Podcast 52 - Idioms
In this week’s Premier Skills English podcast, Rich and Jack talk about the FA Cup Final between Manchester Utd and Crystal Palace and about a movie that could be made about one of Leicester City's star players. The language focus is on idioms, which are phrases that don't mean what they look like they should mean.
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some vocabulary that might be new for you. Try the activity below to see how much you understand:
"This is the potential blockbuster you mentioned?"
"I think the plot will probably start in the factory where Jamie Vardy used to work."
Will you watch the Jamie Vardy movie?
Language - Idioms
Idioms are expressions with non-literal meanings. This means that the meanings of idioms are different from what you would expect if you just looked at the words that make them. This can make them difficult to understand for people learning English. Idioms normally cannot be modified or the words within them changed. This is a good example of an idiom:
"I lost my head completely when my boss told me that I had to work late."
'To lose your head' is an idiom which means 'to get very angry'. The literal meaning would be very different!
In the podcast, Jack and Rich used some more examples of idioms, it can be difficult to understand the meaning of an idiom from the words on their own. It's best to think about the topic and the rest of the sentence to help you understand. Take a look at these examples from the podcast:
"A business person needs to keep his or her eye on the ball so competitors and other businesses don’t take away their customers."
"Let’s kick off with what people have been talking about on the website this week."
In the first example above, the meaning of the sentence is connected to business, not football, and the second example is not connected to football either. It means to start something such as a conversation or discussion. If you want to learn more idioms, take a look at the activities below.
Sometimes footballers 'lose their heads'. Do you know what this idiom means?
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Jack: Hi everyone. I’m Jack and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: Remember, this week’s podcast is also part of Week 3 of our new course: Leicester City: Champions of England. You can register for week three of the course on this page following the link on the side or at the bottom of the page if you’re on a mobile.
Jack: If you haven’t started the course yet, you can go back and enrol on week one. The course lasts four weeks and when you get to the end there will be a nice certificate waiting for you.
Rich: But you only get the certificate if you can pass the quiz at the end of each week. At the end of week three, there are 20 questions for you to answer about all of the stages in this week of the course. It’s not that easy!
Jack: By completing the course you will improve your English skills and learn much more about Leicester City - the new Champions of England.
Rich: Right, in this week’s Premier Skills English podcast we’re talking about the FA Cup and a Premier League story that might become a Hollywood blockbuster. The language focus is on idioms, which are phrases that often don’t mean what you think they should mean.
Jack: Yes, idioms are difficult for learners because you can’t work out what they mean from the words. If you don’t know them, you have to guess the meaning from the situation or context.
Rich: Later we’re going to use some idioms and we’d like you to try to work out what they mean from the context. What were we talking about?
Jack: Ah yes ... Blockbusters, for those of you who don’t know, a blockbuster is a film that is very, very, very successful. But, before we talk about that, let’s kick off with what people have been saying on the website this week.
Rich: We had a new football phrase for you to guess last week. It was a phrase that I really like and a couple of you found the right answer. Well done to SalvaGH from Spain and Kwesimanifest from Ghana who both got the right answer. The phrase was: to be over the moon.
Jack: To be over the moon is a phrase or idiom that means to be very, very happy. It is a phrase that is used a lot in post-match interviews by players and managers after their team has won.
Rich: As we said earlier, an idiom is a phrase that doesn’t have a literal meaning and there are lots of them in English and some of them are connected to football, too. For example, you can say to keep your eye on the ball. This idiom means to stay focused and not lose concentration.
Jack: It’s not just used in football. A business person needs to keep his or her eye on the ball so competitors and other businesses don’t take away their customers. You might also have noticed that I used a football idiom earlier. I said ‘let’s kick off with what people have been talking about on the website this week’. To kick off means to start a football match but can also, informally, mean to start something more generally like a discussion or a meeting.
Rich: We’ll look at more idioms later. Last week, we also asked you where football teams celebrate in your country. We got a couple of nice descriptions from Elghoul from Algeria and Kwesimanifest from Ghana, who both told us about some of the important places in Algiers and Accra - the capital cities of their countries.
Jack: On our course; Leicester City - The Champions of England, we’ve also asked you about Leicester City in your country. Elghoul says that you can see lots of Leicester City shirts in Algeria now. That’s probably because of Riyad Mahrez. But Kwesimanifest says that Manchester Utd and Chelsea are still the most popular teams in Ghana.
Rich: Remember if you want to discuss more football and English you can, by registering on our new course. It would be great to hear about how popular Leicester City have become in your country. Is it like Algeria where the Foxes are becoming really popular or Ghana where there has been little change and Manchester Utd are still the most popular team?
Jack: What’s been happening in the Premier League this week, Rich?
Rich: As we know, the Premier League has finished for the season. The Champions, Leicester City have been on a tour of Thailand, where Leicester’s owner is from.
Jack: But, not everybody is on their holidays! Last weekend was the FA Cup Final and Manchester Utd fans have something to cheer at last because they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 after extra time.
Rich: It was a close match. Palace took the lead with only 10 minutes left but Juan Mata equalised and Jesse Lingard got the winner for United. They probably deserved to win, they played a lot of extra time with 10 men after a red card for their defender - Chris Smalling. They’ve now lifted the FA Cup a record 12 times.
Jack: Yes, it is a record, but a record they share with Arsenal who have also won it 12 times!
Rich: Yes, that’s right. I think it was a nice match to finish Louis van Gaal’s Manchester Utd career. It’s always nice to finish with a trophy!
Jack: I’m sure Manchester United fans are happy to have won the cup and will be expecting to win a lot more next season with Jose Mourinho arriving as manager!
Rich: It’s the time of year when fans start to think about their national teams. This summer lots of Premier League players are going to be involved in the European Championships in France and the Copa America in the USA.
Jack: Yes, I saw that England played Turkey in a friendly last Sunday. England won 2-1 with goals from Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy. They’ve both had brilliant seasons.
Rich: Yes, Vardy’s season just gets better and better. Did you know that he’s getting married this week?
Jack: No, I didn’t. Congratulations to the happy couple.
Rich: Actually, it’s quite a funny story. He was supposed to get married in June when the European Championships are being played. Vardy had never been chosen to play for England and he never thought that he would be chosen. But, after his amazing season, the England manager picked him for the team.
Jack: So he had to change his wedding day?
Rich: Exactly. In fact, Vardy’s season has been so spectacular there is going to be a Hollywood film just about him!
Jack: Really, so this is the potential blockbuster you mentioned?
Rich: Yes, a screenwriter called Adrian Butchart, who helped make the Goal! trilogy, that starred David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, has been following Vardy for the last few months.
Jack: That could be a really exciting film. OK, in the next section we’re going to think about what this Vardy film might look like and at the same time we’re going to introduce some idioms that might be new for you. Listen out for the idioms that we use and if you don’t know them, try to guess their meanings.
Rich: Let’s **** *** with the plot.
Jack: Yes, the plot is a good place to start. The plot is the story of the film. I think the plot will probably start in the factory where Jamie Vardy used to work.
Rich: Yes, that would be good place. Only 5 years ago, Vardy was working in a factory and he didn’t play professional football. I think that would be very interesting background. I think audiences like the idea of a **** ** ****** plot.
Jack: The background is the details of someone’s past experiences. I think this is important but the main part of the story or plot would be this season.
Rich: Yes, at the beginning of the season most experts said Vardy and Leicester had no chance. But, by the end of the season, they had to *** ***** *****.
Jack: I think one of the highlights would be scoring in 11 consecutive matches to break the Premier League record.
Rich: And, it’s a great story that he broke the record against Manchester Utd because it was a United player who had held the record - Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
Jack: And another highlight that had Leicester fans ******* *** *** was his amazing goal against Liverpool.
Rich: Yes, yes but the film needs a negative part too, it can’t all be ***** ******. It needs something when things go wrong to create some suspense.
Jack: What about when Vardy got a red card against West Ham? Everybody thought that Vardy’s and Leicester’s season was going to **** ***** ** *** *****!
Rich: Yes, that would be good. And then the happy ending. The party at Vardy’s house when they won the Premier League and lifting the trophy after playing against Everton.
Jack: And Vardy’s wedding could add some romance to the plot. It’s *** ***** ** *** **** for him.
Rich: Yes, and that Chelsea - Tottenham match, which meant Leicester won the Premier League, could add a bit of drama. There were some very strong tackles in that game!
Jack: There could even be a bit of comedy. After Tottenham won one match, their striker, Harry Kane, put a photo of a pack of lions on social media and said we are coming for you Leicester.
Rich: Yes, I saw. And after Leicester won, Vardy put a photo from the film the Lion King on social media of a lion falling down a mountain.
Jack: I think we have enough for a film there. What about actors? I read that Claudio Ranieri has said that he wants Robert de Niro to play him.
Rich: That sounds good. He is Italian, isn’t he?
Jack: Let’s let our listeners choose some actors for the rest of the parts. This brings us to the questions that we would like you to answer in the comments section.
Rich: Question 1: In the last section we used seven different idioms. They were: **** ***, **** ** ******, *** **** *****, **** *** ***, ***** *******, **** ***** ** *** ***** and *** ***** ** *** ****. Can you tell us what they mean? Can you use them in your own sentences?
Jack: Do you know any other idioms in English? Can you use them in a sentence below and let other listeners guess what they mean?
Rich: Question 2: Do you think a Jamie Vardy film is a good idea? What ideas would you include in the film?
Jack: Question 3: Which actors would you choose in this film? Who should play the parts of Vardy? Riyad Mahrez? Harry Kane? N’Golo Kante? Who else should be in the film?
Rich: If you want to learn more about Leicester City, the players and the club, and learn more football English, then sign up for our course: Leicester City: Champions of England.
Jack: And remember, if you want us to correct your comments just write ‘correct me’ at the beginning of your message.
Rich: Right, do you have a new football phrase for our listeners to guess, Jack?
Jack: Yes, I do and I’ve chosen another idiom, too. This idiom uses an animal that is from India and parts of Africa. This week’s football phrase is ***** ********. This phrase is used to describe a building that was very expensive to build and then never used. West Ham Utd are moving to the Olympic Stadium in London next season make sure the stadium is being used regularly. This will stop it from becoming a ***** ********.
Rich: That’s a difficult one this week. Let’s see if anybody can get the right answer.
Jack: No prediction this week, Rich?
Rich: No, prediction. Maybe we should do something for the European Championships next month?
Jack: Yes, that sounds like a good plan. Right, anyway that’s it for today - we’ve run out of time! Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to write your answers to our questions, your predictions and anything you want to say about the website or football English in the comments below.
Rich: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, we spoke about different idioms and a Jamie Vardy movie. We would like you to show us that you understand the idioms in the podcast and tell us any other idioms that you know.
What idioms did we use in the podcast? Can you tell us what they mean? Can you use them in a different sentence? What other idioms do you know?
Do you think a Jamie Vardy film is a good idea? What ideas would you include in the film?
Which actors would you choose in this film? Who should play the parts of Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Harry Kane, and N’Golo Kante? Who else should be in the film?