Views #1465 | Intermediate (B2)

Body Idioms - Part 1 | Part 2

Meg and Todd talk about some useful idioms related to the body that people use often in English.

Todd: OK, Meg, let's talk about idioms related to the body.

Meg: Ooh!

Todd: So we have lots of idioms in English that we use for specific meanings, so to learn these idioms, we'll just talk about them by asking each other questions.

Meg: OK.

Todd: OK, the first one is about dating, so should a man always foot the bill on a date?

Meg: Well, I think I'm a little bit of an traditionalist in that maybe at the beginning or the first date the man should foot the bill, but after that, if you're in a relationship, it doesn't really seem fair for the man to pay all the time. Do you agree?

Todd: Yeah, I agree, I mean on a date I feel awkward if I don't pay the bill, so yeah. The man should foot the bill on the first date.

Meg: Hmm!

Todd: So the next one related to feet is when you dance, do you have two left feet?

Meg: Yes, I definitely have two left feet. I'm not a good dancer by any means and I don't really enjoy it so I think I look a little awkward when I'm dancing. What about you?

Todd: Yeah, I definitely have two left feet. Yeah, I just look like a mess on the dance floor, so and I don't enjoy it, and I think because I'm nervous I want to get out of there, so yeah.

Meg: Right. I understand your feeling.

Todd: Not my ... Alright so also related to feet is the leg, so in your city, what costs an arm and a leg?

Meg: In my city where I live right now, I feel like fruit costs an arm and a leg. It can be quite expensive, especially if you want fruit that's out of season, but in my hometown, in America, you can usually get fruit very cheap, so it feels like it costs an arm and a leg here. What about for you?

Todd: Yeah, the city I live in now is in Japan, and it's also very expensive. Taxis cost an arm and a leg, so to take a taxi ride is so expensive. In America where I'm from, I would say healthcare costs an arm and a leg. It's so expensive - crazy expensive.

Meg: Right, much more ...

Todd: You never want to get sick.

Meg: Yes.

Todd: Even health insurance costs an arm and a leg. It's very, very costly.

Meg: I agree with that.

Todd: Alright, let's now talk about feelings. So, is it OK to give people the cold shoulder sometimes?

Meg: Hmm, well ...

Todd: Nobody likes the cold shoulder.

Meg: Right, nobody likes the cold shoulder. I don't think we should give people the cold shoulder, however, I have to admit that I have sometimes given a friend or a family member the cold shoulder when I've been upset about something.

Todd: Yeah, the whole thing about the cold shoulder, is actually you do want them to talk to you. You just want them to feel bad.

Meg: Right. Yes.

Todd: Right?

Meg: Yeah, it's kind of passive aggressive.

Todd: Exactly, like I'm mad at you, but I really just want you to see that I'm mad at you and give me attention and I'm happy.

Meg: Right, yes, you want to make it clear that you're mad ...

Todd: Yeah, exactly

Meg: by giving the cold shoulder.

Todd: Right.

Meg: Have you ever given someone the cold shoulder?

Todd: Oh, yeah, I can be very moody, so I've definitely given people the cold shoulder. And then I'm embarrassed sometimes afterwards, like why did I do that? That's so bad.

Meg: Yeah, you feel a little guilty later.

Todd: Yeah, so we're both teachers. Do you ever give students the cold shoulder?

Meg: No, I don't think I would ever give a student the cold shoulder because if they have questions or need help, I want to be able to assist them, so that's a little different I think. What about you?

Todd: Yeah, no totally. Like the students give me the cold shoulder, right?

Meg: Ah, yes.

Todd: So you know that something's wrong, but yeah teachers can't give students the cold shoulder.

Meg: No, you can't.

Todd: It's impossible. Or it shouldn't be done.

Meg: Mmm.

Todd: Alright, those were some interesting points.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

foot the bill


Should a man always foot the bill on a date?

When you foot the bill, you pay for something that benefits other people. Notice the following:

  1. The boss always foots the bill.
  2. For a wedding, the father of the bride often foots the bill.

two left feet


Do you have two left feet?

If you have two left feet, that means you cannot dance very well. Notice the following:

  1. I am a terrible dancer. I have two left feet.
  2. You shouldn't dance. You have two left feet.

cost an arm and a leg


What costs an arm and a leg?

When something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive. Notice the following:

  1. Housing these days costs an arm and a leg.
  2. College cost me an arm and a leg.

cold shoulder


He gave me the cold shoulder.

When you give someone the cold shoulder, you ignore them because you are mad at them. Notice the following:

  1. Why is she giving me the cold shoulder?
  2. He gave me the cold shoulder at the party.

passive aggressive


It's kind of passive aggressive.

Passive aggressive is behavior that one does that shows they are upset about something, but the actions are little things, not confrontations. Notice the following:

  1. My wife can be passive aggressive at times.
  2. Giving the cold shoulder can be passive aggressive.

feel guilty


You feel a little guilty later.

When you feel guilty, you feel bad about something you did. Notice the following:

  1. He felt guilty about cheating on the test.
  2. You shouldn't feel guilty about that!

Vocabulary Quiz

foot • feet • arm
shoulder • passive • guilty
  1. She gave me the cold .
  2. His actions are aggressive.
  3. He can't dance. He has two left .
  4. Can you the bill? I'm broke.
  5. I feel about what I said.
  6. The hotel cost me an and a leg.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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