Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Neil: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Neil and … Feifei: Hi everyone. I'm Feifei and I've just …err… well… Neil: Feifei is here with me… Feifei, what's going on? Feifei: Yes, and today we are here, with you, dear learners of the wonderful English language… Neil: What are you looking for? Feifei: The script, Neil. I misplaced it somewhere… Neil: Just wing it! Feifei: Wing it? Wing, like a bird? Yes, the air is fresh and I flap my wings… Neil: What are you doing? What are you doing? Feifei: You told me to pretend I was a bird. Or to tell the story of a bird or… I know lots of bird jokes. Neil: No, that's not it. In English 'to wing' something means to improvise. This informal expression is thought to come from the theatre and it refers to performances given by actors who had to learn their lines quickly while waiting in the wings. Feifei: Ah! The wings are the space on each side of the stage, where actors wait before coming onto the stage. Sometimes someone gives them their lines from there as support. Neil: That's right. Let's hear how this expression is used: Examples: Mary spent all weekend partying instead of studying. When I asked her why she wasn't concerned about the exam, she told me she'd just wing it. The minister is a great orator. He's never had a speech ready, he just wings it and people love it. Neil: So a theatrical expression for you. Now Feifei, do you know lots of jokes about birds? Tell me one. Feifei: Why did the little bird get in trouble at school? Neil: Mmmm… no idea… Feifei: Because he was caught tweeting during the test. Neil: Yes, very funny… Both: Bye.