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English Idioms, Slang and Useful Vocabulary

  1. Simplified Speech #039 – Gettin’ around2018/04/14
    In this episode of Simplified Speech, Andrew and Suzanne discuss the various ways of navigating a city. Should you travel by public transportation or go your own way? Find out how our hosts get around. Fun facts The London Underground holds claim to the oldest subway system in the world. When it opened in 1863,Read More
  2. Real Talk #022 – You got the wrong number2018/04/09
    Have you ever called the wrong number and didn’t know what to say? Don’t worry! In this Real Talk episode, Suzanne and Andrew discuss the best ways of dealing with these awkward situations on the phone. Fun facts Inventors Innocenzo Manzetti, Charles Bourseul, Johann Philipp Reis, and Antonio Meucci all had claims on the inventionRead More
  3. Catch Word 199 – To die for2018/04/03
    In this episode, Andrew and Jeremy talk about the expressions to die for and to kill for. Don’t worry, it’s not all about death—it’s about wants and desires! You won’t want to miss this episode! Fun facts Food truck festivals are popular the world over. The one in Brussels claims to be the world’s largest,Read More
  4. Chatterbox #205 – Conspiracy theories2018/03/29
    In this episode, Morag and Andrew share their thoughts on popular conspiracy theories. You may agree or disagree with some of these, but you will surely learn some new words! Fun facts NASA scientists say that the US flag planted on the moon should still be standing, although you probably wouldn’t find colour on it.Read More
  5. Simplified Speech #038 – Jeju Island2018/03/25
    Andrew tells Suzanne all about his recent trip to Jeju Island, South Korea, and his trek to the top of Mount Halla. Fun facts The last time that Mount Halla erupted was in the year 1007. Expressions you’ll learn in this episode To be jam-packed To rough it A way away That stinks Smack dabRead More
  6. Real Talk #021 – How would you like your burger?2018/03/21
    Do you like eating hamburgers and steak? If so, this episode is for you! Join Suzanne and Andrew as they talk about how to order a hamburger or a steak at a restaurant. Fun facts The word burger is short for hamburger and, although the word hamburger originates from Hamburg, Germany, Americans eat the mostRead More
  7. Catch Word #198 – Dating slang2018/03/16
    Andrew and Jeremy teach you some funny and modern slang expressions about online dating. Fun facts According to the Pew Research Center, only 5% of Americans who are married or in a committed relationship say that they met their partner online. This means the majority of couples in the United States met the old-fashioned way,Read More
  8. Speak Easy #002 – Three tips for pronouncing the past tense2018/03/03
    In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne teach you three tips that will help you master how to pronounce regular past tense verbs in English. Fun facts The overwhelming majority of verbs in English are regular. There are only about 200 irregular verbs that are commonly used. Expressions you’ll learn in this episode Transcript Pronunciation exercisesRead More
  9. Chatterbox #204 – Andrew’s big week2018/02/23
    Andrew tells Morag all about his crazy, busy week in this Chatterbox episode. Expressions you’ll learn in this episode To get renovicted To jump through hoops To get screwed over A support system To get moving To be in mint condition A whirlwind [something] In store for [somebody] Credit: Something Elated by Broke For Free
  10. Simplified Speech #037 – Netflix2018/02/15
    In this episode, Andrew and Morag talk about Netflix—the extremely popular TV and movie streaming service. Find out which shows the Culips hosts think you should watch! Fun facts Although Netflix is famous for its online streaming services, it started off as a DVD sales and rental company. In fact, you can still order DVDsRead More
  11. Catch Word #197 On the fence2018/02/10
    Join Andrew and Jeremy (our newest Culips host) for a lesson about how to use two everyday English expressions about decision-making. Fun facts In this episode, you’ll be introduced to our newest Culips host, Jeremy. To learn more about him, check out his YouTube channel and podcast, Sponge Mind. Expressions you’ll learn in this episodeRead More
  12. Simplified Speech #036 – Online shopping2018/02/02
    In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag talk about the wide world of online shopping. Join them! It might change the way you shop! Fun facts In this episode, Morag says that Amazon is one of the best ways to shop online. Apparently, a lot of people agree. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, is currentlyRead More
  13. Real Talk #020 – How to say no2018/01/28
    Andrew and Suzanne teach you how to say no in this Real Talk episode! Fun facts Even native English speakers sometimes feel anxious when having to say no to a request or an invitation. In fact, there are tons of self-help articles giving tips about how to refine this interpersonal skill! Expressions you’ll learn inRead More
  14. Chatterbox #203 – Instagram2018/01/25
    Are you addicted to social media? So many people are these days! Hear Andrew and Suzanne talk about their experiences with Instagram in this episode of Chatterbox. Fun facts The Instagram account with the most followers in the world is … The Instagram account! The rest of the top five is made up of SelenaRead More
  15. Catch Word #196 – At all (part 2)2018/01/22
    Andrew and Morag continue their lesson about the expression at all in part 2 of this Catch Word episode. Fun facts The Collins Dictionary ranks at all as one of the 1000 most commonly occurring expressions in their dictionary! Expressions you’ll learn in this episode At all Frivolous A badass “Us” as a subject ToRead More
  16. Catch Word #195 – At all (part 1)2018/01/16
    At all looks like a simple expression but, in this Catch Word episode, Morag and Andrew find out just how versatile it really is. Fun facts At one example in this episode, two friends talk about visas used to travel abroad. Did you know that Singapore issues the most powerful passport in the world? SingaporeansRead More
  17. Simplified Speech #035 – Plastic bags2018/01/11
    Plastic bags are a major source of pollution. In this episode, Andrew and Morag talk about how people use bags in Kenya, Korea, and Canada. Take a listen and learn some great English expressions! Fun facts A centipede is an arthropod with many, many legs—so many that its name comes from the Latin words forRead More
  18. Speak Easy #01 – [y] and [w] insertion2018/01/06
    In this episode, Suzanne and Andrew teach you a pronunciation trick that will make your English sound smooth and natural. You’ll learn how to link words together by inserting a [y] or [w] sound.
  19. Simplified Speech #034 – 2017 in review2017/12/31
    What a year 2017 was! Some people loved every moment of 2017, and some people wished it never happened. Find out what Andrew and Morag have to say about this year as we say goodbye to 2017 in this special Simplified Speech episode! Expressions you’ll learn in this episode A good tip A turning pointRead More
  20. Simplified Speech #033 – Fear2017/12/27
    In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne teach you three tips that will help you master how to pronounce regular past tense verbs in English. Fun facts The overwhelming majority of verbs in English are regular. There are only about 200 irregular verbs that are commonly used. Expressions you’ll learn in this episode To break aRead More
  21. Chatterbox #202 – Christmas traditions2017/12/23
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the holiday season! And, in this podcast, Andrew and Suzanne talk about Christmas traditions when they were growing up. Come and join the fun! Fun facts The idea of Santa Claus has been around for many centuries, but the modern jolly old man dressed in redRead More
  22. Chatterbox #201 – Naoshima – the island of art2017/12/18
    In this special Chatterbox episode, Andrew talks to Suzanne about his trip to the island of Naoshima. Join them as they chat about public art installations, electric bikes, beaches, and galleries! Fun facts Naoshima, an island located in the Seto Inland Sea, is known for its modern art and architecture. In fact, one of itsRead More
  23. Simplified Speech #032 – Dancing2017/12/14
    Are you a good dancer, or do you have two left feet? In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag talk about dancing and share fun expressions you can use to talk about dancing. Fun facts In the 1920s and 1930s, dance marathons were a popular craze. Couples would try to win prizes by seeingRead More
  24. Catch Word #194 – Easy on the wallet2017/12/10
    Should you buy new shoes? Will the shoes be easy or heavy on the wallet? We can’t help you with whether you should buy the shoes, but we can help you talk about it! In this episode, Suzanne and Andrew discuss expressions involving wallets and money Fun facts Wallets can be cheap or expensive, andRead More
  25. Real Talk #019 – Complaining at a restaurant2017/11/30
    Have you ever received cold food at a restaurant? In this Real Talk episode, Andrew and Suzanne explain important expressions and phrases to help you deal with this problem. Join them to learn how to politely voice a complaint at a restaurant. Fun facts Many restaurants in Quebec have poutine on their menu. Poutine isRead More
  26. Chatterbox #200 – Hiking up Mount Fuji2017/11/26
    In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne talk about Andrew’s summer trip to Japan and his hike up Mount Fuji. Join them and improve your conversational English skills! Fun facts Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)!Read More
  27. Simplified Speech #031 – School lunches2017/11/21
    What kind of lunch did you eat when you went to school? In this episode, Morag and Andrew take a trip down memory lane and discuss the school lunches of their youth. Come learn about the ins and outs of the cafeteria. Fun facts In this episode, Morag says she’s a slight goth. The GothicRead More
  28. Chatterbox #199 – A day in Beijing2017/11/17
    In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew talks to Suzanne about his whirlwind day in Beijing, China! Join them and learn all about Andrew’s crazy adventure! Fun facts Beijing is the capital city of China and is populated by over 21 million people! Expressions you’ll learn in this episode To get a taste of [something] To pullRead More
  29. Chatterbox #198 – Interview with Andrew’s dad2017/11/11
    In this special Chatterbox episode, Andrew interviews his dad, Terry. Join Andrew and his dad as they take a trip down memory lane and talk about Hamilton, Ontario, and the War of 1812! Fun facts The Rust Belt refers to an area around the Great Lakes. The area was very well-known for its booming steelRead More
  30. Catch Word #193 – In a jiffy2017/11/03
    In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss two idiomatic expressions that you can use to talk about being speedy: in a jiffy/in a jiff and in a flash. Join them to learn how to make your English sound like a native speaker’s! Fun facts A jiffy is used not only in English idioms,Read More
  31. Chatterbox #197 – Interview with Andrew’s mom2017/10/27
    Are you ready to get to know Andrew and his family better? In this special Chatterbox episode, Andrew interviews his mom, Fiona. Join them as they chat about immigrating to Canada and Oakville, Ontario! Fun facts Oakville, located in Ontario, is only about 30 kilometres away from downtown Toronto (Canada) and 123 kilometres away fromRead More
  32. Simplified Speech #030 – The beach2017/10/23
    Do you like the beach? That’s the topic in this Simplified Speech episode. Join Andrew and Suzanne as they talk about everything under the sun. From beachcombing to nude beaches, you’ll be sure to laugh! Fun facts Canada has the longest coastline in the world, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Artic Ocean. ExpressionsRead More
  33. Chatterbox #196 – Kitchen renovation2017/10/15
    Do you dream about renovating your kitchen? In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss Suzanne’s changes to her kitchen. Join them as they have a natural and fun conversation all about renovations! Fun facts Over the past decades, kitchens have changed. In the 1930s, kitchen countertops were custom-built based on the height of theRead More
  34. Catch Word #192 – Late to the party2017/10/09
    Have you ever felt left out because you were behind the times? In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Suzanne explain two fun expressions related to being late and missing out: to be late to the party and to miss the boat. Fun facts Canada’s largest national park is Wood Buffalo National Park, which isRead More
  35. Chatterbox #195 – Apps2017/10/01
    Do you love technology and the latest apps? If so, this episode is for you! Sit back, relax, and listen to Andrew and Morag as they chat about the devices and apps they’ve fooled around with. Fun facts Apple is one of the most successful companies worldwide, generating more money than Google or Facebook. AfterRead More
  36. Catch Word #191 – Get a hold of yourself!2017/09/26
    English expressions can be tricky, especially if they sound the same but have different meanings. Don’t worry, because Andrew and Morag are here to help! Join them for this Catch Word episode as they explain three uses of the expression to get a hold of. Fun facts Depending on the dictionary or grammar website thatRead More
  37. Real Talk #018 – Fill ’er up!2017/09/17
    Running out of gas is one of the most stressful things that can happen when you’re travelling—so it’s always best to make sure that your car has a full tank. But what vocabulary and phrases should you use when talking to a gas station attendant? Don’t worry, Andrew and Morag are here to explain everythingRead More
  38. Chatterbox #194 – A Maritimes road trip2017/09/11
    The Maritime provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island—are known for their simple beauty and rich history. In this episode, Suzanne shares with Andrew memories of her road tip across the Maritimes. Be sure not to miss this gem of an episode! Fun facts Green Gables, a farm located in Prince Edward Island, isRead More
  39. Chatterbox #193 – Interview with Andrew’s sister2017/09/05
    Meeting someone’s family and learning about their hometown is a great way to get to know them better. So get ready to learn all about Andrew! In this special Chatterbox episode, he interviews his sister, Heather. Join them as they talk about British Columbia and the best places to study English in Canada. Fun factsRead More
  40. Catch Word #190 – All the fixings2017/08/28
    Learning English can be a blast! Laugh along with Andrew and Morag as they share three fun expressions that you can use when talking about condiments or toppings: all the fixings, all dressed, and the works. Join them to learn all about these three expressions. Fun facts Ketchup is one of North America’s most popularRead More
  41. Chatterbox #192 – Alternative medicine2017/08/24
    While no one likes going to the doctor, it’s still very important to take care of your health. Luckily, going to a Western doctor isn’t the only option. In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss alternative medicine! Join them to hear Suzanne’s story about how she fixed her health troubles using alternative and non-Western medicalRead More
  42. Spoken interview2017/08/24
    In this special bonus episode, we talk to our friends at Spoken about an exciting way to improve your professional English on your phone! Spoken is offering Culips listeners an amazing deal: two free lessons and a 20% discount off your first month of using Spoken. Help support Culips and improve your English at the sameRead More
  43. Simplified Speech #29 – Veganism2017/08/21
    Do you eat meat and dairy? Many people all over the world avoid eating or using animal products—vegans. In this episode, Andrew and Morag have a slow but natural conversation all about veganism. Join them to learn about this growing trend. Fun facts Vegan is a relatively new term. Until about 1994, vegans were simplyRead More
  44. Real Talk #017 – Getting clothes altered2017/08/14
    Do you have an item of clothing that you really like, but it doesn’t fit quite right? Luckily for you, that’s a problem with a simple solution! In this Real Talk episode, Andrew and Morag walk you through all the English vocabulary and expressions you’ll need get an item of clothing altered to fit youRead More
  45. Catch Word #189 – Go ape2017/08/10
    Anger is a strong emotion, and in English we have some equally strong idioms you can use to talk about it! Join Andrew and Morag in this episode to learn some ways you can describe behaving angrily: to go ape and to chew someone out. Fun facts The strangest things can make people angry. DidRead More
  46. Simplified Speech #028 – Things we can’t leave home without2017/08/03
    What are the items that you can’t leave home without? That’s the topic of conversation in this Simplified Speech episode. Join Andrew and Morag as they talk slowly and naturally about the items that are a big deal to leave behind. Fun facts Did you know that the average person spends 153 days over theirRead More
  47. Catch Word #188 – Thunderstruck2017/07/26
    English has a lot of strange and amusing expressions! Join Andrew and Morag in today’s episode to learn how to use two colourful expressions related to being surprised: to be blindsided and to be thunderstruck. Don’t keep living under a rock; start listening and learn about these fun expressions today! Fun facts If you sayRead More
  48. Simplified Speech #027 – Advice2017/07/18
    Giving and taking advice can be tricky. In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag share their thoughts on both giving and taking advice. Take our advice, and tune in right away! Fun facts There’s a lot of great advice, or guidance or recommendations, out there. For instance, a great piece of advice about learningRead More
  49. Real Talk #016 – Calling tech support2017/07/12
    When you can’t get a computer or device to work it can be a real emergency! If you’re stuck trying to solve a tech problem, you might have to call tech support. This can be a difficult task, even in your native language. But don’t worry, because in this Real Talk episode Andrew and MoragRead More
  50. Chatterbox #191 – Luck2017/07/05
    Do you believe in luck, or do you believe that there is no such thing as luck? In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Suzanne talk all about luck, and explain some interesting and useful expressions related to luck. Don’t miss your chance to join them! Fun facts The horseshoe is associated with good fortune inRead More
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