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AE 412 – 4 x Expression Break Down

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Listen to the podcast episode whilst reading the transcript or watch the YouTube video below to learn how to use 4 of the most interesting expressions from episode AE 412 – Interview: Life Working as a Brickie in Australia with Rhys Linett.



Hey, guys!

Pete here, the host of The Aussie English Podcast.

I hope that you are having an awesome day. I wanted to make a quick episode here that will go with episode 412, it’s an interview episode, Life Working as a Brickie in Australia with Rhys Linnett. So, this is my cousin, guys. I had a chat to him in this episode about what it’s like being a bricklayer in Australia, being a tradie, a brickie, some slang for you. And he used a bunch of really really good expressions in this episode.

So, I wanted to go over four of these expressions that hopefully you will get to hear being used in real life when you listen to this episode. The link will be down below. You can go over to the website or you can download this episode on your phone. You can listen to it, well, you would call, but you’ll have a listen, you’ll have it in… probably your headphones, while you’re walking around. You can listen anywhere any time, but you will be able to practice your Australian English.

Anyway, four expressions that you’re going to hear that I really liked in this episode were:

1. To be up to scratch. To be up to scratch.

2. To do something from scratch. To do something from scratch.

3. To be caught with your pants down. To be caught with your pants down.

4. And to be in a bit of a pickle. To be in a bit of a pickle.

So, let’s go through these poor expressions, guys.

1. To be up to scratch

Okay, number one. To be up to scratch or to not be up to scratch. You’ll often hear this as the affirmative and the negative. To be up to scratch. To not be up to scratch. This means to be up to a good standard. For something to be at the required standard. Satisfactory.

So, some examples. If this wall had holes in it, and people had just built this wall, it wouldn’t be up to scratch. It wouldn’t quite be up to scratch. There’d be holes in the wall. It’s not good. It’s not satisfactory. Guys, please make this wall again. I need it to be up to scratch.

If you get really really good at English and you’re able to speak with anyone, anywhere, any time, fluently without having to worry about it, your skills are really up to scratch. If you are unable to speak, because you weren’t quite that fluent level, you weren’t able to communicate as well as you would like, then you could say, “Unfortunately, my English skills right now aren’t quite up to scratch they’re not up to scratch”.

So, that’s the expression “to be up to scratch”. To be satisfactory. To be at a good enough standard.

2. To start something from scratch

Expression number two. Alright, this one is a good one. To start something from scratch. To start something from scratch. If I start something from scratch, I start it from the very beginning, I do it from the start. I completely start something. It’s new. It’s just begun. It’s right from the beginning. Okay? Completely started it from the beginning.

So, some examples. If we were building a house, and there was some land, but nothing else, you know. Maybe there were trees on the land. There the land had not been cleared. We’d have to clear the land and then we would have to build that house from scratch. There was nothing there before there was nothing that could help us. We had to do it completely from scratch.

Another one could be imagine that you have to write an essay. You’ve got an essay that you have to write for school. If you haven’t even begun that, you have to start writing essay from scratch. Oh! Guys, I haven’t even begun. I have to start that essay from scratch.”. Okay, so from scratch, to do something from scratch, to start something from scratch. It means to begin that thing, to start that thing, right from the very beginning.

3. To be caught with your pants down

Expression number three, guys. Expression number three that I want you to listen out for in this episode 412 of the Aussie English Podcast. So, expression number three. This was to be caught with your pants down. To be caught with your pants down. This is a really good expression. Okay? I use this quite a bit.

So, literally if you were caught with your pants, you know, the things that you’re wearing down here, the clothing item on your legs, if you’re caught with your pants down, this means to be caught obviously in a very awkward and embarrassing situation. So, you could quite literally be caught with your pants down, if for whatever reason they fell down. Maybe you weren’t wearing a belt and your pants fell down. If someone catches you, it means that they see you, and they spot you, they come across you with your pants down.

But we often use this figuratively, right, in a metaphoric sense. Okay? So, where you don’t literally have your pants down, but you’ve been caught, you’ve been found, you’ve been seen, in a very awkward or embarrassing situation.

So, some examples, guys. Imagine that you are meant to be working except instead of working you were on Facebook, and all of a sudden, your boss walks up to you and he leans over your shoulder and he catches you on Facebook. He catches you not working. He’s caught you with your pants down. Right? He’s caught you in an awkward and embarrassing situation, because you should have been working.

Another example could be imagine that you were getting changed. Okay? You were changing your clothes, and you quite literally had your pants down as a neighbour looked through the window and saw you half naked without your pants on. He literally caught you with your pants down. It’s an awkward and embarrassing situation. To be caught with your pants down. And I hope you guys haven’t been caught with your pants down recently.

4. To be in a pickle

Expression number four, guys. Let’s finish up with this awesome expression number four. To be in a bit of a pickle. Okay? It can be just to be in a pickle, but then sometimes you might say, “I was in a bit of a pickle”. A little bit. A bit of a pickle. Okay? I was in a bit of a pickle.

So, this is sort of similar to the previous expression to be caught with your pants down, except this time it’s not awkward or embarrassing, but it’s for a situation to be difficult, to be troubling, to be something that’s not easy. Okay? So, if you’re in a bit of a pickle, you’re in a difficult situation. If you’re in a bit of a pickle, if you’re in a pickle, you are in trouble. Okay? In trouble.

So, the example for this one would be imagine you were driving to work, you’re driving your car, you want to get to work on time, but the car breaks down, you know. The engine stops working and you can’t get to work on time, you’re in a bit of a pickle. You’re in a pickle. You have to wait there. The mechanics will have to come repair your car so you can get to work on time. You’re in a bit of a pickle.

Another one could be imagine you were writing that essay, and you had to write that essay from scratch. Okay? And it was due tonight, and you didn’t think you could write that essay on time. You didn’t think you could finish it, because you had to do it from scratch. If you think, “Bugger! I can’t handed in on time I to get in trouble. It’s a difficult situation.”, you could say, “I’m in a bit of a pickle. I don’t think I can get this essay in on time. I’m in a bit of a pickle.”.

Okay, guys. So, make sure that you go over and listen to episode 412 of the Aussie English Podcast. You can download this episode on your phone through any good podcast app, guys. It is 100% free. Okay.

The interview episodes on there are really good, because I talk to other native speakers, and they have various different accents in Australian English, sometimes not even Australian English, they’ll be from overseas, and they use all kinds of awesome expressions and vocab in English. Okay? So, definitely go over there and listen to episode 412 interview episode Life Working as a Brickie in Australia. And you will hear all four of these expressions. Okay?

Number one: to not be up to scratch, meaning to not be at a satisfactory level or satisfactory standard. To not be up to scratch.

Number two: to start something from scratch, and that is to completely start something from the beginning. Okay? To start something from scratch.

Number three: to be caught with your pants down. To be caught with your pants down, to be caught, to be found, to have been come across, in an awkward situation. Okay? To be caught with your pants down.

And number four: to be in a pickle, to be in a bit of a pickle, meaning to be in a difficult situation to be in trouble.

So, go over there and listen to this episode, guys. Sign up to the Aussie English Classroom if you want to get bonus content for this episode, and you want to study the vocab more in depth. If you want to get the quizzes as well and test your listening comprehension you can do that, and it happens with all the other interviews, guys. The Aussie English Classroom is the online classroom that you can join if you want to the level of your Australian English.

Anyway, I hope you have a great day guys and I’ll see you in the next episode.

Peace out, guys.