Podcast: Are you thick-skinned? – Inglês Online

Podcast: Are you thick-skinned?

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jul 03
Inglês - Podcast Are you thick-skinned

Hello, everyone. No episódio de hoje, falo sobre dois idioms extremamente comuns no inglês.


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So today we’re gonna talk about the idiom “thick skin.” This is an extremely common term in English, and if you’ve been following American TV shows for a while, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it before. Do you have a thick skin? Not in the literal sense… But think about it, think about what it would mean to have a thick skin. It would be like having a thick layer of skin protecting you. When you hear this sentence: “So and so has a thick skin”, what this means is that this person is able to not get affected by criticism. They’re able to ignore it. Which, honestly, I think is a great thing. I mean, throughout your life people will tell you – sometimes from very early on – that they don’t like your clothes, your hair, the way you are, the way you behave. So, of course it does help to have a thick skin.

I think people who live in the spotlight – in other words, celebrities – must have a pretty thick skin. Do you agree? I mean, they’re talked about all the time, they’re on magazine covers… They’re all pretty much putting themselves out there for public criticism so it’s obviously helpful to have a thick skin in that situation. If you’re an actor, for example, one day you’ll come across an unfavorable review of your work… I mean, it’s just a matter of time. Sooner or later, you’ll learn that someone said that your performance in some TV show or movie was bad, or that you didn’t look good, etc. I’d say it would be great for these people to have a thick skin. Actually, I think having a thick skin is an awesome thing in general. What’s your opinion?

And here’s another way to say that: we can use the adjective “thick-skinned” and say that Mary, for example, is very thick-skinned. What that means is that Mary is not easily upset or hurt. She doesn’t really get upset, or maybe she doesn’t notice when people criticize her. She’s very thick-skinned. Are you thick-skinned? What would you say?

I have to say, sometimes when I see someone being rude, or unpleasant to me, I tend to think that that’s just how that person is…! But then when it happens again, the penny drops – it’s like, oh, ok! Whatcha gonna do?

By the way, that’s another nice expression: the penny drops. We have a very similar expression here in Brazil. You know the one I’m talking about? That’s when you finally understand something… And then you say “Oh… Ooooh, ok!” That’s because the penny dropped. You know when someone tells a joke, and then they get to the punch line, and then they’re done with the joke, and you’re still not getting it… And after a few seconds then the penny drops, and you’re like “Oh, yeah, right! Yeah, that’s funny!”

This idiom, however, isn’t just for jokes or what someone says… It’s also when you realize what’s going on, for example. Let’s say there’s a lady in your office – let’s say her name is Caroline, and there’s this guy Mike. Caroline and Mike are friends with each other and they’re friends with other people as well and they all seem to get along very well and that’s that. Then, one day, you walk by Caroline’s office and you catch a glimpse of Caroline and Mike and they’re holding hands. And then the penny finally drops: They’re dating.

So what’s your example with “the penny drops” or “the penny dropped”? Let me know in the comments and talk to you next time!



  • a thick skin, thick-skinned
  • the penny drops



so and so = fulano de tal

they’re talked about = falam delas

whatcha gonna do? (what are you gonna do?) = fazer o que?

punch line = as palavras finais da piada que contém a parte engraçada que faz as pessoas rirem

and that’s that = e é isso; é só isso

  • rodrigues says:

    I think that’s because I haven’t practiced English enough, I always confuse these two words: thick and thin. Then, in the beginning of the podcast, I was thinking that thick was thin, and I was also thinking that the idiom was about a very sensitive person (more precisely “uma pessoa cheia de não me toques”). So, this podcast reminded me to be aware of my tendency to confuse these two words which has opposite meanings.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Ana! well, it take some time untill the penny drops and I finally realize what is going on…but is never to late to change things that is not going well.
    Have a nice sunday!!

  • Hello Ann, how’s it going?
    This is my real example: ” I trust in people too much and after a certain period of time and some disappointments the penny drops and I see that I can’t, unfortunately, trust so much.” I wish it were not this way!
    Good Sunday, Ann!

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Fátima,
      Yep, that is true. I think I have a tendency of trusting people at first as well. But it’s nice to be aware and see things as they are :-)

  • Jonata fontela says:

    Hey Ana! I wish I were thick-skinned because I tend to get sad when someone criticise me…. And I know many people who have thick skin ,they do anything they want and couldn’t care less about what others think of them, I admire those people hehe

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