Category Archives: Story

875. Aepyornis Island by HG Wells (Learn English with a Short Story)

Learn English with another short story. I’ll read the entire story to you, and then go through the text again explaining and clarifying the main events and plenty of vocabulary. This is a wonderful adventure story written by HG Wells, a very influential and imaginative English writer from the late 19th century. The story is full of vivid descriptive language, action, adventure and extraordinary moments. I hope it captures your imagination and lets the English come alive in memorable ways. PDF available below.

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Get the full episode PDF here 👇 

872. The Birthday Party (Learn English with a Short Story)

🎧 Learn English with a short story. 🗣 Listen & repeat after me if you’d like to practise your pronunciation. 💬 Learn some vocabulary in the second half of the video. This is a story about people watching and what you can notice about people’s relationships if you are observant enough.

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📄 Click here to read the story text 👈

Luke’s Vocabulary Notes

  • In your early / late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties
  • To look married (look good, look tired, look happy, look married, look bored)
  • Unmistakably married
  • They were married. It was unmistakable.
  • Mistakable = easily confused for something else
  • Unmistakable = not easily confused for something else – you can immediately identify it
  • The unmistakable smell of fresh bread in the air
  • They looked unmistakably French / unmistakably English / unmistakably yours/hers/his (this handwriting is unmistakably his)
  • Why are they unmistakably married? What does she mean? She’s alluding to subtle behaviour. When a couple are unmarried or perhaps in the early stages of a relationship they tend to give each other a lot more attention. They might be still trying to seduce each other somehow, or to attract each other. There’s still mystery and interest. Brand new couples can hardly take their eyes off each other. I imagine this couple is unmistakably married because they show signs of the relationship suffering from over familiarity. They mystery is gone, maybe. Perhaps they seem very familiar with each other, or very comfortable with each other. Marriage can make people feel stuck (not always!) especially if the marriage is based on the wrong things. 
  • A banquette = a long, fitted seat or bench, typically found in restaurants
  • Narrow – opposite of wide – a long narrow corridor 
  • We get the sense this is a small, intimate space. It’s also uncomfortable, painfully so. 
  • The couple and other guests in the restaurant are all so close and this makes the man’s humiliation and the woman’s heartbreak even more painful. 
  • The narrator is unable to stop “people watching” here – observing this couple opposite.
  • Also the couple sit side by side, not facing each other, which suggests that they’re not all that interested in each other. 
  • You start to speculate – what does this woman mean to this man? Is she there just to sit by his side and look glamorous? 
  • A round face
  • Self-satisfied (definitely a negative word) smug, arrogant, not charming
  • Fadingly pretty 
  • Fading  = gradually becoming less clear, less bright, less colourful. Her prettiness was fading. 
  • A big hat – I imagine it was one of those hats with a big brim, which can be very glamorous but also hides the face. 
  • Conspicuous = noticeable, easy to notice, eye-catching (apparently in those days big hats were not uncommon in New York restaurants)
  • Basically, they looked quite ordinary really, and weren’t trying to grab/attract everyone’s attention.
  • An occasion – a particular event, a birthday, an anniversary, something to celebrate
  • The wife had planned a surprise for him (past perfect because she planned this before any of the events in this story) without past perfect it could mean that the wife planned the surprise there at the table
  • A surprise in the form of a cake – “in the form of” here means that this is how the surprise was actually manifested. I mean, what was the surprise, how did this surprise take shape? The surprised arrived in the form of a cake.
  • The gift came in the form of a beautifully wrapped package.
  • Their support came in the form of encouraging words during a difficult time.
  • The solution to the problem arrived in the form of an innovative new technology.
  • Help arrived in the form of my wife who came to rescue me (from an awkward conversation for example)
  • A glossy birthday cake = shiny & smooth, so the light reflects off the top. It’s one of those smart, fancy cakes that you see in good quality cake shops. 
  • One pink candle burning in the center (American English spelling) – this is a little bit sad, isn’t it? Also, if this guy takes himself quite seriously, he might find that a tiny bit embarrassing – bringing attention to him, and this little cake with a pink candle might make him feel a bit ridiculous, especially if he is full of himself and takes himself seriously. But it is a lovely, sweet gesture and we just want him to be embarrassed but also touched and it would be a great moment for him to blush and smile and kiss his wife and maybe acknowledge the other diners with a smile, but he doesn’t.
  • The head waiter – so the wife probably asked the restaurant to make a special effort here, which again shows how much care she put into this.
  • He placed it before the husband. This means he carefully put it down.
  • Meanwhile = at the same time
  • The wife beamed with shy pride over her little surprise
  • Beamed = her face glowed, she smiled, she seemed proud. To “beam” means that light comes out – like a torch, or a light house. In this case the woman’s face beamed with a certain emotion or an expression. 
  • Pride – to feel proud = she’s happy and satisfied with what she has done. She’s put a lot of effort into this and expects it to go well. She’s trying.
  • It became clear (obvious) at once (immediately) that help was needed (passive voice – needed by who?) We feel that the narrator suddenly sees that this woman is helpless in this situation. She’s in trouble. But nobody can help her without making it worse. 
  • The husband was not pleased.
  • He was hotly embarrassed. – not a common collocation but it tells us that his face probably went red and he was angry.
  • He was indignant = angry, annoyed, frustrated with his wife because of what she’s done. 
  • Don’t be like that = don’t be that way
  • As soon as the little cake had been deposited  on the table = quite formal and impersonal language, meaning put in a certain place. Money is deposited in an account. It’s quite cold, transactional language.
  • The birthday piece – a piece of music
  • The general attention had shifted = moved
  • I saw him say something to her under his breath  = in a very quiet voice, in a whisper, so other people can’t hear
  • Some punishing thing  = a comment which was designed to punish her, to make her feel bad
  • Quick (just a few words) and curt (rudely brief – rude because it is so short) and unkind (cruel).
  • I couldn’t bear to look
  • Can’t bear to do something
  • Can’t stand doing it
  • Can’t bring myself to do something
  • When I finally glanced over there = looked quickly
  • This is heartbreaking!
  • Adverbs
  • Crying quietly 
  • Crying heartbrokenly
  • Crying hopelessly
  • All to herself (she was doing it all by herself, but also crying to herself – a very lonely feeling where you are the only one witnessing your crying – the husband doesn’t care it seems)
  • All to herself / all by herself
  • Under the big gay brim of her best hat. (Gay in it’s original meaning, “carefree” “happy”)
  • The brim of the hat = the wide edge
  • This is a particularly sad image because of the contrast between this lovely hat that should be worn on a happy and carefree occasion, but under it this poor woman is crying. 

866. The Lying Game #9 with Amber & Paul (with Vocabulary Explanations)

The return of the lying game on LEP! Amber, Paul and I play a speaking game which I sometimes use in my English classes. Listen to our stories and try to work out if we are lying or telling the truth. The second half of the episode contains story summaries and vocabulary explanations. 

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Notes / Transcript

Introduction

This episode is called The Lying Game #9 with Amber & Paul

To help you understand, enjoy and learn more from this episode, I’m going to explain a coupe of things here at the start. 

Some of you might not need this introduction – it depends on your level of English – you can just skip forwards if you want, it’s only a few minutes. But my comments here are designed to be helpful.

This is another conversation with my friends Amber and Paul and we’re going to play a speaking activity called The Lying Game. I know a lot of you are already familiar with this game, but for the uninitiated – this game is something of a tradition on this podcast. It is based on a speaking activity which I’ve been using in my English classes for about 15 years. You’ll hear us recap the rules of the game in a moment, but it’s very simple. Basically, just listen carefully and try to decide if our stories are true or lies.

As you listen, I expect that you might have some questions which you would like answered. Some of those will be language questions about certain words, phrases, bits of pronunciation or grammar. For example, “What does it mean to “fall off the wagon?”, “What’s the difference between fat, fatty and fattening? “ and “is the funnest thing” correct English?”. 

Other questions will be about the specific details that you might not catch when listening to our stories – What exactly happened in each case? Wait, was that story a lie or the truth? Which parts were not true, etc? What just happened? What are they going on about? 

It can be tricky to listen to three fluent speakers of English (especially close friends) talking quickly together. I know what it’s like because it happens to me in French all the time. There are unfinished sentences, you get connected speech, people talk over each other a bit and interrupt each other. 

That does make it tricky to follow, but what I will say is that this is normal, natural, fluent speech and it is important for you to get familiar with it. The more you practise listening to this kind of thing, the more you will be able to follow conversations like this. 

But yes, you might have questions as you listen. 

So, at the end of this episode, in the last 20 minutes or so, I will help you, by summarising each story and telling you in plain English what happened in each part of the game. 

I will also explain quite a lot of vocabulary which comes up – phrases, idioms, specific words etc, like “to fall off the wagon” “to be fattening” and so on. 

So, listen to us playing the game, try to work out if we are lying or telling the truth, and I’ll clarify vocabulary at the end and that vocabulary section at the end will be a little taste of the kind of thing that I do in my premium episodes, where I focus on explaining language. 

And finally, premium subscribers – have you noticed, I have published parts 1-5 of P56 (which will be an 8 part series in total when it’s all done) This series is all about vocabulary which I used in episode 863 recently, called “You and Your English in 2024” – Remember all the words that I highlighted in that lurid green colour? 

That’s the vocabulary I’m clarifying, explaining, teaching and helping you to remember and use in Premium series 56, available now for premium subscribers. There are vocabulary reviews, pronunciation episodes, PDF worksheets, video versions, discussion questions for speaking practice, memory exercises and more. 

Just make sure, if you are a subscriber, that you have added LEP premium to a podcast app on your phone. If you have done that you will see episodes 1-5 in your list, with the other parts coming very soon. 

Sign into your acast+ account to manage your subscription and add the episodes to a podcast app on your phone (I recommend PocketCasts) https://plus.acast.com/

If you want to sign up to LEP Premium to get access to those episodes – be my guest, just click the link you will find in the show notes of this episode.

But now, back to The Lying Game. I hope you enjoy it. And Stick around until the end to hear me clarifying and explaining some vocabulary. 

Oh, and by the way, there is some rude language in this episode, as usual – including the use of a few swear words.


Conversation / Lying Game happens


Notes / Script – after the lying game conversation

How was that for you? I got slightly over-excited in this episode and I couldn’t help butting in with my own comments and jokes here and there. Apologies if that made it a bit harder to keep up. I’m always trying to get the balance right between keeping things simple and keeping things entertaining. But I know what it’s like to listen to a busy conversation between people in another language. It can be tiring, it can be tricky but nevertheless, you made it. Of course it depends on your level of English. 

Story Summaries – SPOILER ALERT!

Let me summarise the three stories.

Paul’s Story

Paul said that after his bad show in Portugal, he “fell off the wagon” and got back on the booze. 

He got “shitfaced” and despite having a horrible hangover the next day in which he was sick over and over again (lovely, I know) he then continued drinking regularly again.

There was a point of contention here, because…

Amber and I guessed that this was true and Paul said that it was true.

However, there was a point of contention here, because although the first part of that story was true – he did fall off the wagon after that show in Portugal, in fact the other part – that he then continued drinking again after that, was not true. He quickly went back to not drinking after that one, exceptional, evening. So, was this story true or a lie? To be completely honest, according to my rules (if one detail is a lie, the whole story is a lie) this story was a lie, and therefore Amber and I didn’t deserve to get a point. 

But, that’s in the past now and in that moment the referee (that’s me, even though I am also playing the game – conflict of interest? Noooo) the referee said that Amber & I were right, so we got the points and then just moved on because we simply didn’t have time to sit around debating it any more. End result – Amber and I got one point each. 

Scores:  A 1, P 0, L 1

Luke’s Story

Then it was my turn and I said that I once took a hot air balloon ride with Bill Oddie (a tv presenter in the UK) and R2D2’s daughter (the daughter of actor Kenny Baker). 

Kenny was there but didn’t actually go up in the balloon because he said that “R2D2 doesn’t fly”. In my story I said that upon hearing this, my brother and I were both a bit confused because R2D2 definitely flies in the Star Wars films, a lot – in all manner of spacecraft. But anyway, that was the story. 

Amber and Paul both assumed that this story was completely true, and this is for a few reasons. 1) I almost always tell the truth in this game. 2) the story was way too specific and weird to be made up (they underestimated me) and 3) They just didn’t press me with more questions. If they’d been more inquisitive I’m sure they would have discovered that my story had no substance to it. In any case, Amber and Paul were both fooled and guessed it was true, but ah no, I made it up completely. 

To be fair it is based on a true story. Once upon a time, my dad did produce a TV series for BBC Midlands called The Balloon in which a presenter visited different parts of the midlands in a hot air balloon (sounds like something from Alan Partridge), but it was presented by Sue Beardsmore and neither Bill Oddie nor R2D2 actor Kenny Baker (or his daughter) were involved in any way. 

James and I were allowed to take a trip in the balloon one day at the end of the filming and it is one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It would have been even more memorable if R2D2 had been involved, but no. I got two points for this because both A & P fell for it completely.

Scores: A 1, P 0, L 3

Amber’s Story

Amber said she had developed a phobia of cows – “bovinophobia”. This was a result of several experiences she had with her family on holiday where they encountered cows in fields (including one time in Argentina) and Amber felt very scared, and since then she has realised that she actually can’t stand cows at all, and can’t even look at some paintings of cows which she saw during her recent art history course, finding their bovine faces strangely repellant. She hasn’t been officially diagnosed as suffering from bovinophobia, but she believes she has it.

But was this true?

Paul thought no, I said yes.

In fact, it was not true. Although Amber is definitely wary of cows, she doesn’t have a phobia of them. Remember, a phobia is the irrational fear of something. Being very scared of something when there’s really no reason to be scared of it. But Amber’s fear of cows is completely reasonable and logical considering they do actually kill quite a lot of people each year by trampling them to death. But she is not scared of pictures of cows, so her fear is not irrational or extreme (which is how a phobia is defined).

Final scores! A2, P1, L3


Vocabulary List

A little taste of LEP Premium here – just a tiny taste because I am not going to go into a lot of detail here and you don’t get all the other peripheral things like extra examples, memory exercises, pronunciation exercises, speaking questions etc.

Listen to the episode to hear my explanations.

  • You treated us to lunch
  • It’s one of the funnest things to do
  • Is this true or is it made up bullcrap?
  • It was a rough show
  • I relapsed from alcohol
  • I got completely shitfaced
  • So you fell off the wagon
  • He still looks quite svelte. You do look in good shape.
  • I needed to stop. I needed to get fit.
  • Alcohol is very fattening.
  • I vomited. I threw up. [I was sick. I puked.]
  • You gave up drinking. You quit booze.
  • He’s back on the booze now. It’s a slippery slope.
  • A year of sobriety. Adam was not the most supportive of your sobriety. [to be sober]
  • Hair of the dog.
  • You never lie and [your story] is too obscure. (too obscure to be made up – she doubts my imagination)
  • He’s very old. He’s got a plethora of stories.
  • Oh ye of little faith, you didn’t think I had it in me to lie.
  • We should have known [that he was lying] but honestly he’s got such a track record [so we expected him to be consistent and to tell the truth again].
  • People get trampled by them (cows).
  • You’re repelled by the image of a cow.
  • Their fleshy bovine bodies shifting left to right as they try to position themselves against the fence to have a look at you.
  • I started getting anxious, scared, nervous. (these words are similar. Nervous does not mean angry). 
  • Farmers put their hand all the way inside the rear end of a cow.
  • Horses are renowned for kicking you when you’re behind them.
  • You can get a hoof in the head. hooves
    (Actually, I’m not sure someone said these exact words, but I think the word “hoof” did come up)
  • Cows are all squished up close to each other.
  • How do you feel when you get on line 9 at 9AM in the morning, and there are a lot of people mooing around.
  • I don’t have animosity towards cows. [You just don’t want to get trampled]
  • You have a rational fear of cows rather than an irrational fear.
  • Flimsy naked monkies
  • A monkey with alopecia – [it was] ripped! They are just all muscle.
  • A monkey jumped out and I thought “that monkey can have me any day”
  • It was just like a bloke, a massive bloke.

The Zenith show (January 6) already happened so you can’t get tickets for it any more. I talked about it in LEP#864.

Thanks to James Kuo (LEPster) for making these two episodes happen. 

OK, that’s enough from me I think! I will be back in your eardrums in the next episode. 

I have a few more episodes with guests which I recorded late last year to publish and then I am planning to do more solo podcasts for a while, including more stories, which I have been enjoying a lot. Acting and storytelling – lots of fun.

OK, don’t be a ninja – leave a comment. I hope you’re not a skeleton. 

Have a great morning, afternoon, evening or night and I will speak to you next time but for now, goodbye!!!


Listen to 8 previous lying game episodes 👇👇👇

308. The Lying Game (Part 1) with Amber & Paul | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores: A 2 / P 2 / L 2 (“even stevens”)

309. The Lying Game (Part 2) with Amber & Paul | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores: A 0 / P 1 / L 4

317. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 1) with Amber & Paul | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores: A 1 / P 2 / L 1

318. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 2) with Amber & Paul | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast   Scores: A 6 / P 3 / L 3

343. The Interactive Lying Game (with Amber & Paul) / Descriptive Adjectives with T / Three is a Magic Number | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores ?

436. The Return of The Lying Game (with Amber & Paul) [Video] | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast  Scores: A 1 / P 3 / L 2

642. The Lying Game Returns (with Amber & Paul) | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores : 2 / 2 / 2

663. The Lockdown Lying Game with Amber & Paul | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast Scores A 2 / P 3 / L 1

Total scores after Lying Game #9: A 14  / P 16  / L 15

860. Charles Dickens’ Christmas Ghost Story (Learn English with a Short Story)

Listen to me telling this classic Christmas ghost story – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I have read this story on the podcast before (in episode 320) but it’s a good one so let’s do it again, shall we? 🎅

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PDF Transcript 👇

854. The Invitation (Learn English with a Short Story)

🎧 Learn English with a short story. 🗣 Listen & repeat after me if you’d like to practise your pronunciation. 💬 Learn some vocabulary in the second half of the video. 📄 I found this story in answer to a post on Quora.com asking about true scary stories. I thought I could use it to help you learn English. Can you understand the story, and predict the twist at the end?

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Story Script

The Invitation

About 7 years ago I got an invitation to attend a dinner party at my cousin’s house. I have a pretty large family and I had never actually seen this particular cousin before.  I had only ever spoken to him on the phone. I was surprised that his family unexpectedly invited me over, but I was curious to finally meet them.

The invitation had an address that I didn’t know and the GPS was unfamiliar with it too. It was in one of those areas where Google Maps doesn’t work properly because of poor phone reception, 

so I had to use an old fashioned paper map. I marked the location on the map, tried to get a sense of where I was headed, and set off in my car.

As I was driving I started to notice how far I’d travelled into the countryside, away from civilization. I saw trees, farms and fields passing by. Just trees, farms, and fields, and more trees, more farms and more fields. 

“Where the hell am I going?” I thought to myself. I’d never ventured out so far in that direction before.

I drove for quite a long time, trying to locate the address I had marked on the map. 

The thing is, in this area, a lot of the roads don’t have names, or the names aren’t clearly marked by road signs. I just had to try to match the layout of the streets, to the layout I could see on the map.

I finally found a place at a location that looked like the one I had noted on my map. I was pretty sure this was the right spot, so I parked and got out of the car. 

Approaching the house I noticed how dull and dreary it looked. It was completely covered in leaves, branches and overgrown trees. 

“This can’t be it.” I said to myself.

But as soon as I walked onto the rocky driveway my aunt and uncle came out to greet me. They seemed excited and welcoming. 

“Hello! Hello! Come in! Come in!” they said, beckoning me inside. 

Walking into the house, I asked where my cousin was. Answering immediately one of them said, “Oh, he just went to run a few errands. He should be back later.”

I waited in their kitchen and we spent a couple of hours talking about my mother and my family. My aunt made a delicious homemade pot roast that I finished off in minutes. 

After dinner we played an enduring game of Uno. It was surprisingly fun and competitive. My aunt in particular seemed delighted to be playing.

When we finished the game of Uno it was almost dark and there was still no sign of my cousin. My aunt and uncle assured me that he’d be back any time soon. Despite what they said, I decided that I had to leave. 

It was almost dark outside and I knew it would be a nightmare to find my way out of this dreadful place after sunset, with no streetlights or road signs. As my GPS just wasn’t working, I asked my aunt and uncle the most efficient way to get to the highway.

They gave me a puzzled look. 

“But, we thought you were staying the night?” they said.

I told them I couldn’t because I had work the next day and couldn’t afford to miss another day. “It’s much better if you leave tomorrow morning. Trust us. You’ll get lost” they said.

I shrugged it off and told them not to worry, 

“Don’t worry. I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction. I could find my way out of the Sahara desert.” I told them. 

Looking aggravated, they strongly advised me to stay the night for my own sake. Their body language was weird too as they became more serious and insistent. My uncle stood shaking his head, and my aunt began to move about the place, picking up a set of keys to unlock what I assume was a spare bedroom.

At this point I was getting annoyed and irritable. I sighed, “Fine I’ll stay the night then, but I have to get up very early for work.” I said. Both of them seemed strangely ecstatic that I was staying the night. 

As soon as they went out of the room to get bed sheets and pillows, 

I ran out of the door, got in my car and hastily pulled away. I know it was rude, but I suddenly felt the urge to get out of there, quickly. 

It seemed to take me ages, but I finally found my way back to the main highway and drove back through the night, wondering why my cousin had never turned up.

I got home several hours later than I expected. It was after midnight and I didn’t want to wake my parents up. Climbing over my fence and entering the back door, I noticed that the kitchen lights were on.

As soon as I took my first step through the door, I saw my mom sitting there looking impatient.

“Where have you been?” 

She asked.

“I was at aunt Debra’s. I told you.”

I replied.

“Then why did she call saying you never arrived?”

To this day, I still have no idea who I visited.

Read the original version on Quora.com

851. Rambling about The Beatles “Now and Then” 🎸

A listener left a comment on my website asking for my thoughts on the new Beatles song which was released last week, and I was happy to ramble about it for 45 mins. Listen to hear me give my thoughts and tell several stories related to what is being described as “the last Beatles song”. First I talk for about 10 minutes about burning down my apartment and my thoughts on the content I make for this podcast, and then I start talking about The Beatles until the end of the episode. To skip straight to the Beatles bit, go forward to about 12 minutes into the episode.

[DOWNLOAD AUDIO]

https://youtu.be/HodVrx34ihQ

850. Any Language You Want 📖 with Fabio Cerpelloni

Fabio has written a book about language learning, based on his own personal experiences of learning English. Each chapter ends with the same sentence: “This is how to learn a language”. But each chapter disagrees with the next. There are many ways to learn a language, and none of them is the only right way to do it. In this episode, we talk all about this and Fabio shares some of his stories. Fabio is the host of “Stolariod Stories” a self-development podcast which includes lots of lessons about learning English, and learning about life in general.

[DOWNLOAD AUDIO]

☝️ The audio version has 20+ extra minutes of rambling from Luke ☝️

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK3zmdowd_A&ab_channel=Luke%27sEnglishPodcast

👉 Get Fabio’s book “Any Language You Want” https://fabiocerpelloni.com/any-language-you-want/

👉 Listen to Fabio interview Luke about stand-up comedy on Stolaroid Stories https://pod.link/1588409467/episode/5a1f614be55bdffa8513091565ef4985

👇 Video version of “The Art of Making People Laugh” on Stolaroid Stories


Also, listen to Luke’s funny story on Bree Aesie’s podcast recently 👇

849. STORIES OF INSECTS, BUGS & CREEPY CRAWLIES with Zdenek Lukas

Bed bugs in Paris & London, Mosquito hunting in the middle of the night, a home invasion by fleas and the terrors of cockroaches – listen to some anecdotes about encounters with insects with Zdenek who has recently relocated to Vietnam. Also watch out for various insect idioms which appear during the conversation.

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Insect Idioms

Here are the idioms which popped up during this conversation.

1. **To have a Bee in Your Bonnet** This idiom means that someone has an idea or a thought that’s constantly on their mind, often an obsession.

2. **To have Ants in Your Pants** If someone has “ants in their pants,” it means they are restless or fidgety, unable to sit still.

3. **To be as Busy as a Bee** This idiom describes someone who is extremely busy and productive, like a hardworking bee in a hive.

4. **To have Butterflies in Your Stomach** When you’re nervous or anxious, you might say you have “butterflies in your stomach.”

5. **To be The Bee’s Knees** This expression is used to describe something excellent or outstanding.

6. **To Make a Beeline for** If you “make a beeline for” something or someone, you head directly towards it, just like a bee flying straight to a flower.

7. **Like a Moth to a Flame** If someone is drawn to something or someone despite the potential dangers, they are said to be like a moth to a flame.

8. **To bug someone** To annoy someone

Also, to bug a place means to hide recording equipment in a place in order to spy on the people living there. Zdenek believes his apartment is not bugged, thankfully.


🏆LEP Premium series P53 available now! Click here to sign up to LEP Premium🏆


Luke on Other People’s Podcasts recently 🎧👇

839. Kate Billington Cycled to Berlin 🚴‍♀️

Kate Billington returns for her 4th appearance on LEP to create some fun English conversation for you to listen to. We talk about lots of things, as usual, including her cycling trip to Berlin and a nasty accident she had on her bicycle in Paris earlier this year. Expect tangents, vocab, idioms, jokes, stories, cups of tea and some very “professional” podcast eating.

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The audio version has some extra content ☝️

British Council Mini-English Lessons on YouTube 👇

838. A 3-Hour Mega-Ramble / Reflecting on a Wonderful Spring Day in Paris

This is the longest episode of LEP so far, and it’s a solo ramble. Relax, follow my words, hang out with me for 3 hours, get stranded on a desert island of the imagination, and then get rescued. Includes a haircut, a sleep and a t-shirt change during the episode.

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PDF Script / Notes for this episode 👇