Brigitte and Michael Merk: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
1:02 expat life living outside one’s native country (usually on a work assignment)
1:21 pre-screening checking out suitability ahead of time
4:02 obstetrical related to pregnancy and childbirth
4:26 juggle to keep items moving quickly from one hand to the next
8:30 foodie person who really appreciates food, informal for “gourmet”
8:53 veggie nickname for “vegetable”
9:17 croissants light, crescent-shaped French pastry
9:27 baguette long, slender French white bread
10:26 ambient surrounding
11:14 idioms informal daily expressions (like “raining cats and dogs”)
14:27 black ice a thin coating of ice over paved roadways, dangerous because the driver can see the road surface and not be aware the road is icy
17:07 lake-effect snow extra snowfall caused by closeness to a large lake
17:59 put words in your mouth tell you what you should say

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.