BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Everything but the kitchen sink: In English, when we say ‘take everything but the kitchen sink’, we mean: take far more things than we need.
Neil and Li are going camping. It’s Li’s first trip and she’s very excited and wants to pack all the things she might need on holiday. But is she packing too much? Listen to the programme to find out.
Neil: Hi, Li. The car’s outside. Are you ready for our camping trip? Have you packed?
Li: Yes. I’m excited Neil. This is my first camping trip! I have the plastic forks and spoons… and plates… and the cups that you told me to get…
Neil: Good. I have a couple of pans and a small gas cooker. And I’ve got the tent and sleeping bags…
Li: Oh Neil, how about my TV? I can’t miss my favourite programmes!
Neil: A TV?! Well… OK.
Li: And… I can’t sleep without my goose feather pillow. Actually, I use two of them.
Neil: Pillows? OK…
Li: And chairs… We have to take my comfortable chair. And… and my lovely soft rug.
Neil: A rug?! What?! You want to take everything but the kitchen sink!
Li: Oh, the sink? I might need a sink, Neil, but I think it might be difficult to move it. Unless I try to… well, I could call a plumber…
Neil: No plumber, Li! We’re not taking a plumber camping! In English, when we say ‘take everything but the kitchen sink’, we mean: take far more things than we need.
Li: Ah. So you think I might be taking far more things than necessary.
Neil: Yes, Li. ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’ is the expression in this edition of The English We Speak. Now let’s hear some examples of how it is used.
- When Emma went on holiday to Greece, she took everything but the kitchen sink. She had to pay a lot extra at the airport!
- Peter went to London for the weekend with a huge bag of things – clothes, computers, his special shampoo… He really took everything but the kitchen sink!
Li: Oh. No sink then. I think I’m ready to go Neil.
(A sudden clap of thunder)
Neil: Oh, no!
Li: What is it?
Neil: A storm is coming! That’s not great for camping. I think this trip will have to wait, Li.
Li: No problem. We can go camping another time. Why don’t you enjoy my comfortable chair?
Neil: Oh, let me just sit down here. Mmm… it is quite comfortable, isn’t it?
Li: Who needs camping after all! You watch some TV while I go and wash some dishes in my nice and shiny… kitchen sink. Bye.
The English We Speak – Everything but the kitchen sink Transcript Video
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