Get = irritate

There are several expressions with ‘get’ which mean to irritate or annoy intensely:

Get someone’s goat

It really gets my goat when politicians make promises in the electoral campaign, and then don’t keep them.

Get in someone’s hair

The children have been getting in her hair all weekend. She hasn’t been able to do any work.

Get under someone’s skin

The boss really gets under my skin – he’s so arrogant.

Get on someone’s nerves

The neighbour’s dog’s constant barking was getting on her nerves so much that she decided to complain.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Here is a joke for Saint Patrick’s Day (17th March): 

How is a best friend like a four-leaf clover?

Because they are difficult to find and lucky to have!

To learn more about this famous celebration, you might like to listen to the two podcasts about Saint Patrick’s Day in this app.

And to find out more about Ireland itself, we recommend that you watch the series That’s Ireland! which you’ll find in Programme B of all the units of Module 11.

Spring is in the air!

Spring is officially just around the corner, so here are some idioms inspired by the coming season:

to be full of the joys of spring = to be lively and enthusiastic

With the longer days, she felt happy and full of the joys of spring.

to spring clean = to clean thoroughly

When their son went to university, they decided it was time to spring clean the house.

no spring chicken = a person who is no longer young

Considering he’s a professional footballer, at 34 he’s no spring chicken.

spring fever = to be restless or excited, especially at the beginning of spring.

The birds have started to make so much noise first thing in the morning that they seem to have spring fever.

International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, here are some examples of how the English language has become more politically correct to reflect equal opportunities in the workplace:

fireman / firewoman = firefighter

policeman / policewoman = police officer

actor / actress = actor

air steward / air stewardess = flight attendant

spokesman / spokeswoman = spokesperson

chairman / chairwoman-chair = chairperson

barman / barmaid = bartender

salesman – saleswoman = salesperson


Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (Martes de Carnaval), also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, refers to the traditional celebration held on the last day of carnival, when people would eat up all the rich and fatty foods in their homes before Lent (Cuaresma).

The word carnival comes from medieval Latin carnelevamencarn (flesh or meat) + levare (put away).

New Orleans holds the most famous Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. In 1699, French settlers introduced this tradition from Europe, where a mixture of pagan and Christian festivities had been held since Roman times. Masked balls, street parties and feasts soon spread to other parts of Louisiana.

In 1857, a group of New Orleans businessmen created a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus, which organized a parade with marching music bands and decorated floats (carrozas). Since then krewes (comparsas) have become a permanent feature of the Mardi Gras celebrations.