Catch Word #182 – I’m an open book

Understanding idiomatic expressions can be difficult, but Culips is here to help! In today’s Catch Word episode, Andrew and Morag explain two useful expressions to describe honest people: to be an open book and to be a straight shooter.


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Fun fact

Did you know that physical book sales rose in 2016 for the first time in 5 years? Despite the media saying that print books will soon be a thing of the past, it was actually e-book sales that went down in 2016.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • To be an open book
  • To be a straight shooter
  • To be out in the open
  • Common knowledge
  • The best of both worlds

Sample transcript

Andrew:           Hello everybody. My name is Andrew.

Morag:              And my name is Morag.

Andrew:           And we are back with another Culips episode.

Announcer:     If you want to learn English for everyday use, you’ve come to the right place. At Culips, we help make English understandable. By listening to our podcast, you can learn natural expressions and conversational structure. If you’re interested in learning more about Culips and what we do, check us out on Face-book or our website, That’s C?U?L?I?P? Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Andrew:           Hey Morag. How are you?

Morag:              I’m doing pretty well, Andrew. How are you? What’s new?

Andrew:           Morag, I have to tell you about a really interesting documentary that I watched this week.

Morag:              Hmm!

Andrew:           Do you like documentaries?

Morag:              I do really enjoy documentaries.

Andrew:           This documentary was about an uncontacted tribe living in the rainforest of Brazil.

Morag:              Whoa.

Andrew:           And I know we have a lot of Brazilian listeners out there, and I’m sure they know much more about this situation than I do. But it totally blew my mind to watch this documentary about these people who live in the jungle very, very traditionally. They’ve never had contact with the outside world before.

And actually, in this documentary, you saw the uncontacted tribal people meeting Western civilization for the very first time.

Morag:              That’s crazy!

Andrew:           It was really crazy. And one of my favourite parts of the documentary was when the tribal people first came into contact with the modern-day people, the modern Brazilians. They had a couple of linguists in the team, and the linguists didn’t know how to communicate with the tribal people.

So what they did was they started singing to them. And when they started singing, the tribal people went a little bit crazy. They started yelling and looking agitated, and nobody knew what they were saying so they just sort of left it as is. And it took the linguist 2 years to translate and to work out what the tribal people were saying.

And it was really funny, the translation, when they figured it out. The tribal people were complaining about how horrible the linguists were at singing. They were like, “All these guys are the worst singers! Oh, they call this singing? Oh, my ears!”

And so this was really funny to me, you know. The linguists, they thought, “Oh, we’re getting this great linguistic data.” And the tribal people were just making an everyday complaint, so.

Morag:              They’re just saying like, “shut up,” you know?

Andrew:           Exactly. I guess at the end of the day, you know, even though modern people and these tribal people, we seem like we’re very different. I think at the end of the day, we have still a lot in common. We all hate horrible singing.

Morag:              Oh, that’s great. Thanks for sharing that, Andrew.

Andrew:           Hey, no problem. I think everybody should check this documentary out. It’s on Netflix. But anyways, Morag, we’re going to do a Catch Word episode today. And in a Catch Word episode, we take a close look at a couple of related idioms or slang expressions, and we define them and describe them, tell you how they can be used in a natural way.

And today, we will look at two expressions that are used to describe honest people.

Morag:              That’s right, Andrew. And just before we get started, I want to let you all know that the transcript and learning materials for this episode, and every other Culips episode, is available to download on our website for all Culips members.

Andrew:           That’s right. And we think that using the learning materials is the best way to study with us. So head on over to to learn about becoming a member.

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english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips