Dec 27

Learn British English Free video: Words of the Year 2017

Chris presents the words of the year. What’s yours?

English Words of the Year 2017

Collins Dictionary Word of the year: fake news
‘There’s so much fake news these days.’

Echo chamber
Fidget spinner
Gig economy
Insta (adjective)
‘That’s a great insta photo.’
‘The new app, released last year, has proved the basis for a unicorn.’

Cambridge Dictionary word of the year: ‘populism’ (also ‘inauguration’)

Oxford Dictionaries: ‘youthquake’ (also ‘Antifa’ and ‘unicorn’)

Dec 20

Free English Lesson: ‘The Crown’ series 2, episode 1

Chris presents vocabulary from ‘The Crown’ episode. Please click here for the document.

Dec 17

Learn British English Free (video): ‘beard’, ‘beer’, ‘bear’, ‘bare’, ‘barely’ (pronunciation)

Learn British English Free: ‘beard’, ‘beer’, ‘bear’, ‘bare’, ‘barely’ (pronunciation)

beard /bɪəd/

beer /bɪər/

bear /beər/

barely /ˈbeə.li/

bare /beər/

‘The bear drank beer and grew a beard.’

‘My chin is bare without the beard.

‘The bear barely drinks beer.’

Dec 03

The ‘Brexit Dictionary’ by Learn British English

The ‘Brexit Dictionary‘ by Learn British English (see also: Brexit timeline)

Brexit = The act of Britain leaving / exiting the EU (British exit = Brexit).
The EU = The European Union (not the same as Europe).
Brexiteer = A person who voted Brexit and supports leaving the EU now.
Remainer = A person who voted remain and probably doesn’t support Brexit.
Hard Brexit = A scenario where the UK leaves the EU and other arrangements such as the Single Market.
Soft Brexit = A scenario where the UK leaves the EU but remains a member of other arrangements such as the Single Market.

Brexit Dictionary JPEG

Nov 25

Learn English vocabulary: cricket wicket / stumps (the Ashes)

This winter, England are playing Australia in the famous cricket series called the Ashes. In case you are interested, this is useful vocabulary about the wicket (or stumps):

Cricket Wicket JPEG

Nov 05

Free video: English pronunciation: ‘i’ /ɪ/ or ‘ee’ /i:/ sound (example: ‘bitch’ or ‘beach’)

Chris demonstrates the pronunciation of the short vowel /ɪ/ and long vowel /i:/.

/ɪ/ (short)  /i:/ long.

ship /ɪ/ sheep /i:/

this /ɪ/  these /i:/

bin /ɪ/ been /i:/

bitch /ɪ/ beach /i:/

Nov 03

British English Book Recommendation: ‘La Belle Sauvage’ by Philip Pullman

I’m reading ‘La Belle Sauvage’ by Philip Pullman.

The Dark Materials trilogy:

  1. Northern Lights
  2. The Subtle Knife
  3. The Amber Spyglass

The Book of Dust (trilogy):

  1. La Belle Sauvage

Oct 25

Learn British English Free (video): idiom and pronunciation

‘It’s six of one; half a dozen of the other.’ Please enable captions / subtitles.

/ˈsɪksəwən/ /hɑ:fə’dʌzənəð(i:)’jʌðə/

Oct 22

Learn British English Free (video): The Lord’s Prayer

Chris presents a reading and explanation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

Father = God
art = are (old use)
hallowed = holy (something with a special religious meaning)
Thy = your (old use)
Trespass (noun / verb)) = do something which is not acceptable (old use)
Thine = your (old use)
Amen = religious word used at end of prayers to show agreement

Sep 11

British English vs American English Song

British English vs American English Song.

Music and lyrics by Chris Workman; August 2017.

Lyrics below and click here.

I don’t have a buck but I’ve got a fair few quid

Did you say you’ve got some sort of form for me to fill in?

I love travelling when it’s spelt with two l’s;

I didn’t dream a dream but I’ve dreamt a whole lot else

We’re perfect, not simple – relax, don’t get so tense;

I didn’t do my homework; I’ve done my homework in a sense;

that is the gist of this song from across the pond.


I’ve never dreamt a dream without a ‘t’ at the end;

don’t our tiny differences drive you round the bend?

Here we’ve got our booze on tap – what is a ‘faucet’?

(oh dear) Any words like that – keep them in the closet.

I’ve got new trousers; they’re soft to wear and touch;

urgh! Keep your pants to yourself; thank you very much!

Are you sure that we’re both really speaking English?


I’m standing on the pavement but can’t find the sidewalk;

is it cause you can’t understand a single word when I talk?

I’m joking (no not ‘kidding’)…never mind; I’ll see you later

Yeah, I’m breaking up, I’m in the lift; not the elevator.

Something wicked ain’t always a bummer

and don’t forget that autumn comes after summer


There seems to be a ladybird on my aubergine.

There’s a ladybug on your eggplant…what do you mean?

My favourite sport is football; please don’t call it soccer

those sorts of words should really stay in ‘yer locker

You have your own football, but why not just play rugby?

You always say ‘Your damn Britishisms bug me.’

We want to be understood with absolute precision;

we watch seasons through the year but not on the television.

Why did we ever think English was a piece of cake?

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