This episode's vocabulary
- Fanatic (noun) - a person who is extremely interested in something, to a degree that some people find unreasonable.
- Be in bloom - to be producing flowers.
- Allergy (noun) - a condition that makes a person become sick or develop skin or breathing problems because they have eaten certain foods or been near-certain substances.
- Averse (adj.) - strongly disliking or opposed to.
- Few and far in between - not very many or not appearing very frequently.
- Florist (noun) - a shop that sells cut flowers and plants for inside the house.
- Aesthetic (adj.) - an aesthetic object or a work of art is one that shows great beauty.
- Thistle (noun) - a wild plant with sharp points on the leaves and, typically, purple flowers.
- Rugged (adj.) - (of land) wild and not even; not easy to travel over.
- Universal (adj.) - existing everywhere or involving everyone.
- Potted plant (noun) - a plant that is grown in a pot.
Questions and Answers
M: Flowers. Rory, do you like flowers?
R: Well, I'm hardly a flower fanatic, but I don't mind having them around. Unless there are many of them in full bloom, that can affect my allergy sometimes.
M: What flowers do you like?
R: I'm not averse to any kinds of flowers, really. I like them all to be honest. Well, unless, like I said, they're ones that make me sneeze. But those times and varieties are few and far in between.
M: When was the last time you gave flowers to somebody?
R: I remember it like it was yesterday, actually, because it's quite unusual for me. I bought my other half flowers in his favorite color about halfway through this year. I don't do it very often. And I can't remember the occasion. I just thought it would be a nice idea. Because I was walking past the florist next to the gym.
M: Do you like sending flowers to others?
R: Oh, I prefer something more practical over what's aesthetics, since I like helping people and so this tends to be easier to manifest by providing helpful things. But I think flowers are okay from time to time.
M: What flowers have special meaning in your country?
R: Well, the thistle is our national flower, although I'm not really sure why. There's a story behind it somewhere, but it escaped me. Heather is also associated with the more isolated and rugged parts of Scotland. Roses are seen as romantic. But I suppose that's more universal than nationalistic.
M: Have you ever planted any flowers?
R: Oh, God, not for a very long time. I think we had potted plants that we grew and planted in the boy scouts, but that would have been over two decades ago. I've definitely not planted anything since then.
M: Rory, thank you so much for your flowery answers!
M: So flowers. Yes, dear listener, in speaking part one, they can ask you questions about flowers. We have some episodes about plants. So you might want to listen to this one. But these questions are about flowers. First of all, can we talk about smell the roses? What does it mean? It's kind of an idiom. Smell the roses, wake up and smell the roses.
R: Yes, but it's not literally smelling the roses. It's just like paying attention and being grateful for what you have and not focusing on small problems. Smaller problems I should say.
M: So kind of when I start complaining about like, oh, I have so much stuff to do. The weather is horrible. And you go like come on Maria, wake up and smell the roses. Yeah?
M: Okay, cool. Rory, dear listener, is hardly a flower fanatic.
M: Fanatic. A flower fanatic. It's interesting because there's FF. Flower fanatic. So I'm not a flower fanatic. It basically means like, I'm not into flowers, right?
M: You don't like flowers, yeah. And sometimes Rory can get allergic to flowers. So you can say like, oh, I get allergic to flowers. Or you can say I have allergies. And we usually use this word in the plural, right? So I say like my allergies or I I've got allergies. Yeah?
R: And when you have allergies, they make you sneeze. And it's always make someone sneeze. Exactly.
M: Oh, Rory, you make me sneeze. Like this. This is how you sneeze. Okay? What flowers do you like? I'm not averse to any kinds of flower. Rory, you should comment on averse thing.
R: Averse just means I don't... Like if you're averse to something, it means you don't like it. But if you're not averse, then it just means you don't care.
M: Hmm, like I'm not averse to any flowers. I'm okay with flowers. And unfortunately, dear listener, if you say that I don't like flowers, I hate flowers, the examiner will keep on going with questions about flowers. So here you need a strategy. Either you say why you hate flowers? Or you imagine that sometimes you actually do like certain flowers.
R: Speaking of certain flowers, I mentioned some.
M: Oh yes. You said something. Something like thistle. You should Google thistle now, dear listener. Thistle. Which is a very interesting flower characterized by leaves with sharp preckles. So it's kind of like, a rose has this sharp thingies. So a thistle also is quite sharp. And a thistle is what, a typical Scottish flower. Sharp and pink.
R: We also talked about heather.
M: No, no, no, you, you should say something about Scottish flowers and face of being a Scottish thing.
R: I have nothing to say apart from it's a Scottish flower. That's all.
M: A thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland.
R: Oh my god. Okay, well, floral emblem actually might be quite important because that's a C two level word.
M: It's a floral emblem. Floral like flowers. A flower is a noun. Floral is an adjective. So for example, we can say, like floral arrangements. Yeah? Can we say that?
R: Why hmm...?
M: Hmm... You know, like when you want a bouquet of flowers, but you want some... Gosh, what would you call it? Arrangement. Kind of a bouquet but a very nice bouquet.
R: A floral arrangement?
M: Yeah. Yeah. And you can go to a special shop. And Rory mentioned this shop. The florist.
M: You go to the florist, a shop with flowers basically. So a florist. You go to the florist and you can order fresh flower arrangements. Actually flower arrangements also. Or floral arrangements. Yeah? How to arrange flowers. There we go. You see. So you kind of arrange your flowers. And ta-daa! You have your floral arrangement. Again, google, dear listener, please google to look at the pictures. Rory, could you tell us another flower that you've mentioned in connection to Scotland?
M: We talked about a heather.
M: Yeah, heather.
R: It's a plant in Scotland. It grows in the highlands, which are rugged and isolated.
M: Yeah, it's really nice, actually. It's pinky. Small, close leaves, some spikes. Very nice. Google it, heather. Right, dear listener, if you have some other flowers, which are important in your country, you can talk about them. But make sure that you google and you know some names of the flowers. Don't say just roses, alright? Say something like pansies. Okay? Pansy. You should google it. Pansies, beautiful flowers. Hopefully they grow in your country. Also, you can talk about daylilies. Daylily. Do you have any dayilies in Scotland?
R: I don't know what that is.
M: Rory, you should google it. Come on. Just go to Google Image and type in daylily. Lilies, lilies.
R: I will.
M: Yes, so, dear listener, it's good for you to say something else rather than roses. And I don't know, daffodils. So pansies and daylilies. Why not? Where do you go to buy flowers? You go to the florists, right? And we can give flowers. We don't present flowers. We give flowers on different occasions. And Rory has used this word, on different occasions. Occasions like events.
R: Times when things happen.
M: Yes. For example, we can give flowers on Valentine's Day, on Mother's Day, on weddings. Also, we usually give flowers on bridal showers and baby showers. Could you comment on these ones? On these occasions?
R: Well, what's a bridal shower? It's the celebration of before a wedding, right?
M: Yeah. Baby shower. Not a shower with babies.
R: It is when your baby is born, and you want to celebrate.
M: Yeah, for example, like I have a newborn baby, and I'm inviting everybody to give me flowers and gifts, and I throw a baby shower. Just like a baby party to celebrate my newborn. Okay, dear listener, I don't have any babies yet. And you can give a bouquet of flowers. Right? And we've talked about flower arrangements. Arrangements. How to arrange my flowers? Rory, do you love to decorate your house with fresh flowers?
R: No, it's a lot of work. And I don't have the time.
M: But you're supposed to have a garden. You go to your garden, you pick this flowers and you decorate your home with fresh flowers. Mmm...
M: No? You don't do that? Okay.
M: No, dear listener, Rory is not the flower person. You can say, I prefer something more practical over what's... How do you pronounce this word?
R: Aesthetic. And aesthetic is just something that looks good.
M: And beautiful. And we talk about flowers and we know that flowers beautify our cells and our homes. Women wear flowers as accessories to beautify themselves. Men also could wear fresh flowers. So flowers are... Say it again.
M: Right. You can say I prefer something more practical over what's aesthetic. You can talk about your national flower. Also, you can talk about romantic flowers. So roses are seen as romantic. An nice structure. Roses are seen as romantic.
R: Is it passive voice?
M: It is. Voice, which is passive.
M: Then the question, have you ever planted any flowers? So Present Perfect is there. I have never planted any flowers or yeah, I've planted some flowers, but they died a long time ago. End of the story. You've used the word, we had potted plants, potted plants. What are they?
R: Plants that are in pots?
M: Genius. Yeah, we've talked about plants before and we talked about these pots that plants usually live in. Rory, did you know that there are more than 100 types of flowers which are edible? Edible - meaning you can eat them. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.
R: Well, yeah.
M: So you see, now, dear listener, you know that you can eat certain types of flowers. So imagine in the exam the examiner tells you, let's talk about flowers. Do you like flowers? Oh, yes, I love eating them. Yum, yum, yum. That's funny, isn't it? It's not funny? You're not laughing? Why not laughing?
R: It's hilarious.
M: Oh, you're a liar. Yeah, some flowers are put in salads, or even the cakes, you know, like a sprinkle of colorful flowers, or flower petals. So you can tell if you hate flowers. You can tell the examiner how you eat flowers when you go to some fancy restaurants. And you enjoy having some colorful petals. Petals or this thing is from flowers. On your cake, for example. Rory, could you tell me? Can we eat roses? Can we eat roses? Are they edible?
R: I have no idea. Can we?
M: What do you think? Is it possible to eat roses?
R: I don't think so.
M: Yes, we can.
R: I think it's possible to eat anything.
M: So -1 point for you. Can we eat lavenders? Lavender?
R: I don't know.
M: No, what do you think? It's a quiz, it's a quiz, Rory. Flower quiz.
R: Why is there a quiz? I don't know the answer.
M: So lavender. What do you think? Lavender?
R: No idea.
M: Yes, we can. We can eat lavenders, dear listener. You should google it. Lavender, it's this smelly flower. Also dandelions, we can eat dandelions. I've mentioned pansies. Pansies are usually used for decoration. They're beautiful. Take a look and remember this word and use it in your exam when the examiner asks you about flowers. Oh, yes, I like flowers. I like my salads with pansies, you know? Yum, yum, yum, delicious. Or daylilies aresupposed to be used in some food. Hmm, interesting.
R: God... Can we please stop?
M: Thank you very much for listening! Hopefully we've added some flowery vocabulary into your life. 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