AE 511 – Expression: Not Have a Bar of It

Learn Australian English in this expression episode of The Aussie English Podcast where I teach you to use the expression NOT HAVE A BAR OF IT.

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AE 511 – Expression: Not Have a Bar of It

I’m Barry, living in American River, Kangaroo Island. I trap feral cats and give them another home. I keep a record of every cat that I catch and the total’s 1438.

I’m not that fussed if people have their cats. I just have the thing for the feral cat. People think I’m a cat hater, but I’m not. We just hate the feral ones. (The) domestic cat just sits and meows and says “Meow, feed me!”, but it’s the feral ones.

The cats that I’ve removed will probably have killed millions of birds. Birdlife around the river has dramatically improved.


G’day, guys!

Far out! Far out! It is a boiling day today. It is sweltering. It is steaming. It is incredibly hot. So, yesterday, it was like 34 degrees, I think, today’s 36, and I know some of you are from places around the world where that is nothing.You know, I understand that, but for me in Australia, especially, in the very, very south part of Australia, the mainland, in Victoria, 36 is getting pretty hot. Although, yeah, we’ve had some days in the past that got up to 48. I remember it being 51 degrees inside my car at one point in the past and that was just ridiculous. Anyway.

It’s been hot, and I guess, I’ve been suffering from it more because I’ve been moving house. So, as you guys may or may not know, Kel and I recently moved into our new house, in fact, we moved in two days ago, but didn’t stay there the night, because we had all our stuff at my parents’ place still, the bed stuff and everything, so we stayed here, and they had air conditioning. So, that was one thing. But then last night or yesterday, we went down there and stayed the night there and I’ve been running around like a headless chook, running around like crazy, buying second-hand furniture and all sorts of things off Gumtree and Market Place on Facebook. You may have seen the video I did on that on YouTube. So, lots of collecting stuff, filling the car up, going to the new house, unloading the car, and doing that in the heat has been a massive chore. Anyway. I won’t rabbit on too much about that, but that’s what I’ve been up to.

Today, the movie scene at the very start there, guys, was a clip from a Vice documentary called ‘Shooting Cats’. Now, Vice is a really good organisation.They do lots of these interesting sort of docos and news articles, news items online that you can find if you just search, Vice, V-I-C-E. This documentary was about the problem of cats in Australia and the hunters who tried to reduce the numbers of these feral cats. So, it’s a contentious issue. You know, the house moggy, your average house cat, vs. the feral cat, the native animal assassin inAustralia.

So, watch that doco ‘Shooting Cats’. It’s about 20 or 30 minutes long. It’s a great chance to learn about Australian culture and to introduce yourselves to a few of Australia’s more colorful characters. Strong accent warning too. And there’ll be a link to that in the transcript. Anyway.

That aside, guys, this is the Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone learning Australian English or anyone learning English in general and trying to get from intermediate to advanced and beyond in their English abilities.

So, it’s brought to you by The Aussie English Classroom. That is my online website with the courses that I put together for these episodes and a lot of other content to help you improve pronunciation, expand your vocab, and learn these expressions, as well as meet a lot of other people who are also learningEnglish. That you can sign up for at and is just one point for your first month so get in there and give it a go. If that’s not your thing and you’re just after the transcripts for these episodes and theMP3s and you want to download them so you can listen and read anywhere, anytime, go to, and click sign up, and for the price of one coffee per month you will get access to all of the transcripts, all of the MP3s for all of these episodes.Anyway.

That aside, let’s get into the Aussie joke for today, guys. So, considering we had the doco at the start they’re ‘Shooting Cats’. I thought, you know what, I will find a cat joke. Okay, so here’s the joke:

Why don’t cats like online shopping? Why don’t cats like online shopping online?Why don’t they like shopping online?

They prefer a ‘cat-alogue’. They prefer a ‘cat-alogue’.

Do you get it? Cat-alogue, right? So. you can shop online via websites, but you can also shop using catalogues, right, those sort of like magazine-style things, but for just selling products. So, that’s the joke.

So, today’s expression, guys. Today’s expression is ‘to not want a bar of something’ or ‘to not want a bar of it’ or ‘to not have a bar of something’ or ‘to not have a bar of it’, right. You’ll hear this in many different ways.Sometimes it will be with the verb ‘have’ sometimes with ‘want’, sometimes it’ll be ‘of something’. Sometimes you’ll just say ‘of it’ and this expression was suggested by Shiny in the Aussie English Classroom. Good job, Shiny. So, every week we suggest the expressions we want to vote on and the winning expression becomes the one for the week. Anyway.

Let’s get into it and define the different words in this expression.

So, obviously, ‘to have’, if you have something or you don’t have something that is that you possess the thing or you do not possess the thing, right. Like, I have a t-shirt on at the moment. I have two parents. I have a car. You know, I possess those things.

‘To want’. I am sure you will all know what ‘want’ is, guys, to desire something, to feel like something. You know, at the moment, I want it to be less hot. At the moment, I want a cold drink. ‘Want’.

And the last word there, guys, ‘a bar’. Now, I don’t exactly know why this has been used in this expression and what exactly it is referring to, but I would imagine that somehow it is referring to a long rigid piece of wood metal or similar material. So, for instance, if you go to jail, the… I guess, the metal sort of fence that is in front of your cell is made up of bars, right, bars of metal, bars of metal. So, it’s usually something that’s like long and thin, right. So, you could have a chocolate bar, right, a chocolate bar. So, if you don’t want a bar of something, I guess, in this case, it just means… ‘the bar’ means that you don’t want a part of that thing, right. I’m not 100% sure.Anyway.

Let’s go through the expression definition. So, ‘to not want a bar of something’. If you don’t want a bar of something, that is that you want nothing to do with that thing or it could even be someone. So, you want… you’re not interested at all in having anything related, to do, with that thing, right. So, I don’t want to be involved. I don’t want to… I just want nothing to do with it.Okay, I don’t want a bar of it. I want nothing to do with it.

And if you don’t have a bar of something, or if you’re not going to have a bar of something, you won’t have a bar or something, you wouldn’t have a bar of something, that can mean something slightly different meaning be unable to tolerate something, to dislike something, to not accept something, or to not allow something to happen. Okay.

So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression or these expressions, right, to not want a bar of something and to not have a bar of something. Alright.

So, example number one. Imagine you’re a teenager, you’re at school, and the next class that you have to go to is PE, and ‘PE’ stands for Physical Education, right, so sports. So, maybe you’re a bit of a fat kid, you know, you’re a little bit chubby, you’re overweight, and you can’t run very well, you’ve always been a bit bad at sports, you know, you’re not very athletic, you’re not much of a jock, and you get out of breath really quickly. So, you really dislike exercise overall and you think it’s pointless and an unpleasant endeavor. In order to try and get out of PE class, you tell your teacher that you’ve got a trumpet lesson, and unfortunately, it clashes with the PE class, meaning it is on at the same time as the PE class. It clashes with it. So, you have to go and you have to do this trumpet lesson and you have to give the class amiss. However, the teacher knows how much you hate PE class and also that you’re not currently learning the trumpet, so that’s a bit of a lie, it’s a fib, you’ve made up that story, okay. So, although, you don’t want to have a bar of a class, because you hate it and want to get out of it, the teacher isn’t going to have a bar of your excuses and he won’t let you skip class. So, you don’t want a bar of PE class, you want to skip it, but the teacher isn’t going to have a bar of it, of your excuses, and makes you stay and do a class instead. So, you dislike PE class and you want to avoid it, you do not want a bar of it, but the teacher won’t allow you to do that, so he’s not having a bar of it. He’s not going to put up with you trying to skip class.

Example number two. Imagine you are a gymnast or maybe an athlete, you know, someone who likes to do parkour in the street where people run around the streets and treat stairs and other structures as a sort of obstacle courses to jump through and under and over, all of that sort of stuff. So, you were out training one day with your mates, but you had a fall and busted your leg, right, you hurt your leg on the concrete when you landed. It’s nothing too serious or severe, but after seeing the doctor you are told that you need to rest up, you need to take it easy, you need to recover, you need to recuperate, and give your leg a few weeks to heal before you go back to training. Despite the advice the doctor’s given you, you’re incredibly impatient and you can’t be bothered waiting. So, you want to go out and train a few days after the accident, but your leg is so sore that you can’t do it. Your leg isn’t going to have a bar of it. Your legs not going to allow you to do it, right. It doesn’t want anything to do with training. So, you might complain and say, Ah, my damn leg! I want to train, but it’s not having a bar of it, or it doesn’t want to have a bar of it.Your leg isn’t going to allow you to train, it won’t tolerate training, it won’t have a bar of it. You’ll just have to rest up for a week or so.

So, example number three. So, let’s use some informal Aussie slang. Okay. Imagine you’re a bloke, so an Australian male, and you’re married to a ripper of a sheila, right. And ‘a ripper of something’ means ‘an awesome thing’, and ‘a sheila is ‘a woman’. So, ‘a ripper of a sheila’, ‘a great woman’. You’re a bloke married to a ripper of a sheila, and you guys have a bun in the oven, she’s up the duff, she’s expecting, she’s pregnant, right. They’re all different expressions for pregnant. And your first little nipper, your first little child, is going to be born in a few months. So, when your little bub is born, ‘bub’ as in ‘baby’, you think it’s still all good for you to nick off down the pub, so ‘go down to the pub’, every other night or so, go to barbies with your mates, sink a few tinnies a few stubbies, so these are cans and glass bottles of beer, tinnies and stubbies, and leave your wife at home who’s a recent first time mum all home alone with the bub to deal with it all herself.If she snaps though and she won’t tolerate you doing this, she won’t put up with you leaving her all alone at home having fun with your mates, she’s not going to have a bar of it, right. She doesn’t want a bar of it. She’s not going to have a bar of it. So, she won’t allow you to just leave her at home all alone with the baby, with the bub, and let you go off and have fun with your mates. Maybe she’s upset too, because she thinks you don’t want a bar of her.So, maybe she thinks you want nothing to do with her. You’re annoyed with her, right. You don’t want a bar of her. You’re not interested in her or the baby.You want nothing to do with them, you dislike them, you don’t want a bar of them. So, being a ripper of a new dad, though, you decide you’ll take it easy, you’ll stay at home, you won’t party anymore, you’ll spend some quality time with your ripper of a sheila, with your wife, your missus, and your bub for the near future and you’ll do your duty. Good man. Good man. Alright, guys.

So, hopefully now, you understand the expression ‘to not want a bar of something ‘or ‘to not want a bar of it’ meaning to want nothing to do with it, with something, with someone. And the expression ‘to not have a bar of something’ or someone or ‘to not have a bar of it’, and this means to be unable to tolerate something, to dislike something, to not accept something, to not allow something to happen.

So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys, where you guys can practice your English pronunciation, okay. So, concentrate on the wayI’m linking these words, the intonation I’m using, the pronunciation, and remember, if you want to get the video breakdown of this exercise and all the other exercises in all the other courses, make sure that you sign up at’s just one dollar for your first month. The link will be in the transcript, but check it out if you want to work on your spoken English. Anyway, let’s go.


To have

To have a

To have a bar

To have a bar of

To have a bar of it x 5

I’m not going to have a bar of it.

You’re not going to have a bar of it.

She’s not going to have a bar of it.

He’s not going to have a bar of it.

We’re not going to have a bar of it.

They’re not going to have a bar of it.

It’s not going to have a bar of it.

Good job. There is a lot of connected speech going on there, right.

‘I’m not going_to have_a bar_of_it’.

There is a lot of connected speech. Remember, to check out the video guys in theAussie English Classroom to learn all of those tricks and tips. Anyway.

Let’s go through the Aussie English fact for the day guys and then we will finish up and I will let you continue on your merry way, with your day, you know, I’ll let you keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

So, as we had that little documentary at the start that I was showing you that was’Shooting Cats’ talking about feral cats in Australia, I thought that we could talk a bit about feral cats in Australia and why there’s such a problem. Okay.

So, how did cats get to Australia?

Cats first arrived obviously with the first Europeans. So, on the first ships that came to Australia, from when the First Fleet arrived and onwards there were definitely domestic cats in Australia, and it’s even possible that the earlierDutch ship wrecks around Australia released domestic cats onto the continent.

So, why were they on ships in the first place, though?

Cats were on ships, as they had been used elsewhere for millennia, for pest control, right. They had been there in order to keep rats, mice, and even cockroaches at bay, to try and control those pest species, to control their numbers.

So, once the First Fleet arrived in Australia, these cats were brought ashore and allowed to sort of roam freely in the hopes of controlling pests around the early colony. So, these free-roaming domestic cats, obviously, escaped or just simply wandered off into the bush, but they were also intentionally released around farmland and homesteads in order to control rats and mice and rabbits as well. And rabbits are another problem pest in Australia that had also been released at about the same time as a source of food that people could hunt.

So, historical records date the introduction of cats to Australia to around 1804, and that the first cats became feral around Sydney by about 1820. And by the early 1900s, concern was expressed at the pervasiveness of the cat problem. So, they were already a cat problem by the early 1900s. Okay.

So, cats became feral and they lived in the bush in Australia, but why is that a problem? You know, why are cats… why are cute, cuddly nice little cats a problem in Australia?

So, terrestrially speaking, that means in terms of talking about the land as opposed to the ocean, cats as a group, a group of mammals, are some of the most successful predators to currently be inhabiting any parts of the world, so, the world’s environments and habitats, cats are an amazing predator. They are killing machines. In whichever environment you find them, they are stealthy assassins, stealthy killing machines, and despite being relatively newcomers toAustralia, they are as successful here as anywhere else in the world, potentially even more so, because so many of the animals in Australia are naive to cats, they do not understand that cats pose a threat, right, because they haven’t evolved with cats in the local environment.

So, cats also have very few predators, namely dingoes and wedge-tailed eagles, Australia’s largest eagle, and dingoes are native dog that we have here in Australia. So, where these native Aussies don’t live, the dingoes and the wedge-tailed eagles, cats reign supreme as the local apex predator, meaning the predator at the top of the food chain. They don’t have to fear anyone eating them and they can pretty much eat anything else.

Feral cats also have a vicious and voracious appetite. They will eat pretty much anything that lands on their plate, anything that walks in front of them, right, anything that they come across. Thus, they are very bad news for any ground-nesting birds, any lizards, small mammals, frogs, insects that also live on the ground, and they have likely underpinned, that is they have caused, the population collapse and extinction of many Australian native animals, which is quite tragic. So, they are currently thought to threaten the existence of at least 35 birds, 36 mammals, 7 reptiles, and 3 amphibians. Really, really tragic.

So, today there are estimated to be about 3.3 million pet cats in Australia, that is domestic cats, living in houses, and they’re found in about 29% of Aussie homes. In comparison, so keep that number in mind, 3.3 million pets, there is between 18 and 23 million feral cats living, prowling, stealthily moving about all corners of the Australian continent except tropical rainforest. So, there’s almost one cat… there’s potentially one cat per person roaming around free in Australia killing native animals.

So, what does this mean? Well, greater than 18 million cats need to eat a lot of food and that means 7 million native animals a day, to be precise, which equates to a staggering 27 billion animals per year that these cats eat in Australia. So, obviously, it is a heavy toll on the Australian environment, well, and the animals.

Besides the obvious threat to native wildlife that this ferocious apex predator poses, they also pose a significant threat to your average household moggy, your average household cat, as they can transmit diseases, they can fight and injure your cats as well. So, they’re a big, big, big problem. This is why manyAussies, including your average Joe to your hunters as well as your conservationists and environmentalists have declared war on the feral cat and want to see them eradicated from the wild.

So, though, you may compare them to your average domestic cat, they are completely different, they are a completely different beast. They are vicious wild animals that pose a threat to the existence of numerous native species.

If you own a cat in Australia, this is why it’s so important to keep them inside at all times so as to keep them away from other feral cats or people’s pet cats next door and also to prevent them running away, getting injured, and killing native animals too, most importantly. Anyway, guys.

I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you sort of have a bit more of a deeper understanding of Australian culture and to understand why cats are an amazing pet, but it’s so important to keep them inside. Keep them locked up. Don’t just let them roam around freely. Okay. Anyway.

I hope you have an amazing weekend, guys, and I will chat to you soon. All the best. Peace out. See you later.

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