Speaking English, learning a foreign language and constantly improving oneself in this regard has almost become a necessity. English is now a language that you may need not only in your academic life but also in your daily life. Whether you are traveling the world, exploring career opportunities in international companies or seeking a promotion, you always need English or even a second foreign language education.
Although people are aware of this deficiency, it is unfortunately not enough to just memorize academic grammar to integrate English into your daily life. Learning everyday vocabulary and incorporating it into your speaking practices can help you make your English education look much more professional! The English language has a colorful and rich structure, but being limited to formal and standard terms can leave you lacking in real-life communication.
In fact, by learning the vocabulary used in everyday life, you can be much more confident when traveling and studying abroad. Here are some little-known, everyday English terms and words that will make you feel like you speak English like a native speaker!
Blimey!: This expression is an old but common word in everyday British speech. In fact, if you read the Harry Potter books in the original language, you may come across this word every few pages. "Blimey!" is usually used in response to surprise, astonishment and shock. In fact, you can think of it as "yok artık!" or "wow canına!" in Turkish. This term can be a good way to add a more natural feel to your speech, reflecting the colorful and friendly, albeit old, aspects of British slang.
- "Blimey, what a lot of food in there!"
Gobsmacked: This word, like Blimey, expresses a sense of great surprise. However, this word is not in the same tone as "Blimey!". It is more than just an expression of surprise and can often include a feeling of shock, admiration and sometimes even pride at something unexpected. In other words, in Turkish, it is more like "I am shocked!" or "I am speechless!". It is one of the lesser known words that you should learn to enrich your English.
- "I was gobsmacked and had to sit down because these were the days when 85,000 was a lot of money." Times, Sunday Times (2014)
Dodgy: This word is often used in the English language to describe a suspicious situation or person. The term "dodgy" is derived from the word "dodge", which means to avoid or evade. Therefore, the term "dodgy" implies that a situation or person contains an element that cannot be fully captured, understood or avoided. For example, when the term "dodgy" is used in relation to a job, it implies that the job does not inspire confidence and perhaps even involves some risk.
- "Capitalism has a lot of dodgy ethics to be explored." The Guardian (2019)
Bob's Your Uncle: This expression is one of the terms that reveals the colorful and richness of the English language. Knowing and using this term can actually show that you are quite advanced in English. "Bob's your uncle" is a way of expressing the ease and speed with which something can be completed or a problem solved. For example, if you give a recipe to a friend and after they have completed the steps you say "Bob's your uncle!", this emphasizes how easy it was to make the dish described. Actually, it's a bit like the Turkish term "like pulling hair out of butter", isn't it?
The etymological origin of the term is also quite interesting. It is not known for certain, but it is often attributed to political relations in 19th century England. A few different stories may lie behind the fact that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Robert Cecil, was known as "Bob," and was known to favor his relatives in political matters.
- "Just put the water in the pot, after it starts to boil, throw the pasta in, after 8-10 minutes, drain the pasta and flavor it; Bob's your uncle! You've made a pasta."
Fuddy-Duddy: One of the most common words in the English language that many people miss when learning the language is "fuddy-duddy". This term is often used to describe someone who is old-fashioned and out of step with the times. A fuddy-duddy is often thought of as a figure who resists technological innovation, contemporary fashion or changing social norms. We can say that it has the same direct meaning as "old-fashioned" in Turkish.
- "They think I'm a fuddy-duddy because I don't approve of piercing."
Bamboozle: A common slang word in the English language but one that many of us avoid using in everyday conversation, "bamboozle" means to trick, confuse or trap someone. Since this term has a slightly humorous tone, it usually means to trick in a playful sense. Therefore, its use can help you bring some color to the situation when communicating in English.
- "They got back to power by bamboozling the people about their real intentions." Hansard Archive
Knick-knack: This term is often used to describe small knick-knacks and decorative objects in the home. It is one of those everyday terms that you can intersperse in sentences to show off your high level of English.
- "He was on the fireplace mantel when the maid came to dust and attempted to pass himself off as a knick-knack but sneezed when he was dusted." Wikipedia
These are some of the terms that will make your English look high-level and make you feel as if you were born in a country whose official language is English. While some of these terms have become obsolete and forgotten, others are still frequently used in everyday conversations.
Learning English and studying foreign languages involves much more than memorizing grammar rules. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with such common terms will help you to be more confident when you go abroad to study or travel, and to communicate better with the locals.
More than just speaking a formal language, you can look up common terms and speak English in a very natural way!