AE 480 – Expression: A Taste of Your Own Medicine

Learn Australian English in this expression episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I teach you to use the expression A TASTE OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE.

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AE 480 – Expression: A Taste of Your Own Medicine

G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. This is the Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, or just English in general, as I always say.

So, guys, how have you been going? What’s been going on? No intro scene today. I was going to record this episode this morning, but my housemates… one of them goes out really early in the morning and has to work. He works as a swimming instructor. And so, he buggered off really early in the morning at like six thirty or something, (at the) crack of dawn, but he gets breaks during the day. So, he came back it would have been like nine o’clock, and I was just writing this episode, putting it together, and then he went to sleep, he wanted to sleep for a bit before he went back to work.

So, I decided, you know, what I’m not going to record the episode this morning, instead I’ll invert my day, I’ll reverse the order of my day and how I’d planned it, and I went out to Mulligan’s Flat, yet again, the reserve nearby where I live in Canberra here with loads of animals, and I was out there shooting with the new lens that I’ve got.

So, I recently got a lens. Hopefully, you guys have heard about this or seen the video that I was talking about this in on YouTube, and I made a Walking With Pete episode recently discussing photography and how much fun I’m kind of having with it. So, you’ll have to keep an eye out for that one. That’ll be out soon when I get around to making it, although, it ended up being a bit of a long one. It was about 27 minutes, I think 27 minutes, almost half an hour.

But yeah, today was amazing. I went out there at about 10 and got back at about 2 in the afternoon. (I) saw loads of wallabies, loads of kangaroos, heaps of birds, lots of little small passerine birds. These are things like honeyeaters and… What are the other ones? Robins. Really small ones, and now with this new lens I can finally get them.

So, it was an amazing day. I’m really happy. I’m really starting to enjoy a little more being a podcaster and someone who works from home, because I’ve sort of structured my day around what I want to do, and I talk about this in the Walking With Pete episode coming up, making your day the kind of day that you want to enjoy. Anyway, guys.

I thought I would chat to you for a little bit before we got into today’s episode. Remember, if you would like access to the transcripts and the MP3s for today’s episode and all the other podcast episodes, go to and click ‘Sign Up’, and it’s just a small fee of $4.99 a month. That’s it. And then, you get access to all the transcripts and the MP3s, so you can download them, unlimited access, and study wherever, whenever.

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A special shout out to Aykhan, to Emma, and to Lima. These guys have been working their butts off as well as everyone else in there. But yeah, get over there. It’s just $1 for your first month. Anyway.

Big intro, guys. Let’s dive into the episode.

Today’s Aussie joke, today’s Aussie joke, is about an optometrist. So, this… I found this one, I thought of this one, when… obviously the expression for today is ‘a taste of your own medicine’. I typed in ‘medicine jokes’, ’cause I know that there’s a lot of doctor jokes, but I found this one about optometrists. And ‘optometrists’ are the ones who make your glasses for your eyes. Okay? So, here’s an optometrist joke.

Did you hear about the optometrist that fell into his lens grinding machine?

I wonder if you guys know where this is going to go.

Did you hear about the optometrist that fell into his lens grinding machine? The machine that used to grind lenses so they can be used for glasses.

The answer: He made a spectacle of himself.

He made a spectacle of himself. Do you get it?

‘A spectacle’ can be used for someone who makes a scene, right, something to be looked at, something to be watched. So, if you were to do something embarrassing in front of a lot of people, you’re making a spectacle, right? If you were to take your clothes off at a football game and do what is called ‘streaking’, which some guys tend to do in Australia at footy matches, if you were to streak at a game like that, you would be making a spectacle.

But ‘a spectacle’ or ‘a pair of spectacles’ is also another way of saying ‘glasses’, ‘eye glasses’, that you look through, that allow people who have poorer vision than average, than 20/20, ‘a spectacle’ or ‘a set of spectacles’ allows them to see. A set of glasses.

So, did you hear about the optometrist that fell into his lens grinding machine? He made a spectacle of himself. Wow. Anyway, guys.

As I said, today’s expression is ‘a taste of your own medicine’, ‘a taste of your own medicine’. I wonder if you guys have heard this before.

Now Yu was the one who suggested this. Congratulations Yu. This was the first one she’s won. She is in the Aussie English Classroom private Facebook group and suggested this expression along with all the other members, we voted on them, and Yu won. Well done, Yu!

So, let’s go through and define the different words in the expression ‘a taste of your own medicine’, ‘a taste of your own medicine’. Okay.

‘A taste’, ‘a taste’. ‘A taste’ is the sensation of flavour perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance. So, you put food in your mouth, you’re having a taste of that food, right? You’re tasting the food, you’re having a taste of the food. A taste of something. Have a taste! I’ve baked a cake. Have a taste of it. Have a try. Put it in your mouth and taste it. ‘A taste’.

‘Your own’, ‘your own’, ‘your own something’, ‘your own’. ‘Your own’… when we use ‘own’ that way with possessive words beforehand, we are emphasising that someone or something belongs or is related to the person mentioned, right? So, if it is ‘your own phone’ it’s an emphasis showing that that phone belongs to you. If it’s ‘your own work’, you’ve written an essay, this is my very own work, my own essay. It is your essay. It’s a way of emphasising that, right?

‘Medicine’, ‘medicine’. ‘Medicine’ is a drug or other preparation for the treatment or prevention of a disease. So, I’m sure when you guys got sick when you were younger, your mother or your father would have given you medicine, you know, Panadol or Paracetamol, whatever drug it was, to help you feel better. They would have given you medicine.

So, let’s go through and define the expression, guys, and before we do that, I want you to know that this expression you might hear in a range of different ways with a few different verbs before ‘a taste of your own medicine’.

So. you might hear it as ‘to give someone a taste of their own medicine’, ‘to give someone a taste of their own medicine’. And you might also hear, ‘to get a taste of your own medicine’ or ‘to have a taste of your own medicine’. It can be quite often heard with those three verbs. ‘To give someone a taste of their own medicine’, ‘to get a taste of your own medicine’, or ‘to have a taste of your own medicine’.

So, I wonder if you guys know this expression of what it means. If you get, if you have, if you give someone, a taste of one’s own medicine, it is that that person is experiencing the same harmful or unpleasant thing or things that they were doing to someone else. So, if they were inflicting some kind of harmful thing or unpleasant thing on another person, and then suddenly, they were to receive that exact same harmful unpleasant thing, that treatment, back to themselves, that is a taste of their own medicine. So, an attack in the same manner in which someone has attacked someone else, right? If I punch you and then you punch me, that’s me receiving a taste of my own medicine.

So, I looked into the origin of this one and, apparently, the origin of the phrase ‘a taste of your own medicine’ comes from Aesop’s famous story about a swindler, someone who tricks people and sells things in order to make money and… trick people, a swindler who sells fake medicine claiming that it can cure anything. And then, this swindler becomes sick himself, he becomes ill, he falls ill, and people give him his own medicine, which he knows won’t work. So, literally, he got a taste of his own medicine, and figuratively, he got a taste of his own medicine.

Alright, so let’s go through three different real-life examples of how I would use this expression.

Example number one. Imagine that you have a friend or a young relative who is always pulling pranks on you. So, maybe he puts whoopie cushions on your chairs before you sit down. And whoopie cushions are these sort of rubber cushions that when you fill them with air and someone sits on them they go, *plthhh*, and it sounds like you farted, even though you didn’t really fart. So, maybe his putting would be cushions on a chair before you sit down as a prank. Maybe he put red food dye in your red wine before you drank it, and then after drinking it, your mouth was completely red. Or maybe he prank calls you. He calls you up and says, it’s the cops, you know, it’s the police. You need to come down to the police station. So, he’s pranking you a lot, right? If you get sick of him doing this and you thought, mmm, I’m going to have to get my revenge and do to him what he’s done to me. Then you’re going to give him a taste of his own medicine. Maybe you get him a chair to sit on and there’s a wonky leg, you know, a leg that’s kind of about to break, about to fall off the chair, it’s a bit wonky, and then, when he sits down, Bob’s your uncle, the chair breaks and he falls over, falls on his arse, and embarrasses himself. He got a taste of his own medicine. He had a taste of his own medicine and you gave him a taste of his own medicine. Right? So, he received the unpleasantness that he had been giving you.

Example number two. Alright, imagine that you’re a restaurant manager with a temper, and this is a true story. This is something, you know, that happened when I was working in hospitality and one of our managers was an awful person who would always lose her temper. So, you’re a restaurant manager, you’ve got a temper, you always get angry at customers, at other staff members, workers, at waiters, at chefs, at dishwashers, and you’re always taking out your frustration, your stress, and your anger on other people. One day, they all decide enough is enough and they gang up on you. So, when you suddenly decide to lose your temper and rage up at them, instead, when they see that you’re about to crack, they all start raging at you all at once yelling at you. So, this time, everyone else has given you the same treatment you usually give them. So, they gave you a taste of your own medicine, you got a taste of your own medicine, and you had a taste of your own medicine when it comes to the workers yelling at you instead of the other way round. You received a kind of unpleasantness that you usually dole out to others.

Example Number three. You’re a little kid at school and you’re known for always bagging out other children. So, you’re a boy, right, you’re nasty to other kids, you teased them, you pick on them, you pay them out, you bag them, and it makes you feel superior, you know? Bullies like to do it because it makes them feel better. So, your abuse usually packs quite a punch and causes kids to cry or to run away and dob you in to the teacher, that’s to go to the teacher and tell on you, ‘to dob you in’. And one day a new kid comes to school and is bigger than you, and he’s stronger than you, and he’s a worse bully than you. And in order to sort of assert his dominance, instead of teasing the other kids, he comes straight for you. He comes after you, he bags you, he teases you, he pays you out, like crazy, enough for you to cry, run away, and go and dob on him to the teacher. And what’s the teacher going to say when you do that? They’re going to say, this kid just gave you a taste of your own medicine. You’ve just had a taste of your own medicine from this kid. You got a taste of your own medicine from this kid. Okay? So, the teacher might show absolutely no sympathy towards you. You received the unpleasantness that you usually give other people.

So, I hope you understand the expression, guys, ‘a taste of your own medicine’. Remember, it can be used with verbs like ‘to give someone a taste of their own medicine’, ‘to have a taste of one’s own medicine’, and ‘to get a taste of one’s own medicine’. And it is when an experience of the same harmful or unpleasant thing that someone does to other people is received by that person. So, it kind of boomerangs back on them, right? And I just use the word ‘boomerang’ as a verb.

(A) ‘boomerang’ is that… the curved stick that Aboriginals used to hunt animals in Australia, and there is a stereotype that it comes back. So, it boomerangs, right? You’ve probably seen that on Instagram. Boomerang. Anyway, I diverge.

Let’s get on to the listening and repeating exercise, or listen and repeat exercise, okay. So, this is your chance to practice your pronunciation, guys, before we finish up. So, listen and repeat after me and practice your English accent. Let’s go.

To give
To give you
To give you a
To give you a taste
To give you a taste of
To give you a taste of your
To give you a taste of your own
To give you a taste of your own medicine x 5

That was a long one today, guys. I hope you did alright. So, now I’m going to use it in the future perfect tense. Okay? I will have got… You will have got… Okay? So, ‘will have’ + the past participle. And I want you to pay attention to how I’m pronouncing ‘will have’, okay? You’re going to notice that it gets contracted. Let’s go.

I’ll have got a taste of my own medicine
You’ll have got a taste of your own medicine
He’ll have got a taste of his own medicine
She’ll have got a taste of her own medicine
We’ll have got a taste of our own medicine
They’ll have got a taste of their own medicine
It’ll have got a taste of its own medicine

Good job, guys. Remember, if you would like to go through the detailed video that will break down this exercise and talk about all the different aspects of connected speech, of pronunciation, intonation, go to and enroll and you will get access to all of this episode’s content as well as all of the past expression episodes content and a bunch of other things too. Give it a go.

So, today’s Aussie fact. I decided to look up medical inventions from Australia. So, I thought, I know that there’s a few medical inventions that were created in Australia. So, I thought I would do a search, I’d list them, I’d mention them, and I would discuss each of them for you, guys. So, I’ve got six here. Okay.

And if you want to read a more in-depth article about these inventions and a couple of other ones that were also listed go to Okay. It’ll be in the transcript if you want the link to read this article. Okay. Let’s go.

So, number one: Medical application of penicillin. So, the Australian researcher Howard Florey worked with a team in the UK to purify penicillin from a special strain of mould. This is how it was originally done. And he later showed it could fight bacterial infection in humans. The antibiotic changed modern medicine forever, although obviously, we’re going to probably have problems in the near future because antibiotics are less and less effective these days.

Number Two: disease-diagnosing nano-patches. Disease-diagnosing nano-patches. This is still a relatively new invention, but these nano-patches have the potential to change the way we diagnose disease in the future. They were developed by researchers at the University of Queensland, and the patches are covered in tiny microscopic needles that can quickly and painlessly detect disease carrying proteins in the blood. How crazy’s that? And it means that you don’t need a blood test. So, because these patches have access to the human bloodstream, obviously, with those little needles, you don’t have to get blood tests. So, as someone who really hates blood tests, I’m looking forward to these becoming more predominantly used.

Number three: the bionic ear. I know! I didn’t realise this until I read this too. The bionic ear. One of our best-known exports is the cochlear implant. Both my grandparents have one of these. And the cochlear implant was created by Graeme Clark a researcher at the University of Melbourne. The device has helped more than 250,000 people with profound hearing loss to hear again. So, how crazy is that? The cochlear implant.

Number four: spray-on-skin. Now, I remember this one being in the news. Spray-on-skin has saved the lives of tens of thousands of burn victims around the world and was invented by a woman named Fiona Wood from the University of Western Australia. The invention works by taking a small patch of a patient’s skin, then growing it in the lab so that it can be sprayed back on to the person’s skin, where they’ve been burnt, over their wounds and create a protective barrier. Really cool!

So, number five: the ultrasound scanner. I didn’t realise this one was ours too. Every expectant mum around the world when they go to the hospital would be more than familiar with the ultrasound scanner, but what people might not know is that the initial discovery that ultrasounds could bounce off soft tissue was made by the CSIRO, and in 1976 it was commercialised by an Australian company called Ausonics.

Number six, the very last one, guys: electronic pacemakers. Another one that blew my mind. The first pacemaker was made impulsively back in 1926, at Sydney’s Crown Street Women’s Hospital to help save a newborn patient suffering from heart problems. The device was used to stimulate the baby’s heartbeat with electric pulses and was created by medical doctor Mark Lidwill, but he was so concerned about the ethical implications of his invention that he refused recognition and patents despite his inventions saving hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.

So, there you go, guys. I hope you enjoy this episode today. Thanks so much for spending the last 20 minutes listening to me. I do really, really appreciate you guys and I hope you have an amazing weekend. I’ll chat to you guys soon. Peace out!

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