Thank you for making last Saturday English conversation walk so enjoyable. Your contributions were very good indeed – whether it was sharing your research about a place that we visited, or asking questions and discussing things. A great group!
The vocabulary that we went over at the end is below.
I look forward to seeing you all again.
A touch typist (adjective + noun): A person who is able to type without looking at the keyboard and so type quickly.
Destitute (adjective): Without any money, food or a home. E.g. We stopped to read the plaque about a woman who worked to help the ‘destitute children’ in Southwark in the 1880s.
A rag (noun): a) Clothes that are very old and torn. E.g. We talked about how the children at the ‘Ragged Schools’ would have be dressed in rags. b) A small piece of old cloth that you use for cleaning.
A brothel (noun): A place where men can go and pay to have sex with a prostitute. E.g. We visited the Crossbones Graveyard and heard about how the Bishop of Winchester was given the power to licence prostitutes to work in Southwark brothels during the 1100s.
Impression (noun): An idea, a feeling or an opinion that you get about somebody/thing. E.g. What’s your first impression of the new manager? E.g. I need to make a good impression at the job interview.
A stretcher (noun): A piece of cloth supported by two poles that is used for carrying a person who has been injured. E.g. We saw some old railings outside a block of flats. During World War Two a large number of stretchers were stored ready, in case there were lots of causalities. After the war, the problem with what to do with all the stretchers was resolved by using them for railings!
To stretch (verb): To pull something so that it becomes longer or wider. E.g. My t-shirt stretched when I washed it.
Stretchy (adjective): E.g. stretch fabric, like elastic.
To stretch your legs (idiom): to go for a walk after sitting down for a long time. E.g. I need to stretch my legs before dinner.
The last stretch (or home stretch) (idiom): The final part of an activity, especially one that is long and tiring. E.g. She ran the first 24 miles of the Marathon very well. However, she found the last stretch really difficult.
At a stretch (idiom): Continuously, without stopping. E.g. In my last job, I had to work 12 hours at a stretch.
A (bit of a) stretch (idiom): Unlikely.
To stretch something (idiom): Make something last, go further. E.g. I’ll have to make my money stretch until the end of the month.
A goose (noun) (pl. geese): A large bird with a long neck that lives on or near water. Geese are also kept on farms for their meat and eggs.
Mad (adjective): Formal = Insane. Having a mind that does not work normally. Usually associated with mental illness.
Mad (adjective): Informal =
a) Angry - to be mat at somebody/something. E.g. I was mad at Caroline because she lied to me about what he said.
b) Stupid – not at all sensible. E.g. You must be mad to drive in this weather.
c) Very interested – to be mad about/on somebody/something. E.g. I’m mad about french cinema.
d) Wild – not controlled or very excited. E.g. When George Clooney appeared outside the cinema, his fans went mad!
A brewery (noun): Place where beer is made. In the pub at the end, we talked about how independent (or micro) breweries are increasingly popular in the UK. They make what we call ‘Craft Beers.’
To brew (verb): a) to make beer. E.g. ‘Mad Goose’ is brewed and sold by the brewery that owns the pub we were in.
b) to make a drink of tea by adding hot water. E.g. She brewed a pot of tea.
A brew (noun) (informal): A cup of tea is often referred to as ‘a brew’. E.g. Do you want to come back to my place (home) for a brew?
Slum (noun): An area of a city where living conditions are extremely bad, and where the buildings are dirty and have not been repaired for a long time. E.g. We walked through a park that had been a slum area. It was transformed after the 2nd World War.
To slum it (phrasal verb) (informal): a) to spend time relaxing and not bothering to tidy yourself or anything else! E.g. I spent the weekend in my pyjamas in front of the TV with a huge box of chocolates!
b) To put up with conditions that are less comfortable than you are normally used to. E.g. The business men had to take the economy class seats in the plane. Usually, they go first class!
To slum (verb) (informal): To spend time doing an activity at a lower social level that your own. This is done through curiosity or for charitable reasons.
A dwelling (noun): The place where a person lives; a house.
To dwell (verb): To live or stay in a place.
Self-employed (adjective): Working for yourself and earning money from your own business.
Freelance (adjective): Earning money by selling your services or work to different organisations, rather than being employed by a single company. E.g. A freelance journalist.
To freelance (verb): E.g. I left my full-time job because I can earn more by freelancing.
Touristy (adjective) (informal): Usually used negatively. Relating to or visited by tourists. It’s often used to suggest a lack of authenticity. E.g. A touristy shopping street.
Note: The word ‘touristic’ does not exist!