English Lessons Online

English language learning discussion topics

Here's a recent question on Aussie Spoken English from a student.

CM: "What does 'flapping her gums' mean?"

This term is only used by some older people in outer suburban and country areas of Australia. You won't hear it too often. It can be used as an insult, or if someone wishes to make a joke about someone.

'Flapping her gums' means 'she is talking a lot'.
Actual translation: 'she is always opening and closing her mouth'.
Spoken example: "Someone stop that woman from flapping her gums. I can't think!"

Here's a recent question on Australian Culture from a student.

JS: "I have seen Aussies fold their knives and forks over in a cross shape on their plate even though they haven't finished eating. Why?"

If you cross the knife and fork, either upside-down or upright, it means you are not finished eating. You are taking a break from eating and will be continuing soon. To show that you have finished eating, line the fork and knife together pointing away from you.

If you're looking for actual dialogues of Australians, visit our one-on-one lessons page. Near the bottom is a list of ten dialogues. See if you can work out what the Australians are saying!

Have fun!

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