285. Ten More Fixed Expressions

It’s been about one month since I last uploaded an episode of the podcast, but now LEP is back! Where have I been? Well, I got married (expect a podcast about that soon) and took some time off after that, and then I had lots of work commitments, comedy commitments and honeymoon-organising commitments and I didn’t have enough time to record an episode, but of course I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to speak into the microphone, and that opportunity came today. So here it is.

Paul Taylor is with me for this one and we’re going to do another round of our vocabulary game, just like we did in episode 283.
That episode was called “Ten Fixed Expressions” but that now seems to be quite a dull title. Certainly, we did teach 10 expressions but the title seems a bit boring don’t you think? I’m wondering what to call this episode and I still can’t decide as I’m writing this. I always think that titles of my episodes should describe what is in each episode, and should also be fun and interesting enough to catch your attention. In this case Paul and I teach you ten expressions again, but we also have a chat about our recent news, and get very sidetracked by a negative review on TripAdvisor of one of our recent comedy shows.

The main aim of the episode is to play the vocabulary game and let you understand the meaning of ten English expressions but it also is a chance for us to mess around a bit and talk about other things if we feel like it, especially if it is entertaining or interesting for you.

So, should I call this episode “Another Ten Natural Expressions” or “Ten More Natural Expressions” or “Ten Natural Expressions (Part 2)”? Maybe “Vocabulary Game with Paul Taylor (#2)” is a better title? I can’t decide. I’ll choose the title when I’ve finished writing this and editing the episode together, and whatever title you see at the top of this page is the one I finally went for. I suppose you’ll probably be thinking – “Luke, the title doesn’t really matter. It’s the content that counts.” That’s true of course, but I do think the title is quite important for attracting new listeners to the podcast, and because it helps you to identify the main content of the episode. Let me know what you think about the title of this episode by leaving a comment below.

In This Episode
Anyway, regardless of my indecisiveness about the episode title, here’s what you can expect in this episode.

1. Hi Paul, hi Luke, etc. :)

2. Conditions are almost exactly the same as in the recoding of episode 283. It’s boiling hot. I’m with Paul Taylor. We’re sitting in the shade, mostly, except for my leg which is in direct sunlight again. We’re going to play a vocabulary guessing game like last time we did this (episode 283).

3. What’s new Paul? He’s been doing more comedy gigs. We got a bad review for one of our comedy shows, and we talk about it a little bit. The wording of the review bothers us a bit (also the fact that it’s so negative of course). Here’s a picture of the review (below). What do you think of the description? Ignore the lack of a full-stop at the end of the second sentence. Is the comment slightly ambiguous? What does it really mean? Look at the review and then choose option a) or b).
Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 15.20.45

One thing’s for sure, this person did NOT enjoy our show! You can’t please all the people all the time, and bad reviews are just a part of putting on comedy shows. So, never mind!

Anyway, in our conversation we use the negative review as a chance to talk about the importance of being dedicated, motivated and positive as a way of pushing through a barrier of resistance that you might experience if you want to really achieve something in life, like becoming a really funny comedian or learning another language to an advanced level.

4. The Ten Fixed Expressions & Vocabulary Guessing Game
The rules of this game are the same as last time. I’ll explain an expression to Paul and he has to guess which one I’m talking about. Listen to my explanations – can you guess the expressions before Paul does?

Here are the ten expressions I explain in the episode. Listen to the episode to get definitions and examples, or just google them for online definitions.

1 all’s well that ends well
2 an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth)
3 and Bob’s your uncle
4 and pigs will fly!
5 that’s another kettle of fish
6 as cheap as chips
7 to ask for trouble
8 to be away with the fairies
9 to be back to square one
10 to be all ears

That’s it!

Listen all the way to the end of the episode to hear some out-takes of my introduction to this episode. What are out-takes? They’re the mistakes that are edited out of the final version of a film, song recording, or in this case a podcast episode. Sometimes it takes me a few attempts to get the introduction right. I might do nearly 10 failed introductions before I finally get it right and continue with the rest of the recording. They’re not normally intended for publication, but sometimes they’re pretty funny so I shared them with you at the end of this episode.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below this episode! Thanks for being awesome listeners and LEPsters and all that. You’re the best. Look forward to more episodes coming soon…

Luke ;)


  • Salwa

    You guys are impossible. Definitely, you are natural comedians. You made me laugh just by listening to you talking in a podcast. You must be hilarious on the stage. And Poul, don’t mind the negative review on TripAdvisor. Thank you for this wonderful episode.

  • Carrie

    Thank you guys for this amazing episode! Your conversations really encourage me to pursue my dream in Theatre, even though I’m not a native English speaker. Good luck to you all with stand up comedy! I love comedy and hopefully someday I can go to your performances!

  • Zhenya

    hm… interesting…
    9 out of 10 expressions in this episode I knew before, while in the previous 10 expressions I knew only three and a half :).
    You should swap the names of the episodes, this one is easier and thus should be the first one. 8)

  • Irina, Moscow

    Hi, Luke!
    Great episode, brilliant as usual.
    First time I’m commenting though I’ve been listening to you almost from the start :)

    Just could not help commenting on some things from this episode.

    Firstly, this nice joke about an eye for an eye and there will be one-eyed man.
    This did ring the bell, the very joke from great crazy comedy Seven Psychopaths.
    Coincidence? :)

    Secondly, just wanted to say that when in English pigs would fly in Russian in would be ‘when cancers would whistle on the hill’

    And finally, I have a question. I will be in Paris during 12-19 of September. Is there any chance that you would take part in some stand up comedy evening during that time?

    Thank yo again for all your work!!!

    • Hi Irina,
      It’s always nice to read a message from a long-term listener first-time commenter!
      I’ve never seen Seven Psychopaths (despite being a big Christopher Walken fan) but I know the ‘eye for an eye’ joke isn’t mine. I’m not sure where it comes from originally. I have a feeling it’s not that film, as I think I must have heard it somewhere else.
      ‘When cancers would whistle on the hill…’ – this has to be one of the strangest idioms I’ve ever read!
      As for 12-19 September, I am pretty sure that I will be doing some stand up comedy during that period but I’m not exactly sure when at this moment. I’ve just got back from my honeymoon and I haven’t booked shows for September yet.
      I recommend that you check the ‘LIVE SHOWS’ section in the menu (above) for details of shows. The best one to see would be “Taylor & Thompson – Sorry, we’re English!” which should be on Thursday or Friday but I’m not sure yet. Check that page for more info soon, and send me another message if there’s no information there within one week.

      • Irina, Moscow

        Hello again, Luke!

        My sincere congrats on your wedding, and the whole wedding episode is so touching…. And the California series just great, I’m right in the middle!

        Sorry to bother you again with my last question about yor stand up comedy evenings during 12-19 of September. ‘LIVE SHOWS’ section is empty so far and I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow. I have to ask again at least just to know that there would not be any shows :)))

        Thank you!!!

      • Zhenya, Kyiv

        Hi, Luke,
        hi, Irina

        just wanted to correct one funny mistake of Irina: the thing is – in Russian language is the same word (homonym) for – a desease and – an animal.
        That’s why the translation of a Russian saying is really: “When CRAYFISH would whistle on the hill”, and – as you know well – crayfishes never whistle :))).

        translating sayings is a tricky thing, I myself sometimes make hilarious mistakes in it too.

      • Zhenya, Kyiv

        hm… I put words in forward slash and it disappeared…
        So, to make it short: Russian word RAK= CANCER = CRAYFISH, FRESHWATER LOBSTERS, CRAWFISH

  • Igor

    Hi Luke!
    Thanks for your blog!
    My team lead tends to use all this expressions like: “raining cats and dogs, get back on track, keep in the loop, don’t drop the ball etc.”(Neither of us are native speaker) Instead of sounding cool, he sounds just “Eh!” Hearing him is like eating oversalted food.
    I probably should recommend him listening to this one, maybe he’ll get less extreme with them.