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All the vocabulary you need to go shoe shopping! Please SHARE it with everyone you know who loves shoes!…oh, and everyone you know who’s studying English .
David is such a goody two-shoes.
Do you know this idiom?
If not, watch this video. We’re going to go over idioms related to shoes.
What does goody-two-shoes mean?
It means somebody who, here’s another phrase, sucks up to somebody. Somebody who’s always being extra good, above and beyond what’s normal. And usually, it’s a negative phrase. You think of someone being good is a good thing, but in certain contexts, they start to seem like not real, and like they’re just doing this to try to please somebody, or to get some sort of outcome, then you might call that person a goody two-shoes.
You’re not really a goody two-shoes.
No. I’m not.
Do you know anybody who’s a goody two-shoes?
Uh, no. Well, the thing that popped into my mind was one of my roommates in college who was a pre-med major, and that’s obviously a really serious course of study, and so he did have to be diligent. But sometimes it did seem like he was over studying, so we would poke and prod and try to get him to come out and have fun with us. We would sort of taunt him with: Oh, don’t be a goody two-shoes! Come on, let’s go have fun for a little while.
Do you mean you were literally poking and prodding this kid at his desk?
No. No. That may have happened too.
Okay, you were figuratively trying to get him out of this chair by saying stop being a goody two-shoes, let’s go get some beer.
The phrase to put yourself ‘in another person’s shoes’. This means it has nothing to do with their Footwear. Do not go put on this person’s shoes. It has to do with trying to understand something from their perspective, seeing it from how they would see it. Um, do you have an example of what this would be?
Yeah. So the thing that I thought of was that when I was working at a high school, at the beginning of the year, one of the exercises that we would do together is try to imagine what it would be like to be the students coming into school on the first day of school. What would their mindset be like? What kinds of feelings would they be having? And try to put ourselves in their shoes for a little bit to try to think about how would they want us to be as a staff.
So it basically, means to see a situation from someone else’s perspective.
The phrase ‘shaking in your boots’ means to be really nervous about something, really intimidated by something. Again, you don’t have to be wearing boots. It has nothing to do with actual Footwear. It’s just an idiom. Do you have an example of this?
Yeah. So couple years ago, I went in for a job interview and typically, when you go in for an interview, you imagine being with one other person and answering some questions. And I got there and I met one person, and it really quickly became clear that I was getting ready to go into a roomful of most of the staff and I was kind of shaking in my boots. I couldn’t believe that I was going to go do that.
You didn’t feel prepared for that.
Yeah. I wasn’t prepared and it just, it sort of was like I was instantly nervous in a way that I hadn’t been.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is when something is going well but you don’t expect it to last. You’re sort of feeling like the other shoe is going to drop, things are going to change, things are going to end up not going so well. Do you have an example of this idiom?
Well, I’m chuckling because my example is being a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. It just seems like anytime something goes well, the other shoe is going to drop.
And so the current example is the 76ers, our basketball team, they’ve been rebuilding and they’ve been really bad which means that they get a high draft pick every year. And for three years in a row, I think it was three years in a row, their draft pick got hurt before the season even started. So every year, we would get excited because they got this a new great player, but you’re also sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Especially if it happens three years in a row.
It kept dropping.
The good news kept ending for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The idiom big shoes to fill. This means that you are stepping into position or taking over something from someone who was really well-liked, who did their job really well. That’s when you have big shoes to fill. And actually in my academy every month, I do conversation exercises, and I took an excerpt from a show where they use this idiom. They were talking about a principal who’d been very loved by staff, by students, who was leaving, and when he talked about hiring a new principal, the man in charge of that said ‘this person has big shoes to fill’.
The phrase ‘on a shoestring budget’ means to do something with very little money. A shoestring is what you might lace your shoes up with, and it’s very thin, it can break.
We actually really use shoelace more than shoestring Now, except for in this idiom, we still have this idiom ‘on a shoestring budget’. So for example, when I started Rachel’s English it was very much so on a shoestring budget. I just used the camera on my computer, I bought a sheet to hang behind me for like ten dollars or something, very much so a shoestring budget.
Another term that I could use for this is I ‘bootstrapped’ it. I didn’t rely on other people paying consultants, you know, getting a lighting designer or whatever. I just did it all myself. I bootstrapped it.
And you could also use the phrase you may have heard this, to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. That means to do something to make change, usually after something negative has happened, all on your own. So for example, somebody gets fired from a job, maybe and they’re pretty down about it, they’re not feeling great, but they pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they get out there, they applied more jobs, and they find one that’s even better.
Great phrase. If I were in your shoes. This is when you give advice to somebody. It’s like saying ‘if I were you’, but it’s become ‘If I were in your shoes, I would do this.’
So people come to Philadelphia and they come stay with us and they say: so where should I get a cheese steak?
And I always say…
Wait, why do they say that?
Because Philadelphia is known for cheese steaks?
That’s our famous sandwich.
And there are a couple of really famous spots around the city…
That everyone has heard of.
When they come, they say you should I go to Pat’s or should I go to Gino’s?
And that’s when I cut in with my unsolicited, no it’s solicited…
It’s probably solicited.
>> Cut it with my advice.
>> Your advice.
And say if I were in your shoes, I just go to Joe’s. And Joe’s is a spot right here in our neighborhood that I think has the best cheese steak in the city.
And he’s been to Gino’s, you’ve been to Pat’s, what’s– oh Jim’s, you’ve been to Jim’s.
These are the three most famous.
And you’re saying Joe’s is better.
Got to go to Joe’s.
There’s another one that’s not directly related to shoes but to feet. And I wanted to include this because last week, when I was going over different shoes with my sister-in-law Lisa, she said she had this one pair of boots that she wore that she said she loves to wear these in the winter because she always has cold feet.
And I thought, okay. So she literally, her feet are cold, but we use this idiom all the time and it means to be nervous about something. And the… I think the most common use of this is with marriage.
Would you say?
Yeah, I think that’s right.
So you get engaged to somebody, leading up to the wedding, you might start to feel a little nervous little anxious, like, oh my gosh, this is a big commitment. Then people might use the phrase: Is he getting cold feet? Does she have cold feet?
The last one I want to go over is the phrase ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’. Which is often just shortened to ‘if the shoe fits’.
And it’s a way of acknowledging criticism on somebody. So let’s say, for example, in high school, I’m learning how to write, I’m not a very good writer, I come home and I say to my mom: Man, my teacher just keeps telling me I’m not a strong writer. Well, my mom knows this, because she’s been helping me with my writing. She might say, if the shoe fits.
That’s like saying ‘I agree you’re not a strong writer’. So it’s not as harsh as saying it’s true, but it’s the same meaning.
If someone gives you feedback: you complain a lot. That’s not something you want to hear. Maybe you go to a friend and say, Sam just said I complain a lot, and if that friend agrees that friend might say, if the shoe fits.
I hope you’re not having cold feet about watching another video. I want to be sure that you see this shoe vocabulary video from last week if you haven’t already. If you have, then check out this playlist of other videos i’ve done with David where we go over idioms.
David, thanks for joining me here.
You got it.
That’s it guys and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.