This episode's vocabulary
- Backpack (noun) - a bag carried on the back, usually for work.
- Rucksack (noun) - a large bag used to carry things on your back, used especially by people who go camping or walking.
- Functional (adj.) - designed to be practical and useful rather than attractive.
- Practical (adj.) - suitable for the situation in which something is used.
- Internal (adj.) - inside.
- Posture (noun) - the way in which someone usually holds their shoulders, neck, and back, or a particular position in which someone stands, sits, etc.
- Essential (noun) - a basic thing that you cannot live without.
- Out of the ordinary - unusual.
- Lug (verb) - to carry or pull something with effort or difficulty because it is heavy.
- Clutch purse (noun) - a small flat bag without a handle, carried by women, especially on formal occasions.
- Compartment (noun) - one of the separate parts of an object that is used for keeping things in.
Questions and Answers
M: Do you like bags?
R: I used to be really into bags, actually. And we used to have like different ones in the house, but I've actually, I've settled for my regular backpack and rucksack, which is the one that you were making fun of earlier. This one is relatively new, but the other one, the rucksack is about 11 years old and it's been all over the world with me.
M: What types of bags do you like?
R: Well, functional or practical ones, they're not terribly showy, to be honest. Like you should see the one that I have for traveling with, it's like orange and falling to pieces. So they're not showing the slightest. They've usually got lots of pockets and internal spaces. I really used to like shoulder bags, but it turns out that that's not good for your posture, or at least when you take them off, it feels like it's not good for your posture because you have an ache in your shoulder. If you've been traveling around with it for a while.
M: What do you use bags for?
What does everybody use bags for? For carrying the essentials, like my gym clothes, my laptop, my normal clothes. If I'm going traveling, nothing terribly out of the ordinary.
M: Do usually carry a bag when you go out?
R: Well, when I go out to work, yeah. Because I need stuff. I need to access to all the materials that I've gotten there. And I try not to though when I'm not doing that, because it's just like a pain to lug something like that around with you. Sometimes it's impossible though, especially if you're like me and you're a teacher. Or if you go on holiday. One day, I really hope that I'll just be able to have my phone and a USB on me and that's all I'll need. And I can keep that in the pockets, like on the inside pockets in my jacket. But it's not been possible so far.
M: Do you have different bags for different occasions?
R: Just for work and travel. I know some people have like, well, women, for example, you've got more options. You have like clutch purses and things like that. I think that's all I know. There are there are other kinds of bag, but that clutch purse are the only different ones I know. I just have ones for work and travel. I thought about getting a gym bag, but it's just hard to carry around so many bags at once. So I usually just put them in whatever bag I have with me. Usually it's my work bag.
M: When you're buying a bag, what factors do you consider?
R: Um, basically, is there enough space for what I need? So there has to be like a compartment for the laptop, for example. Because first of all, it needs to be kept separate from the gym clothes, which might be wet if I've gone swimming. So you don't want your electronics and your gym clothes mixing because that's a recipe for disaster. And the color, like I usually go for dark colors like black and gray, like I'm looking at this back now and it is just black and gray. It's not very original, but at least it's, you know, at least it works.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers, for your bag answers.
R: I was going to say it was a it was a bag of vocabulary.
M: Oh, a bag of vocabulary. God. Ok, you guys, you do need to know different types of bags that we have in life. Rory, you said a shoulder bag.
R: I did. That's a bag with a strap. Oh, we should have said that. A strap is the long thing that's connected to the bag that goes over your shoulder. So it's one of these things with one strap and it goes over your shoulder and it rests on your site. It's like a handbag, but it's bigger and usually it's men that have them, although women have them...
M: Yeah, women do have shoulder bags. All right.
R: I think my mom calls the man purses.
M: Man purses.
R: Man purses or man bags, which... It sounds slightly derogatory, to be honest.
M: Is she wearing a man bag? No, a purse, dear ladies, this is like a small bag where we usually keep our money. You keep your cards, not your cards, your money in a purse. Men usually keep the money in the wallet. But also if you go out and have a night out, you can have a purse, which also can be a clutch. I think you said this word a clutch.
R: I did , I don't know what they are. I think a clutch purse is just like a large, not a large. It's like a small handbag without a strap.
M: OK, listen to me, listen to me, boy now. So a clutch is a handheld evening bag.
R: Because it doesn't have a strap.
M: No, it doesn't know.
R: Yeah. So I'm right.
M: Yeah. Yes, you're right.
R: I'm sorry. I'm a man. Men cannot talk about handbags in poetic ways. Well, at least 97 percent of man can't.
M: Yeah, and pretty much like a handbag is like a small bag, right? Or handbag. But it will be very nice for you to know some precise vocabulary for different kinds of bags. Rory, you've also mentioned a backpack and a rucksack. Is there any difference between the backpack in the rucksack?
R: Like in common speech not really. A rucksack tends to be bigger and it's for traveling or camping. And a backpack is smaller and tends to be for work. But where I'm from, people use it interchangeably. And you understand what people are talking about because it's clear from the size of the things.
M: You can also have a belt bag.
R: If you're a loser, yeah. Sorry. I've only ever seen like a chinless people. Chinless men usually that wear these things around their waist. What are they called? They're not called belt buckles. They're called...
M: Bum bags.
R: Oh no. I thought you were meeting belts.
M: Belts, yeah-yeah.
R: No, bumbags are different.
M: They're different, yes.
R: Yes, so a money belt is the thing that I'm talking about. But lots of, like bum bikes are the ones that are like a belt and you wear them around your waist and they can sit at the front or the back of you. Usually people wear them in front because it stops people from stealing your stuff. Although it seems to be very popular for Russian men to wear them like shoulder bags, which just looks bizarre.
M: Yes. So bumbags, you can wear them across your shoulder and like the North Face Bumbag or Nike bumbag. And it's just like an interesting phrase a bumbag.
R: It is. I was going to say, you've also got that's the British version. But if you're American or if your teacher is American, then it's a fanny pack.
M: Yes, fanny pack.
R: Yes, it is. Let's not delve into that too much.
M: Fanny bag. Just check it out, guys. Fanny.
R: Make sure you have your safe search on.
M: OK, evening bags, laptop bags, then briefcases, beach bags.
R: Oh, I have a laptop bag. I could have talked about that.
M: Yes, you could have, but you didn't.
R: But I talked about what's inside them.
M: Right. That's a good word, a laptop compartment.
R: Yes. Which is a place inside your bag for a laptop. And you don't need a laptop bag if you have a laptop compartment, which sounds better. So actually it's OK.
M: Yeah. And also your bag has pockets internal pockets.
R: Which means that they're on the inside.
M: Yeah, internal pockets. Inside the pockets.
R: You could talk about, yeah, the inside pockets. And you could talk about the left and the right inside pocket.
M: You can say that I'm not a bag person if you are not into bags. Like Rory told us, like I'm not into bags or I used to be into bags. But now I pretty much have this battered backpack.
R: You should see the expression on Maria's face right now. She is not thrilled.
M: What? What is that? And battered.
R: Yes. If something is battered, then it just means it looks like it's been through a lot. And this bag has because it's been living in Russia with me for two years now.
M: Wow. And a bag can be functional. So a functional bag, a practical bag and a showy bag.
R: Yes. Well, if something is showy, it just means it's designed for people to show off with. But you don't say that. You say show me.
M: Showy bag. Bags also can be made of leather, Cotton, so I prefer leather bags, right?
R: Yes, although my bag is made of polystyrene nylon. I don't know, it's artificial material. Yeah. If you don't know the right material to say it's some kind of material, it's an artificial material.
M: But you can say, OK, look, you can see leather. Leather is a nice word.
R: It is, but it's not made of leather.
M: All right. OK. You can lie, you know, to your IELTS examiner. I prefer leather bags, just to use the word leather.
R: I just think the idea of a rucksack or a backpack made of leather is kind of ridiculous.
M: Oh, come on, Rory. I've actually found a backpack for you. OK, it's iconic backpack LV. OK, LV Josh backpack. How much is it?
R: Three million rubles?
M: Oh no, come on, it's two thousand eight hundred ninety dollars.
R: Okay, so about three hundred thousand rubles then.
M: Three hundred thousand?
M: No, you do the maths. You are a mathematician.
R: No, I'm not.
M: So it's almost like three thousand dollars. So would you like the bag? LV?
R: No, I like to spend my money on other things. Like taking you out for dinner and drinks with Vanya.
M: Oh, yes, that's good. Ok, yes, I'm game. Rory, you should understand that bags, it could be your personal statement, your self-expression, your status symbol. You know, it sends a loud message into the world.
R: It does, but I'm not one for showy things if we get back to the vocabulary that was actually used.
M: Well, I've been trying to sell Rory a designer bag. You can also call it a brand bag.
R: You can pose with your bag, which means that you stand with it. And that is connected to your posture, which we didn't talk about, never talked about it before.
M: What is it posture?
R: Posture is just how you stand or how you sit. For example, I'm sitting in a wooden stool right now, so my posture is pretty good because my back is straight.
M: Why are you sitting on a wooden stool?
R: Because Vanya's brother has stolen my arm chair. I'm very upset about this, but I'm sure I will survive somehow.
M: Yeah, we are in a studio and we have this small studio and there are four people in the studio, including me.
R: Three people and Vanya.
M: And there one, two, three backpacks and a nice Furla yellow bag. Hmm, Italian leather. It's mine.
R: Oh, you could talk about the kind of leather. Talk about the kind of leather. You can talk about the kind of leather, Italian leather. I don't know if there's any. Oh, there's crocodile leather. I have a belt made of crocodile leather. We're going off on a massive tangent.
M: Yes. So your bag could be stylish, trendy, dear ladies, functional, right. And when you choose a bag, dear ladies and gentlemen, you look at durability, style and affordability. Rory, you've mentioned colour and enough space.
R: And practicality. So that means if something is practical, it means it can be used for a purpose.
M: And Rory, what do you carry in your battered backpack? Essentials, you said.
R: Yeah, just the essentials. Just the essentials. My laptop is essential.
M: What else?
R: My kind of energy drink is also essential.
M: What else?
R: That's all I have, really.
R: I used to carry my cigarettes in there, but I don't smoke anymore.
M: Good for you. Ladies, we usually carry all sorts of things in our bags, all of them are essential. None of it's superfluous. Yeah, and we can call them our valuables, our belongings. So medicine, cosmetics, that's a good word to use. We carry our cosmetics.
R: You can have a medicine bag.
M: A medicine bag? No, you have your medicine in a bag inside your bag.
R: Not necessarily if you're a doctor.
M: Well, OK, yes. All right. If you're a doctor, you have a medicine bag. And remember, no outfit is complete without a bag to match. It's a finishing touch to our style, to our image.
R: In the same way, no exam preparation is complete without a podcast to match.
M: Our podcast. IELTS Speaking for success podcast.
R: So thank you for listening. Hopefully you've enjoyed our bag of tricks.
M: Don't be shy to contact us on Telegram or Instagram or directly on Patreon. We'd like to hear your thoughts on our premium subscription. See you in the next episode! Bye!
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff:
Our Instagram: bit.ly/instagramswi
Our Telegram: bit.ly/telegramswi