Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Learning English Catchphrases

The following game takes place on a famous evening talk show in the US called the Tonight Show. The host is Jimmy Fallon, and he hosts famous movie stars and entertainers. In this game, called "Catchphrase" (meaning a word or phrase that is commonly used), the players must describe the word without actually saying the word, also using body language. It's a fun way to strengthen your English vocabulary. Watch how these famous actors (native speakers) describe the phrases. 

Here are the phrases they describe with their definitions:

1. Braces (noun) In the U.S., we use this word for a metal device attached to the teeth to make them straight. Since Hugh and Taron are familiar with British vocabulary, they use the definition for straps that hold up pants. (U.S. = suspenders)
2. Butt Dial (verb/noun) To call someone on the cell-phone by accidentally sitting on the phone
3. Mousetrap (noun) a small trap for catching mice
4. Staycation (noun) a combination of the words “stay” and “vacation”, meaning to enjoy oneself at home instead of going somewhere on vacation
5. Tap Dance (verb) a style of dance that includes tapping the feet
6. Morning Breath (noun) when our breath stinks in the morning
7. Shaken Not Stirred (phrase) popularized by the James Bond movies, this is a way to prepare a martini, to shake it in a bottle rather than stirring it
8. Nicolas Cage – a famous actor (In this game, the host imitates Nicolas Cage in one of his movies.)
9. Ticklish (adj) being sensitive so that when someone touches us, we laugh
10. Piehole (noun) a slang word for the mouth
11. Ventriloquist (noun) a kind of puppeteer who doesn’t move his mouth while speaking, making us believe that the puppet is talking
12. Boo-boo (noun) could be a childish word for getting hurt; or (used in the game) the name of an old cartoon character
13. Cheeky (adj) a kind of disrespectful attitude (used chiefly in Britain)
14. False Alarm (noun) the alarm sounded but it was discovered that the problem was not a real emergency
15. Jet Lag (noun) feeling tired after traveling across time zones
16. Bunny Slope (noun) the small hill where beginners ski
17. All Aboard (phrase) the conductor on a train says this before the train departs the station
18. Go with the flow (phrase) to relax and be passive; to allow the event to happen, not fighting against it

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Happy Lantern Festival and Welcome Back!

Happy Lantern Festival!

Dear students,

Welcome back to the new semester in a new year, so I should say Happy New Year! I wish you all a prosperous year and academic semester. Remember that if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me any time. I would be happy to respond as quickly as I can. Wishing you the best in your English learning!

Prof Dave