10 ESSENTIAL English Expressions


Today I'm at the cafe I've decided to escape the school for a while. it's not

students - they're fantastic it's rather the red tape is not my cup of tea and

yes I like mixing my metaphors anyway I've got my coffee that's a no-brainer and my

croissant which in French they call a "croissant". You've probably guessed that this video is all

about English expressions I hope you like it

anyway I've got a note go now. Where am I going?

I've got to see a man about a dog. See you later

hello and welcome to LetThemTalk the channel that goes deeper into everything

about the English language and today I've got ten expressions for you and

these are my personal favourites or at least ones that I use all the time. All

of them are useful and are suitable in a number of situations and where I know

the history of the expression I'll explain that too. So let's get started

and the first expression is "to have a whale of a time" yes "a whale of a time"

you know a whale? the big fish in the ocean except it's not fish it's a mammal

anyway all this means is to have a great time. To enjoy oneself very much so for

example "my holiday in Vietnam was amazing I had a whale of a time" or "the party

was great we had a whale of a time" why "a whale of a time" I'm not sure I think

it's something to do with whalers in the 19th century enjoying themselves too much

Anyway I like to use it because it makes me think of whales splashing and jumping

around in the ocean enjoying themselves rather than being killed by a whaling

harpoon which is much less funny anyway

Also connected to having a good time is the next expression "to paint the town

red" which means to go out and have an extravagant and crazy time let's look at

an example "hey John what you want to do this evening?"

"Well I thought I might stay in and defrost the freezer maybe watch the documentary on

Channel 8 about mountain goat"" " No I don't do that I want to do something

crazy I want to go out I want to party I wanna dance or to stay up all night I

want to paint the town red". "okay please yourself"

and the next expression is

"wakey-wakey smell the coffee" and you can use this expression to someone who doesn't

realize what's happening especially when it's obvious to everyone else of

course coffee makes you wake up and fast and helps you see what's happening so

let's look at some examples. "the light's green the light's green

wakey-wakey smell the coffee"

"this thing they call the Internet do you think that one day it

will be important in people's lives". " it already is wakey-wakey smell the coffee"

And the next expression is "mumbo-jumbo" and it simply means nonsense

for example "it's a full moon tonight and you're a Sagittarius you shouldn't go

out". ""What is this astrology mumbo-jumbo?"

"OK this is my legal contract 'the party in the first part shall be known in this

contract as a party in the first part the party in the second part shall be

known in this contract as the party in the second part' what does it mean? this

is just mumbo jumbo" and I did some research and apparently it comes from

the Mandingan language and it's been in the English language for about 200 years

And the next expression is "it's a no-brainer" that's right "it's a

no-brainer" and this means that the answer to the

question is so obvious that it doesn't require any thought that is that you

hardly need to use your brain okay. So for example "the train takes eight hours

and cost 400 euros and the plane takes one hour and costs 75 euros which one

shall we take?". "It's a no-brainer we'll take the plane".

"I've just been offered a new job double the salary and I get to travel around the world will I

take it? yeah it's a no-brainer?

And the next expression is "The world is my

oyster "or the world is your oyster or somebody's oyster anyway an oyster is a

sea creature you know which is inside a rocky shell and some people open it up

and put a lemon juice and eat it but not my thing anyway

what this means is that you have endless possibilities you can do whatever you

want so for example "You're young you're beautiful you're qualified go out

there the world is your oyster you can do anything" and the expression comes

from Shakespeare actually the Merry Wives of Windsor and by the way if you

know London you know that if you travel on public transport in London you need

an Oyster card and I think that it might be related to this expression because

with the oyster card you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want or it

may be because it just looks a bit like an oyster

And the next

expression is "it's better than a kick in the teeth" that's right "it's better than

a kick in the teeth" and all this means is it's better than nothing so for

example "if I had one more number right I would have won ten million pounds in the

lottery instead I've just won one hundred pounds

well it's better than a kick in the teeth".

"This year I have to work

most of the summer I won't have a long summer holiday I've only got one week oh

well! Better than a the kick in the teeth "

The next expression is "I've got to see a man about a dog"

and you use expression when you have to leave a place and you don't

want to tell people where you are going either it's a secret or it's just not

very interesting to explain. So for example "it's only 9:00 p.m. where are you

going?" "Well I've got see man about a dog"

"you're two hours late where have you been?"

"Yeah I had to see a man about dog"

The next expression is "To go dolally" which just means to go crazy so

for example "You're giving up your job to become a monk have you gone dolally?"

"What you want to swim across the Atlantic Ocean

have you gone dolally?" Anyway the expression comes from when the British

were in India and the soldiers who went crazy were sent to a sanatorium in the

town of Deolali

And the next expression is "red tape" look at all these forms I have to fill in all

these rules and regulations that seem unnecessary and that's exactly what red

tape means unnecessary administration and believe me there is a lot of that in

France all these forms that you have to fill in that we don't really need is it

the same in your country? Anyway the expression comes from Charles V

of Spain at the beginning of the sixteenth century where they started

tying important court documents with red tape

That's it and if you have any

favourite expressions in English or in your own language then let us know in

the comments and thank your watching stay mellow don't go doolally and I'll

see you in the next video