Thank you so much for joining me on another English Conversation walk last week. I hope that you enjoyed exploring another area of London (and one that is so different!).
Here is some of the vocabulary that we went over at the end in the pub. If you think of any that I've missed, please do add it!
I look forward to seeing you all soon.
To alight (verb): To get off something (e.g. a horse) or out of a vehicle. E.g. Alight from the bus (get off the bus here). On the tube we often hear an announcement that says: ‘Alight here for the British Museum’ or ‘alight here for Tate Britain’ etc. It means that if you want the British Museum or Tate Britain, then get off the tube here.
An umbrella word (adjective): A generic term for a group of words or ideas. E.g. ‘lawyers’ is an umbrella word for barristers, solicitors etc.
A solicitor (noun): A solicitor has the first contact with a client who needs legal help or advice. The solicitor does all the paper work on a case, but if it has to go to court, they find a barrister who specialises in the same type of law (family, criminal, civil etc)
A barrister (noun): A lawyer who has had extra training to become a barrister. Barristers are the people who stand up in a court and represent the client in front of the judge. Barristers are trained in the Inns of Court.
A treasurer (noun): A person who looks after the money of an organisation and does all the paperwork. In the Inns of Court, the Treasurer is also in charge of the administration (I think!)
A plane tree or London Plane (noun): Their scientific name is = platinus hispanica.Type of tree common in England and especially London. It is often used to line a road with trees. In London, you are likely to find them in every square, park and other open spaces. They are tall with rough multi-coloured bark. They have ‘nuts’ that look like little cones that hang from their branches.
A hosepipe (noun): A pipe usually made from rubber that is used to carry water. We often reduce the word to just ‘hose’ instead of ‘hosepipe’. E.g. I watered my garden with the hose last night or I used the hosepipe to water my garden.
A sprinkler (noun): A gadget or device for spraying water on grass or other open areas.
To ban (verb): When we are officially forbidden from doing something. E.g. ‘a hosepipe ban’ is when we were not allowed to use our hoses to water gardens.
To smuggle (verb): a) When someone takes goods in or out of a country and it is illegal, we say that they smuggle. E.g. They smuggled drugs into London.
b) We also use the verb informally. If I took a bag of sweets into the cinema instead of buying the expensive sweets sold at the cinema, I can say ‘I smuggled some sweets into the cinema’.
A smuggler (noun): The term we use to describe a person who smuggles.
It’s spitting (weather) (verb): When the rain is very light, we say ‘it’s spitting’.
It’s drizzling (weather) (verb): When the rain is gentle but steady.
Draughty (adjective): When cold air blows through a room. Or if you sit by a door which is open and cold air comes through it. E.g. It’s draughty in here. E.g. A draughty old house. E.g. It feels draughty in here. Let’s sit somewhere else.
a) Sweet and sour (adjectives): Used to describe taste
Sweet: like honey or sugar or ripe fruit
Sour: if you suck or taste a lemon, it’s sour
b) Sweet and savoury (adjectives): Used to describe types of food categories
Sweet: foods like biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweets
Savoury: foods like cheese, eggs, vegetable tarts, crisps etc.
c) Sweet and dry (adjectives): Used to describe types of wine
Sweet: as in a), wine that is more ‘sugary’ in taste
Dry: wine that is less sweet in taste
Bitter (adjective): When food has a sharp and often strong taste, it is ‘bitter’. E.g. coffee, beer, walnuts
A nut (noun): a type of fruit that has a hard shell and usually grows on a tree. Nuts are a generic word or an ‘umbrella word’ (see above). For example, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazel nuts, chestnuts, cashews etc are all ‘nuts’.
Nuts (adjective): A very informal slang word we use to describe a person who we think is mad. E.g. He’s nuts!
Strange (adjective): Unusual or extraordinary. E.g. It was a strange thing to say. I don’t understand it. E.g. He is a strange person. He never says anything at the meetings.
Weird (adjective): If we describe a person as weird, it is because they have either done something that is very unusual and bizarre or because they look bizarre in some way.
Queer (adjective): We discovered on the walk, that Carey Street was often referred to as ‘Queer Street’ (old English slang meaning in financial difficulties in bankrupt). Later, the word was used to describe a person or thing that was strange or odd and became linked with gay and lesbian people. Today, it is offensive to use the word ‘queer’ to describe gay and lesbians.
Costume jewellery (noun): Popular jewellery that is made with cheaper metals than gold and silver and replaces precious stones with beads or cheaper stones.
Fine jewellery (noun): Jewellery that is made using gold, silver and expensive precious stones.
A windscreen (noun): The front window on a car through which the driver looks out. It is made of protective glas.
To wind (verb): a) We wind up string or rope into a ball. b) To wind up a person: if we annoy or irritate a person they feel as if someone is winding them up inside and become angry. E.g. she really wound me up. However, we can also use it in a joking way and not use it seriously, e.g. ah, you’re winding me up!
To toss (verb): To throw something lightly or easily. E.g. she tossed the paper into the bin.