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English Idioms, Slang and Useful Vocabulary

  1. Chatterbox #223 – Patriotism2019/02/12
    Everyone has a home country, but how proud are you of that country? In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Morag talk about patriotism and how people think about their home countries. Fun facts The New England Patriots is the most successful American football team in recent history. Is it possible that their name, the Patriots,Read More
  2. Simplified Speech #054 – Baking2019/02/06
    Winter is in full swing in Canada, and many people like to stay indoors where it is warm and cozy. What better way to spend time inside than by baking some delicious treats? In this episode, Andrew and Morag talk about their baking skills and even some baking disasters. Enjoy! Fun facts Bread baking beganRead More
  3. Chatterbox #222 – High school exams2019/02/04
    Senior year of high school is a stressful time. It is a time when many students have to make a lot of big decisions and choose a path for their life, whether it be going to college, getting a job, or taking a gap year. Either way, one of the final challenges of high schoolRead More
  4. Catch Word #210 – Troll2019/01/30
    What does it mean to troll someone? Trolling has become a big problem online. In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Jeremy explore the words you can use when talking about online trolling. Fun facts In the United Kingdom, some people have been sent to prison for trolling. They were imprisoned for online harassment. ExpressionsRead More
  5. Simplified Speech #053 – Fruits and vegetables2019/01/18
    Fruits and vegetables are essential to maintaining a healthy diet. And there are so many to choose from! In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Jeremy discuss their favourites. Fun facts The durian is a fruit native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Many people call it the “king of fruits” due to its size. ItRead More
  6. Speak Easy #006 – How to pronounce “-less”2019/01/14
    In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne answer a listener’s question about the pronunciation of “-less.” Fun facts The Culips team loves answering questions from listeners. If you have a question you’d like answered, send an email to contact@Culips.com. Material included in the study guide Transcript Practice exercises Bonus audio downloads To push to the limitRead More
  7. Simplified Speech #052 – Motorcycles2019/01/07
    Have you ever thought about buying a motorcycle and cruising through the neighbourhood at breakneck speeds? Then this is the topic for you! In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag talk all about these two-wheeled vehicles. Fun facts The very first motorcycle was invented by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Germany in 1885.Read More
  8. Chatterbox #221 – Happy 2019!2019/01/01
    Out with the old, in with the new; bye-bye 2018, hello 2019! In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew highlights the major events in his life in 2018 and looks ahead to 2019. Fun facts New Year’s resolutions have been around for a long time. The most common ones are to eat healthier and to do moreRead More
  9. Simplified Speech #051 – The Holiday Season2018/12/23
    Happy holidays, everyone! The holiday season is in full swing in Canada; therefore, Andrew and Morag are here to talk to you about the holiday season in this Simplified Speech episode. Sit back, drink a cup a cup of cocoa, and enjoy! Fun facts In Canada, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day.Read More
  10. Simplified Speech #050 – Drinking water2018/12/19
    Since most of the human body is composed of water, drinking water is very important to everyone. In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag talk about water preferences. Fun facts Lake Baikal in Siberia is the world’s largest freshwater resource for drinking water. It contains 27% of all the fresh water found in lakes!Read More
  11. Simplified Speech #049 – Wearing glasses2018/12/14
    Are you blessed with perfect vision or are you like the majority of the people in the world who must use glasses or contact lenses to see the world around them? In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag talk all about eyesight and the vocabulary associated with it. If you are farsighted, don’t forgetRead More
  12. Catch Word #209 – Asleep at the wheel2018/12/08
    Have you ever gotten so distracted that you forgot to do something very important? Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to explain that situation in English? Well, look no further than this Catch Word episode! Andrew and Jeremy walk you through a few useful expressions about losing focus during an important task. MakeRead More
  13. Chatterbox #220 – Marathon2018/12/03
    Do you like jogging? Can you jog 42.195 kilometres? Not many of us can. In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Suzanne talk about the joys and difficulties of long-distance running. Fun facts In September 2018, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya broke his own world record for the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute,Read More
  14. Simplified Speech #048 – Vietnam travel nightmare2018/11/28
    In this exciting Simplified Speech episode, Andrew recounts a crazy experience he had during his trip to Vietnam. Vacation is supposed to be a time to kick back, relax, and let loose, but sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. Tune in to find out about Andrew’s travel nightmare! Fun facts In this episode,Read More
  15. Chatterbox #219 – Western versus Korean weddings2018/11/26
    Are you married? If not, have you been to a wedding recently? In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss the similarities and differences between Western weddings and South Korean weddings. This episode is chock-full of interesting stories, so grab your headphones and press play! Fun facts Did you know that engagement and wedding rings areRead More
  16. Simplified Speech #047 – Washington State2018/11/16
    On to Washington State! In this Simplified Speech episode, Suzanne talks with Andrew about the tail end of her summer trip, Washington State. Fun facts Washington State is the only American state to be named after a former president. Expressions included in the study guide Gateway drug Practice makes perfect To border [something] Crappy TreacherousRead More
  17. Real Talk #029 – Don’t you think it’d be better if we?2018/11/12
    What happens when someone comes to you with a suggestion you really don’t like? That could be awkward. In this Real Talk episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss ways of politely offering alternative options. Fun facts Native English speakers often contract don’t you to sound like don’t cha. In fact, Don’t Cha is the name ofRead More
  18. Chatterbox #218 – Oregon2018/11/08
    In this episode, Suzanne talks to Andrew about her recent trip to the state of Oregon. While Oregon is not the most well-known state in the union, Suzanne tells us it has so much to offer. Have a listen! Fun facts Nike Inc., one of the world’s largest sports apparel companies, has its world headquartersRead More
  19. Real Talk #028 – Asking for something at a restaurant2018/11/03
    Have you ever wanted to ask for something at a restaurant, but weren’t sure of the best way to phrase it? In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne introduce a phrase that allows you to politely ask for anything at a restaurant. Look out for some useful pronunciation tips, as well! Fun facts The world’s largestRead More
  20. Chatterbox #217 – California2018/10/28
    Where do you like to go when you have a vacation? In this Chatterbox episode, Suzanne talks with Andrew about her recent trip to the most populous state in the United States, California. Fun facts If California were an independent country, its economy would be the fifth richest in the world! Expressions included in theRead More
  21. Catch Word #208 – Through the roof2018/10/21
    What can you say when you see or experience something that is spectacular and beyond what you expected? In this episode, Andrew and Jeremy share two expressions for you to use during just such an occasion. Fun facts An expression used in this episode, TGIF, is so common that it was borrowed by the foundersRead More
  22. Real Talk #027 – Asking about a product2018/10/14
    Calling customer service over the phone can be scary in a second language. In this episode, Andrew gives you key expressions to help you communicate over the phone when asking about a product. Fun facts Have you ever noticed that telephone numbers in American movies usually start with the number 555? That’s because they don’tRead More
  23. Simplified Speech #046 – Drawing2018/10/08
    Are you a creative person? Are you curious about learning some new vocabulary about art and drawing? Then listen to this Simplified Speech episode, in which Andrew and Jeremy talk about their attempts at drawing. Fun facts Did you know that Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish artist, was also an animal lover? In his lifetime,Read More
  24. Chatterbox #216 – Forest fires2018/10/03
    Forest fires have been ravaging the western coast of the United States and Canada for several months now, with devastating consequences. In this Chatterbox episode, Jeremy and Andrew discuss the terrifying results of these natural disasters and how the fires affect those who live within the burn zones. Fun facts On average, more than 100,000Read More
  25. Catch Word #207 – Ending a sentence with though2018/09/28
    It might only be one little word, but putting though at the end of a sentence can make a big difference. Join Andrew and Jeremy as they run through the many ways of ending a sentence with though. Fun facts In this episode, our hosts talk about expressions that are interchangeable. In English, strangely, theRead More
  26. Chatterbox #215 – Airbnb2018/09/22
    Would you open your home to total strangers? Sounds bizarre, but it is the basis of a thriving business. Join Andrew and Morag as they talk about their experiences with Airbnb. Fun facts Throughout the world, there are all kiAlthough Airbnb was founded only 10 years ago, it now has revenue of over $2 billion!ndsRead More
  27. Simplified Speech #045 – Attending summer camp2018/09/17
    Attending summer camp is a very North American experience. Join Andrew and Morag as they share their memories of attending summer camp. Fun facts Throughout the world, there are all kinds of summer camps. You can go to an English camp, a music camp, a theatre camp, even a weight loss camp! Expressions included inRead More
  28. Catch Word #206 – Heavy hitter2018/09/11
    Are you a very important person? Do you deal with VIPs all the time? In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Jeremy discuss expressions that will help you in the world of heavy hitters and big shots! Fun facts Canada is closelBaseball player Babe Ruth is the epitome of a heavy hitter. In 1920, heRead More
  29. Chatterbox #214 – Canadian food2018/09/04
    Poutine, maple syrup, Nanaimo bars—all great Canadian food! In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Morag talk about typical Canadian food. Join them—but beware, you might get hungry! Fun facts Canada is closely associated with maple syrup. Globally, around 70% of maple syrup is produced in the province of Quebec alone. No wonder the maple leafRead More
  30. Catch Word #205 – Whatever floats your boat2018/08/28
    In this week’s episode, Andrew and Jeremy teach you two new idioms about preferences. These idioms do not describe your own preferences, but rather are phrases you can use when describing other people’s preferences, interests, and quirks. Let’s find out what they are! Fun facts Do you know why boats float? It’s because of aRead More
  31. Simplified Speech #044 – Summer memories2018/08/20
    What do ice cream, air conditioners, and sunscreen all have in common? You can find them all in summertime! In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Morag take a walk down memory lane by reminiscing about their childhood summer adventures. Join them in their trip to discover how they spent their summer vacations. Fun factsRead More
  32. Simplified Speech #043 – Sleep tips2018/08/12
    Who doesn’t love sleep? In this Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Jeremy talk about sleep patterns and helpful tips for getting a better night’s sleep. Fun facts Did you know that 12% of people dream entirely in black and white? Also, the longest recorded period of no sleep was made by Randy Gardner in 1964.Read More
  33. Catch Word #204 – A buzzkill2018/08/05
    Is there someone in your life who is boring and pessimistic, and ruins all of your fun? Have you ever wondered what you could call that type of person in English? Well, look no further! In today’s Catch Word episode, Andrew and Jeremy give you some perfect expressions to use. Fun facts Buzz is anRead More
  34. Chatterbox #213 – Interview with John: Part 22018/07/31
    This is another special episode with a returning guest, Andrew’s brother John. Andrew and John discuss the struggles of finding an apartment to rent in the increasingly expensive Kelowna area of British Columbia. Fun facts As of 2017, the average cost of a home in Kelowna was $725,000, and up to $10 million in theRead More
  35. Chatterbox #211 – YouTube2018/07/23
    Are you a YouTube addict? What’s your favourite channel to watch these days? In this interesting episode, Andrew and Morag talk about YouTube, what they love about it, and some unique content one can’t find anywhere else. Fun facts The first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23rd, 2005. Now, in 2018, every minute ofRead More
  36. Real Talk #026 – Buying a bus ticket2018/07/18
    Navigating public transportation in a new area is stressful enough without a language barrier. But have no fear! In this much-requested episode, Andrew and Suzanne introduce natural expressions used when buying a ticket at the bus terminal. Fun facts The word bus comes from the Latin word omnibus, meaning “for all.” This is fitting, becauseRead More
  37. Chatterbox #212 – The World Cup2018/07/11
    What do you know about the beautiful game? The beautiful game, otherwise known as soccer or football, is probably the most popular sport in the world. This year marks the 21st World Cup season and, as such, Andrew and Jeremy thought it would be a perfect topic to discuss in this Chatterbox episode. Enjoy! FunRead More
  38. Simplified Speech #042 – Yoga2018/07/09
    Feeling tense? Yoga can help! Our yoga instructor Jeremy speaks with Andrew about the practice and benefits of the ancient art of yoga. Come loosen up and have a listen to this episode of Simplified Speech. Fun facts Yoga is a part-time activity for some. But if you want beat the world record for theRead More
  39. Speak Easy #005 – Sentence stress: Part 12018/07/03
    Knowing which words to stress in a sentence (and which words not to stress) is an extremely important part of English pronunciation. In this episode, Suzanne and Andrew teach you all you need to know about sentence stress. Take a listen and make your English pronunciation sound more natural. Fun facts English is a stressed-timedRead More
  40. Chatterbox #210 – Interview with John: Part 12018/06/28
    In this special episode, Andrew interviews his brother, John. This is the first episode of a two-part interview. In this first episode, John talks about his unique job as a forklift operator with a mining company in remote northern Canada. Fun facts Thanks to its mineral-rich soil, Canada is one of the largest mining nationsRead More
  41. Catch Word #203 – In a pickle2018/06/22
    What does it mean to be in a pickle or in a jam? It sounds strange, but these are helpful expressions to use when you’re in trouble. In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Jeremy show you how and when to best use these idioms. Fun facts Pickling food has been done for almost 4500Read More
  42. Chatterbox #209 – Luxury products2018/06/19
    Have you ever wished you were rich and could buy anything you ever wanted? In this episode of Chatterbox, Andrew and Morag discuss different types of luxury goods and why people buy them. Fun facts The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse is made of 18 karat gold and encrusted with 4,500 diamonds. It sold forRead More
  43. Real Talk #025 – How to give a compliment2018/06/12
    “Thanks so much for your effort!” “It’s all thanks to you!” The art of giving a compliment is sometimes difficult in a second language. In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne explore the best ways to give and receive compliments. Fun facts Early in this episode, Andrew talks about his coffee plant. Coffee has a longRead More
  44. Chatterbox #208 – Horoscopes2018/06/04
    Do the planets influence our lives? In this episode of Chatterbox, we find out what Andrew and Morag think about the subject of horoscopes and astrology. Fun facts Cultures have long been trying to understand the stars. The oldest known system of astrology comes from ancient Mesopotamia and dates back to more than 4000 yearsRead More
  45. Catch Word #202 – With a grain of salt2018/06/02
    Don’t believe everything you hear! But you can trust our hosts Andrew and Jeremy when they talk about key expressions regarding skepticism. Believe me! Fun facts Skepticism is very important in Western philosophy. In fact, since 1992, there’s been a popular US magazine called Skeptic. Expressions included in the study guide Grain of salt SeeingRead More
  46. Simplified Speech #041 – Cooking2018/05/29
    Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone is a good cook! Join Andrew and Jeremy in this episode of Simplified Speech and find out how well our hosts cook. You might get hungry! Fun facts Kimchi is a popular fermented food from Korea. You can find restaurants that serve the spicy cabbage that has beenRead More
  47. Real Talk #024 – How to cancel a plan2018/05/24
    It’s not always a fun thing to do, but sometimes we need to cancel plans we have already made. Doing it tactfully is very important. In this episode of Real Talk, Andrew and Suzanne give you the best expressions for cancelling plans. Fun facts Early in this episode, Suzanne mentions she recently switched from drinkingRead More
  48. Simplified Speech #040 – Home remedies2018/05/21
    If you ask five people for the best remedy for a sore stomach, you might get six different answers! It seems everyone has their own ideas when it comes to medicine. Join Andrew and Suzanne for this episode as they talk about their favourite home remedies! Fun facts Did you know that the cocktail ginRead More
  49. Real Talk #023 – Returning a missed call2018/05/17
    What should you do when you pick up your phone and notice a missed call? Andrew and Jeremy can help you! In this episode of Real Talk, they share the most natural ways English speakers return a missed call. Fun facts Even though companies like Apple and Samsung are leaders in the smartphone industry, theyRead More
  50. Speak Easy #004 – How to pronounce “s” endings2018/05/14
    In this Speak Easy episode, Suzanne and Andrew teach you how to make your English sound natural by mastering “s” endings on plural nouns and third-person singular verbs. Fun facts Did you know the letter “s” can be pronounced three different ways? Learn the pronunciation rules by listening to this episode. he London Underground holdsRead More
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