off the cuff: An English Learning Podcast, Episode 15

An English Learning Podcast: A big change for 2022

This month on off the cuff: An English Learning Podcast: A big change for 2022, Clare and Annie complete their 15th episode of the podcast. They talk about some big changes happening in their lives and use some vocabulary and expressions to do so. Check out the vocabulary, their meanings and examples below. And stay tuned!

Vocabulary and expressions, Minute 0:00 – 1:40

Funny you should ask me (that)

  • This is something we say when there is a coincidence usually because the other person was just about to talk about that topic or because there is some interesting story to tell about that same topic.
    • Where did you buy that phone? Funny you should ask me because I was just about to tell you that I am pleasantly surprised by my new phone.

Be provoked by something

  • This is when something persuades us or causes a reaction in us
    • I was provoked by the ad to buy the alarm system even though I never really thought I needed one.

360 degree change  

  • We say this when we want to express that we have made a compete change in our lives.
    • After having a baby, she made a 360 degree change in the way she spends her time.

To swap something for something else  

  • To give something for something else in return.
    • We swapped my old mini-van for a new Ford C-Max

Town council

  • The local government of a town
    • All of the events for today were sponsored by the town council

Something pops up

  • Something appears suddenly and unexpectedly
    • I hate when I am working online and advertisements keep popping up.

Vocabulary and Expressions from minute 1:40 – 4:45


  • an effort to do something, usually something new.
    • She is off to start her new endeavor in Navarra.

To learn on the job

  • to gain a new skill while you are working, instead of having that skill before you starting doing a particular job.
    • It’s important to have training but a lot of the hand-on skills you will learn on the job.

To be a bit of a jump

  • a change
  • We often use this expression to say something is not that similar to what we were previously talking about or doing.
    • I said she was nice, but to to say that she’s extremely friendly is a bit of a jump.  

Opportunities come and go

  • In this case, Clare was trying to say that sometimes things present themselves in life, particularly opportunities, and we can either chose to take them or leave them. So, the idea of come and go is that if you don’t decide to take them, they will disappear and your chance or opportunity will be gone.
    • I got a grant to study abroad in London for 6 months, but I don’t know if I should go or not. Well, opportunities come and go (so, you shouldn’t miss this opportunity)

To not know what lay ahead of you

  • What lies ahead of you is your future. If you don’t know what lies ahead of you, you don’t know what the future will bring, so there is a lot of uncertainty.
    • The reason why this pandemic is so difficult to handle is that we never know what lies ahead of us.

One-way ticket

  • One way ticket is obviously when you buy a ticket to go somewhere without buying a return ticket. But there is more to this concept because if you don’t have a return ticket, it means your future is unknown and you don’t know what lies ahead.
    • I feel like buying a one way ticket to a small island that is warm and welcoming.

On a day-to-day basis

  • On a day to day basis is the same as saying on a daily basis. Meaning, something that occurs every day.
    • I use my computer on a day-to-day basis.
  • It can also be used to say that you will focus on what you need to accomplish slowly and each day focus on what you need to do.
    • I have so much to deal with but I am trying to take it all on a day-to-day basis to not feel too overwhelmed.

Vocabulary and expressions minute 4:45 – end

Throw in the towel

  • To stop doing something because you realize you are defeated or you do not want to do it anymore.
    • I have had enough of working in restaurants! I’m throwing in the towel and going back to school.

To make something rock

  • To do a great job with something or to make something exciting.
    • Clare is going to make the hotel rock in no time.

To walk a fine line

  • This means that you are very close to two different ideas at the same time. Annie in this case says there is a fine line between crazy and stupid, meaning there is very little difference.
    • When doing extreme sports, people sometimes walk a fine line between adventure and danger.


  • Someone who is afraid of or dislikes technology and tries to avoid using it.
    • Oh, don’t be such a technophobe and buy yourself a smart TV.

To be pulling pints

  • To be serving a beer properly.
  • Pint is what a beer is referred to in many countries as they give you a pint (a measurement) of beer.
    • He’s pulled over 50 pints tonight at the party.

To not be a stranger to something

  • This means that you are familiar with someone or something. Stranger is someone you don’t know.
    • I’m not a stranger to taking risks since I have taken quite a few in my life.

Double trouble

  • This means that the amount of trouble is going to be twice as big. It is often used in a jokingly way.
    • My daughters are double trouble when they are left alone.

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Now that you have heard off the cuff, An English Learning Podcast: A big change for 2022, listen to our previous episodes
off the cuff: An English Learning Podcast, Episode 14: Squid Game
off the cuff: An English Learning Podcast: Episode 13: Phrasal verbs