What is up? Welcome to Speakeasy English. This is the number one podcast ever created if you only ask my mama.
Hey, thanks for joining us on another episode. I hope you are finding that listening to this podcast repeatedly is helping you to automatically absorb the English language. Now, don’t listen to each episode back to back. Like when you finish this episode, don’t immediately listen to the same episode again. You need to take a break. This is called spaced repetition. So listen to this episode right now and then listen again later today and maybe again tomorrow or in two days. Again, this concept is called spaced repetition, and it allows your brain some time to digest the new content and constructions and grammar that you are hearing. Don’t worry, this all happens automatically. You don’t need to memorize anything. Isn’t that awesome? I think so. I used this method to learn Spanish and I’m using it right now to learn French, so I know for a fact that you can use this same method to become fluent in English.
Alright, today we are going to talk about more idiomatic expressions. But don’t worry, we will not talk about dogs again. These idiomatic expressions in today’s episode are related to conflict. That’s right. Related to having an argument or a conflict with someone. Before we dive in, I will remind you all of the transcripts for every episode are available for free on our website, Speakeasy English Club. So go there, check it out, read the transcripts, but don’t read them at the same time as you listen. This will fool your brain. It will make you think that you understand more than you actually understand. So I recommend listening and then separately reading. And later on go back and listen again. But I do not recommend listening and reading at the same time. This is just my opinion based on my own experience, but that is my recommendation. Also, if you have suggestions for a topic you would like me to discuss in a future episode, please send me an email at Brandon at Speakeasy English Club. That is Brandon at Speakeasy English Club. And if you are not sure how to spell my name, just go to our website and my email address is right there at the top of the page. All right, let’s talk about these expressions. So first, let’s set the scene. Let’s say you are in school, maybe in high school or at the university, and you are working on a group project. Your teacher, (that is, your professor) has chosen 4 or 5 other students to be part of your group. One of these students is named Brian. Brian is a cheater. You have known Brian for many years and you know that he cheats on all of his exams and he copies (that is, plagiarizes) most of his homework assignments. Well, Brian is part of your group now. Well, one day when you are working with your group on this group project, Brian accuses you of being lazy. He says you are not pulling your weight. You are not doing enough to help the group with their project. This really makes you mad because you know, in the back of your mind, you know that he is a cheater and he is the lazy person that does not do his own work. So when Brian, this lazy cheater, accuses you of not doing enough work, it really gets your goat. Having someone like Brian criticize you really gets your goat. What does “get your goat” mean? Well, when something “gets your goat”, it is very upsetting to you. When someone says something or does something that you find absolutely intolerable and you become upset, you could say that they really got your goat. The exact origin of this phrase is not known, but one of the main theories is that in horse racing they used to put a goat in the stall with the horse, and the presence of the goat would calm the horse. It would keep the horse calm and tranquil. Well, getting the goat out of the stall would cause the horse to become upset. So, if someone got the goat, (that is, got the goat out of the stall), then that would cause the horse to become upset. Like I said, nobody knows the origin for sure. So that may, or may not, be the true origin of that expression. In any case, to get someone’s goat means to say or do something that really upsets them.
So let’s go back to our story. Brian accused you of being lazy and not contributing enough. And that really got your goat. You cannot even believe that someone like Brian would dare to say something like that to you. In response, you shout back at him that he is the lazy cheater and you have seen him cheating on his exams and copying his homework assignments from other students. The rest of your group is very surprised at this accusation! But nobody is more surprised than your professor, who was sitting one table over in the same library. Yes, your professor heard this entire exchange and now knows that Bryan has been cheating on his exams and plagiarizing his homework! Your professor stands up from his table and says, “Brian, come with me” and takes Brian to his office where he is in big trouble. The other four students in your group are absolutely shocked. They all look at you stunned and surprised. One of them starts to laugh, and says to you, “It looks like Brian brought a knife to a gunfight.” By saying this, your friend means that Brian was not prepared to do battle with you. He was not prepared for the conflict that he created. This expression is easy to understand as a metaphor. If there is a gunfight (that is, people fighting with guns) and you want to participate, but you only have a knife, well… you are going to lose. You are not prepared. You are ill-prepared to participate in that conflict. So, in this case, Brian insulted you with a lie (saying that you are lazy and not doing enough work) and you responded by informing all of your classmates and your professor that Brian is a cheater and is cheating on his exams and homework. Wow. He got more than he bargained for. That’s an expression that means something backfired (you ended up getting a negative outcome when you were trying to get a positive outcome).
Alright, let’s go back to our story. Your professor took Brian back to his office, and upon researching, your professor was able to prove that Brian had been cheating on all of his tests and all of his assignments. With this knowledge, your professor expelled Brian from school. That means he was “kicked out” of the school and could no longer attend the same school. Years later, you are at a cafe with your friend, drinking a cup of coffee, when Brian walks through the door. You both look toward the door out of habit, just to see who entered the cafe, and you lock eyes with Brian. That means you both look directly at each other. Brian gives you a dirty look. He gives you a very mean and angry look and turns around and leaves the cafe. Your friend is very surprised, and looks at you and asks, “What was that all about? Why did that happen? Do you know him?” And you reply to your friend, “Yeah, we just have some bad blood from years ago.” By saying that you and Brian have bad blood, that means there is something in your past that has created a conflict that still lingers to this day. So, if you have bad blood with someone, there is likely some conflict in your past that has led both of you to dislike one another. You might also say that Brian “has a chip on his shoulder”. In that case, you are saying that he is upset and he is the one that is angry, whereas you have “moved on”. You are no longer angry and you no longer think about your prior conflict with Brian. Both of those expressions are very useful: having bad blood with someone, or if someone has a chip on their shoulder.
Alright, that is the end of our story about our friend, or ex-friend, Brian. When you listen to stories like this, try to imagine the situation. Try to imagine sitting at the table with your fellow students and working on your group project. Try to imagine how it would feel getting into this conflict with Brian and try to imagine sitting at that cafe with your friend years later when Brian walks through the door. Imagining these details and imagining that you are there, living in this story, will actually help your brain to absorb the content of the story and to absorb all of the vocabulary and expressions that are used in the story. Visualizing the story helps your brain to experience the content in multiple ways, and the more ways you can experience this content, the better your brain is able to absorb and to store all of this English language content.
Okay, I hope you find idiomatic expressions interesting and useful. If you pay attention when you are speaking your primary language, you will start to realize how many expressions you use on a daily basis. Well, that is the same with English (or with any language that you learn). And for that reason it is very important that you learn these common expressions so that you are not confused and totally lost when English speakers use these expressions. If you have suggestions for expressions you would like me to explain, or you would like me to create a story in which they are used, just send me an email and I will be happy to do that for you.
Thank you so much for listening to this entire episode. I really appreciate you. And if you appreciate having this free resource, please leave me a five star review and tell your friends! When you share with your friends and family that you are using this podcast to acquire English, it helps me immensely to connect with other students who are learning English. In fact, recommending this podcast to your friends and family is the best way you can say “thank you” if you appreciate what I’m doing here. Thanks again for your attention and your time. Don’t forget to check out the free transcripts on our website: www.speakeasyenglish.club – and, of course, listen to this episode multiple times. That is how you will acquire English automatically. Okay, We will see you in the next episode. Cheers!