Tag Archives: expressions

Help with Watching & Talking HOCKEY!

As you watch the 2010 Winter Olympics, there is not a sport more exciting to Canadians than Hockey. Watch the games and learn more with this vocabulary. Ask a Canadian or American to explain the ones you do not know. Enjoy!

The Referees or “Refs”
The Linesman/men
The Players
The Forwards
The Defense
The Goaltender
The Goalie
The Netminder
The Fans
The Coach
The G.M.
(General Manager)
The Announcer
The Enforcer
The Captain (C)
The Assistant (A)

A Slap/Wrist shot
A Face-off
A Period
A Tie-game
Overtime/Sudden Death
The Net
The Puck
The Stick
An Assist
The Boards/Glass
The Rink
A Scrap
Power Play
A Shoot-out

Shoots (the puck)
Blocks(the shot)
Ices (the puck)
Kill a Penalty

Unsportsmanlike Conduct
2-minute Minor
4-minute Major
(Double Minor)
5-minute Major
10-Minute Misconduct
Game Suspension

He/She leads in points/goals/assists/penalty minutes
He/She picks it up
It’s cleared down the ice
He/She plays the puck (around the net)
He/She ices the puck
He/She wins the draw
He’s/She’s knocked down/out
S/He shoots, S/he scores!
Oh what a save!
S/He Flashes the leather!
What’s the score?
Just wide of the post
It hit the crossbar
Dropped the gloves
Fires a rocket
Ran (him/her) into the boards
It’s the go-ahead goal
They blew a 3-0 lead

Slang & Expressions from Snowboarding

There are over 370 terms, slang, idioms and expressions from the world of Snowboarding here,
http://www.abc-of-snowboarding.com/snowboarddictionary.asp , including references to tricks, snow conditions, boarders, fans, and other people in the sport.  Too many to post but just click on the link and have fun learning how to talk like and understand a snowboarder.  Enjoy the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!

Olympics Vocabulary – Curling Glossary

In honor of our fabulous 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, I am posting some sports-related vocabulary and expressions, so that you may enjoy the games more and have a better chance of understanding the plays of the sports.  Enjoy!

Curling Glossary (from http://www.ecf-web.org/glossary.html )

BACK LINE The line behind the house. Once crossed a stone is out of play
BITER A stone barely touching the 12-foot ring
BLANK END An end in which neither team has a stone in the house
BONSPIEL A curling tournament
BURNT STONE A stone touched while in motion
BUTTON The smallest ring in the house. It is two feet in diameter, also called the “potlid”
DELIVERY The process of throwing a stone
CENTRE LINE The line that runs down the middle of the sheet from hack to hack
DRAW A stone that comes to rest within the house
ECF European Curling Federation
EIGHT ENDER An end where all eight stones of one team are better than the opposition’s closest
END When sixteen stones have come to rest. Similar to an inning in baseball
EXTRA END The deciding end played when the score is level after all scheduled ends have been played
FREEZE A stone coming to rest touching another stone
FREE GUARD ZONE The area between the hog line and the tee line excluding the house
FREE GUARD ZONE RULE The rule that states that an opponent’s stone in the Free Guard Zone cannot be removed from play until after the first four stones have been played
GUARD A shot that comes to rest in front of another stone for protection
HACK The pieces of rubber you push off from at either end of the sheet
HAMMER The last shot of the end
HOGGED A shot that comes to rest short or on the hog line and is removed from play
HOG LINE The line 10,06 meter (33 feet) from the hack
HOUSE The target area 12 feet in diameter
HURRY! To sweep immediately and hard
IN-TURN A stone that rotates clockwise for a right-handed player
LEAD Player of a team who plays the first two stones for his team in an end
OUT-TURN A stone that rotates counter clock-wise for a right-handed player
PEBBLE The frozen bumps on the ice that the stones ride on
PEEL A hard takeout designed to remove guards
PORT A space between two lying stones, large enough for another one to pass through
RAISE Promotion; to move a lying stone further
RCCC The Royal Caledonian Curling Club (Scotland) – the mother club of curling
RINK The building where curling takes place or
A curling team or
The sheet of ice on which a curling game is played
ROCK The alternative (North American) term for a stone
SECOND Player who plays his two stones second for his team
SHEET The total playing area for one game
SHOT A played stone or
The word used to indicate a point won at the end of an end (shot rock)
SKIP The captain of the team, usually (but not necessarily) plays last two stones of a team in an end
SPINNER A stone thrown with excessive spin
STEAL Scoring a point without last stone advantage
TAKE-OUT A stone thrown hard enough to remove another stone from play. Also called a “HIT”
TEE The cross in the centre of the house
TEE LINE The line that intersects the house at the centreline
THE “TOSS” The toss of the coin to determine last rock in the first end
THIRD Player who plays his two stones third; often Vice-Skip of the team
WCF World Curling Federation
WCT World Curling Tour
WCT-E World Curling Tour – Europe
WEIGHT The momentum applied to a stone for distance

Idioms from Farm Animals

“Horsing around” – means to be fooling around, wrestling or playing physical games.  Little kids are often told to stop this by parents. E.g. “You boys stop horsing around outside and come eat your dinner!”
“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” – means to be so hungry that you can eat a lot of food.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” – means that you can guide someone to the answer or to a good solution to their problem/situation, but you cannot force them to do the thing that you recommend.  E.g. John:  “Did Jimmy quit smoking yet?”   Barb:  “No.  I showed him pictures of cancer victims and everything, but you know what they say, you can lead  a horse to water…”
“Work like a horse” – means to work hard.

“Dog-tired” – means to be very tired, just like a panting dog.
“Dogging me”: – to ‘dog’ is to pursue.  Just like a hound dog chasing a deer, we can say that a person or issue is dogging us or hounding us.  E.g. “The boss keeps dogging/hounding me about that report that’s due at 5pm, so please help me out and give me your notes!”
“Sick as a dog” – means to be very ill.  We get a wet nose, just like a dog!
“Lazy as a dog” – means to be lazy.
“Work like a dog” – means to work hard, like a sheep dog.

“You’re (a) chicken” – means to be afraid or to be a coward.  E.g. “You won’t go into that old haunted house because you’re (a) chicken!”  Notice that you can use this word as a noun or adjective.
“Cocky” – from the British English name ‘cock’ or what the North Americans call a rooster.  The attitude displayed by the male chicken on a farm is ‘cocky’ because he walks around as if he owns the place!  Calling someone cocky usually means that they are over-confident or arrogant.

“Pig out” – means to eat like a pig, and consume a lot of food in a short amount of time.
“Pig-tails” – the cute hairstyle that girls wear when their hair is separated into two ‘pony-tails’ on each side of their head, thus looking like two bouncy curled-up pig-tails.
“Pig-headed” – means to be stubborn.  We can also say ‘bull-headed’ to mean the same thing.

These idioms are up-to-date and ready to use in everyday life, or in the office.  They are the same idioms I teach my clients and students.  Enjoy!

Important Idioms from Baseball

I was preparing some Baseball idioms and expressions for one of my clients that I will see tomorrow, when I thought that I should at least add a few here, on this blog, for you too! 😉

It is easy to find lots of sites that have baseball idioms and expressions. You can find many with a simple search. However, knowing the idioms does not mean that you understand it. Therefore I suggest you also find a source that explains what the expressions mean as well.

For now, here is an excerpt from one such blog:

Baseball English – Important Idioms
(excerpt from “Kenneth”, a blogger on English Café.com) http://www.englishcafe.com/node/8616

Baseball Terminology

to get to first base – There are four bases in baseball. You must get to first base to start.
to come out of left field – to be thrown from the left part of the playing surface. This includes third base and the left outfielder position.
to have two strikes against you – Three strikes and you are out in baseball.
to hit a home run – to hit a ball which can not be fielded and sends the batter around the bases to score a run.
ballpark figure – The ballpark is where baseball is played.
to play hardball – Major league baseball is hardball. A hardball is a small, hard ball. There is also softball which is larger and softer.
to touch base – To touch the base with your foot
to pinch-hit – to bat for someone else
major league – the top professional baseball league
minor league – the secondary professional baseball league
to play the field – to catch, throw and generally play baseball. Playing the field is the defensive position of a team, while batting is the offensive position.

Baseball Idioms

to get to first base – accomplish the first step in a process
to come out of left field – to not be related to the current topic / to seem strange in a given situation
to have two strikes against you – to be in a difficult situation
to hit a home run – to have a large success
ballpark figure – a rough financial estimate, not exact but enough to give an indication
to play hardball – to be extremely competitive often in an unfair manner
to touch base – to contact someone – often someone with whom you haven’t been in contact for a long time
to pinch-hit – to substitute for someone
major league – serious competition or competitor
minor league – competition which is not threatening (opposite of major league)
to play the field – to date several different people

You can follow the title above to get to Kenneth’s full posting, including a quiz!

Acronyms for Crime and Policing

To continue from a previous blog entry, here are some popular acronyms that you may hear on cop shows or cop films. Plus, if you apply to become a police officer, you should be aware of these acronyms. Our company proudly helps YRP – York Regional Police – with communication skills assessments and training of their recruits and officers.  Some are immigrants and we believe that having English as a second language should not stop you from enjoying dramatic shows or applying to serve your community!  Feel free to share this with those you know are applying to become a police officer in their community too.

E.T.A. – Estimated Time of Arrival
D.O.A. – Dead On Arrival
M.O. – Modus Operandi – Latin for mode or style of operation or the way a ‘perp’ performs crimes. The pattern s/he follows.
C.O.P. – Citizen or Constable On Patrol – “cop” is the common nickname for a police officer.
D.U.I. – Driving Under the Influence (of drugs or alcohol)
B & E – Break and Enter – burglary
P.I. – Private Investigator
C.I. – Confidential Informer/Informant – someone the police use to get inside info from the streets or criminal gangs.
B.O.L.O. – Be On the LookOut for – notice to all officers to search for or be aware of a particular person.
A.P.B. – All Points Bulletin – also known as a citywide – same as BOLO.
C.Y.A. – Cover Your Ass – Do the job right, by the book, and document everything to prove that you did everything correctly.
S.W.A.T. – Special Weapons And Tactics team/squad – highly trained paramilitary officers, used in hostage situations and other dangerous events. On TV and in film, they are always dressed completely in black.

That should be enough to give you a better English base for policing.
Memorize them and then incorporate them, and stay safe.

Cop Talk – Learning the Idioms and Slang of the Police

Do you enjoy watching police TV shows like COPS, CSI, Law & Order etc. and police films in English? There are lots to choose from for sure. Or perhaps you want to apply to become a police officer? I have the pleasure of working directly with a local police service (YRP – York Regional Police) to offer English communication assessments for new recruits and also to train current officers in communication skills required by the job.  You NEED to learn a lot of idioms and slang, whether English is your second language or first.  You need to know a lot of ‘everyday idioms’ like “It’s pouring rain” (raining really hard – do not use the old idiom ‘raining cats and dogs’), it came from “out of the blue” (surprising, unexpected) and “The real McCoy” (genuine, the real deal, not a fake) but you also need to learn more industry-specific slang and idioms to do with policing and crime. For example:

There’s a “wino” in the alley – Wino means stereotypical alcoholic homeless person.

“Reefer. Blunt. Chronic. Mary J. Grass. Weed” – These all refer to Marijuana. There are many more too!

“Cuff him and stuff him” – handcuff the perp (perpetrator or suspect) and put him in the back of the squad car.

“Something’s going down right now!” – means some illegal action like a drug trade is happening right now.

“Hooker, Pro, Lady of the night, Streetwalker” – all refer to a woman who is a prostitute.

“I smell bacon” – bad guys say this when cops are around – refers to old nickname of calling the police ‘Pigs’.

There are literally hundreds more, and I will add a few acronyms for you next entry.

If you want to improve your English in police slang in order to apply to be a constable or just to further enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies, take a little time to improve your Cop Talk first!

Coach Ric

Idioms from Snow

Well it is the season for this topic, at least here in Canada and the northern U.S.
(I have modified these from http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/snow)

To be (as) pure as the driven snow:

Pure and chaste (Often used ironically.)
E.g. Jill: Sue must have gone to bed with every man in town. Jane: And I always thought she was as pure as the driven snow!

A snow bunny:
1. Someone learning to ski.
E.g. This little slope is for snow bunnies. They call it the ‘bunny hill’.
2. A young, attractive female at a skiing lodge.
E.g. Some cute little snow bunny came over and sat beside me. This place is swarming with snow bunnies that have never even seen a ski.

Snowed in:
Trapped (somewhere) because of too much snow, most likely due to a recent snow storm.
E.g. The snow was so deep that we were snowed in for three days. Luckily we had enough food to last us a while.

Snowed under:
Overworked; exceptionally busy.
E.g. Look, I’m really snowed under at the moment. Can this wait?

A snow job:

An attempt to persuade or deceive someone by praising them or not telling the truth.
E.g. Dane will need to do a snow job on his Dad if he’s ever going to borrow the car again, after getting into so many fender-benders (minor car accidents).

Enjoy and stay warm!

Swimming Idioms Part 1

(from http://www.business-english.com/swimmingidioms/menu.php with some modifications)

If you are ‘out of your depth’, you don’t have the necessary knowledge, experience or skill to deal with a particular situation or subject. In North America, a common replacement is ‘out of your league’, as in major league baseball.
• When she started talking about quantum physics, I felt completely out of my depth/league.
• I’m an engineer. I feel out of my depth when we discuss accounting problems.
• That woman is so beautiful. She is definitely out of my league!

If you are on ‘the crest of a wave’, you are being extremely successful or popular. If something is popular, you can try to ‘ride (on) the wave’.
• That singer is on the crest of the wave in the pop charts at the moment. You can hear his music everywhere.
• He became successful riding on the wave of using British actors as villains in Hollywood movies.

If you don’t get any training before you start a job or activity, you are ‘thrown in at the deep end’.
• Everyone was off sick so I was thrown in at the deep end.
• The best way to learn the job is to be thrown in at the deep end.

If you are struggling to spend less than you earn, you are trying to ‘keep your head above water’.
• Since they increased my rent, I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water.
• With the new sponsorship, the team should be able to keep its head above water.

If a company has to stop business because of losses, it ‘goes under’.
• The company couldn’t afford to pay its suppliers and it went under.
• In this economic climate, a lot of businesses will go under.

If you are in a very difficult situation, you are ‘in deep water’.
• If the bank doesn’t give us this loan, we could be in deep water.
• He was caught stealing from his company and now he’s in deep water.
• Note: this has been commonly replaced with the more street-slang phrase ‘in deep sh_t’. This of course is a curse-word.

Swimming Idioms Part 2

If you ‘make a splash’, you get a lot of public attention.
• We need to make a splash by holding a cocktail party for journalists.
• She made quite a splash when she wore such a small dress to the film premiere.

If a noise is ‘drowned out’, you cannot hear it because of other noises.
• The sounds of the telephone were drowned out by the noise from upstairs.
• His speech was drowned out by the chanting from the demonstrators.

If you ‘test the water’, you try to find out what you or people think about an idea or a situation before you take action.
• Before you decide to sell your house in England and move to Spain, why not go there for a trial three months to test the water?
• This is a big project. We should test the water before making such a large investment.

If a situation is ‘sink or swim’, it either fails or succeeds.
• Either this works or we are all out of a job. It’s sink or swim.
• You’ll get no training here. It’s sink or swim.

If you ‘dive into’ something, you do it without really thinking about what you are doing. Also ‘dive into it head-first’. This highlights the lack of preparation and thought.
• He dove into the project with a lot of enthusiasm but not much thought.
• Let’s take our time. There’s no point in diving into this without thinking.

If you are ‘treading water’, you are staying in the same place without making any progress.
• I’m just treading water, waiting for a job with a better salary.
• People lose motivation if they think they are just treading water in their careers.

Can you think of other idioms to do with swimming to add to this list?