Giving it some English!

Whoaholic and I have been watching reruns of Heroes, the American TV show about people with superpowers. I like it because the characters often speak in foreign languages (sometimes the actors even understand the lines they are called on to speak). Whoaholic likes it because there are a lot of prosthetics and special effects.

We are also learning a lot of useful American English phrases. “You are SO grounded!” seems to mean “You are forbidden to leave the house for social reasons or to drive a car”. It seems to be a useful statement of general teenager disapprobation, even though, as whoaholic has no social life and never voluntarily leaves the house, so he had to have the concept of “grounding” carefully explained to him.

“Don’t try out for cheerleading!” is another useful phrase, which seems to mean “Don’t do anything that draws attention to your superpowers as it is likely to result in your unlawful abduction and imprisonment by a shadowy US government agency”. I now use this phrase every morning to whoaholic before he leaves for school.

“Why don’t you just grow a pair?” puzzled us for a while, although after discussion we agreed it must mean “grow a pair of bunny ears”. In our family you need to grow a pair of bunny ears before you can “go bunny”, which means running about without your pants on shouting that you don’t want to go to bed.

“Stings like a bitch, doesn’t it?” was used twice in series 2, and we wonder if it’s a film or TV quote that we haven’t heard.

“Give it some English!” has us stumped, it was used in series 3 and seemed to mean “Become needlessly aggressive with your superpowers, psychotic immortal guy!”

Has anyone heard any of these phrases used outside of Heroes? Or are we just living in a fantasy world created by a bunch of deranged American scriptwriters?

PS: whoaholic says he actually thought quite hard about going out five minutes ago…but it was raining.

“Give it some English!” I have heard. But it seems outdated to me.

Yeah I used to use some of these phrases…although I have not heard of “Give it some English!” Uhhhh…kind of out of it right now. Maybe I’ll edit this post later to add information. Sorry : /

“Why don’t you just grow a pair?”: I am not sure if you are being circumspect out of politeness, or you really don’t know what it means.

Helen, it is very important to have this kind of cross cultural awareness. Thanks very much for sharing “go bunny”, we don’t have a corresponding expression in Canada but the phenomenon itself is well known here…!

In Britain in the seventies, “a pair” would certainly have been interpreted as a pair of breasts, which seems to fit the context even less than a pair of bunny ears.

“Going bunny” is a phrase invented by our family, yet easily understood by anyone who has ever seen a four year-old who’s eaten too much sugar.

It’s the preschool version of “going postal” (a phrase which has no meaning in the UK).

A pair of…ehm…BALLS…perhaps…??!

(Just thinking aloud…)

See, my point is, that’s a very American-sounding expression. A Brit (at least, one of my age) would have to work through a long list of body parts that grow in pairs before reaching that choice.