In time, these lessons and "stubs" will be migrated to the Buzzwords site.
Until then, consider them historical.

Mini-Lessons WITH EXERCISES from Friday, Mar. 16, 2012

I'm trying something new! Instead of a separate lesson, today's lesson will be exercises based on the Mini-Lessons. Let me know if you like it!

These Mini-Lessons are posted on Twitter, and in China on Weibo, throughout the day. You can follow them there!

To get the most from them, you should try to use them in sentences, or discuss them with friends. Writing something on Twitter or Weibo is a great way to practice!
  • Link: Fun vocabulary quizzes, all levels:
  • Ancient History: Caesar: title for Roman leaders (like "king"). Originally the name of Julius Caesar (100–44 BC), who is often called simply "Caesar."
  • Irregular Verbs: I come to class prepared every day. I came prepared yesterday. I have come prepared many times.
  • Idiom: ad nauseam: until it makes one sick. "My teacher repeats himself ad nauseam."
  • Pop Culture: Peeping Tom: originally a man in a story who looked at a lady when he shouldn't, now someone who looks in people's windows at night.
  • Slang: all that: and so on. "She likes cake, cookies, candy, and all that."
  • Government: terrorism: actions meant to scare people so a government will change its way of doing things.


Read the Mini-Lessons above. Make cards and study them. When you think you know them, answer the questions below. You may have to look up some new words to answer the questions!


1. Today's Idiom is "ad nauseam." You would probably use this when:
a. you are feeling carsick (ill from riding in a car).
b. something has happened so many times that you can't stand it anymore.
c. you are in the hospital.
d. your teacher feels sick.

2. Use the correct form of the Irregular Verb "to come" in these sentences:
a. Can you __________ over to my house tonight?
b. I am __________ to the restaurant right now.
c. I really enjoy it when my son __________ home to visit.
d. This idea has __________ up before in our meetings.
e. When I __________ to the river, I couldn't cross it.

3. Match the Ancient History, Pop Culture, and Government terms below to these related ideas:
a. connected to the story of Lady Godiva
b. the attacks in New York on September 11, 2001
c. the words "Kaiser" and "czar" (or "tsar") come from this
d. was stabbed by friend Brutus and others
e. the legend says he went blind for looking
f. a bomb in a train station

(1) Caesar
(2) Peeping Tom
(3) terrorism

4. As stated above, the Slang term "all that" means "and so on." In which sentence does it have a DIFFERENT meaning?

a. I enjoy listening to rock and jazz and all that.
b. My friends and I enjoy wine and beer and all that.
c. Sometimes studying and all that makes me tired.
d. My girlfriend thinks she's all that.


If you can, try to talk about these questions in English with a friend. If not, try writing your answers. You may need to do some research in your language, but then you should express your answers in English.

1. What do you know about the life of Julius Caesar? Have you read the play by Shakespeare? Look up some information and talk or write about it in English.
2. Read the story of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom. This is a legend. Why do you think people repeated this legend?
3. The word "terrorism" is not very old. Look up its history and discuss how it has changed.


1. b. It's not about actually being sick, but about something being repeated too much.

2. a. come; b. coming; c. comes; d. come; e. come

3. Matching:
a. (2) Peeping Tom; Lady Godiva is the woman at whom "Tom" peeped
b. (3) terrorism; the "911" attacks were meant to change US policy toward the Middle East
c. (1) Caesar; the "Kaiser" was a German ruler, and "czar" (or "tsar") was used in Russia
d. (1) Caesar; the story of his death is part of Shakespeare's play, "Julius Caesar"
e. (2) Peeping Tom; the blindness was his punishment, since everyone had been told NOT to look.
f. (3) terrorism; terrorist attacks often happen in crowded places

4. d. In this slang phrase, "all that" means "super," "wonderful," "the best" etc.

  1. The Idiom, the History and Government words, and some of the Pop Culture words, are from lists in the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. I wrote the definitions and examples myself.

  2. The Link was found online; the Slang words, the Irregular Verbs, and some of the Pop Culture words are from my own lists, and I wrote the definitions and examples myself.

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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