Nardos Osterhart: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
0:41 Eritrea
1:02 suspenseful anxious waiting without knowing the results
1:18 by trade professionally, in my work life
1:31 stand-up comedy...on the side telling jokes on something extra (not my day job)
1:42 Lagos, Nigeria
1:50 star-crossed lovers two people in love but having fate (the stars) work against them
2:08 military coup...the Derg
2:20 overthrown the monarchy forcefully take the ruling king/queen out of power
3:00 gain political asylum be accepted into a sheltering country because of political danger
3:05 Protestant church a Christian church that is non-Catholic
4:06 Orthodox Christian world’s 2nd largest Christian church (225+ million believers) most living in Eastern/Southern Europe, the Middle East, Russia
4:17 Greek Orthodox the Orthodox church with Greek cultural roots in the Balkans, Turkey, and the East Mediterranean
4:56 turmoil disorder, upset, confusion, struggle
5:00 on the rocks in trouble, about to crash (like a ship against the rocks)
5:12 custody the legal rules of responsibility for housing / caring for children (or adults unable to take care of themselves)
5:22 We’re not in Kansas, Toto. This is a new and very different place. (a line spoken by Dorothy to her dog Toto in the movie, Wizard of Oz)
5:42 acclimated used to, comfortable with
5:57 wardrobes so lavish clothing so fancy or expensive
6:34 lump you (in) put you in the same category (even though you’re different)
6:50 assimilating blending in, becoming the same
6:56 couldn’t help but it was unavoidable to
7:24 Norman, OK,_Oklahoma
7:45 cradle Catholic someone who is Catholic from birth
8:42 anxiety great concern or worry
8:48 public speaking speaking in front of a (large) group of people
9:09 uncomfortable reaching up didn’t want to go above her level in the company
9:21 innate skill skill that you were born with (not that you learned)
9:42 Toastmasters an organization dedicated to clear and interesting public speaking skills
9:52 improv(ization) performing in public without knowing or practicing the topic ahead of time
9:56 Dale Carnegie training
10:25 Dr. Grins in the B.O.B. comedy club located in the Big Old Building in downtown Grand Rapids (the expression “for grins” means “for fun”
10:31 open mics public events that give anyone a chance to speak at the microphone for a short time
13:15 carve out carefully allot time (for an activity)

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.