Come along with me on an epic girls’ weekend hangout with my high school besties. We’ll have a blast and you’ll learn lots of great words and phrases.
I’m hopping a plane in Florida and you’re invited. Let’s study real English as it happens in real life.
I recently hopped on a plane, headed south and met up some dear friends from childhood.
Come with me on this trip while we study real American English conversation to learn phrases in real life. These girls you’ll meet are so much fun and I’m so lucky to have them in my life.
But actually, before I get to meet my friends, I had to work a few days. I checked myself into a bed and breakfast for two nights.
I brought my raincoat because unfortunately it’s supposed to rain most of the time I’m here.
Confession: I was so busy getting my car, getting directions, groceries, and I forget to get out my camera but I’m here now and yes, I bought flowers for my room. The first thing I’d like to do when I get somewhere is I like to get all settled in and unpacked. Are you this way or do you like to get to the fun stuff? To me, I’m going to enjoy myself more when I have sort of settled in.
The phrasal verb ‘settle in’ means to become familiar with somewhere new and to make yourself happy and comfortable there. So, for example at a hotel, settling in might be unpacking. But you could also settle in to a new community when you move and that might take months to get to know people and become comfortable and familiar.
Another phrasal verb with settle is settle down and this is what you tell your kids when they have way too much energy, and maybe they’re acting out. You have to say ‘Settle down, we’re at a restaurant now. You have to be more calm.’
Now, I don’t usually buy myself flowers but I was at the grocery store getting some food for dinner because I don’t want to leave the house. Once I’m here, I just want to chill and I saw these and I was like, well I can’t resist that, that’s going to make my room a lot nicer.
That one’s too long isn’t it? I’m not going to bother with making it shorter.
So I got them, they’re going in a coffee mug, so I have to trim them significantly.
Trim. This is when you remove the excess of something. You can also mean to make neat or tidy by clipping.
So there are lots of things you might trim. Here, I’m trimming the stems. You might trim your bangs or you might trim your beard. Also when you’re cooking. You might trim the fat off the piece of chicken for cooking it. Trim.
Anyway, this is just going to brighten my day everytime I look at it. Let’s finish unpacking. You know what’s better than unpacking? Unpacking while snacking!
Do you like salt and vinegar? It’s one of my favorites.
Love the tanginess.
The adjective, ‘tangy’ means having a sour taste. In this case it’s the vinegar that makes it tangy. So adding the –ness turns this adjective into a noun. Tanginess. The tanginess of the chips is because of the vinegar. Notice on both of these words, tangy and tanginess. The ng is making one sound, the ng sound. So there’s not a g also. We don’t say tan-gee or tan-jee. But it’s tangy. Tanginess.
Not a bad view.
I got settled in. I got unpacked. I worked through the evening, went to bed. And in the morning, it’s time for coffee. I decided to get really indulgent. Wouldn’t it be interesting to put chocolate in the coffee mug. Yes, let’s try it.
Okay, I kind of hate these machines. I make it very differently at home.
If something is indulgent and you do it, that means you’re treating yourself. For example, putting chocolate in your coffee. To put chocolate in the coffee mug.
Maybe you take a day off of work, go to spa, get a massage, get a manicure, a pedicure. That is indulgent. You’re pampering yourself, you are treating yourself. You allow yourself to do something that’s special.
As much as I don’t like these machines, that is a nice sight to see in the morning.
Alright, I’ve got a little bit more scriptwriting to do, quite a bit of room cleaning to do before I hit the road.
Hit the road. This is an idiom that means to leave, especially in a car. We’re going to hit the road. You could also say, ‘head out’, a phrasal verb that means to leave. We’re going to head out. We’re going to hit the road!
I got my work done, got dressed, and packed up to meet my friends at the beach house we rented.
These girls and I all grew up in the beautiful town of Gainesville, Florida. We get together every year. And this time we rented a house on the coast of Florida for the weekend. So I drove my rental off the coast.
Most of them are already here and they’re loud so I’m definitely hearing them through the door.
These girls and I have been friends since elementary school.
Ginny and I once stuffed ourselves into the same pair of pants.
We also dissected a fetal pig together in the 5th grade. We grew up having pool parties in each other’s backyards. When we get together, it’s still the same. This is Erin, who gave me her Barbie car in kindergarten. We just laugh and laugh. So this is what we did. We sat on the beach talking. We hung out on the deck talking. We played games but we’re mostly just talking and laughing. And every year, this is what it is. Three days of non-stop talking about life, about the year, about growing up and laughing. During all our conversations, a few phrases came up that I wanted to teach you. So Ginny and Grace are going to each teach you something.
My friend Grace just used an amazing idiom. Grace, you’re talking about your sons and how they’re saving up for a Nintendo Switch.
And I told them, if they want to be able to afford Nintendo Switch, they’re going to have to tighten their belts.
Tighten their belts.
Save up is a phrasal verb and it means to accumulate slowly over time.
So for example, these boys are going to have to save up a little bit of their allowance every week in order to buy this big thing that they want. And the best way to save up is to spend less. And to spend less, you need to tighten your belt.
Tighten your belt is an idiom that means to spend less money. To figure out ways where you can save.
Let’s say that you’re used to going to get a coffee at a coffee shop a couple of times a week. If you need to save money and tighten your belt, you might have to stop doing that and only go to a coffee shop for your morning coffee, maybe once or twice a month. So that that extra money can go into your savings.
Tighten your belt. Spend less money.
This is a picture of me and Grace at our senior prom. Thank you for being willing to teach this idiom.
Here, come this way just a smidge.
Smidge or smidgen. This means a teeny, tiny amount. A very small quantity. I just wanted her to move a little bit.
So, my friend Ginny is a teacher at a school and you guys were recently hiring a new teacher and she used a word and we thought, wow, would everybody know that word when used in that phrase? Ginny, do you remember that phrase that you guys said to your applicant in the interview?
Yes, we were acknowledging that this was the first round of interviews and that we might be meeting with other people again and we said right now, we’re just going to have our first conversations with everybody in the pool.
In the pool. Now, they did not mean grab your bathing suit, towel and ice-cold drink, we’re partying in the pool. In this case the pool means the applicant pool. And so that means the group of everybody whose applying.
The applicant pool.
Okay, so a couple of job-related words have come up here. First, applicant. This is anyone who has applied for a job.
A round of interviews. You might do several rounds of interviews if you’re trying to hire an important position. And in each round, you bring less people into the next round.
So for example, we might do three rounds of interviews if we’re filling an important job position. Maybe we interviewed ten people the first round then we pick our five favorites for the second round. And maybe in the third round, we pick our final two choices. And the pool refers to everyone who has applied. That is the applicant pool.
We also do use in the pool, like uhm, especially like collecting money from like gambling, like your money in the pool.
Yes, yes. We’re going to pool our resources.
So we use the word pool in a lot of ways. We have a swimming pool. We have an applicant pool. The group of everybody who has applied. We have something called the gene pool. So large gene pool is a lot of genetic diversity and a small gene pool is the opposite. For example, the Amish are pulling on a smaller gene pool because they tend to be separate from the rest of society.
Ginny mentioned collecting money for gambling so, you might pool all of your money into one spot when you’re playing a game of chance of a lottery or something like that then whoever wins, gets the whole pool of money.
You can also pool resources or supplies. This means lots of people put their resources, put their supplies into one place for a whole group to use.
For example, let’s say that we’re trying to have a big fundraiser for the neighborhood and I have folding tables that I can put out. My neighbor is a great baker and she can make all sorts of tasty treats to sell. Let’s say my other neighbor has a kiddie pool that she can set up and make a really fun place for kids to come. We might say, ‘Let’s pool our resources so we can throw a great party/fundraiser for the neighborhood.
This is me and Ginny in high school when the Florida Gators won the national championship. Thanks to Ginny for teaching us these words.
Don’t forget this.
The weekend went by too fast and it was time to head out, it was time to hit the road.
Goodbye Ocean view. Love you!
Love you! Mwah!
It’s always at the ready!
It’s always at the ready!
At the ready means ready for immediate use in a state of preparation or waiting.
My camera was there, the mic was plugged in, it was on.
Oh, let me get that. I could just grab it and film that hug. I didn’t have to find the camera or turn it or turn it on or anything. It was at the ready.
The mic didn’t pick it up too well here. But I’m about to use the word deadbolt.
Do you think I just do the deadbolt?
Just the deadbolt. So the deadbolt is the lock on top of the doorknob which also has a lock. We use this of course for outside doors to make them more secure.
Do you still have friends like this that you get together with? I used to go swimming at the pool at Stacy’s house.
This is Jenny, Erin, Ginny and Grace in highschool. And Amanda, Stacy and Ginny at Senior Prom. Through or 20s, 30s, now into our 40s, these friendships are still going strong.
Huge thanks to my friends for letting me take these photos and clips to put together this lesson.
Keep your learning going now with this real English video from a trip to New York City and don’t forget to subscribe with notifications on. I love being your English teacher. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.