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  • Feifei: So, tonight's the night, Neil.

  • How do you feel?

  • Neil: A bit nervous, but mostly excited.

  • I've been practising

  • my speech all morning.

  • Feifei: Just go out there, smile, and don't

  • forget: mind your Ps and Qs!

  • Neil: Eh? I know how to spell, Feifei.

  • Feifei: You know what I mean!

  • Neil: Don't worry! I won't offend anyone.

  • Feifei: Mind your Ps and Qs

  • is our phrase in The English We Speak.

  • If someone tells you

  • to mind your Ps and Qs, they're telling

  • you to be polite in a social situation, and

  • to be careful about what you say or do.

  • Neil: Feifei, I'm always on my best

  • behaviour. Now, let me

  • practise my speech.

  • Feifei: And I'll play some examples.

  • Gang, Gang, Gang! How many times

  • have I told you to mind

  • your Ps and Qs when you're with

  • your grandparents? Grandma doesn't

  • like that kind of language!

  • Last week's meeting with our new clients

  • was super frustrating.

  • But I had to mind my Ps and Qs.

  • As they say, the customer

  • is always right!

  • Lan always says the first thing that comes

  • into her head. I just hope she minds her

  • Ps and Qs at lunch today.

  • Feifei: You're listening to The English

  • We Speak from BBC Learning English.

  • In this programme we are looking at

  • the expression 'mind your Ps and Qs'.

  • So Neil, finished practising

  • your speech?

  • Neil: Not yet. I've been distracted

  • by today's phrase. I've been

  • looking it up online.

  • Feifei: And?

  • Neil: Nobody agrees where it comes from.

  • There are so many theories.

  • One is that printers

  • back in the 19th Century used

  • to get confused between

  • the small letters p and q.

  • Feifei: They do look similar! So they had

  • to mind their Ps and Qs. Makes sense.

  • Neil: And there's another about

  • bartenders in 17th Century England.

  • They used to serve beer in

  • measures called pints and quarts.

  • Pints with a 'P' and quarts with a 'Q'.

  • When a customer was

  • drinking too much...

  • Feifei: ... They told them to mind

  • their pints and quarts?

  • Their Ps and Qs. Yes, makes sense too.

  • Neil: And there's another...

  • Feifei: Neil?

  • Neil: Yes?

  • Feifei: Your speech is in one hour.

  • Shouldn't you be practising?

  • Neil: Oh! So it is.

  • Feifei: And... Mind your Ps and Qs!

  • Neil: OK. Bye.

  • Feifei: Bye.

Feifei: So, tonight's the night, Neil.

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A2 US feifei mind practising speech gang customer

What does 'mind your Ps and Qs' mean?

  • 33 0
    Courtney Shih posted on 2019/12/12
Video vocabulary