Hi, all. No episódio de hoje do podcast Inglês Online, eu falo sobre o reality show que eu assisto para me acostumar com o inglês britânico, e também sobre um idiom super comum, que aparece toda hora nesse reality e em todo lugar onde se fale inglês.
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So I wanted to tell you about something I’ve been doing since I moved to England. If you know anything about me, you know that I grew up on American English so when I moved here, I wanted to make sure I got used to the local accent as fast as I could. Obviously I talk to people and they talk to me, but in London you will find people from all over the world, really, and that means a multitude of accents which are usually easier to understand than some of the native British accents.
So as part of my plan to get myself acquainted with British English I went to the websites for the main UK TV channels and started following some TV shows online. Here in the UK you can basically watch most TV shows online, so that’s pretty cool. One of the first shows I stumbled upon was “Made in Chelsea”, so let me tell you about it. Well, I’ll tell you a little bit about it – it’s easy to summarise.
Made in Chelsea is a reality show about very wealthy kids that live in Chelsea, which is a neighbourhood in London. When I say kids, I mean young adults in their early twenties. So this show is a hit in the UK- it’s been going for eight or nine seasons – and by the way, in the UK they don’t say “season”; rather, they call it a series: series 1, series 2 and so on.
So although Made in Chelsea has had eight or nine series so far, things don’t change much from one series to another. Here’s what changes: some regulars leave, and new people join the show. That’s it. This is what happens in every season: new couples are formed, then there’s a lot of gossip about the new couples, then they fight and end up breaking up; or else one of them cheats and they end up breaking up. Then, if A and B used to be a couple and C and D used to be another couple, in the next season A and C get together, and then B and D get together as well, and the cycle of intrigue and misbehaviour begins again. I swear to you, that’s 99% of what goes on.
Anyway… Here’s what I really wanted to tell you: one of the terms I hear most often when watching Made in Chelsea is “to have someone’s back”. The people on this show are all friends and some of them have been friends for several years, so they expect their friends to have their back. And what does that mean?
To have someone’s back means to defend them when someone is saying things about them that are unkind, for example. Or you can show your friend that you have their back by taking their side in a fight. Let’s say your friend John is arguing with a guy named Michael about a girl. Michael likes this girl and he thinks John hit on the girl, even though John knew Michael liked her. So now Michael is confronting John about it, and John is saying that he and the girl were just having a chat as friends.
So you tell Michael that John is telling the truth: he was not hitting on the girl; they were just having a chat. You have John’s back on this one. John’s your mate, your buddy and you always have his back. Plus, you know that John wasn’t really hitting on the girl.
I hear the term “have someone’s back” on every episode of this TV show. They equate it with ‘being loyal’, really. One of the guys in the show is called Spencer, and his best friend is Jamie. Spencer always expects Jamie to have his back, and vice-versa (although, in reality, that doesn’t always happen.) To be honest, these two guys lie and cheat a lot, so in their case… Having Spencer’s back usually means covering for one of his lies, and having Jamie’s back means pretending you didn’t know he was lying.
The reason I’m giving you these examples though is to emphasise the meaning of ‘having someone’s back’. Like I said in the beginning, if you take someone’s side in an argument, you’ve got their back; if you cover for someone, you’ve got their back. If your friend feels that you didn’t help them in some way, he or she could say “You didn’t have my back when I needed you” and so on.
So can you give me an example from your own life when you had someone’s back? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!
regulars = participantes regulares do show
to cover for someone = ajudar alguém a encobrir (geralmente uma mentira)
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