#UKSlang: Sherlock (1)

Who here is a fan of BBC’s Sherlock and just can’t wait for the next season? The detective, along with his sidekick, Dr Watson, has captured the hearts of many across the world. In my opinion, the modern twist added to the latest adaptation only made the iconic detective story fresher and more relatable. If you haven’t seen it, go check the original DVDs.

Sherlock SS1.jpg
BBC’s Sherlock.

Most characters on BBC’s Sherlock are well-articulated, and although it makes it a little difficult for non-native speaker to understand what they are saying, it does provide a good amount of new words to add into our vocabulary.

This article will discuss some of the slangs. If you are using these words, use them with caution, because some of them are quite impolite. We’ll start with season 1.

  1. “Sorry — gotta dash. I left my riding crop in the mortuary.” – Sherlock (S01E01).
    Gotta dash (v.) = to have to go quickly, to be in a hurry.

  2. “I’ll make you that cuppa. You rest your leg.” – Mrs Hudson (S01E01).
    Cuppa (n.) = a cup of coffee or tea.

  3. John: “What do people normally say?”
    Sherlock: “’Piss off!’” (S01E01).
    Piss off (v.) = Go away.

  4. “Either way, you’re wasted as a cabbie.” – Sherlock (S01E01).
    Cabbie (n.) = taxi driver.
    Cab (n.) = taxi.

  5. “Because I had a row, in the shop, with a chip-and-PIN machine.” – John (S01E02).
    Row (n.) = quarrel, fight.

  6. “Well, grab a pew.” – Sebastian (S01E02).
    Grab a pew (v.) = take a seat.

  7. “Your friend… he’s an arrogant sod.” – Dimmock (S01E02).
    Sod (n.) = an obnoxious person.

  8. “Nine million quid, for what?” – Sherlock (S01E02).
    Quid (n.) = pound sterling.

  9. “We end up havin’ a bit of a ding-dong, don’t we?” – Murder suspect (S01E03).
    Ding-dong (n.) = an argument.

  10. “Told you you should’ve gone with the lilo.” – Sarah (S01E03)
    Lilo (n.) = an inflatable plastic or rubber mattress.

If you have others, drop them on the comment section below!


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 21 March, 2018.




#EngVocab: Adjectives That Describe Personalities (2)

We know that English is very rich in expressions. We can describe anyone and anything with so many ways; idioms, phrases, and words amongst many others. We will discuss one of them.

Before you continue reading, you might want to check our previous article on this subject: #EngVocab: Adjectives That Describe Personalities.

Anhedonic = unable to feel happiness.
“In the ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ Eeyore is described as a depressed, anhedonic stuffed donkey.”

Agreeable = pleasant, enjoyable.
“She’s an agreeable companion. You won’t get bored.”

Assertive = self-assured, confident (without being aggressive).
“As a team leader, you should be more assertive.”

Bold = strong, brave, willing to take a risk.
“She’s so bold. She does not wait for anyone to introduce her to the CEO.”

Brooding = showing deep unhappiness.
“He’s always brooding; I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

Childish = immature.
“She’s so childish that she always throws tantrums over small problems.”

Childlike = innocent, having good qualities associated with a child.
“Her laughter is childlike; it’s contagious.”

Chirpy = cheerful, lively.
“Quenzino is such a chirpy little fella. I wanna pinch his cheeks.”

A chirpy baby (Picture from WordPress).


Dark = mysterious.
“Whenever I forget to bring my driving license with me, the police always look like dark and intimidating figures.”

Dim = stupid (informal use) OR dim-witted = slow (in Bahasa Indonesia: lemot).
“Please don’t use sarcasm with him. He’s dim; he won’t get it.”

To make it easier to memorize them, try to use one of the words on the list on your daily conversations. Be careful with some words that have a negative connotation.

P.S.: The list will continue.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 12 March, 2018.


#EngTalk: How to Start a Conversation

Image by WordPress


Sometimes, we could feel nervous when we are about to start a conversation in English. The feeling of awkwardness of saying something in a foreign language, coupled with the concern about saying something wrong or grammatically incorrect, could be overwhelming.

However, the more you familiarise yourself with speaking in English, the more confident you could be. Therefore, always practice when you have a chance. You can start with everyday conversation with a friend or a colleague.

When passing a friend on a hallway at school or meeting somewhere else, we can say:
– How are you?
– Hey, what’s up?
– Hi, how is it going?

If it’s a colleague at work, a more formal interaction is expected. We can start with:
– How are you today?
– What have you been up to lately?
– How was your weekend? (if weekend has just passed) OR Have you got plans for the weekend? (if weekend is about to come).
– Have you heard of that news?

But what if we are in a situation when there is no one we are familiar with?
When you are in a party or a gathering, and there is no one there whom you know, you can always start a conversation and turn a stranger into an acquaintance.

Here are some sentences you could use to start a conversation with a stranger:
–  I don’t believe we have met. I’m Katie.
– What is it that you do for a living?
– Do you go to school near here?
– Do you live around here?
– This is such a great event. What do you think?

You can also start with complimenting a person’s appearance or performance. For example:
– I like your outfit. Where did you buy it?
– I couldn’t help but staring at your necklace. It’s beautiful.
– You gave an interesting speech. I’d like to know your thoughts about…

Making comments about someone’s physical appearance is fine if we are already good friends with him/her, but never point out what a stranger’s lacking as it is considered impolite. For example:
– You look uncomfortable in that clothes ×
– It seems like you have gained some weight ×


If you feel that you might require some helps getting into a conversation with strangers, bring a friend. After a while, you should be confident to do it on your own.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 February 2018.


#EngQuiz: Phrasal Verbs with ‘Live’ and Explanation

Hello, good evening, everyone!! How are you today?

You might have read the previous tweets that said we were going to have an #EngQuiz today. It’s really simple, read last week’s topic here https://englishtips4u.com/2016/11/12/engvocab-phrasal-verbs-live/ … as our #EngQuiz will be related to it.

I’m going to tweet several sentence and you need to fill in the blanks with the correct phrasal verbs. Are you ready?

  1. I _____ the post office. I can reach it by walking.
    a. Live by
    b. Live at
    c. Live in
  1. Having ______ the battleground in WWII, he really doesn’t wish to see any more wars.
    a. Lived on
    b. Lived with
    c. Lived through
  1. I’ve always seen him as a talented writer and he _____ to my expectation.
    a. Lives off
    b. Lives up
    c. Lives out
  1. Practice makes perfect, words to _______
    a. Live on
    b. Live by
    c. Live for
  2. I hope he could ______ the epic, loud belch he made in this morning’s meeting.
    a. Live down
    b. Live through
    c. Live with
  3. Let’s ________!! Turn the music louder!
    a. Live it on
    b. Live it up
    c. Live it out
  4. He resigned from his father’s company because he doesn’t want to _______ the family’s assets.
    a. Live on
    b. Live for
    c. Live off
  5. He’s ______ the moment when he finally could deliver a speech in front of the President.
    a. Lived for
    b. Lived by
    c. Lived up
  6. Determined to lose weight, he’s been ______ fruits and vegetables for two weeks.
    a. Living up
    b. Living off
    c. Living on
  7. As a part-time nanny, I don’t need to ______ my boss’ house.
    a. Live on
    b. Live in
    c. Live by



1. a. Live by.
‘To live by’ here means ‘to live near somewhere’. The sentence refers to living near the post office because the person in the sentence can reach it by walking. Therefore, we need to find the synonym to ‘to live near’ in the answer.

2. c. Lived through
War usually came with grave consequences and bad experiences, so the phrasal verb ‘lived through’ is most suitable to complete this sentence.

3. b. Lives up
The person in the sentence was referring to someone else whose writing skill he admired. To express this, ‘lives up’ is most suitable.

4. b. Live by
In addition to the meaning in question 1, ‘to live by’ can also mean ‘to survive by using or doing something in particular’, which in this sentence is having the value ‘practice makes perfect’.

5. a. Live down
The person in this sentence wished that the other person could contain the embarrassment of belching in a meeting. ‘To contain the embarrassment’ is synonymous with ‘to live down’.

6. b. Live it up
This sentence is an imperative, asking the others to make the event livelier. ‘To live it up’ is most suitable for it.

7. c. Live off
The person in this sentence had resigned from his father’s company because he didn’t want to use the family asset to make a living. For this context, ‘to live off’ fits best.

8. a. Lived for
The sentence means the person had been looking forward to delivering a speech in front of the President. He’s lived for it.

9. c. Living on
The person in the sentence had been surviving on fruits and vegetables, something he needed to do to lose weight. ‘To live on’ means to survive on what one only has and needs, and it is most suitable for the sentence.

10. b. Live in
It is clearly expressed in the sentence that the person did not need to live inside the place where he/she went to work.

So, I have retweeted the correct answers! How many did you get correctly, fellas? Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t got the answers right. It’s all about brushing up our English in a fun way.

Thank you for joining today’s session; it’s been fun! I’ll see you again tomorrow! Have a good rest!! Bye!


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 14 November, 2016.