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  • Once in a lifetime opportunity, and I must say, my very first idioms lesson.

  • You people have asked me and requested, "Ronnie, please do idioms. Ronnie, please do idioms."

  • And Ronnie goes, "Ronnie doesn't like idioms because I don't really use idioms." I don't think they're very useful.

  • But then today, an idiom popped in my head, and it had to do with seafood.

  • Now, I don't remember what the idiom was because it was the morning and I was walking to school innocently.

  • But I started to think about seafood and fish. I got a little sick because I hate seafood.

  • I don't really like fish either, but I thought, "Wow. You know what? I'm going to teach you because you want to learn about idioms."

  • So here you go. Ronnie's very first -- hopefully not the last -- lesson about idioms.

  • These ones are with seafood and fish.

  • The first one. You can say, "He or she is a shrimp." Now, do you know what a "shrimp" is?

  • I will draw you a picture I'm not very good at drawing pictures, but I'm going to try.

  • So a "shrimp" is a little sea creature that has a lot of legs and a tail. Yeah. It looks like that.

  • So the meaning of "he's a shrimp" or "she's a shrimp" means the person is very short --

  • not necessarily thin, but quite short. So you can say the person "is a shrimp."

  • You probably want to eat that person now, don't you? I don't.

  • So "he's a shrimp" means a very short person.

  • We have another expression that I really like. I don't understand why we use it, but we do.

  • "The world is your oyster." "Oyster" is another type of seafood. It's a shellfish.

  • Now, the problem with me and drawing shellfish is they're all going to look the same.

  • But an oyster is quite a large shellfish. The outside of the oyster is black, and inside, it can be

  • either an orangey-pink color, or it can be white. And the thing that's very special about an oyster is

  • they make precious pearls. So maybe you have a pearl necklace. The pearl was made in an oyster.

  • So the expression "the world is your oyster" means you can do anything you want to do.

  • Isn't that cool? "The world is your oyster." Whatever you want to do, you can do it.

  • There are no limits. If you want to do something, go and do it, and get a pearl necklace.

  • Another expression is "a fine kettle of fish." This I don't think is too difficult to understand,

  • but "fine" means "very good," and a "kettle of fish" is a big pot full of fish.

  • A long time ago, we were very dependent on nature for our food. So having a big kettle or a big pot of fish

  • was a really, really good thing because that means that you would have a lot of food to live on.

  • Now, we have processed food and we can make genetic food, so we don't

  • rely on nature as much as we used to. So "a fine kettle of fish" means you're going to eat for a while.

  • But we mean this to be a really, really good situation. So it's a good situation.

  • The next one, "pool shark." "Pool shark," funnily enough -- "pool" -- maybe you're thinking of a swimming pool.

  • No, no, no. "Pool" is a game. Another word for it is "eight-ball." Okay?

  • A different kind of pool game is billiards. So eight-ball and pool are the same, and billiards is different.

  • But a "pool shark" is someone -- usually a man -- who is very, very good at the game of eight-ball or the game of pool.

  • Just in case you don't know, "eight-ball" is a game --you have 16 balls here.

  • And the object is to use a cue and to hit the balls into the pockets.

  • So if you are a "pool shark," it means you are very good at this game.

  • This is not a good thing, "fish outta water." Now, "outta" is how we would normally say "out of."

  • But in native speaking, we don't say "out of," we say "outta." "Fish outta water."

  • So if you think about this -- if you're a fish, where do you live? The ocean or a fish tank if you're not a lucky fish.

  • If you're a "fish out of water," what's going to happen?

  • First of all, you're going to feel very uncomfortable, probably a little dry, and then guess what?

  • You're going to die. So people use the expression to say, "I feel like" or "I felt like a fish out of water."

  • It basically means that you feel very uncomfortable. It doesn't mean you're going to die.

  • It just means you feel very uncomfortable. Good.

  • The next one. This has been shortened over the years. We used to say, "Something smells fishy."

  • Ew. Fish stinks. But we've shortened it to, "Something's fishy." If something's fishy,

  • it means something's a little strange or a little weird, but we don't know exactly why.

  • We're not sure, but something may be weird.

  • So "something's fishy" means something is weird or strange. Something's not right.

  • "Fresh off the boat" -- this sounds nice. It sounds like some really fresh seafood. Well guess what?

  • It isn't seafood at all. "Fresh off the boat" or "FOTB" -- apparently is a term that is used --

  • is actually referring to people who have immigrated to, let's say,

  • Canada, or immigrated to a different city -- sorry, a different country. They've traveled by ship or by boat,

  • and they don't really understand the language or the cultures or the customs of their new country.

  • So a lot of people would say, "Oh, she's fresh off the boat."

  • It means she doesn't understand the culture of what's around her.

  • So "fresh off the boat." I think it's kind of a negative term, but apparently, it's used a lot.

  • But it just means that you're a new immigrant and you don't really know that much about the culture.

  • But you'll learn.

  • Funnily enough, we have another kind of shellfish, and this is a clam. Now, this is my picture of a clam, and I'm sorry.

  • I can't draw a clam or an oyster. But a clam is usually smaller than an oyster,

  • and it's used a lot in a soup called "clam chowder." It's very common in the east coast of America and in Canada.

  • "Clams" is an old word to mean "money." So if you've watched probably 1970 or 1980 gangster movies,

  • they would say, like, "How many clams for that bottle of whiskey?"

  • So clams in a very old sense, it means "money."

  • The next one, "clammy," is an adjective. "Clammy" is kind of a strange word,

  • but it means that you feel cold and wet or damp. So you could say, "I feel clammy."

  • It's kind of like you're in the ocean, and then you get out of the ocean, and you forgot your towel.

  • So it has a bad connotation of not a good feeling. You feel kind of wet and kind of cold.

  • So "clammy" means a wet and a cold feeling, not a good feeling.

  • The next phrase, "clammed up." As an example, "He clammed up during his speech."

  • What do you think that means? He turned into a clam? Uh-uh. If someone "clams up,"

  • it means their mouth becomes a clam, I guess. It means that he stopped talking.

  • Maybe he couldn't talk. Maybe he forgot what he was going to say.

  • So the idiom "clammed up" means that somebody stopped talking. I don't understand this either.

  • But it's an idiom. This is why idioms are so strange and Ronnie doesn't teach them.

  • "Happy as a clam." It means that these clams are really, really happy. So I guess we should do one of these.

  • And it means that you feel happy like a happy clam. Crazy English.

  • What would a lesson be with Ronnie without some dirty sex in it? Oh, yeah. Don't worry.

  • We are not free of the seafood and the fish innuendos without a little bit of slang sex.

  • Now, maybe you've had sex with someone, and he or she didn't really do anything.

  • Maybe they just kind of lied there -- or just laid there, and they didn't participate in the sexual encounter.

  • You can say, "She or he was like a dead fish." Now, this doesn't mean the smell, I hope.

  • But a "dead fish" would maybe move around a little bit and then not move.

  • So you can imagine how exciting this person would be if you were going to have sex with someone.

  • So you can -- it's usually used for women. I don't know why. But "she was like a dead fish."

  • This means she did not participate in the action. Okay? Dead fish -- bad meaning. Boring.

  • So if someone calls you a "dead fish," it's not good -- very boring.

  • One of my favorites, "trouser trout." "Trouser" is a very old and very British word for "pants."

  • A "trouser trout" or a "flounder" -- a flounder and a trout are a kind of fish. I will draw a picture of a fish.

  • Yay. But surprise, surprise. A "trouser trout" or a "flounder" actually is not a fish at all.

  • It is a man's penis. "Trouser trout" or "flounder."

  • And not to forget the ladies, the lady bits. We have something called a "fish taco."

  • That's disgusting, isn't it? Fish. Gross. I hate fish.

  • So a "fish taco," if you can imagine, is actually the vagina of the lady. The lady's vagina.

  • So representing the male sexual organs, we have the "trouser trouts" or the "flounder."

  • And for all the ladies out there, your "fish taco" is a slang word for your vagina.

  • Are you hungry? Would you like some seafood? The next time you go to a restaurant and they have flounder on the menu,

  • I dare you to order it. Bye-bye. This is all for idioms with Ronnie.

Once in a lifetime opportunity, and I must say, my very first idioms lesson.

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B1 US fish clam oyster seafood ronnie pool

15 Fishy Expressions in English

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    Halu Hsieh posted on 2014/10/12
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