10 Phrases for Smart People। Phrases Native Speakers Use, Lesson #1

There are so many phrases, idioms and slang native speakers use in everyday communication. Sometimes they seem so hard that non-native speakers get lost in translation. So in this new series, EngVlog is going to present 5 to 10 common phrases and/or idioms in English in every episode. And all the terms come with some practical examples from BBC. You are gonna love this!


1. It beats me – I don’t know or I don’t understand. Ex. It beats me how Stephanie even got that promotion

2. Left, right and center – Everywhere or all the time. Ex. You can’t miss the new film; they have promoting it left, right and center.

3. Donkey’s years – for a long time. Ex. I’m bored; I’ve been doing this job for donkey’s years.

4. Give us a bell – To give us a phone call. Ex. When you get there, give me a bell.

5. Rub it in – Something that a person keeps mentioning but other person wants to forget. Ex. Carlos got into Oxford but I didn’t. That’s but enough, but he keeps rubbing it in by talking about it all the time.

6. Smombie (Smartphone + Zombie) – A person who is fully engaged with his smartphone and doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings. Ex. People don’t know how to communicate with each other face to face anymore. They are such smombies!

7. Freegan (Free + Vegan) – A person who lives on free food. Ex. Thrown away food isn’t rubbish, it’s free food! That’s why I’m a freegan.

8. Barking up the wrong the tree – Making wrong assumptions when you try to achieve something. Ex. If you think I am going to lend you my car, then you are barking up the wrong tree.

9. Living in cloud cuckoo land – Someone is silly to think the impossible is possible. Ex. If you think we’re going to win this match with only ten players, then you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

10. Bone idle – Very lazy. Ex. My girlfriend is a bone idle-she won’t even get off the sofa to answer the phone call.


All the phrases/idioms and the examples are from the BBC-The English We Speak

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