Catch Word #133 – Let bygones be bygones

This episode is all about forgetting the negative things that happened to us in the past and moving forward with our lives. This is always a good idea, so we’ve got a few expressions to remind us of this. If you had an argument with someone, or if something didn’t happen the way you wanted it to, it may be better not to think about it anymore. Put the past behind you and listen to this episode.


Expressions included in the learning materialslifeisgood

  • To let bygones be bygones
  • To bring something up
  • Miffed
  • To put something behind you
  • To flare up
  • To get down on yourself
  • To let sleeping dogs lie
  • Split infinitives
  • To be around
  • To be on someone
  • An old flame
  • To go down that road (again)
  • To come to your senses
  • To be right around the corner

Sample transcript

Harp:              Yes. And today we’re going to talk about expressions related to unpleasant things that have happened in the past.

Maura:            Right. The expressions we’re going to look at are telling us to not think about those unpleasant things that happened in the past, to not spend time talking about them or worrying about them, to try to forget that they happened.

Harp:              Yes. So let’s get started with our first expression today.

Maura:            Yeah. The first expression today is to let bygones be bygones.

Harp:              Yes. To let bygones be bygones.

Maura:            This expression sounds very repetitive because it repeats the same word twice—bygones. So the expression is let bygones be bygones.

Harp:              Yeah. And bygones mean something from the past, something that happened at an earlier time. And so this expression, to let bygones be bygones, it means to let unpleasant things that have happened in the past stay in the past. You forget about them. You don’t bring them up again. You just let it go.

Maura:            Right. It’s like saying something that happened in the past happened in the past, not the present, so don’t think about it now.

Harp:              For example, if you had an argument or a fight with someone in the past, don’t bring it up again. Don’t think about it. Let bygones be bygones.

Maura:            Right. This could definitely be referring to something unpleasant that a person did, so you might wanna feel mad at someone about it. But to let bygones be bygones means that you’re not gonna be mad at this person, you’re not going to think about what they did, you’re just going to continue to live your life.

Harp:              Let’s give an example with this expression.

Harp:              Hey Julie. I’ve been meaning to ask you, have you spoken with your sister since that big disagreement?

Maura:            Actually, no. I have not talked to her since then.

Harp:              Oh no. It’s been so long. I think it’s time to let bygones be bygones.

Maura:            Yeah. I don’t know. I do kinda miss talking to her. I’ll think about calling her.

Harp:              Family’s important, especially sisters. I think you should forgive her.

Maura:            Yeah. I’ll think about it.

Maura:            In that example, there were sisters who had a disagreement and weren’t talking to each other. And the friend gave the advice to let bygones be bygones, which means the disagreement happened in the past, you should forget about it, be friends with your sister again, talk to your sister, and move on.

Harp:              Yeah. In this example, Julie had a disagreement with her sister and it was unpleasant and she didn’t want to talk to her sister. But really, it’s important to let things go.

Maura:            Yeah. That is true. Especially with family.

Harp:              Family is super important.

Maura:            Family will be with you forever.

Harp:              Exactly.

Maura:            Kinda like this expression. This expression is very old, like it’s been around forever.

Harp:              That’s what I was thinking.


english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips