Get Your Ducks in a Row


There are many references to ducks in the English language. We love ducks here! I don’t really know why. They quack loudly and can even bite if you get too close.

Anyways, here are some “duck” expressions to add to your collection:


Ugly ducklings are people that were unattractive when they were young, but they blossomed into very attractive adults. It comes from a fairy tale about an ugly duckling (baby duck) that grew up to be a beautiful swan.

neville ugly duckling


To get your ducks in a row means to get organized and sort out all of the details of a project. This phrase could refer to the orderly line that ducklings often form behind their mother. Continue reading


Blended Words in English


Here is how you make a blended word:

-Take two words with different meanings (“Spanish” and “English”)

-Combine the letters in some way to make a new word (“Spanglish”)

-The new word represents a combination of the sounds and meanings of the original words (“Spanglish”: switching between Spanish and English in a conversation).


Below are some more examples. Try to guess what the original words and meaning might be before reading the explanation.


Smog is the combination of “smoke” and “fog.” It is a type of air pollutant often seen in big cities like Los Angeles, CA.

smog_LA Continue reading

Haircut Vocabulary in English

I’m getting my hair cut!

I have had long hair for a few years, and I’m ready for a change. I also feel like I’ve kept my hair long all this time because going to the hairdresser’s in Spain TERRIFIED me. I speak Spanish well, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to perfectly communicate my hair needs. I did not want to end up looking like this:


I know I’m not the only person who has avoided the hair salon while abroad. Nevertheless, sometimes it gets to the point where a cut is necessary. If you ever want to get your hair cut in an English-speaking country, here are the words and phrases you need to know:

1. First off, where do you go?

At a hair salon or a hairdresser’s they cut both men’s and women’s hair. At a barbershop they only cut men’s hair.

2. When you arrive at the hair salon, you can say, “I’d like to get a haircut. Do you have any openings today?” If so, you can continue with your request… Continue reading

This Post Is on Fire

Fire is mother nature’s hottest element. When uncontrolled, fire can wreak havoc*. However, when contained, it brings us warmth on cold winter days, helps us prepare tasty treats, and makes our birthdays just a little bit more special.


Let’s take a look at some fire-related vocabulary and phrases.


You probably already knew what fire means when used as a noun. Nevertheless, there is a lesser-known expression that contains this word: “to be on fire.”

“To be on fire” can be literal, like you are LITERALLY ON FIRE and need to STOP, DROP, and ROLL…


…OR “to be on fire” could mean that you’re doing something really well and are unstoppable. For example, people might say that a basketball player who scores 20 points in 10 minutes is on fire. Continue reading