BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – A barrel of laughs: This phrase can be used to describe someone who is fun and always joking around.
Hello, this is The English We Speak with me Feifei…
And me Rob. Hello!
So Rob, what’s that thing you’ve got there?
Oh this? It’s a barrel [tapping on wooden barrel]…
A barrel?! I see.
And do you want to know what’s inside?
OK – well, if I just open the lid here you’ll be able to hear [Opens lid and sounds of laughing] – funny, isn’t it?!
[not impressed] You have ‘a barrel of laughs’ – hmm, and that is supposed to be funny?
It’s supposed to illustrate today’s piece of authentic real English. It’s hilarious, isn’t it? And do you know what – the phrase ‘a barrel of laughs’ can be used to describe me – someone who is fun and always joking around.
Really? Someone who is funny is ‘a barrel of laughs’? But this doesn’t describe you Rob – you’re not funny.
Oh? What?! I think we’d better hear some examples of this phrase in action – and I’ll show you how funny I really am…
I shall miss having John in the office. He was a such a barrel of laughs.
What a barrel of laughs that bus driver was. He made the long journey much more fun with his funny announcements!
Since I split up with my boyfriend, life hasn’t been a barrel of laughs.
So if someone is a ‘barrel of laughs’, they are fun – and an enjoyable person to be around.
Yeah, exactly – the phrase can also describe a thing such as TV show. But come on Feifei, you have to agree, this barrel full of laughs is so funny! Listen to this! [Opens lid again: laughter].
Hmm, it’s a cheap joke but it’s not funny. I know what you can do if you want to make me laugh…
Oh yes – go on, what is it?
Why don’t you see if you can fit inside the barrel?
Oh, right, OK. Well, that sounds like a laugh. OK, then, here goes… [Sound of Rob getting in] … Alright, I’m in.
Wow Rob – you actually fit in the barrel! That’s so funny!
Hey Feifei what are you doing?
Making you into a real life ‘barrel of laughs’
That’s not funny.
It’s hilarious! See you later.
The English We Speak – A barrel of laughs (Transcript Video)
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- The English We Speak – Take a rain check
- The English We Speak – Hot potato
- The English We Speak – Use your loaf
- The English We Speak – There’s method to my madness
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- The English We Speak – Phone slang
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