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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jiminy Speak 2


What do you think a "conscience" should do for a person? See the "NOTES" for an answer.


Last time we saw some expressions used by Jiminy Cricket, the "conscience" of the main character in the Disney film Pinocchio. Here are a few more.

As Pinocchio's his guide, Jiminy Cricket must encourage him when he does something good. Here are some encouraging words:

a. Attaboy: Congratulations. A fast-talking way of saying "That's the boy," meaning, "You have shown yourself to be the boy I knew you were" or something similar. It can also be used of girls ("Attagirl"), but never "Attaman," "Attawoman," "Attadog," etc.

b. Now you're talkin'!: Literally means, "Now you're saying what I want to hear." It's usually used to approve of something that someone has just said, but can be used even for actions or other non-verbal achievements. You are running a race, and as you pull ahead of the others, one of your friends shouts, "Yeah! Keep going! Now you're talkin'!"

c. That's the stuff: used to encourage someone's efforts, and tell them they're doing a good job. There may be a word or two missing: "That's the right stuff," or "That's the stuff I want to see."

d. Say, that's pretty swell: "Swell" is an old-fashioned word meaning "good" or maybe "great." So to say something is "pretty swell" is on the level of "not bad." "My new apartment is pretty swell." It's used for smaller accomplishments, things that are not so special.

Now let's see how Jiminy might scold Pinocchio:

e. Enough's enough: When something has reached the limit, we might say, "That's enough." To make it even stronger, "Enough is enough." So if your friend is teasing you and you don't like it, say (strongly): "Cut it out! Enough's enough!"

f. You better come clean: To "come clean" is to tell the (whole) truth. Pinocchio is telling lies (this is when his nose grows) and Jiminy tells him to "come clean": tell the truth.

g. Break it up: This is a boxing idiom; sometimes two fighters cling to each other, and the referee has to separate them, telling them to "break it up." We might use this when two people are arguing: "OK, you two, break it up."

Well, I hope you learned something from Jiminy Cricket!


A conscience generally encourages a person to do right, and scolds him or her for doing wrong, as we see in Jiminy's expressions.


Use one of the above terms in each of the following sentences. Be sure to use the correct form.

1. Stop telling me these stupid jokes! __________!
2. What? You say want to take me to Paris? __________!
3. I heard you like to read books. __________.
4. I don't care who took whose cookie, just talk nice to each other. __________!
5. You won first prize? __________!
6. I need to know exactly what you did. __________!
7. It looks like you've really been working hard. __________!


1. What do you think we mean by "a guilty conscience" or "a clean conscience"?
2. Why do you think Disney made Pinocchio's "conscience" something on the outside of him, instead of inside, as in real life?
3. Do you usually "listen to your conscience"? Think of a time you did, and a time you didn't, and talk or write about it.


1 e Stop telling me these stupid jokes! Enough's enough!
2 b What? You say want to take me to Paris? Now you're talkin'!
3 d I heard you like to read books. Say, that's pretty swell.
4 g I don't care who took whose cookie, just talk nice to each other. Break it up!
5 a You won first prize? Attaboy!
6 f I need to know exactly what you did. You better come clean!
7 c It looks like you've really been working hard. That's the stuff!

This lesson is ©2012 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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