Catch Word #152 – Hanging by a thread

Do you use things until they almost stop working and become useless? Maybe you have a TV that’s hanging on by a thread. Or do you have an old t-shirt that’s on its last legs? This time Andrew and Harp talk about expressions used to describe these kinds of things. This episode might make you realize you’ve got some stuff that’s almost dead!

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Expressions included in the Learning Materials:thread

  • Super
  • To be hanging by a thread
  • Here you go
  • To be dead
  • Aw
  • To make someone look bad
  • To run
  • To be on its last legs
  • To skip
  • To almost kill yourself
  • To have one foot in the grave
  • Is that a …. you’ve got there?

Sample transcript:

Andrew: That’s right. And today we have three expressions that you can use to talk about things that are old and almost broken.

Harp: Yes. So these are all expressions relating to things that are old and almost broken.

Andrew: Hmm. You know technology moves so fast today that even, you know, things are breaking all the time. So these are great expressions to know when you want to talk about things are just falling behind.

Harp: Yup. Exactly. And before I feel like we used to fix things. We used to fix engines in cars, and we used to fix our phones, and now we just buy new things.

Andrew: We don’t even fix our socks.

Harp: It’s true! And now it’s an unusual thing to do.

Andrew: That’s right.

Harp: All right. Well, let’s get started with today’s episode and our first expression.

Andrew: OK. So our first expression is to be hanging by a thread.

Harp: Yes. To be hanging by a thread.

Andrew: And to be hanging by a thread is used to talk about anything that is falling apart, or it’s old, it’s broken, and it’s really just ready to be replaced.

Harp: Yes. So this expression again is hanging by a thread. And it just means when something is almost broken, and it’s just not gonna last very much longer.

Andrew: Right. And when I hear this expression, to be hanging by a thread, I really think of a piece of clothing that is falling apart and that has some thread sticking out, and is just ready to unravel at any moment.

Harp: Yeah. I agree. I have the same image in my head when I think of something that is hanging on by a thread. It’s almost about to break. It could even be a button falling off a shirt. Something, I see it very visual. But it could be for anything that’s about to break.

Andrew: And, actually, this expression, to be hanging by a thread, has an interesting origin in Greek mythology, but the story’s kind of long and complicated so we’ll save that for the learning materials.

Harp: Yes. So if you’re interested sign up, become a member, and check out the learning materials.

english PodcastPodcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast