How to Speak English Tips

Many of our clients at Accent Pros, who are interested in learning how to speak English with an American accent, have advanced degrees and have excellent command of the English language.

Given the evolving state of the English language; however, they may not understand informal slang and phrases that are regularly used in the workplace, and on various popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally our clients will understand the meaning of an idiom, but use it in an improper context, which could potentially have embarrassing consequences when learning how to speak English. In our continuing efforts to feature only the most relevant and practical terms when helping you on your accent reduction goals, here are three commonly used American name phrases that have become standard shorthand in the workplace.

How to Speak English Name Phrase 1 – Rockin’ Robin

Definition: There has been no clear definition given for the term Rockin’ Robin. Apparently, it is just a catchy phrase written about a little bird rocking to a song. how to speak English

Example: That rockin’ robin outsang all the other birds in the neighborhood.

Origin: Rockin’ robin was an expression used in a song of the same name. Originally recorded in 1958 by Bobby Day, it was remade by Michael Jackson in 1972 under his album “Got to be There”. The play of words seen throughout the song shows a comparison of how different birds tried to outperform each other, with the robin ending up as the crowd favorite.

How to Speak English Name Phrase 2 – Debbie Downer

Definition: Debbie Downer is a term used for a person who says something depressing in the middle of a conversation, ruining the positive mood.

Example: We were all excited about how great the weather was when that Debbie Downer commented on how a storm always comes after a sunny to speak English

Origin: Debbie Downer was a character portrayed by Rachel Dratch in Saturday Night Live. The character’s last name pretty much describes the character’s personality, as she brings negativity into any room she steps into. To emphasize the mood, a sad trombone sound is played with each “downer” that she delivers.

How to Speak English Name Phrase 3 – Johnny on the Spot

Definition: A Johnny on the Spot is someone who is readily available for anything at all times. how to speak English

Example: Good thing that Johnny on the Spot had everything we needed to repair the car or we would have been stuck here forever.

Origin: Johnny on the Spot has been used since 1896 when it was declared as a popular phrase used around New York. It joins a wide range of expressions that use “John,” “Jack” and their variations to refer to an unspecified male character.

 How to Speak English name phrases series

Accent Pros has a continuing series on how to speak English, including common English phrases and American idioms.  Be sure to check out other blog posts to find your favorites.  Ready for a complimentary accent reduction tutorial or a free accent screening?  Check out our on-line accent reduction courses  available to students with accent reduction goals all over the world. For consistent access to our idioms series and other how to speak English tips Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter