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Hi, this is Ana Luiza with a new episode of Inglesonline podcast. To see the transcript and download the audio for this and other episodes, go to inglesonline.com.br and click on “Podcasts”. And thanks to everyone who’s been listening and sending me mail, and leaving comments! I love doing this podcast and I really enjoy hearing from you guys and learning how the episodes have helped you.
Alright! So, a few weeks ago I talked about the expression ‘tip someone off’ and today we’re going to, once again, talk about the word tip. A very common meaning of tip is the pointed end or extremity of something. For example, your fingers have tips… they’re called fingertips. Your tongue has a tip, and sometimes an iceberg has a tip too.
The two expressions I’m gonna talk about today are: ‘on the tip of my tongue’ and ‘That’s just the tip of the iceberg’.
So, you know when you almost remember something? Someone asks you, What’s the name of the hotel where you stayed last year? or What’s the name of that actor? or What did that person say about this or that? and you can almost remember, it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t come up with the actual word, or the actual expression you’re trying to remember. It’s on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite remember it. We have an identical expression in Portuguese, right? I’m not gonna say it.
So here’s an example. My friends and I were playing a game once and there was someone drawing a picture, and we had to guess what the title of a movie was based on the drawing. So, I had no idea what it was, but my friend said she knew it. She had the title of the movie on the tip of her tongue. She kept describing the movie, she remembered the names of the actors in the movie, she even knew what the first letter of the title was. She said it started with a J. It was on the tip of her tongue, but in the end we ran out of time and she couldn’t remember it. And when the other person told us which movie it was, my friend said, “Yes, that’s the title! It was on the tip of my tongue the whole time!” So, it was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t actually remember it in time to win the game.
And here’s another expression: the tip of the iceberg. You know what an iceberg is, right? When you see a picture of an iceberg, you’re only seeing a small portion of the iceberg, because, well, most of it is underwater. Sometimes you only see the tip of the iceberg.
So, imagine you work in an office… you’ve been working there for a year. Then you go on vacation, a few weeks later you’re back to work and as walk into your office, one of your coworkers, let’s say his name is Bob… So Bob walks up to you and says: “Hey, you’re back! Bad news, unfortunately. The VP of Sales quit three days ago”. And you think, “Wow, that’s really bad”. And then you give your friend Brian a call.
Brian is also a coworker. So you tell him, “Hey, I just heard that the VP of Sales quit. That doesn’t sound good”. And Brian says, “Oh, you think the VP of Sales quitting is bad? That is just the tip of the iceberg, my friend”. And then, Brian goes on to tell you about other stuff that is even worse. The VP of Finance is threatening to quit too, the company is about to declare bankruptcy… So, the VP of Sales quitting? Yeah, that’s bad, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What else? You could be trying to sell someone a computer… You could say, this computer has the fastest hard drive you’ve ever seen. You should buy it for the hard drive alone, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The processor is unbelievable, all the accessories you could ever want are included, and so on. So, the fast hard drive? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
OK, that’s it for today. Leave your comments – tell us about the last time you had something on the tip of your tongue! Talk to you next time.
the actual word = a palavra propriamente dita
she kept describing the movie = ela ficava descrevendo o filme
coworkers = pessoas que trabalham com você na empresa
Bob walks up to you = o Bob anda/ vai até você
threatening to quit = ameaçando pedir demissão
the company is about to declare bankruptcy = a companhia está para pedir falência
for the hard drive alone = só por causa do disco rígido
all you could ever want = tudo que você poderia querer/deseja
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