09.11.2017 |

Episode #8 of the course English idioms (B2) by Kasia Sielicka, PhD


“Alice, I need a big bowl of ice cream!” cried Susan, heading for the bar.

“You can’t.” Alice stopped her.

“Why not?” asked Susan, irritated.

We’re broke,” admitted Alice in a sad voice.

“What?” asked Susan in disbelief.

“We’re strapped. We have no money. How else do you want me to say it?” answered Alice, also irritated.

“Okay, calm down,” said Susan. “First of all, what do you mean by “broke,” and secondly, what do you mean by “we”? You are broke, right?”

“Let me explain,” sighed Alice. “When I bought this cruise for us, I used up all my savings.”

“Okay, so we’ll dip into my savings,” said Susan with relief.

“I used your savings too,” admitted Alice quietly.

My savings?” Susan couldn’t believe her ears. “From the piggy bank?”

“Yes,” said Alice, feeling guilty.

“I was saving that money for a rainy day!” shouted Susan angrily. “How could you?!”

“Well,” Alice tried to explain, “cruises are expensive, and I’m not made of money!”

“You shouldn’t have splashed out on a cruise you couldn’t afford in the first place!” said Susan, still angry.

“I was hoping you’ll get over your illness, get promoted at work, and then all our financial problems will be over,” admitted Alice. “We’d live in the lap of luxury till the end of our lives, go on shopping sprees every weekend, spend money like it’s going out of fashion…You know, the full package,” she admitted dreamily.

“Oh great! And now what?” Susan demanded a solution.

“Now…” said Alice, thinking, “we’ll have to tighten our belts. Or find a job.”

“A job?” laughed Susan. “On a luxury ship?”

“Let’s go and ask in the kitchen,” suggested Alice.

Susan stared at her in disbelief, her mouth wide open…


Idioms Explained

When you’re broke, you have no money and can’t afford to pay for something.

When you’re strapped (for cash), you don’t have much money.

When you dip into your savings, you take a little money from your savings account.

When you save for a rainy day, you put money aside in case you need it one day in the future.

When you say, “I’m not made of money,” you mean that you don’t have a lot of money.

If you splash out on something (usually something you don’t need), you spend a lot of money on it.

If you live in the lap of luxury, you live a very comfortable life, with everything you need—and more! A swimming pool and a Porsche, at least!

A shopping spree is when you go shopping (e.g. for clothes or accessories) and spend a lot of money fast. Most people love it, but then feel guilty about all that money spent…

When you do something like it’s going out of fashion, you do it very quickly.

When you tighten your belt, you spend less than usual, because you don’t have much money.


What will the girls find in the kitchen? Find out tomorrow!


Recommended book

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer


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