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AE 391 – Expression: A Blessing in Disguise
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of the Aussie English Podcast. The number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, whether you want to learn to understand Australian English or to speak it just like an Aussie, you’ve come to the right place. So, sit back and enjoy Aussie English.
Alright, guys. So, welcome to this episode. Welcome to this episode.
So, that clip at the start of today’s lesson was actually Lleyton Hewitt, one of Australia’s most famous tennis players, saying his stereotypical, “Come on!”, at the end of winning a point.
So, I thought I would add that in, because most people in Australia will know what you’re talking about if you make a reference to Lleyton Hewitt and saying, “Come on!”. Especially, too, if you do the hand movement, which you’ll have to look up.
Today, let’s go through a little bit of housekeeping stuff here at the start. So, Facebook Live lessons have started up again. Every week, I try and get on Facebook at 7pm sharp, 7pm on a Tuesday, okay, on a Tuesday, and that is Greenwich Mean Time 11+ hours. So, GMT 11+ hours for anyone who isn’t living in the time-zone that I’m living in, which is Melbourne/Sydney time-zone. So, 7pm Melbourne time. Send me your questions ahead of time if you would like me to answer them, to address them, before I answer the questions that come in the comments section. You can send me your questions on Facebook, send me them as a message, or you can email them to me at TheAussieEnglishpodcast@gmail.com. Okay. Aside from that, guys the podcast structure is going to change a little bit. I’m going to mix it up, I’m going to vary it, in the coming weeks and months just to try different things and keep it fresh, to keep you guys engaged, to keep you guys interested.
And I guess, I should also mention that I’m applying the same tactics, I’m doing the same thing, to The Aussie English Classroom. The Aussie English Classroom is an online learning classroom for Australian English. You can get in there and give it a go. It’s a paid service that keeps the Aussie English Podcast going. This is how I make a crust, how I earn a crust, it’s how I make a living, through the Aussie English Classroom. So, you get lessons in there for the expression episodes just like this one. Usually, five to seven different lessons covering things like pronunciation, grammar, connected speech, listening comprehension exercises, and now you get a speaking challenge every week that sends you over to the Aussie English Facebook group where you can post a video practicing a certain expression from this episode.
So, aside from that, you may have also noticed that there are more interview episodes coming out now on a Wednesday. So, I’m going to do this each week where I give you guys access to me having a conversation with at least one other Australian. Maybe from time to time someone from overseas, whether they speak English as their first language or not. But the basic idea is to give you access to multiple people talking all at once about all sorts of different topics, and you guys get to be a fly on the wall listening in on that conversation. Okay, guys? And remember that if you want to practice these interview lessons, if you want to study them more in depth, there is now and interviews in depth section in the Aussie English Classroom that comes out every Wednesday where you study in depth 5-10 minutes of each interview, and then you get a vocab and expression break down and a quiz at the end.
So, that is a great way to level up your listening comprehension of Australian English. If you want to get in there remember guys it’s just one dollar for your first month. Go to www.TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com/register.
Anyway guys, let’s get into today’s joke. Alright. So, today’s joke… I love these one-liner jokes where they’re very short. It’s just like a question and then a funny answer. These are what we call “one-liner jokes”, because they’re one line, they’re a single question.
So, today’s joke is: what do you call a group of unorganised cats? So, what do you call a group of cats who are unorganised?
Are cat-tastrophe. A catastrophe.
Do you get it, guys? That is a pun, that is a play on words, it’s a joke with regards to the word ‘catastrophe’, meaning a disaster, something awful that’s happened, it’s a catastrophe, and the word ‘cat’. So, what do you call a group of unorganised cats? A cat-tastrophe.
So, your mission today… you, the listener, your mission to day is to go out and tell one person, just one person, this joke in English. Use it to start a conversation. Use it as a way of making someone laugh. Just engage and use this joke with at least one person today.
Alright, let’s get into today’s expression, guys. So, today’s expression is, and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, ‘a blessing in disguise’. ‘A blessing in disguise.
So, this expression, ‘a blessing in disguise’, was suggested by Lima in the Aussie English Facebook group. Each week, guys, we vote on the expression that this episode is going to be about. So, you want to be involved there and you want to put forth, you want to suggest, your own expressions, jump over to the Aussie English Facebook group.
So, as usual, let’s go through the definitions of the different words in the expression ‘a blessing in disguise’.
So. ‘a blessing’. ‘a blessing’. What is ‘a blessing’? ‘A blessing’ can be multiple things. It can be a prayer asking for divine favour and protection from God or from some divine power. So, a priest gave a blessing as the ship was launched. So, he might pick up a wine bottle, smash the front of the ship, and then say a prayer, some kind of blessing, so that the ship is protected by that blessing. It has divine favour and protection.
‘A blessing’ can also be a beneficial thing for which someone is grateful. So, a boy who is incredibly smart might consider his intelligence to be a blessing. Someone who is incredibly good looking could it consider their appearance, their attractiveness, to be a blessing. You could consider your good fortune a blessing. So, that is what ‘a blessing’ is.
‘A disguise’, okay, ‘a disguise’. ‘A disguise’ is a means of altering one’s appearance to conceal one’s identity. So, you could put a fake moustache on and you’re wearing a disguise. You could put a wig on and you’re wearing a disguise. Or maybe you completely dress up as something else in a costume or in a suit, in some kind of outfit, pretending to be someone else. Maybe your pretending to be a security guard or maybe you are just trying to conceal your identity so no one can recognise you. That is ‘a disguise’.
And we say that you are ‘in disguise’ when you are wearing a disguise. So, when you put that outfit on you are ‘in disguise’. When you put a costume on you are ‘in disguise’. If you put a fake moustache on your mouth or on the top lip and you put the wig on you are ‘in disguise’. Okay.
So, let’s go through and define the expression, guys. It’s a relatively straightforward expression. It’s pretty easy to understand. ‘A blessing in disguise’ is something that seems bad or unlucky at first, so it seems unfortunate, but then it results in something good happening later. So, as a result of something that seems bad at first, that seems unlucky at first, something else happens afterwards that actually ends up being a good thing. It’s a good result due to this thing that initially seemed bad.
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Alright. So, let’s go through some examples, guys, and then we’ll do a little listen and repeat exercise, we’ll cover an Aussie fact, and then we‘ll finish up.
So, the examples that I have here, number one, the example number one. Imagine you get a job in Queensland, but you live in Melbourne, and you’re like, “It’s good that I got the job, but it’s going to be a real pain in the butt to move to Queensland. I really can’t be stuffed, but I’m and I have to uproot my family, move them all north, and then start life again.”. It seems unfortunate at first, it seems unlucky. So, you have to do this, it’s a lot of stress, it takes a long time to get used to, but then all of a sudden, you realise one day, “I’ve made an amazing set of friends. I love the beaches here. I love the sun. I love the warm weather. I’m actually a lot happier in Queensland.”. So, you could say, despite not wanting to go here in the first place, and despite it being a real pain in the butt and a lot of effort, moving to Queensland was actually a blessing in disguise. So, it was hard work, it seemed like a bad decision at first, but ultimately it resulted in something good happening. It was a blessing in disguise.
Example number two. So, you’re crossing the road. Okay? You’re on a pedestrian crossing at the lights. You press the little button the green man started flickering, you know, making that ***beeping*** sound so that you can cross the road. But as you try and cross the road to go over this pedestrian crossing, this is zebra crossing as we sometimes call it, ’cause of the black and white stripes, ‘a zebra crossing’, you trip over, because your shoelaces are undone, they’re untied. So, you trip over your own feet, you hit the ground, and you think, “Oh, man! That was embarrassing. I’m such a drongo! I need to check my shoelaces in future.”, As you’re having these thoughts though, a car rushes by, and it’s run through the red light, and it would have killed you if you hadn’t tripped over. So, you’re lucky that you had tripped over, although at first, it seemed like it was unlucky that it was something bad that happened, but the result was good, ’cause you didn’t get killed by the car. So, tripping over was a blessing in disguise. It was unpleasant at first, it was bad, it seemed unlucky at first, but it resulted in something positive. It had been a blessing in disguise.
Example number three. Alright, considering the Australian Open is on at the moment, yay tennis, let’s do a tennis example. Okay, so Alex De Minaur is an Australian kid who got in to the Australian Open this year. He’s only 18 years old, and everyone was hoping that he did well, but unfortunately, he lost in the first round to a tennis player called Danii Medvedev. If he learns from this loss, his defeat, at the hands of Daniil Medvedev, and comes back even stronger in the future, it will have been a real blessing in disguise. So, Alex De Minaur is currently mentored by Leyton Hewitt, who’s a famous Australian tennis player. Lleyton might sit him down and say, “Don’t worry mate. It’s okay to have lost. Let’s learn from this, let’s improve from this experience, and let’s treat it as a blessing in disguise. It seemed unfortunate. It seemed unlucky. It would have been good if you’d won, in the short term at least, but if it pays off in the long term, it’ll have been a blessing in disguise.
Alright, so hopefully now, guys, you understand what ‘a blessing in disguise’ is. ‘A blessing in disguise’ is something that seems bad, that seems unlucky, unfortunate, at first, but the results end up being incredibly good. So, something happens afterwards that is good and it’s a blessing in disguise.
So, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. This is your chance to pronounce these phrases just like me to practice your Aussie English accent. So, if you are new, for the first time listening to this episode, first of all, welcome, but second of all, this is the exercise that I do to help you improve your pronunciation. So, what you should do right now is just repeat these phrases exactly as I say them and practice your accent.
Let’s go, guys.
Listen & Repeat:
It’s a blessing
It’s a blessing in
It’s a blessing in disguise x 5
So, I’ve said that slowly and tried to link it together so that you guys learn are connected speech that is happening there when I say, ‘it’s a blessing in disguise’. So, keep going. Listen then repeat after me. I’m going to use the Australian expression ‘I reckon’, which means, ‘it’s my opinion’, and then I’m going to say, ‘it’s a blessing in disguise’. So, listen and repeat after me, guys.
I reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
You reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
He reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
She reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
We reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
They reckon it’s a blessing in disguise
It reckons it’s a blessing in disguise
There’s a lot of S’s going on there, guys. (A) lot of S’s in there.
Anyway, keep doing that, guys. Listen and repeat, and always focus on improving your accent. It’s an ever-lasting thing that you have to practice. It’s not that you can just train it one day and it’s done forever. You’ve got to do it all the time.
Remember, guys, if you want to practice more in depth your pronunciation, your English accent, your Australian accent, jump into the Aussie English Classroom there are exercises designed to help you do that and to help you do that much more rapidly.
Anyway, guys, the Australian fact, and then let’s finish up.
So, obviously, as the Australian Open is on at the moment I thought that we could do some interesting facts about the Australian Open.
So, the Australasian championship started in 1905 at Melbourne’s Warehouseman Cricket Ground.
The tournament changed its name to the Australian Championships in 1927, and then it was renamed again in 1969 to the Australian Open.
It’s the largest annual sporting event that occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. How crazy’s that, guys? It’s just tennis.
Roger Federer is the second oldest man to win a Grand Slam since Ken Rosewall in 1972, and I believe Roger is 36 years old.
This year there were 350 ball kids taking part and 28 of those were from overseas.
The fastest ever serve that has occurred at the Australian Open occurred last year in 2017 from Milos Raonic from Canada, and it was 236km/hr. So, to put that in context, the fastest speed in Australia that you can drive a car is 110kms/hr, and he hit a tennis ball, he served that tennis ball, more than two times that speed. How crazy is that?
Prior to 1988 the competition was traditionally played on grass. However, a blue plexicushion surface has been used since 2008.
The tournament used to be held in places like New Zealand and a bunch of other cities around Australia, 14 times in Adelaide, 7 times in Brisbane, I think Christchurch, over in New Zealand, hosted it in 1906, Hastings hosted it in 1912, and Sydney has hosted it 17 times, and Melbourne has hosted it 55 times.
It became a major tennis event in Australia in 1924, and Melbourne became the permanent home of the Australian Open in 1972.
The extreme heat policy kicks in at 40 degrees Celsius, and after an even number of games in that set. So, if the temperature rises to above 40 degrees, we have to then wait for there to be an even number of games in a set, and then it‘s put on pause.
573 players from 65 nations competed in the Australian Open last year, and 18 Aussies took to the courts in the main draw singles.
Last year as well, almost three quarters of a million people came and attended the Australian Open, with more than half a million people coming in the first week.
Roger Federer won his fifth Australian Open last year after defeating Rafael Nadal.
And Rafael Nadal won the longest ever Australian Open tennis match against Fernando Verdasco in 2009, and the match went for five hours and 14 minutes.
Martina Hingis is the youngest ever singles player to win in the 20th century, and she won at the age of 16. That’s ridiculous.
And the last fact is that there was one coffee shop at the venue in 1988 and as is in Melbourne style these days there are now dozens of them this year.
Anyway, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of Aussie English. Remember to tune in, sign up for the podcast if you haven’t already, and listened to it on your phone. You can get it if you just download any good podcast app and then just search ‘Aussie English’, and you will get updates and all the latest episodes sent directly to your phone. You can listen anywhere, any time.
Remember, also if you want the freebie for today’s episode, you can go over to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com, the link should be in the podcast player itself there, where you can download the transcript and the MP3 if you want to study this on your computer.
Anyway, guys, that’s it for me today and I hope you have a great weekend and tune in to the tennis.
See you later, guys.