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English Idioms, Slang and Useful Vocabulary

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. Catch Word #201 – Emotional baggage2018/05/11
    Not all of our experiences in life are positive. Sometimes life is difficult or even traumatic. In this Catch Word episode, Andrew and Jeremy discuss English terms to use when speaking about emotional baggage and our past experiences. Fun facts The emotional baggage of the brothers in the film The Darjeeling Limited was not justRead More
  25. Chatterbox #207 – Homelessness2018/05/08
    Homelessness is a big problem throughout the world. In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Suzanne discuss the causes and the social implications of this serious issue. Fun facts Although homelessness is no laughing matter, Charlie Chaplin had a stellar film career making people laugh with his tramp character. Expressions included in the study guide ToRead More
  26. Speak Easy #003 – Linking2018/05/04
    In this episode, Andrew and Suzanne teach you a connected speech feature called linking, or connecting one word to the other, in order to sound more fluent. Fun facts Linking can be found in many languages. In French, it is called using the liaison. Expressions included in the study guide Transcript Pronunciation exercises Bonus listeningRead More
  27. Catch Word #200 – Beats me!2018/05/01
    Nobody likes admitting they’re no good at something. But if you must, in this episode of Catch Word, Andrew and Jeremy explore two sayings that will help you express yourself: beats me and to not have a clue. Fun facts Clue is the name of a movie from the 1980s, based on the board gameRead More
  28. Chatterbox #206 – Creativity2018/04/26
    Everyone is creative to some degree, but what makes some people more creative than others? This question has fascinated artists and thinkers for centuries. In this episode of Chatterbox, Andrew and Morag add their own two cents. Fun facts The London Underground holds claim to the oldest subway system in the world. When it openedRead More
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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. Additional audio related to this episode: Credit: Something Elated by Broke For Free
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. Catch Word #191 – Get a hold of yourself!2017/12/25
    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
  50. 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
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