The English We Speak

The English We Speak


Every week, we look at a different everyday English phrase or piece of slang in this fun three-minute programme. From BBC World Service



Old-fashioned and set in your ways? Could you be one of these people?

No great shakes  

Not impressed by something? Here's an expression that describes what you think

Not a sausage  

Nothing, absolutely nothing, nothing at all… Not even one little sausage!


Not everything in this life is fun. Learn a phrase to describe boring jobs!

Not half  

Love pizza? Feifei and Neil bring you a phrase to show how much you enjoy something

All over the shop  

Looked everywhere? Learn a phrase about shops that isn’t about shops!

It comes with the territory  

Some things have to be expected. Learn a phrase to describe this situation

It won't wash  

Heard something unconvincing? Maybe it's time to get out the washing powder!


Can you do lots of different things? This could be the phrase to describe you

The coast is clear  

Doing something you shouldn't? Here's a phrase about not being caught

Pull a fast one  

Make the English you speak sound more natural

Suck it and see  

Learn a phrase about having new experiences

To cut your teeth  

Starting out in a new profession? Here's an expression about gaining experience


Getting less for your money? Could you be the victim of 'shrinkflation'?

La-la land  

Is someone making unreasonable requests? Here's where they live

A different kettle of fish  

Fishing for a phrase? This could be the one for you

At the drop of a hat  

What would Rob do at the drop of a hat? Find out more about this expression

Brass neck  

What does being confident but rude have to do with your neck? Learn an expression that should not be taken literally

Reinvent the wheel  

Wasting time doing something that's been done before? There's a phrase to explain this


Do you have a false friend? In The English We Speak we get to hear how one of Feifei's best friends isn't a friend at all and discover that there's a great word to describe them

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