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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Boss (Slang) Part 2


Has a boss or teacher ever asked you to do something that you thought was unreasonable? Did you do it?


The conversation continues. Brad thinks Jeff is too hard on the boss, but then Jeff tells him more...

Brad: I think you should back off. Cut him some slack.
Jeff: What are you saying?
Brad: It's a no-brainer. I mean, it's a good job. Don't blow it.
Jeff: But I'm not finished. Last week he asked the whole office to pull an all-nighter.
Brad: Whoa! Did you do it?

To be continued...


Match the words and their meanings:

1. back off
2. cut him some slack
3. What are you saying?
4. no-brainer
5. blow it
6. I'm not finished
7. whoa
8. pull an all-nighter

a. requires little thought
b. expresses surprise
c. give him a break
d. I want to say more
e. leave someone alone
f. work all night
g. make a big mistake
h. How dare you!


1. to back off: (e) to leave someone alone, to stop attacking him or her
2. to cut someone some slack: (c) to "give someone a break," to be forgiving of someone
3. What are you saying?: (h) This might be a request for more information. It can also be a challenge to the speaker, like "Why are you criticizing me?" or even "How dare you!"
4. a no-brainer: (a) something that is obvious, and requires little thought
5. to blow it: (g) to make a big mistake, to manage something badly
6. I'm not finished: (d) This might be simply what it says: "I want to say more." But it can also mean "You have spoken too soon. Don't make a decision until you have all the facts."
7. whoa: (b) an expression of surprise; it might also mean "stop"
8. to pull an all-nighter: (f) to work all night, or at least until the early morning hours


Use the words above to fill in the blanks:

1. I'm a nice guy! How could you accuse me of that? __________
2. To stop smoking is a __________ as far as I'm concerned.
3. Wait! Don't decide yet! __________
4. If I have to __________ I'll never get to class in the morning.
5. If you don't __________ I'm going to punch you!
6. __________! Hang on a second!
7. If you __________ on this deal, you'll get fired for sure.
8. He's not such a bad guy! __________!


1. What are you saying?; 2. no-brainer; 3. I'm not finished; 4. pull an all-nighter; 5. back off; 6. whoa; 7. blow it; 8. cut him some slack


Here is this part of the conversation, in more standard English:

Brad: I think you should stop being so aggressive. Be more forgiving.
Jeff: Why are you defending my boss? How dare you!
Brad: It's obvious. I mean, it's a good job. Don't do something that will cause you to lose it.
Jeff: Before you take my boss's side, listen to this: last week he asked the whole office to work all night.
Brad: That's really surprising! Did you do it?

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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