Idiom ‘Hit the Bullseye’ — How to Say

Have you ever heard the idiom ‘hit the bullseye’?  You’ll feel comfortable using it after learning the meaning and understanding the pronunciation in this video — and please forgive my lack of dart-throwing skills!

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Video Text:

In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the idiom ‘hit the bullseye’.

>> Let me try one more time.
>> You aren’t actually trying.  Please tell me…
>> Hold on, hold on.

>> Triple 7.  Double 7.  Double 7.

>> Folks, that’s how it’s done.

In the mean time, let me just quickly tell the users out there how to pronounce ‘bullseye’.  Because that it what this video is about.  It’s a two-syllable phrase with stress on the first syllable.  DA-da.  Bullseye.  So we begin with the B consonant sound, lips are together.  Then we have the UH as in PULL vowel, but because it’s followed by a Dark L, it’s really  just a dark sound.  Bull-, uhl.   So I’m pulling the back part of the tongue back, while the tip of the tongue stays forward.  Bulls-.   Now, I don’t bring my tongue tip up.  I just go straight into the Z.  So my teeth close, my tongue tip stays where it is, bullseye.  Then I have the AI as in BUY diphthong.  Jaw does need to drop for the first half of that diphthong.  Ai, ii, and then my jaw drops less as the tongue lifts up towards the roof of the mouth for the second half of the diphthong.  Bullseye, DA-da.  Make sure you get the rhythm in there.  The rhythm is really important.  We want long, then short.  DA-da.  Bullseye.

To hit the bullseye literally means to hit the center of a target, something I’m clearly not able to do.  Figuratively, it means to do something just right, to get the best result possible, to be exactly right.  Hit the bullseye.  Notice we have a Stop T in the word ‘hit’.  That’s because the next word begins with a consonant.  Also, notice how it’s stressed.  It’s louder, higher in pitch than the next word, the, which is unstressed.  Hit the.  Hit the.  You can simplify things here by making a Stop T.  First, make the H consonant and the IH as in SIT vowel.  Hi-, hi-.  Then, put your tongue into position for the TH, with the tip coming just though the teeth.  As you do this, stop the air quickly in the throat to make the stop.  Then, you’re already in the right position for the TH.  Hit the [3x].  Hit the bullseye.

To hit the bullseye, is also like to hit the nail on the head, another idiom, which basically means, that’s exactly right.  So, for example, I might say, ‘I’m not feeling well, I’m not really sure…’  And a friend who knows me may say, ‘You know what, you’re not happy at work.’  And I’m thinking, ‘You know what?  That’s right.’  And I say, ‘You hit the bullseye.  You hit the nail on the head.’  Now, I’m going to try to hit a bullseye.  So, cheer me on.  Let’s hear it.

>> Rachel, Rachel.

>> This is a difficult game.
>> Yeah.

>> Probably, the chances are, at least one of my fans is a dart expert.
>> Amen.
>> So, I’m going to say, please put in the comments below any tips you have.  Anything you see about my form that should be corrected.
>> That’s smart.

>> Tom, what did the dart board just say?
>> It said, ‘Remove darts’.
>> So, dart. Can you hold up the dart?  This is a dart as a noun.   But it’s also a verb.
>> That’s true.

The verb ‘to dart’ means to move quickly.  A mouse might dart across the floor, or your eyes might dart in the direction of a sudden sound.  This word has the AH + R combination, which can be a challenge for some speakers.  You want to make sure that you drop your jaw with the tongue forward:  da-, dar-, before you pull your tongue back for the R, so you can get a good vowel sound.  Dart, dart.  Remember, if you want to link the word ‘dart’ into a word that begins with a vowel, make the T a flap T.  For example, dart around.  Dart a-, dart a-, dart around.

>> That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.