Monday, October 31, 2011


"Trick-or-Treat" is what kids say when they go trick-or-treating on Halloween (October 31st), which is traditionally going door-to-door in your neighborhood, dressed in a costume, asking for candy. Some communities hold trick-or-treating on a weekend night that is closest to Halloween. In the interest of safety, it is now common to see trick-or-treating offered by malls or in other shared, public spaces. Some churches or other organizations also hold a 'Trunk-or-Treat,' where kids go from car-to-car in a parking lot, collecting candy from people who have have their trunks open to show off their Halloween-decorated interiors.

Traditionally, 'trick-or-treat' meant 'Give me a treat or I'm going to play a trick on you." Tricks included such things as soaping windows and egging houses. Now it just means, "Look at me, all cute in my costume, and may I have some candy, please?"

-Here you go! Please, take two!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Do or do not. There is no try."

This famous movie quote was said by Yoda in "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" (1983). It is often said by fans of the movie as a response to when someone says that they'll 'try' to get something done. The reason they use this quote is because they're frustrated with the other person's lack of commitment to do the thing. That's not to say Americans don't like to 'try' new things; this quote refers to getting someone to commit to doing something.

-Are you going to come to brunch with my parents in the morning?
-Well, I'll try. I'm not sure how I'll feel in the morning and anyway, I have a lot to do tomorrow.
-"Do or do not. There is no try."

True story:
I loved this movie so much that I would actually practice doing handstands and trying to lift up one hand like Luke did in the movie.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Come-to-Jesus meeting

A 'come-to-Jesus' meeting is a meeting or talk where someone in power tells someone else what mistakes they're making and how they need to change. This expression most likely originated with the idea that traditional Christians have that Jesus came to earth to show people the error of their ways so they could change and be saved. Nonetheless, the expression is now used by the religious and non-religious alike, as a way to express that someone needs to have a talk with someone else before things get worse.

-I'm worried about my son. His grades are really slipping.
-Maybe it's time you had a come-to-Jesus meeting with him.

Friday, October 28, 2011

He took another opportunity.

Saying that someone "took another opportunity" is a way of saying someone no longer works in a place. Since it is a vague response, there is no way to know if the person quit or was fired.

-Does Michael still work here?
-No, he took another opportunity.
-Oh, that's too bad! I really liked him!
-Yeah, we miss him, too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hodge podge

A 'hodge podge' is a real variety or mix of something.

-What do people usually wear to work?
-You'll see a little bit of everything. It's a real hodge podge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get a room!

When a couple is being (overly) affectionate either physically or verbally, someone will invariably say, "Get a room!"  The room they are referring to is a hotel room, which is for the couple to have sex in.

-I love you!
-I love you more!

Person overhearing conversation -Oh, get a room!

Monday, October 24, 2011


A 'hater' is literally a person who hates something, but it has taken on a more specific meaning. A 'hater' is a person who doesn't like you or holds a grudge against you. They doesn't necessarily want what you have, but they are jealous of your success and want to knock you down a few notches.

-Justin Bieber sucks!
-Don't be a hater!

-People can be so judgmental.
-Yeah, there are a lot of haters.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Should we watch a movie or see a movie?

While many native speakers of American English may be unaware they are doing it, they do actually distinguish between 'watching' a movie and 'seeing' one. "Watching" a movie means you are going to do it at home or in someone else's house on TV, whereas "seeing a movie" means you're going to do it at a movie theater.

-What movie are you going to watch?
-Oh, I don't know. Whatever's on the classic movie channel tonight.

-What movie are you going to see?
-Well, we haven't decided yet. We'll see what looks good when we get there.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"Duh!" is a sarcastic interjection used to point out that someone has said or done something painfully obvious or stupid.

-I really need to study for that physics final if I'm going to get an A!

-Now where did I leave my car keys? Oh, duh, they're right here in my pocket!

True story:
I'm surprised at how often I find myself saying this, especially to myself!

Friday, October 21, 2011


"Yo!" is a very informal, familiar greeting, kind of like "Hey!" It can be used when you don't know or can't remember someone's name and want to get their attention. Another possible use is as a shortened form of "your." It originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE), but has now been adopted by speakers of all ethnicities. It is interesting to note that "yo" also means "I" in Spanish, a language widely spoken in the U.S., but in American English it doesn't mean that, nor is it related.

-Yo, come back here!

-Get to work, yo!

-Yo mamma!

True story:
I'm white. Sometimes when I call my dad on the phone and he sees it's me on the caller ID, he answers, "Yo!"