In this The English We Speak podcast: Rob and Abigail are in a shoe shop, where Rob is being childish. Abigail tells him to act his age not his shoe size. But what does this mean? Find out more in this programme.
Abigail: Hello, I’m Abigail and I’m with Rob and we’re doing some shoe shopping.
Rob: Yes I’m looking for some new trainers.
Abigail: Well, we’re not really supposed to be looking for your trainers, Rob. We’re here because we have an amusing phrase which our listeners might like to learn.
Rob: Oh well, I know that, but while we’re here, I can look at trainers.
Abigail: Well, I suppose you can look at some trainers. But let’s not forget why we’re here.
Rob: … (long pause)
Abigail: Rob? Why we’re here?
Rob: Oh, yes of course – look that lady has really funny hair!
Abigail: Rob, you’re being very childish today. But that’s useful because I can use our phrase for today – act your age not your shoe size.
Rob: ‘Act your age, not your shoe size’ it’s a good phrase. How shall we explain it?
Abigail: I think you have explained it beautifully already, through everything you’ve said and done Rob. But here are some more clues to what it means:
- I was really upset. She just told me to act my age not my shoe size!
- These people are so childish. They need to act their age not their shoe size.
- (Laughing in background)
Will you please act your age not your shoe size?!
Rob: If someone thinks you’re being childish, immature, too young for your age, they can tell you to act your age, not your shoe size.
Abigail: Mmm, yes they can.
Rob: But look at these trainers here – it says size 44. My age is 30. So I have to act younger?
Abigail: Ah – yes well, 44 – that’s a European size. This saying, ‘act your age not your shoe size’, only works for British and American sizes. So, for example in UK sizes, your feet are size 10.
Rob: I see. So I shouldn’t act like I’m ten.
Rob: Maybe to be accurate we should change the phrase to ‘act your European shoe size, not your British shoe size’.
Abigail: Hmm. Well, we could. It’s not quite as catchy…
The English We Speak – Act your age, not your shoe size Transcript Video
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: