Expression: To Hit Rock Bottom

164 - Expression: To Hit Rock Bottom


Words that are bolded in red are suggested vocabulary words for this episode.


Hi everybody. My name is Shana and this is the American English Podcast. My goal here is to teach you the English spoken in the United States. Through common expressions, pronunciation tips, and interesting cultural snippets or stories, I hope to keep this fun, useful and interesting. Let’s do it!


Hello! Welcome back! Hope you’re having a nice day. I sure am! Leaves are sprouting on all of the trees in my neighborhood so it’s very green outside. There are also flowers blooming in reds and whites and purples, and it feels just so nice to be outside. We just bought a hammock that can go between two trees in our backyard, and I can’t wait to go lay in it right after I record this episode. Hope you are enjoying the time outside at this time of year, I think it’s nice everywhere. Maybe? Maybe it’s fall in some places and spring here.

In any case, let’s get to today’s lesson. This is going to be a two-part lesson.

In part one, which is the episode you’re currently listening to, I’ll tell you a joke, we’ll do some pronunciation exercises, and we’ll go through the very common expression "to hit rock bottom."

In part two, which will be posted soon, we’ll use the story of Titanic as a canvas to work on irregular verbs. It’s not a typical long culture lesson, like I normally have in part two, and I think it’s just better that way because I think you know the story of the Titanic already.

You know, the majestic ship, the one that hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. So in part two, the lesson is going to focus more on grammar. It’s an experiment, and I think it’s pretty cool. I can’t wait to hear what you think, so stay tuned for that.


Before we get to today’s lesson, I’d like to do a recap.

Last month, I posted episode 162 about reduplications, which are phrases like super duper, handy dandy and lovey dovey. In English, we often say these things to give a playful and poetic effect to the way we speak. I think they’re fun. So I asked you, all of you on Spotify — they have a polls section now — and I posted a poll asking if reduplications exist in your native language. Over 1,000 of you responded and 67% said yes, which is really cool.

Robooonawooo wrote that "Gadka szmatka" means chit chat in Polish.

Juta Kempf wrote that in German, they also use MischMash (mishmash) and Pipi (peepee) like in English, and she came up with a bunch of other reduplications. One that I particularly liked was KrimsKrams, which are like odds and ends in English; little random miscellaneous objects. We have a drawer in our house filled with odds and ends, or as you say in German, KrimsKrams. Excuse my pronunciation, by the way. 

Amir (Amirmahdishafiei) said in Persian (or Farsi), it’s very common, "You can do it with almost every word, and most of the times it’s with the letter M." Some are Dāva Māva = fight, Kocholo Mocholo = a little, Tala Mala meaning gold.

I could keep going. It was so fun reading through all of your examples in so many different languages. Thank you for everyone taking the time to write.

I’d also like to give one big shout out to Fernando from Rio, who sent $15 worth of coffee to me and said that I made learning Reduplications "easy peasy lemon squeezy." Well, Fernando, thank you so much. I’m not sure where you learned easy peasy lemon squeezy. That’s so funny. I’d forgotten about that one and it’s a perfect example [00:05:00] of a reduplication. Easy peasy lemon squeezy means easy.


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