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 name – used 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 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 in – here, ‘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 someone – used 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 there – often 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 is – when 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 done – used 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 nerve – have 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”