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Looking for a different angle on English language podcasts? Keiran the crazy Canadian goes where the other English podcasts don't... and more. Keiran and his native English guests discuss politically incorrect subjects as well as general English language, idioms, expressions, culture and more all while having natural unscripted conversations. This podcasts feature an educational exploration of language ranging from every day expressions, pop culture expressions, explicit language and anything in between. The podcast is geared towards adults students, professionals, university students as well as ESL teachers who want to step out of the "Safe Space" of the English language education community and have a little more fun. Join Keiran and his guests in their down to earth humorous conversations and learn to speak a more universal edgy form of English like a native! English ISN'T always PC!!!
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 16, 2017

Today we have a fun fluffy episode for a change. Anna and I discuss onamatopeia, in other words, words we use for sounds that sound like the sound.

 

***Transcript***

 

Keiran:

How's it going everyone? It's good to be back on the podcast. Today we have our favorite Australian.

 

Anna:

Oh stop. Stop it. Stop it. Really, honestly, stop it. Keep going. Keep going.

 

Keiran:

You like it. You want the flattering.

 

Anna:

I deny nothing.

 

Keiran:

Yeah, we got Anna back on the podcast. How are you doing Anna?

 

Anna:

Very well, thanks Keiran. How are you doing?

 

Keiran:

I'm doing well. I'm doing well. And uh what's new with you these days? It's been quite a long time since we've talked.

 

Anna:

I don't know. Just the usual really. Teaching, singing, having a laugh. What about you?

 

Keiran:

I don't know. It's my day off. It's a Wednesday, so it's basically my day where I don't get paid but I work anyways. It's fun because it's the passion project stuff. So uh today, we had a fun topic we've chosen by your suggestion. I've never done this, so I was like, "Yeah. Why not?" Actually, I don't even think I covered this when I was teaching in ESL schools, but it is a fun topic. We're going to do onomatopoeias.

 

Anna:

I don't know if there is a plural of it. I think it's just onomatopoeia always.

 

Keiran:

Is it just onomatopoeia?

 

Anna:

I think it is.

 

Keiran:

That's a good question.

 

Anna:

I think it's a Greek word or something.

 

Keiran:

It's non-countable.

 

Anna:

There you go. It's a non-c- It is a Greek word. There you go.

 

Keiran:

Is it?

 

Anna:

Onomatopoeia. It is, and it sometimes turned into late Latin according to this etymology that I'm looking at.

 

Keiran:

I would feel bad making it plural, but like I just said, I've never done it. I guess you get to learn your first time, right?

 

Anna:

There you go. See, I taught you something today Keiran.

 

Keiran:

Yes. Thank you. Before we get into it, can you explain what is onomatopoeia?

 

Anna:

Onomatopoeia is basically a word that sounds like the thing it describes. So if you think about, for example, animals sounds are a good way to think about it. You got the cat going, "Meow," and so we say, "Meow". When you have a cow it goes, "Mooorh." We don't really have that sound in English, so we say, "Moo." It sounds close to what you're describing. And of course, as we'll see, there are all different types of onomatopoeia that describe different sound effects or things that you hear out and about.

 

Keiran:

Right, I guess the people that are listening could also think of the old school Batman TV shows. Whenever they would hit someone, it would go like, "Paff" or like "Smack" or something, and they have the-

 

Anna:

Pow.

 

Keiran:

Pow.

 

Anna:

Bam.

 

Keiran:

All those punches that made pow sounds.

 

Anna:

Exactly. Exactly, that's spot on.

 

Keiran:

Let's go back to what you just said. Let's start with animal sounds. You said, "Moo" and "Meow." The funny thing is is I think we all have onomatopoeia that I guess we're raised with. My wife and I always have this argument about dogs. The onomatopoeia that we have for dogs is bark, bark bark, woof woof, or ruff ruff. And when I went to Mongolia, why wife was just like, "What are you? It's not 'bark'. It's 'how how how'. It's 'how how how'. All the dogs go 'how how how'". I guess we all have our own.

 

Anna:

I'm just trying to think like, "How how how how." Yeah, there you go. Yeah, yeah, okay.

 

Keiran:

A dog can make that sound I guess. It's just funny, because I think there's some that are universal like cows. Everyone knows a cow goes, "Moooooo".

 

Anna:

Even in German they say, "Kuh macth moo".

 

Keiran:

They say what?

 

Anna:

"Kuh" which means cow, "macth", does, "moo".

 

Keiran:

Cow does moo. Right.

 

Anna:

Kuh macth moo. It rhymes in German which makes it funnier.

 

Keiran:

Yeah yeah that does make it. Everything that rhymes is always funnier and more enjoyable. That's dogs. See, we had dog, bark, woof, and if you're in Mongolia apparently the dogs go, "How how how."

 

Anna:

They really don't know how to do anything. They're just like, "How? How?"

 

Keiran:

"How? How? How do I do this?" What other ones do you got? What are common on your end or the earth?

 

Anna:

Yeah uh, I really want to talk about one, because it's from Australia and I think it's really interesting which was an advertising campaign in Australia. As you may know, Australia is known for being a very hot country. We also have a giant hole in the ozone layer over our country. There's a lot of skin cancer basically in Australia because of the strength of the sun. It's not just hot; it's actually the UV rays are stronger. The government started a campaign, and it was called, "Slip. Slop. Slap."

 

Keiran:

What do these words mean?

 

Anna:

You have no idea what I'm- Slip is like when you slide something onto you. In this case, it was meant to represent a t-shirt. You don't go out with a bare chest. The idea is you wear a t-shirt when you go to the beach or something like that. That's slip on a shirt. Slip is the first one.

 

Keiran:

Slip on a shirt. Right.

 

Anna:

Slip on the a shirt. The second one was slop, and slop we normally associate with liquids or food that is runny like a stew or a soup or something like that. That idea of the liquid moving around. Slop, slop, slop, slop, slop.

 

Keiran:

I'm even thinking of like pig slop. It's a runny liquid, right?

 

Anna:

That too. Here though they're referring to sunscreen. They'd say, "Slop on some sunscreen." You slop it. Go slop onto your skin and then rub it in so there's a lot of it. The last one is slap, and slap is normally actually used to describe when you hit someone with an open palm. I'm sure you know that. In this case, they're talking about slapping on a hat. Just quickly putting a hat on your head so it's like a slap. It just goes, "chuk" straight onto your head. Altogether, they said, "Slip. Slop. Slap." This was a very common saying in Australia to promote sun safety.

 

Keiran:

It's funny about Australia that you mention that, because when I was in Australia was when I really got my education about the sun. I think it's just because, like you guys said, you guys have stronger ... You have a hole over the ozone. I was always the person who tanned. I was like, "Aw. I'm gonna go tan. I love tanning." After I went to Australia was I like-

 

Anna:

Oh, you sweet summer child.

 

Keiran:

I know. Then I'm like, "Oh my God. This is bad. I gotta stop doing this."

 

Anna:

We learn young. We learn very young in Australia. That's true.

 

Keiran:

Good. "Slip. Slop. Slap." It was slip on a shirt, which is the sound of putting on a shirt on quickly. Like the whish, yeah? Then slop. Slop on the sunscreen. Then slap on a hat. Dependent on how much sun cream is in the bottle I guess. Then slap on the hat, right?

 

Anna:

Yeah. Just slap it off.

 

Keiran:

That's great. Slap brings me to the next one, and I like to use this one with my students. You know when you're having a conversation, from time to time, you guys talk about something that's important in your life. I think we've all had experiences where someone offends us or someone rubs us the wrong way. Just for fun, just for humor, I just say, "Well, you know, next time that happens," and then I just give a visual of my hand and put my other hand on it, "You just go up to that person, and you just slap them." I'm honestly joking, but that always just makes the students so happy to know that we can pretend to get our revenge. You don't actually do it.

 

Anna:

I don't know. I think the last time we spoke, I mentioned I actually did slap someone as well. Sometimes ...

 

Keiran:

That's probably one of those rare times where you got to reinforce your boundaries, right?

 

Anna:

Yeah, that's true.

 

Keiran:

Most of the times, we don't want to. I've slapped people too before. One time I slapped a bouncer at a night club. I think it was warranted. I worked at many night clubs, and this guy just ... The club was filled with our staff, 120 of our staff members, and I was going outside. I was on my phone, and I was standing in the doorway. He just gets in and he just grabbed me by under the arm and yanked me out of the doorway. I got in his face. I'm like, "Dude, you could've just told me, you know?" Bouncers, sometimes they're great people, but sometimes they have big egos. I was really drunk, and I just slapped him the face. I bitch slapped him like "psh". I remember his face was just like ... He just looked at me right away like he was going to kill me. I was lucky because there was about 20 other guys there who were with me, and they kind of stopped the thing from escalating. It was a good slap sound.

 

Anna:

It sounds like it. It's also for a less violent situation is for a high five.

 

Keiran:

The smack or the slap of a high five. Right.

 

Anna:

You just say, "Give me five." We don't say, "Slap me five."

 

Keiran:

I'd say, "Give me five" or "High five".

 

Anna:

It is a slap sound.

 

Keiran:

We did dog sounds. We did slap. We did "Slip. Slap. Slap." "Slip. Slop. Slap." Slap. Dogs sounds. Anything else before we wrap this up, Anna? What else do you go in your-

 

Anna:

Yeah, actually. Your talking about Batman before made me think of two that are a little bit similar but slightly different, which is bam and bang. Bam is like the sound we normally associate with two heavy objects of some sort colliding with each other. For example, if something like a car runs into a wall, we might say, "Bam." Like, "Whoa." Like it hit it really hard. Bam. There's also a famous "Futurama" reference, I don't know if you know this, when there's a cook and he's got this special spice he uses. Every time he puts it into his soup he goes, "Bam." I think put it into the vernacular for use now for whenever you really do something really well you just go, "Bam. I did it." Yeah, like awesome.

 

 

Bang is kind of similar but different. We usually use it for the sound of explosions. Rather than two things colliding together, it's the sound of something exploding apart, this bang. Like we say, "The Big Bang" for example. The beginning of the universe is that example of something exploding out. That big sound.

 

Keiran:

The exploding of a star or something. Right. Bang. Bang. Bam. I think I do use bam sometimes. Just when you do something well. I'm just like-

 

Anna:

Exactly. You're like. "Yeah, awesome. Bam."

 

Keiran:

"Bam. Got it done." Exactly. Bam

 

Anna:

Nailed it.

 

Keiran:

Bang, bang, bang. Bang. The other thing bang is is guns.

 

Anna:

Guns.

 

Keiran:

Guns. I was just thinking of the song, "Bang Bang."

 

Anna:

"Bang Bang."

 

Keiran:

I love that song.

 

Anna:

It's a great song.

 

Keiran:

That's it. Let's wrap this up. We did onomatopoeia. We did dog sounds. We laughed at the cultural difference between dogs.

 

Anna:

How, how, how.

 

Keiran:

How, how. Those confused Mongolian dogs.

 

Anna:

It's like, "Fetch the ball. Fetch the ball." "How. How."

 

Keiran:

Then we did, "Slip. Slop. Slap." Which was? One more time.

 

Anna:

Slip on a shirt. Slop on some sunscreen. Slap on a hat.

 

Keiran:

Then we did smack. No we didn't do smack. We did bam and bang. Bam.

 

Anna:

Bam and bang.

 

Keiran:

Bang like an explosion and bam.

 

Anna:

Bang can mean one other thing Keiran.

 

Keiran:

Yeah, we can go down that dirty road. It doesn't really mean. I mean, it means it, but it doesn't make the sound. I think we would use smack more for that. Maybe we'll talked more about the "Smack, smack, smack" in another episode.

 

Anna:

We won't talk about the slop in that case.

 

Keiran:

We'll leave it to the smack and the ...

 

Anna:

Smack and the bang.

 

Keiran:

On that hilarious note, we just want remind you guys if you want to have a hilarious and fun and engaging lesson with Anna, you can get in touch with her. What's the website they go to schedule a session with you Anna?

 

Anna:

I'm on italki as well, so it's italki or italki.com/anna.m.

 

Keiran:

Anna.m.

 

Anna:

That's m for Mary, not N, Nellie.

 

Keiran:

Italki.com/anna, A-N-N-A, .m for Mary. Thanks so much for coming on again and making this another hilarious episode.

 

Anna:

Of course. I'm sure it won't be the last time.

 

Keiran:

We'll catch you next time Anna.

 

Anna:

Absolutely. Thanks again Keiran.

 

Keiran:

Ciao.

 

Keiran:

I close it.

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