BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Wow factor: means it’s very intense.
Harry and Feifei talk about a colloquial expression popular with young people for when things or people are very intense.
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Feifei and joining me is Harry.
Hello there! And the expression we are going to look at in this programme is ‘wow factor’.
We’ll look at what it means and when you can use it. So anyway Harry, how’s the flat hunting going?
Oh, don’t ask! Not very well, really. I mean, I’ve seen a few places so far, but they didn’t really appeal to me.
So none of them were any good?
They were OK. Adequate I suppose. I could live in some of them if I had to, but none of them had the wow factor. Do you know what I mean?
Not really. The wow factor? What is that?
The wow factor? Something that makes you go ‘wow’ when you walk in. ‘Wow’ is something we say in English when we’re surprised. So, you know, a sun deck, a view of Big Ben, a steam room, a granite cocktail bar, a shared swimming pool – that kind of thing. My friend who teaches English in Indonesia has his own swimming pool and I was hoping …
Yes, but this is London. It’s quite hard to get any of those things unless you spend a lot of money. What else can have the wow factor?
You hear it a lot on TV. On cooking shows, when someone creates an exciting tasty dish they say it’s really got the wow factor.
Yes, I heard that. ‘It’s just an omelette, but the chillies give it a real wow factor’.
That’s right. And in singing competitions, if the singer delivers an exciting performance, the judges say they really had the wow factor.
So, you can apply it to anything or anyone that is surprisingly good or impressive?
That’s right. Let’s listen to some more examples.
He’s just bought a new Italian sports car – it’s really got the wow factor.
We’re going to completely re-decorate the restaurant so there’s more of a wow factor when you walk in.
Your CV looks OK. Your work experience is solid, but there’s no real wow factor that will impress employers.
So, do you think you’ll find a place to live with the wow factor?
I’m not sure. But if I don’t, I might spend my money on a 72-inch 3D TV. That way people will still get the wow factor when they walk in.
That would certainly have the wow factor, and I want to come round and watch some cookery shows and singing competitions.
No problem! Join us again soon for The English We Speak.
The English We Speak – Wow factor Transcript Video
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