Topic

7. Vocab Breakdown

Topic Progress:


Peter: Hi. How’s it going? I’m here for my 10AM dental appointment.

  • 10AM – 10 O’clock before noon, AM stands for the Latin phrase ante meridiem, which means “before noon.”
  • A dental appointment – an arrangement to meet a dentist at a particular time and place.

Receptionist: No worries. Can I have a name?

  • Can I have a nameused often when someone checking you into a location or event asks for your name to check it off a list.

Peter: Yeah, it’s Peter Smissen. My surname is spelt S-M-I-S-S-E-N.

  • A surname – a hereditary name common to all members of a family, as distinct from a forename or given name.
  • Spell ST – write or name the letters that form (a word) in correct sequence.

Receptionist: Alright, just take a seat and the dentist will be with you shortly.

  • Take a seat said as an invitation for someone to sit down.
  • Be with someone (shortly/soon) – someone will come for you or come to speak with you soon.

Peter: Thanks.

Peter walks over to the waiting room and takes a seat whilst he observes the numerous creepy before-and-after patient photos on the wall of people smiling.

10 minutes later, the dentist opens his door and calls Peter in.  

  • A waiting room – a room provided for the use of people who are waiting to be seen by a doctor or dentist or who are waiting in a station for a bus or train.
  • Creepy – causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.
  • Before-and-after photos – pictures taken of someone before and then after a transformation of some kind.
  • A patient – a person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
  • Call someone in – say someone’s name and invite them to enter a room or building, etc. 

Dentist Will: Peter?

  • Name?often when doctors or dentists are inviting patients to come into their room they simply call their name (note the rising intonation in the voice).

Peter: Yep, that’s me.

Dentist: Come on in and take a seat up on the chair here. So, how are your teeth feeling? Have you been feeling any pain anywhere that you’d like me to take a look at?

  • Come on inhere, ‘come in’ means ‘enter’, and ‘on’ is added to show encouragement and enthusiasm in the invitation, e.g. go on over there, come on down here, get on up there, etc.
  • Take a look at something – examine something.

Peter: Yeah, mostly fine. However, recently, I’ve been feeling a dull ache in one of my molars on the lower right-hand side of my jaw. (I’m) not sure what the issue is.

  • A dull ache – a subtle continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of one’s body.
  • A molar (tooth) – a grinding tooth at the back of a mammal’s mouth.
  • Right-hand side – on the side of a person’s right hand.
    • The word ‘hand’ here can be left out, i.e. “right sight”.
  • (I’m) not sure… Often native speakers will drop the pronouns and/or accompanying auxiliary/modal verbs in sentences when speaking informally where the context makes the meaning obvious, i.e. “Not sure…”.

Dentist: Okay, let’s take a look. Lie back and relax for me. Good. And now can you open up and say “Ahhhh.

  • Say “ahhhh”doctors and dentists often say this to patients when asking them to open their mouths.

Peter: I’ll do my best. “Ahhh”.

  • I’ll do my best – I’ll try to do as well as I can at a task.

Dentist: Hmmm, looks like you’ve got a small cavity in the crown of that molar. Has it been sensitive to hot and cold food or drink?

  • A cavity – an empty space within a solid object.
  • A crown (of a tooth) – the part of a tooth projecting from the gum.
  • Be sensitive to something – quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences.

Peter: Yeah, my hot morning coffee has been killing me recently, actually. It’s been really frustrating as I’m a total coffee addict. I guess the cavity is exposing the nerve in that tooth or something, right?

  • Kill someoneused non-literally to mean “to hurt someone physically”.
    • Often used in the continuous tenses, e.g. “My leg is killing me!”.
  • A total coffee addict – a person completely obsessed with drinking coffee.
    • “Total” here means “complete”.
  • Expose something – make (something) visible by uncovering it.

Dentist: Indeed. So, you might say it’s been “getting on your nerves”, huh?

  • Get on someone’s nerves – annoy or irritating someone.
  • Huh?in this example, ‘huh?’ is used in a question to invite agreement or further comment.

Peter: I see what you did there. Very clever.

  • I see what you did thereoften said in a reply to someone who has made a joke or pun and you want to show that you understood it and thought it was funny.

Dentist: Alright, let’s fill it in so you can get back to enjoying your morning coffee pain free. I’m going to give you a small injection to numb the pain before I start, though, okay?

  • Pain free – absent of highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury.
    • ‘free’ can be added after nouns to show something is lacking that noun, e.g. trouble free, people free, swear word free, etc.

Peter: Ahh, needles kind of freak me out a bit. Are you sure it’s necessary?

  • A needle – the pointed hollow end of a hypodermic syringe.
  • Freak someone out – scare someone.

Dentist: Trust me. If it’s that sensitive to hot and cold, the drill is going to hurt even more without anaesthetic.

  • Trust me – I’m telling you the truth; please believe me.
    • Used to invite confidence in what the person has told someone.
  • A drill – a tool or machine with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes.
  • An anaesthetic – a substance that induces insensitivity to pain.

Peter: Alright. Well, I’m more of a wuss when it comes to pain. So, the needle it is I guess. Have at it, mate.

  • A wuss – a weak or ineffectual person (often used as a general term of abuse).
  • When it comes to something – when the specified matter is under consideration.
  • *noun* it iswhen faced with multiple choices, you can name one choice and say “it is” after it to show you’ve selected it.
  • Have at it – to attempt, to go ahead, or to attack physically.
    • Here he is inviting the dentist to get started “attacking” the cavity.

The dentist gives Pete a few minor injections to numb his jaw. He drills away and fills up the cavity and then finishes up. 

  • Minor – lesser in importance, seriousness, or significance.
  • Drill away (at something) – drill continuously.
    • ‘away’ here is added to the verb to make it a phrasal verb and show the verb is occurring continuously.
  • Finish up – completely end doing something.
    • ‘up’ here is added to the verb to make it a phrasal verb and show the verb has been completed. 

Dentist: Alright, Good job. That’s all she wrote! All done. Hopefully, all that drilling didn’t “hit a nerve”.

  • That’s all she wrote!used to convey that there is or was nothing more to be said about a matter.
  • All doneused to show something has completely finished.
    • Short for “you’re all done” or “we’re all done”, etc.
  • Hit a nerve – provoke a reaction by referring to a sensitive topic.

Pete: Another joke! You’ve got some nerve’, haven’t you? (Do) they teach you these at dental school, do they?

  • Have (got) some nervehave courage, balls, guts when doing something.
    • In this case, used ironically, as a way of criticising someone for doing something which you feel they had no right to do.
    • e. they had a lot of guts to do that thing they knew they shouldn’t have done.
  • They teach you… – another example of dropping the auxiliary verb in a question phrase, because the conjugation of the verb and context make it obvious.

Dentist: Yeah, that’s it! So, just remember to floss regularly, try to stay away from any sugary foods, and use an extra-soft toothbrush to keep your teeth plaque free and gums disease free, okay?

  • That’s it!said when you agree with what someone has said.
    • e. “The thing you have said is correct! That’s it!”
  • Floss – clean between (one’s teeth) with dental floss.
  • Stay away from something – keep a big distance between you and something; avoid something.
  • An extra-soft toothbrush – a toothbrush for your teeth that has very soft bristles.
  • Plaque – a sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria proliferate.
  • Gums – the firm area of flesh around the roots of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw.

Pete: No worries. Do I just pay for that on my way out? And it’s not extra for the bad dental jokes, is it?

  • No worries – That’s not a problem.
  • On one’s way out – while one is leaving.
  • Extra – something that adds more cost to a bill.

Dentist: Yeah, just pay at reception. Don’t worry. The jokes are on the house, okay? See you later.

  • Reception – the area in a hotel or organisation where guests and visitors are greeted and dealt with.
  • On the house – free; paid for by the organisation or store, etc.

Pete: Thanks. See you.

  • See you (later) – Goodbye.
    • informal and shortened version of “I will see you later”