay, I was banging on the glass but nobody could hear us. I wanted to stop but I said we can’t throw in the towel.
Rich: To throw in the towel is an idiom and it means to give up and admit defeat. Jack didn’t want us to give up - he didn’t want us to throw in the towel.
Jack: Our next phrase is to get away with something. In the roleplay, I said that Evil Captain Blade is going to get away with it.
Rich: To get away with something means to escape blame or punishment for something that you did that was wrong.
Jack: Sometimes criminals get away with things if they are not seen or spotted by the police for example.
Rich: An idiom connected to this is to get away with murder. Now, because we are talking idioms here this phrase has nothing to do with murder or killing people.
Jack: It actually means to be allowed to do things that other people would often be punished for.
Rich: Parents might be talking about a child in another family and say something like they let their kid get away with murder.
Jack: This means that they are letting their child do whatever they want to do without any punishment or criticism.
Rich: Let’s move on to our next idiom. In the roleplay, when the two Captain Blades were fighting Jack said that the evil Captain Blade was out on her feet.
Jack: To be out on your feet means to be very tired or completely exhausted. It’s often used to talk about boxers who are still standing but completely exhausted.
Rich: Some other idioms that mean to be very tired include to be dead tired, to be wiped or wiped out and to be worn out.
Jack: Our next two phrases are to spill the beans and to keep mum. In the roleplay, we wondered if evil Captain Blade was going to spill the beans or keep mum.
Rich: To spill the beans means to reveal a secret or tell people secret information.
Jack: In the roleplay, we were wondering if Rowan would tell the police about her evil plan. We were wondering if she would spill the beans.
Rich: Or if she would do the opposite: keep mum.
Jack: To keep mum means to remain quiet and not say anything. It’s a strange phrase as you might think it’s connected to mother but mum can also mean silent.
Rich: Another similar phrase is mum’s the word. We use this phrase when we give someone some information and we want them to keep quiet about it.
Jack: Our last phrase is to crack under pressure. In the roleplay, I said I bet Rowan is cracking under the pressure.
Rich: To crack here means to become mentally weak and to give in to demands.
Jack: People often crack under pressure. This pressure might come from the police or other authorities who are questioning a suspect for example.
Rich: We might say a suspect cracked under pressure from the detective’s questions.
Jack: OK, so there are a few new phrases for you to think about and we want you to try and use a few of them in this week’s task.
Rich: This week’s task is to imagine that you are evil Captain Blade aka Rowan and you are being questioned by the police.
Jack: Will you crack under the pressure or will you keep mum? Here are five questions for you to answer:
Rich: Could you tell us your whereabouts at approximately 1130 on the morning of the 23rd of July?
Jack: Did you have any problem with the real Captain Blade?
Rich: What did you decide to do when you were caught red-handed by Jack and Rich in the Sheffield United dressing room?
Jack: How did you think you would get away with this evil Captain Blade?
Rich: When did you actually plan to spill the beans about this plan of yours?
Jack: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and try to use some of the phrases we used in the language section.
Rich: or write your answers in the review section on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.
Jack: Have you got a football phrase for us, Rich?
Rich: I have and this week’s football phrase is a position on the pitch. The phrase is ****** *******. A ****** ******* is an attacking player which teams rely on to score lots of goals. A ****** *******’s job is not only to score goals though - it’s their job to also hold up the ball to allow other players to join the attack. Good examples of ****** ******* are Harry Kane and Olivier Giroud.
Jack: Let’s see who can get it right. If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was, of course, mascot.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
Jack: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at email@example.com
Rich: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page or Twitter feed
Jack: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rowan, Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
We thought we could stop her but she has taken us as hostages.
But we are stuck. We can’t get out. We can’t warn anyone.
Evil captain Blade has last year’s kit on.
Oh my word! A vicious right hook from evil Captain Blade.
How many punches from an inflatable hand can one mascot take?
The real Captain Blade is staggering, but Evil Captain Blade is still coming.
It’s a knockout! She’s won. Evil Captain Blade has been stopped.
Listen to the roleplay again to hear how Rich, Rowan and Jack used these words and phrases.
Idioms & Idiomatic Phrases
In the roleplay, Rich and Jack used quite a few idioms or idiomatic phrases. An idiom is a fixed phrase that has a non-literal meaning. The words in an idiom don’t have their normal meaning. Let’s look at an example:
to let the cat out of the bag
To let the cat out of the bag has nothing to do with cats or bags. This idiom means to reveal a secret - usually by accident. In superhero stories, the bad guy often lets the cat of the bag. They reveal their evil plans which allow them to be beaten. Evil Captain Blade let the cat out of the bag when she told us her itching powder plan. Here are a few more idioms and idiomatic phrases that we used in the roleplay. Do you understand the phrases in bold?
We can’t just throw in the towel. We can’t let this happen.
There’s nothing we can do. Evil Captain Blade is going to get away with it.
The real Captain Blade is in real trouble. She's on the ropes now.
Evil Captain Blade is hurt. She’s staggering ... she’s out on her feet.
Let’s go and see what she has to say for herself. Let’s see if she spills the beans or keeps mum.
We won’t be able to get in. I bet she’s cracking under the pressure already.
What did you decide to do when you were caught red-handed by Jack and Rich?
This week’s task is to imagine that you are evil Captain Blade (Rowan) and you are being questioned by the police. Will you crack under the pressure or will you keep mum? Here are five questions the police ask you:
- Could you tell us your whereabouts at approximately 1130 on the morning of the 23rd of July?
- Did you have any problem with the real Captain Blade?
- What did you decide to do when you were caught red-handed by Jack and Rich in the Sheffield United dressing room?
- How did you think you would get away with this evil Captain Blade?
- When did you actually plan to spill the beans about this plan of yours?
Write your answers will in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!