Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

A Tom Swifty

Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

This play on words is known as a 'Tom Swifty'. It is a type of pun (joke) that plays on the relationship between the adverb and an action spoken in the dialogue. The sentence is usually in reported speech. Tom Swifty is a character who appears in a series of adventure stories written by the author Edward Stratemeyer. The pun in this case is on the adverb 'abstractly' as modern art is sometimes abstract.

Why do we say 'Jump on the Bandwagon'?

Average: 3.1 (11 votes)

Meaning: to support a cause only because it is popular to do so.

If you ‘jump on the bandwagon’, you join a growing movement in support of someone or something when that movement is seen to be about to become successful.

Why do we say 'Cut to the chase'?

Average: 4.4 (85 votes)

 

Show Girl in Hollywood Poster (1930)

Meaning:  ‘get to the point’.

How to 'express limited knowledge'

Average: 3 (9 votes)

How to make a point when we are not 100% sure what we are talking about. Thanks to Danny for writing this article!

 

Pronunciation -Tongue Twister

Average: 3.2 (17 votes)

Even native English speakers can find them difficult. However, they are a fun way to practise your pronunciation. Practise saying tongue-twisters out loud. Instead of concentrating on the speed, try saying them slowly and correctly.

 

Here are some other great tongue-twisters…

 

How to 'Express Feelings'

Average: 3.4 (20 votes)

Want to talk about it?

I’ve come to discover that, in life, for every situation that you may find yourself in, there are basically two ways to handle it - the right way... and the wrong way.

Phrasal Verb - 'Add Up'

Average: 3.7 (7 votes)

 

The phrasal verb Add Up can be used to talk about a calculated a total sum: 'The waiter added up the bill and the total sum was $10'.

Add Up is also means to make sense: His theory doesn't add up. 'I don't think he did enough research'.

Add Up To is used to talk about an equaled amount. E.g. 'The total bill added up to $10'.

 

Why do we say 'Pleased as Punch'?

Average: 3.8 (9 votes)

 

Meaning: ‘very pleased’

This expression refers to the Punch and Judy puppet character. Punch’s name comes from Polchinello (sometimes spelled Punchinello), an Italian puppet with similar characteristics. In Punch and Judy shows, the grotesque Punch is portrayed as self-satisfied and pleased with his evil actions.

 

Why do we say 'Over the Moon'?

Average: 3.4 (7 votes)

Meaning: very happy or delighted.

How to 'Apologise'

Average: 3.1 (29 votes)

I have come to realise that, in life, it’s the tiniest things that can drive me crazy and send me hurtling into a half-hour violent rant while the bigger things don’t really bother me all that much.