Learn English: Expressions that use body parts!

E, what did I tell you about leaving your socks on the fl…? Hi. James from engVid. Little upset now. E leaves his socks all over the place. He only has one foot, but he seems to leave them everywhere. I’m always on your back? This lesson is about body parts, like the back, and how we use them to show or express our feelings, emotions, or thoughts on a situation. Stick with me, and we’ll take your head out of the clouds and teach you some English. You ready? Let’s go to the board. Notice E is saying: “You’re always on my back!” Well, I’m going to come over here and I’m going to show you the body parts, and then I’ll show you an idiom… Or, sorry, let’s say a phrase or an expression that we use to indicate our thoughts or feelings on something, or about someone.

Right? So, why don’t we start with…? Well, what does it say here? Number one, your head. Okay? Your head. If someone says: “Your head is in the clouds”, you’re a dreamer, which means you don’t really think about real things; work, eating, life. You’re thinking: “One day I’m going to fly off and I’m going to visit a country, and I’m going to…” And someone will say: -“Do you have money?” -“No.” You’re a dreamer. Your head is in the clouds. Right? Get your head out of the clouds. Come back to reality. Come back to the real world. That’s number one: “head in the clouds”. Let’s look at number two: “let your hair down”. This is kind of funny because I really don’t have any hair. Let’s just say I had hair. Okay? And my hair is up, like this. Okay? My hair is up. Okay? If I let my hair down, I’m going to relax. My hair is now relaxed. You like that? Purple. It’s cool. “Let your hair down” means have fun, relax, take it easy. Don’t be so serious. Okay? And that’s our hair there. Just see that? Let it down, relax a bit.

How about number three? “Be all ears”. Well, clearly I have only two and I cannot be covered with ears, but “be all ears” means I am focused, I am incredibly… I’m listening to you right now, incredibly focused. So when someone is all ears, it means I’m listening, you have my attention, I’m not thinking of anything but what you are saying. “Be all ears”, and there are your ears. Okay? How about this one? “Lip service”. Those are little lips. Maybe you can’t see them. So here are mine. Lips. Lip service is funny. “Service” means to do something for someone. But “lip service”, it’s actually… Because I have “insincere”, but that might be a big word for you. But it means I don’t really believe it or I don’t really want to do it. So, when you give lip service you say: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”, but you really aren’t going to do it or you really don’t believe in it. Example: Your mother comes home and said: “Okay, you know what? You put the plate over there and the cup over there.

Could you do me a favour? Could you pick it up and put it away?” And you’re watching or playing video games or soccer, and you’re like: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll do it. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.” You have no intention or you’re not going to do it. You just say: “Yeah, yeah, yeah” to make your mother happy so she thinks you’re going to do it, but you’re not going to. If your boss or employer gives you lip service, they say: “Sure, we’ll give you more money. Everything will be okay. Just go back to work.” It’s lip service. They’re not going to give you any more money, but they expect you to go back to work. Watch out for lip service. Right? Lips. Let’s look at number five. Chin, this is your chin right here.

If you’ve ever seen Superman, Superman has a chin of steel. Big chin. Okay? Now, when somebody says: “Keep your chin up”, your chin is probably here and you’re: “[Whines]”. You’re upset and they say: “Keep your chin up. Don’t be sad. Be happy. Be strong, like Superman.” That’s your chin right here, right underneath your lips. Chin. Okay? “Be on someone’s back”, that’s what E was saying. Well, if you’ve ever had to carry something really big, I don’t know, like… Hold on a second.

I’m still here. This is on my back. It’s really heavy and it bothers me. You know? It’s a pain. It’s upsetting. When something’s on your back, it’s always… They’re always bothering you. “Oh, you’re always on my back asking about giving you money” or “You’re always on my back asking me to help you. Oh, it’s such a… Get off my back, will you? Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. Upset me.” Okay? So if somebody’s on your back, they’re upsetting you, bothering you. I know, my stickman doesn’t have a back, so just for you: The back is here. Okay? So that’s why I was on E’s back, saying: “Pick up your socks.” It means I probably ask him to pick up his socks every hour or every day. Next, where are we? So that was six. Number seven, chest. This is your chest right here. Okay? If… Where we got? Seven right there. The front. So back is the back, chest is the front. If you get something “off your chest” it means you tell someone how you feel, like you really feel.

Like, so maybe someone said: “Hey, look, I can’t come to your party tomorrow and I’m not going to get you a present for your birthday”, and you’re like… They might say: “Is there something on your chest or something you want to get off your chest?” You go: “Yeah! I want to tell you I’m not happy about that. I was never happy about this situation.” Get it off your chest, it’s like open your heart and tell them the truth. Do you have something you want to get off your chest? Something you want to tell me? All right? Tell someone how you really feel, off your chest. Now, here’s a funny one, arm. This is your arm, that is his arm. I’m left-handed, so I write with this hand if you ever noticed. So this expression is kind of funny because, well, most people are right-handed, they use this hand and it’s very valuable to them because they write with this hand, they hit balls with this hand, or catch with this hand.

They do many things with this hand. So, when somebody says to you: “You have a Mercedes? I’d give my right arm… My right arm, my whole arm for a Mercedes”, it means: This arm is so valuable, I do everything with it, but to have that car I would give my arm for it. Now, I might give my right arm because I’m left-handed, it doesn’t matter to me, but for you it’s very valuable. So if you ever hear of someone said: “I’ll give my right arm to be a professional golf player”, or a golf… Yeah, golf player, whatever. Or tennis player, or a soccer or football player, professional. “I’d give my right arm.” They’re saying that is so important to me I would give this important body part to have that. All right? What would you give your right arm for? To be with Mr. E? [Laughs] Just joking. Back to work. Okay. So, number nine, finger. My finger. And you notice I have finger there.

Well, in this case when we say number nine is: “Put my finger on something”, something is wrong. I’ll give you an example. Your friend is coming out, they’re wearing the skinny jeans, and a big flowery top with a funny hat. And you’re going… They say: “Hey. How do I look?” You’re like: “There’s something I don’t like about this, but I can’t put my finger on it.” It means: “I know I don’t like it, but I don’t know exactly what it is.” Or an example would be music. You hear a song at the club, you’re dancing, you’re having a fun, and all of a sudden a new song comes on: “Dom-dom-dom-dun-nuh-dom-dom”, and you’re like: “Uh, I don’t like that song, but I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know why I don’t like it, but I don’t like it.” You know? That would be for number nine. When you can’t put your finger on something, it’s: “I know I don’t like something, but I can’t either tell you the exact word why or I don’t have an exact reason to point out and say why I don’t like it.” All right? Now, number 10 is leg.

This thing. One second. Let me try again. Leg. Okay, leg. When you “pull somebody’s leg”, which is like pulling, pull, pull my leg, it means to joke with someone or to tease. So I might say to Mr. E: “Hey, E. You want a pair of pants? Jeans?” Well, I’m pulling his leg because he only has one leg, so what does he need pants for? You’ll go: “Poof, go away, James. Go back to teaching English.” All right? So, when you tease or joke with somebody, like: “I’m only joking with you”, I’m pulling your leg – I’m joking. I’m not serious, I’m just trying to have fun with you. That’s pulling someone’s leg.

That’s leg. Foot. I’m getting too old for this. So your foot goes in here. Okay? This is a shoe. You put your foot in here. All right? There we go. So, when you “put your best foot forward”, that’s your foot there, what it means is you show people your best quality. What is the best about me? So if I’m smart, I’ll show you I’m smart, or I’m flexible. I’m not flexible, but here we go. That’s it. I can’t bend anymore. Or I’m good at telling jokes, or drawing people. I would put my best foot forward and show you what I’m very good at. So you do that when you meet people for the first time. You put your best foot forward. Or when you want a job, so they can see: What is really good about you? Okay? And there’s number 12, and it makes my “blood boil” when I forget to do things. I forgot to do number 12. Blood boil. What does “blood boil” mean? Well, I’m going to help you out here. So, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. And remember I said it makes my blood boil? Well, “blood” is inside of you. If I cut and something comes out, that’s called blood.

“Boil”, when you make tea, you put the water on and it starts to boil. It means… So, in this case the blood gets hot or you get angry. It just makes my blood boil when… When people won’t let me sit down on a long journey or trip. Or it makes my blood boil when someone’s in the washroom for a very, very, very long time and I need to go. It makes me angry. All right? It made my blood boil when I forgot to put number 12, because now instead of going one to 12, I’ve got 12 to one, and I’m angry about that because I should know better. Right? So, quick recap: Head, hair, ear, chin, lip, arm, finger, chest, leg, foot, back, and blood boil are body parts which I’ve shown you, and these are all the expressions we use to explain to someone how we feel or what’s going on in our head.

And if you like that, I think it’s time for us to go and do the second part with the quiz. Are you ready? Let’s go. [Snaps] Okay. So, I forgot I want to do common collocations before I go on to your quiz. All right? So let’s look at some common collocations. We talked about, remember the other parts of the chin and the ear, and here are a couple that I may not have mentioned to you, but these words usually go together – collocation.

“Raise an eyebrow”. Now, “raising an eyebrow” is this. Ready? Ready? Here we go. See that? Raising that eyebrow. That one goes high. This is your eyebrow, “to raise” means to move up, so I raise my eyebrow. Sometimes you raise your eyebrow because you’re curious. Hmm, what is that? And sometimes because you’re suspicious. I don’t believe you, hmm. Right? So if someone’s suspicious or curious they’ll raise an eyebrow, or: “That raises an eyebrow.” Okay? Another one is “clear your throat”.

Now, I actually have a little bit of a cold, so I might clear my throat. It’s to clear… Clean it up, empty it so I can speak. But a lot of times when people clear their throat, they’re like: “Ahem”, because they want you to pay attention to them. Example, maybe two people are kissing, and you go: “[Clears throat]”, they go: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know you were here. We wouldn’t have been kissing if that happened.” Clear your throat, get attention. “Shrug your shoulders”, that’s this. You know? -“Hey. You know where Tommy is?” -“I don’t know. I don’t know.” This is: “I don’t know.” These are your shoulders, shrugging them: “I don’t know.” “Thumbs up”, “thumbs down”. “Thumbs up”, I like it. “Thumbs down”, that sucks. It’s no good. Another word is approve, that is good. Disapprove, I don’t like. Thumbs up, thumbs down. “Give the finger”. Okay, I’m going to give you the finger now. Okay? Now, I know YouTube doesn’t like that type of thing. So, it’s an American thing. So, once again, when you give the finger-okay?-you take one finger, this finger here, and you take it away from the rest of them.

See? And you give someone the finger. It’s rude. Very rude. It’s like the “F you”. Okay? So, giving people the finger means you’re probably upset about something or you disagree, and after you say it you should run. [Laughs] Okay. Joking. “Roll your eyes”. I don’t know if you can see me rolling my eyes. Sometimes someone does something very stupid, and you’re like: “Oh my god.” Of course you won’t roll them that slowly. That actually hurt my eyes. But it means to move your eyes in a way to show people you think something is stupid or you’re very annoyed. “This line up is taking way too long. [Sighs].” Roll your eyes, showing it’s stupid or I am very angry at it. Cool? So these words you’ll hear. Right? Little phrases or collocations, and they come together regularly. Raise an eyebrow. That raised an eyebrow so I cleared my throat. But when they asked me what was wrong, I shrug my shoulders like I don’t know. And one of the guys said: “You wasted my time and gave me a thumbs down.” But you know what? I told him: “Yeah, well, whatever”, and gave him the finger.

And then the other guy said: “I don’t believe that guy.” Rolled his eyes with being annoyed. See? I used all of these together, and you can hear people use them in common interactions. You know, native speakers speak like this. Now it is time for our quiz. Are you ready? I’m going to give you first the phrase or the expression, and then we’ll look at what the meaning is and put it… The answer in the appropriate space or in the correct space. Let’s start with the first one: “blood boil”. Remember we talked about making tea and the water getting hot and boiling, and the blood’s inside? I know your blood is boiling right now because you want the answer.

Right? Well, yeah, that’s to get extremely angry. When your blood is boiling you’re very, very angry. What about the second one? “Give my right arm”. Oh, you’re correct. If you give your right arm or willing to give your right arm, I would do that… And this is my arm, remember, it’s because I really want something really, really badly that I’m going to say: “Take my arm and give it to me, please.” So it’s to give something of great value for something you really want.

C: “raise an eyebrow”. So I can just… Raising an eyebrow. What would that be? That’s right. Remember when you’re suspicious? I don’t believe that. Or curious, what is that? Right? So I’m going to put here “curious” as well because I didn’t put it up there for you, but it’s both. Being suspicious or curious, which would be number one. How about: “let your hair down”? Do you remember when I did that one? I had my hair and then I let it down. That’s right, relax and have fun. Have some fun. Now we’re going to do number E with your “head in the clouds”. Right? “Head in the clouds”. When I was a kid we had a song called: “Dreamer, you stupid, little dreamer. And now you got your head in the clouds, oh no.” Right? Old song. Old, old, old, old, old. Before my time but I remember it. Now how about the last one? I think you’re smart enough to figure out which one it is, but let’s just play anyway.

“Get something off my chest.” Which one is left? Oooo, right? Off your chest. Emotions. How do you feel about it? I like it. I don’t like it. If I want to get something off my chest usually it’s negative. “I need to tell you this, and you need to listen to me.” And that would be: Tell someone your feelings, your honest feelings about something. Get it off your chest.

All right? Good. Now, I think we’ve learned a lot. Right? I quite… Can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it’s time for us to go. Yeah? That’s one of the ones we learned. Yeah? So once again I’d like to say thank you for watching. Always appreciate you watching. I want you to go to www.engvid.com in order to do the quiz and see how well you do, and take a look at some other videos. Don’t forget to, you know, subscribe, so press that button, touch that screen, whatever you do these days, and thanks a lot. We look forward to seeing you soon..

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