Catch Word #113 –To toot your own horn

Have you done something extra special lately? In that case, you may want to toot your own horn! This episode is all about speaking well of yourself. It’s all about how to do it while staying humble. For example, we don’t want to want to toot our own horn, but we think our podcasts are pretty fun and informative!


Expressions included in the Learning Materials:horn

  • To toot your own horn
  • To draw attention to yourself
  • The job hunt
  • Lemme
  • Report cards
  • Who didn’t?
  • Straight A’s
  • To rub it in someone’s face
  • To pat yourself on the back
  • To pat someone on the back
  • On your own
  • Parallel parking
  • Spelling bee

Sample transcript

Maura: So, let’s get to it. Today we’re doing a Catch Word episode and that’s where we look at different expressions or slang and we give you lots of examples and related expressions.

Harp: Today our expressions are used to talk about your own successes and to congratulate yourself on something well done.

Maura: Right. Sometimes it’s important to remind people of some great work that you’ve done and other times people might think that you’re being conceited or that it’s not a very positive thing to talk about yourself.

Harp: Yeah. So we give expressions where you talk about yourself, and they can be seen as either negative or positive.

Maura: Right. So let’s get to our first expression.

Harp: Our first expression is to toot your own horn.

Maura: Right. To toot your own horn. But of course we don’t say it like that, we say it fast. We say to toot your own horn.

Harp: Yeah. To toot your own horn.

Maura: So, to toot your own horn means that you are talking about your own successes or accomplishments, so you’re talking about great things that you’ve done yourself.

Harp: Exactly. So if you’ve done something really well, maybe you did a fantastic project at work, or you aced a test, you can toot your own horn.

Maura: Right, and that means that you talk about that experience. So if you did really well on a project at work, you toot your own horn when you tell other people about what a great job you did. Or if you did really well on a test, you toot your own horn when you tell other people about how well you did.

Harp: Exactly. And if we think about this, to toot your own horn, if someone blows a horn, it’s a celebration. It makes a noise and it gets people’s attention. If you talk about your own accomplishments, you’re celebrating your own success.

Maura: Right. You’re drawing attention to yourself. And if you toot a horn, you definitely draw attention to yourself.

Harp: Definitely.

Maura: Now, one possible origin for this expression is a connection to royalty. Now when royalty, like a king or a queen, arrives somewhere, traditionally a horn is blown. So that, again, draws attention to the royalty that’s arriving and it announces their arrival. So when you toot your own horn, you draw attention to yourself and it’s kind of like saying you’re so important, almost as important as royalty.

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast