Catch Word #145 – The straw that broke the camel’s back

This episode is about not continuing with a bad situation. Sometimes when we’ve been in a bad situation, we continued. Even when numerous negative events occurred, we continued. But then something happened that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and we do not continue anymore. The expressions in this episode are to be used in a specific situation when you have just had enough!

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Expressions included in the learning materialslaststraw

  • The straw that broke the camel’s back
  • To go from bad to worse
  • To stand someone up
  • To go through with something
  • To be grounded
  • The last straw
  • Variations of the straw that broke the camel’s back
  • To cancel on someone
  • The nail in the coffin
  • To go with someone/something
  • To be in the shop
  • To be in the market for something
  • A junker

Sample transcript

Maura: OK. Let’s get to today’s episode now. Today’s episode is a Catch Word episode, and that is where we look at different expressions, and we explain them to you. We give you examples, and we tell you how you can use them.

Harp: Yes. So today we’re gonna be looking at some expressions that are used to talk about when a person cannot tolerate a situation anymore.

Maura: Right. So there have been a lot of negative things that have happened and then one more negative thing happens and a person just cannot tolerate the situation.

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

Maura: Our first expression today is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Harp: Yes. The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Maura: This is one of those long expressions that we do once in a while. So we’ll say it for you a couple more times. The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Harp: The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Maura: And the meaning of this expression is that there are many negative events and there’s one final negative event, which in that situation the person feels that they cannot continue, that the situation is over, it’s negative, it’s failed.

Harp: Yeah. So imagine a person who’s had a lot of negative things happen to them and then there’s this one particular one and they just can’t deal with that situation anymore.

Maura: Right. For example, it could be used with a project you’re working on, and maybe during this project there’s been a lot of negative things that have happened, things that didn’t work out, problems that you came across. And then one day, another problem happens, and you decide that the project cannot continue. This is when you can use the expression the straw that broke the camel’s back. This last event is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Harp: Yeah. And the event, the last thing that happened, can make a person very upset or angry, just because of this one particular last one, but it’s usually the accumulation of everything.

Maura: Right. This straw that broke the camel’s back, it doesn’t have to be the worst thing that happened or the biggest thing that happened, it’s just that it’s been so many negative things that another negative thing is just enough. The person cannot tolerate anymore.


english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips

Posted in Catch Word.