Catch Word #117 – This episode’s a nail-biter

Some movies and television shows can be very tense and dramatic, and we’ve got a handful of expressions to talk about them. This episode’s all about the exciting things we see on screen or read in books that keep us wanting to know more and make us anxious to find out the results. Check out this episode and we promise that we won’t leave you hanging!



Expressions included in the learning materials

  • A nail-biter
  • To be tied
  • A cliff-hanger
  • A soap opera
  • A trilogy/a sequel
  • Closure
  • A page-turner
  • I got you a little something
  • You shouldn’t have
  • A bookworm

Sample transcript:

Harp: Yes. And today we’re going to be doing a Catch Word episode. That’s where we take some expressions, we explain them, and we give you some examples so you know what they’re all about.

Maura: Right. The expressions in today’s episode are used to describe books, movies, and other events that make us feel excited and that we anticipate what is going to happen next.

Harp: Yeah. When we’re tense, we’re anxious, and we’re excited to know what happens, these are what these expressions are used for.

Maura: Right. We’re waiting to see what’s going to happen because we’re so interested.

Harp: Exactly. I think we should get started with our first expression.

Maura: The first expression today is a nail-biter.

Harp: A nail-biter.

Maura: Right. A nail-biter. Now, if something, like a movie or a book, is called a nail-biter, this is because when you’re reading or watching it, you’re very interested and nervous and anxious about what is going to happen next.

Harp: Yeah. So when something is causing you to wanna know what the end is and what the resolution is and if the people make it out OK and what happens, then it’s a nail-biter.

Maura: And of course there are also people who are nail-biters, but that’s not what we’re talking about. And people who are nail-biters actually bite their fingernails.

Harp: Yes. And this expression comes from this, because people usually bite their nails when they’re nervous or they’re anxious, so that’s where this expression comes from. So you don’t actually need to bite your nails to use this expression.

Maura: Right. We can call anything that makes us nervous or anxious a nail-biter, something that we want to see the results of.

Harp: Yeah. So if you’re reading a book and you really wanna know what the ending is, it’s a nail-biter. Or if you’re watching a competition and you wanna know who wins, it’s a nail-biter.

Maura: Right. Especially when it’s very exciting and we can’t wait to see what the resolution is going to be.

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast