Tag Archives: feelings

Could you watch over my stuff?

watch over stuff

Photo credit: gourmetravelista.com

A couple of weeks ago I was having a tea in a café between my lessons, and a girl sitting opposite suddenly said ‘Excuse me, could you watch over my stuff?’ I nodded to say I could. Until that day I wanted to ask other people the same thing on several occasions, but wasn’t sure whether it’s ‘done’ in this country. Apparently, it is!

Here’s a little post on the subject of watching other people’s stuff from a fellow WordPress blogger.

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Gobby, continued

I often have this with new words – I come across one and think, hm, maybe it’s not that common, maybe I’ll hardly ever hear it again and I almost don’t write it down. But being the nerdy type that I am, most of the time I do. And a few days (sometimes even hours) later this word appears out of nowhere again.

Next day after I heard ‘gobby‘ at a meet-up with colleagues, I was reading Londoners by Craig Taylor in bed, and, sure enough, there was the word ‘gobby‘ staring at me from the page: ‘And we were both precocious and gobby and forthright, very opinionated’.

This book is a brilliant collection of stories of and interviews with Londoners – a truly enjoyable read whether you love London, hate London or cannot quite make up your mind.

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Gobby

gobby meaning

Photo credit: scarlettlondon.com

Yesterday I went to a meet-up with fellow translators and what a nice bunch of people they are! I met quite a few new people and really enjoyed myself. Towards the end I was talking to a guy who has been working as a teacher at at one of local schools (for girls), and the general conclusion was that when they are young they behave themselves and don’t cause much trouble, but teenage girls often become gobby. Now, that was a genuinely new word for me, even though I knew exactly what it meant because having lived close to a local school I’ve seen quite a few of them.

According to Oxford Dictionary, ‘gobby‘ means ‘tending to talk too loudly and in a blunt or opinionated way’.

Here’re a few examples:

– At convent school, I was always untidy and gobby and got everything wrong (Oxford Dictionary).

– Adele Adkins is a gobby, funny and extravagantly talented 19-year-old whose massive voice is going to make her the biggest singing star of 2008. And, no, she’s not going to be the new Amy Winehouse (The Guardian)

– Those are the teenage girls I love to write about in all their stroppy, sweet, bitchy, gobby, shy, pain in the arse, multi-faceted glory. Because when you’re a teenage girl, being difficult is your default setting (The Guardian).

 

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Toe-curling

toe-curling phrase

Photo credit: baby.about.com

Yesterday I got a text message from my friend to say that she has had a baby and I was welcome to visit her at the hospital. I popped in during the visiting hours (rushed in, really, after a trip to Bath) and spent at least half an hour admiring her and her newborn daughter – they both looked amazing! It turned out they were about to be discharged and a nurse came by to go through some important information and as I missed my chance to say goodbye before that I was hanging around and overheard their conversation about breastfeeding. The nurse said it could be ‘toe-curling‘ in the beginning, but then new mothers get used to it.

This was a genuinely new word for me, which means ‘very embarrassing or excessively sentimental’ (Oxford Dictionaries).

Here are some examples:

– The self-satisfaction and smugness of the text is toe-curling and its frequent sickening doses of sentimentality are like being forced-fed chopped liver with chicken fat (Oxford Dictionaries).

-I am sitting across a table from my sister-in-law, outside a small Italian restaurant, reading her a letter. As experiences go, it’s toe-curling. I am telling her everything I’m grateful to her for. It’s like a bad episode of Oprah. Surely us Brits aren’t built for this stuff? But according to Action for Happiness, little things like this can really improve our lives (The Guardian).

– More toe-curling attempts to make opera ‘cool’? Stop it, pleads Tom Service – it’s doing just fine as it is (The Guardian).

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In good (or not so good) nick

in a good nick meaning

Photo credit: calliopegifts.co.uk

Today I went for my regular volunteering shift at the local bookshop – to strengthen my willpower by resisting the temptation to buy more books, to get my weekly fix of chocolate biscuits, to spend time around some lovely people and… hopefully to hear some more cool phrases.

A customer came in asking whether we had any more books by Marina Lewycka apart from A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian that we had in the shop. He said he had seen another book, but it was in such a bad nick that he didn’t get it.

I hear this phrase – ‘in good/bad nick‘ – from other volunteers very often. ‘Nick‘ essentially means ‘condition’.

You can also say that a book that is in a bad nick is ‘tatty‘.

I must say that in the days when I was buying books from charity shops like there was no tomorrow, I did buy some tatty ones, but I ended up donating them back to charity shops as I never read them. Much as I love books – all kind of books – I find that they need to look appealing.

I still find that I have hoarded way too many books and I need to slowly work my way through them so that I could buy new books!

This is how my current ‘to-read list’ looks like (or at least its English section – there’re at least as many books in other languages waiting to be read and they make me feel bad):

bookshelf shelfie

And while we’re on the subject of books and shelves… I recently came across the word ‘shelfie‘, i.e. ‘selfie of your bookshelf’. Here are some shelfies from Guardian readers.

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I’ll see you when I see you

I'll see you when i see you phrase meaning parting phrase

Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

First of all, apologies for neglecting this blog a little bit – sometimes there’s really too much going on, and it has been the case with me for the past few months. Also I spent a couple of weeks in Russia and have been trying to get back into my ‘English’ life.

Today I had another volunteering shift at a local Oxfam bookshop. I was tempted to drop them for the time being while I’m struggling with a large translation project, but I know all too well that you deny yourself one thing, then another and then work just takes over your whole life. I wasn’t going to let this happen.

However, I had a hard time fitting all of the things on my to-do list into my morning, so I was running a bit late. I called the shop on my way there to say that I was going to be late and apologized profusely. To this the shop manager said ‘Don’t worry, we’ll see you when we’ll see you‘.

I remembered that I’d heard this phrase before. It always strikes me as a little bit impolite – as in “we don’t really care that much if / when we are going to see you again” – but according to the results of my Google search it is not meant to be impolite. At least I hope so!

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What kind of person are you?

a ... kind of person phrase usage

Photo credit: netural.com

On Sunday I went to a staff summer party to catch up with colleagues at a language school where I… don’t teach yet, but I’m there to cover for the regular teacher should anything happen. At some point I overheard somebody saying ‘I’m not really a satchel kind of person‘, while pointing at his bag. This reminded me of the funny phrase that I’ve heard on many occasions – not necessarily with ‘satchel’ though.

A few years ago I was watching The Spooks, a British TV drama series about MI-5. One of the best phrases I learnt from this series was ‘I’m not really a cat person‘. I thought it was a great way of talking about things you like or don’t like.

So, what kind of person can you be?

– There’s nothing new in the notion that time can be a tyrant. But that’s generally held to mean that modern life moves too fast; in reality, if you’re a 200bpm kind of person, constant exhortations to slow down can be just as potentially tyrannical. Sometimes what’s more important is to know your tempo, and those of the people with whom you’re trying to sync (The Guardian).

– For most people, having this prominent book on their table will be a badge of brand loyalty. It says: ‘I’m a Python (as in Month Pythonkind of person‘. Quite right too. The Life of Brian is simply the best British comedy film ever made (The Guardian).

– The Mercury nomination still hasn’t had any major impact on me or my career. I’ve actually been quite surprised by how little it’s changed anything. But I have been worrying about what to wear to the ceremony. Apparently it’s quite posh, but I’m really not a dress kind of person, so I think I’ll stick to jeans and a smart top (The Guardian).

– He later suggested to Ferlisi that she join him but, she says, looking down a little embarrassed, she declined because “I’m more of a casual clothes kind of person, so that wasn’t really me.” (The Guardian).

– Maybe if you were a glass half-full kind of person you’d figure that you were unlucky – you caught them on a bad night (The Guardian).

– I have developed the habit of always looking down to the third or fourth response in a google search. Works for me but I have always been a road less travelled kind of person (The Economist).

P.S. I am definitely a cat person, by the way!

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Geek magnet

geek magnet meaning

Photo credit: hdwallpaperstock.eu

The other day I went to a free self-defence workshop organised by one of the sports clothes shops here in Bristol (maybe I need to mention their name and get paid for this!). It’s not that I’ve been in any situations where I needed to resort to self-defence, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Our instructor was really experienced, both in psychology and martial arts, and she had many stories to share from her personal experience. She called herself “a geek magnet” – someone who seems to attract a disproportionate amount of weird (and sometimes dangerous) people. This is probably not a set expression just yet, but still my inner linguist was clapping her (surely my inner linguist is also female) hands, mostly because my best friend is exactly like that – a proper geek magnet – and now I know that in English there’s perfect phrase to describe her.

However, I was thinking that maybe ‘geek’ doesn’t not always have a negative connotation, and maybe ‘a weirdo magnet‘ would work equally well or even better. Indeed, there’s an entry in Urban Dictionary, with the following example:

– Ashlee is such a weirdo magnet, that guy sniffing paint just sat right next to her (Urban Dictionary)

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