Weren’t the British the colonizers of the U.S.A.? – Colonization of the USA

This is a great question! After all, Americans mostly speak English. We’ve all heard about the original 13 colonies and how the British came to set up shop in the new continent. But the story goes a little deeper than that. Let’s look at some of the powers that had their hands in the American pie.

To start, there were a bunch of failed colonies along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts by the English, Spanish, and French early on (include Scandinavian Vikings if we really want to go back). The Portuguese and the Basques were also frequent visitors along the Atlantic in the 1500s and before, though they didn’t stop to settle.

The English/British

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag of England.svg
  • the first to establish permanent colonies in the U.S. (not the continent, though)
  • had two main original settlements that grew and expanded out of New England and Chesapeake Bay
  • at first, were mostly groups like the Puritans seeking more religious freedom, or poor servants and farmers mostly from England
  • some colonies got lots of Irish-Scots settlers and expanded west into Native American territory, others got many more diverse settlers
  • we all know about the Atlantic slave trade

The main thing to think about with the British is that their culture, language, and society were the most influential early on in American history which is why the states maintained the English language and other cultural influences from the British after so long.

The Spanish

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  • established some of the first settlements still inhabited in the U.S., including the oldest at St. Augustine, FL
  • owned huge expanses of land in North America, including a portion of the Deep South and the whole western half of the current United States (mostly Luisiana or Alta California), even some areas of Canada, not to mention some territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands
  • they either lost or gave up a lot of this land to England or the U.S. over the centuries
  • states Oregon, Montana, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Florida names all come from Spanish words, literature, or colonies

Spain had a pretty big cultural impact on the Gulf Coast and the American Southwest. Many place names (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio, Santa Fe, etc.), lots of architecture, and cultural events come from Spanish and Mexican traditions.

The French

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Pavillon royal de la France.svg
  • had lots of colonies spread out through the central U.S. and east Canada
  • had lots of fights against England and confusing conflicts and alliances with Native Americans, they later gave up most their land to the English or Americans

France also had a big impact on place names (New Orleans, Des Moines, St. Louis, Eau Claire, Vermont) and cultural events, such as Mardi Gras and Cajun culture in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

The Dutch

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Flag of Netherlands
  • set up colonies mostly in present-day New York and New Jersey
  • the British took over their main city, New Amsterdam, and changed it to New York, but Dutch culture stuck around in those rural areas for centuries after

The Dutch paved the initial way for America’s biggest and most iconic city. Some of its boroughs and surrounding towns are even named in honor of the Dutch (Brooklyn or Breuckelen, Staten Island or Staaten Eylandt, Harlem or Haarlem).

The Swedes

Flag of Sweden
  • made a small colony that only lasted 17 years before being sucked into New Netherland
  • the Bronx (after Bronck’s River) is named after a Swedish captain

Sweden’s colony was short-lived, but they introduced the first log cabins and some of the oldest churches to the future nation.

Also, let’s not forget Russia who colonized Alaska. The U.S. later purchased it, though, and most of the Russians left.

As you can see, there were a lot more European powers that settled the U.S. other than the English. Despite the obvious impact of the British here in the States, we also had a few other countries reaching in for a chance to colonize the future U.S.A.

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P.S. I know that the Native Americans were already on the continent, and the colonial powers took these lands away from them. This includes First Nations in Alaska and Polynesians in Hawaii, among others. This answer is just to focus on the aspect of European colonial and cultural influence in the U.S., not to focus on the destructive aspect of their settlement in the region.

Kenai Peninsula's Historic Russian Churches - Northwest Travel Magazine
Russian Church in Alaska: from here
Old Swedes Church - First State National Historical Park (U.S. National  Park Service)
Old Swedes Church, Delaware: from here
A Stroll Along State Street in Albany, New York —
Dutch architecture, New York: from here
Home Architecture 101: French Colonial
French colonial architecture, Louisiana: from here
Historic Architecture in California
Spanish architecture in California: from here
New England Architecture | Guide to House Styles in New England
English colonial architecture, New England: from here

Check out these resources and other articles here on CultSurf!

Colonial History of the United States: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_history_of_the_United_States#Russian_colonies

First Arrivals of Europeans to Settle the U.S.: http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/amerbegin/settlement/text1/text1read.htm

Origins of New York City Borough Names: https://www.amny.com/news/nyc-boroughs-names-1-32096222/

“Don’t Start” [Dua Lipa] – lyrics for English students

A flag featuring both cross and saltire in red, white and blue

Video down below–>

If you don’t wanna see me

  • *If you don’t want to…

Did a full 180, crazy

  • *I did a full… A “180” (one-eighty) means turning 180 degrees, which in math terms means turning around. It’s another way to say that you take a pause and look back at how a situation occurred. “I was walking down the street and thought I saw a friend of mine. I did a full 180 and realized that was Carol, my brother’s friend.” Similarly, a 360 (three-sixty) is to turn fully around. “He did a full 360 and fell on the ground.”

Thinking ’bout the way I was

Did the heartbreak change me? Maybe

But look at where I ended up

  • To “end up” refers to how something ended or finished. When talking about a location or situation, it means to arrive at that point or to get there. “Hmm, we’re in the Mojave Desert. How did we end up here?”

I’m all good already

  • “All good” is pretty self-explanatory. Just know that it’s a very common phrase. “I’m sorry about that.” “It’s all good, don’t worry.”

So moved on, it’s scary

  • To “move on” is to get past something like a breakup or relationship. “So … it’s scary.” This is a popular way of putting emphasis on some quality or skill. “I’m so good at this game, it’s scary!”

I’m not where you left me at all, so

  • “At all” is used at the end of a sentence to emphasize that something is really not a certain way. “She doesn’t look happy, at all.”

If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody

If you wanna believe that anything could stop me

Don’t show up, don’t come out

  • To “show up” is to appear somewhere. “Don’t show up at my party!”

Don’t start caring about me now

Walk away, you know how

Don’t start caring about me now

Aren’t you the guy who tried to

Hurt me with the word “goodbye”?

Though it took some time to survive you

I’m better on the other side

  • She means away from her ex. “The other side” is used to talk about overcoming something, often death, though it doesn’t always have to be a difficult situation. “Man! I have to go to jury duty today.” “Well, I’ll see you on the other side.”

I’m all good already

So moved on, it’s scary

I’m not where you left me at all, so

If you don’t wanna see me dancing with somebody

If you wanna believe that anything could stop me

(Don’t, don’t, don’t)

Don’t show up, don’t come out

Don’t start caring about me now

Walk away, you know how

Don’t start caring about me now (‘Bout me now, ’bout me)

.

Then the lyrics repeat.

  • Alright, these lyrics are pretty straightforward. Dua appears to have suffered from a bad relationship. Her partner didn’t care about her and all they know is how to walk away or give up on her. It took some time for her to get over this, but now she’s back! She goes out dancing, having a good time, and maybe her ex wants to start caring about her again. But Dua’s not interested. Her partner didn’t care when they were together, so why start caring now?

This is one of the catchiest songs out there. Does this song always get stuck in your head? Is Dua right for not wanting to let this person back in her life? Tell me what you think!

Watch the video too:

Cover image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62974038

Cash apology – “sorry” and slang terms for “money” meanings & uses

Terms: sorry / for money (cash, bricks, bands, bag, dough, etc.)

I sure like counting all this money.

Charles had his hands full of dollars of the U.S. variety. Not because he was rich, no! Are you crazy?

—It must be fun to work in the financial department. You get to take that money home and count it? Touch all on it. Dang, sounds like heaven to me!

Jonah was watching him with a hunger.

—Can I just touch one … well, a couple of them?

—No, Sir-ee! This is not my money, bro. If it was I wouldn’t let you touch it, either, but my life is on the line if I get fired. Sorry, can’t do it.

—Well! I don’t know why you work at that sorry theater on the side. If I was you, I’d be happy to sit here and count money all day.

Charles looked around at the blank white walls, felt the absence of an air conditioner, heard the BLUGUG of a bubble descend from their giant jug of nasty water.

—I would die if I worked here all the time. The theater is a good distraction. Plus, I like drama.

—Heck, there’s plenty of drama right here on campus.

They both laughed at that fact.

—Hey, what did you mean by “sorry?” I didn’t get why you would apologize for me working with plays.

Jonah scratched his chin.

—No, bro. Sorry, as an adjective. It just means that something sucks, basically. It’s low quality, not good. Like if you buy a car that’s old and raggedy and is halfway falling apart. That’s a “sorry” car. Look at me, sounding all smart!

—Uh-huh. Thanks for the clarification, said Charles.

Fasho. Yeah, man. I was you, I would stay here and count stacks all day. Maybe slip a wad into my pocket.

Charles’s fingers stopped moving. His eyes tilted up. What did that guy just say?

—Guy, what did you just say? Stack? Wad? What in the world?

Jonah jumped up eagerly.

—Oh man, I’m about to learn you! I mean, teach you, of course. Look, Charlie; stacks and wad are both money. You ever seen a stack of something? Pancakes, maybe? Well, replace the pancakes with bills and that’s how you get “stacks.” As for wad, you just need to picture a handful of cash. Wad can be a small bundle of anything, though. Cash, you probably know, is money too. Hehe.

—Yeah, Charles said, —I knew cash. That’s the only one I knew, actually. What other words do you all have for money?

His fingers went to counting the dollars again. Jonah continued to rant excitedly about his favorite topic.

—Oh, that’s easy! I said stacks, so you got racks and bricks if you’re really making money. “Racks” are like shelves, so I guess if you made racks, you could just stack them on a big shelf. “Bricks” are like those red things you use to build a house, but they’re thick like a stack of money. What else? You got bands, figures, green. “Green” is obvious, ‘cus of the color. “Figures” mean digits. If you make 5 figures, that’s making a five-digit salary. Anywhere between 10,000 and 99,999. Same for 6 figures, 10 figures, and so on. A band is a thousand bucks, and bucks are money. You have to hold a thousand together with a rubber band, which is probably why they call it that. Same with a grand, or a G for short. That means a thousand bucks too. You probably have a few “G’s” in your hands right now!

Charles bulged his eyes.

—Wow, that is a lot. Any more?

Jonah continued, —Let’s see. You got loot, dough… “Loot” used to be treasure for pirates in the old days. “Dough” is what you make bread out of. Oh, and bread is another one. Hmm, guap and cheese are money, and bank is if you make a bunch of money. Like, “I made bank today.” “Cheese” like cheese slices at the grocery store. Some people say cheddar to be more specific. “Guap,” I don’t know. It sounds like guapo, or “handsome” in Spanish. Maybe like a handsome sum of money? Who knows. And don’t forget the bag. If you get “the bag,” you’re making good money. And … that’s all I got.*

Charles’s face fell stunned.

—Wow, you are an expert in something. I just can’t believe there are so many words for… and he waved a fistful of cash.

Jonah paused.

Never thought about it. I blame rap music. So, how many bands you got?

Charles checked.

—Let me see… There are about 5 G’s right here. I only got through this one stack.

—Well, you better start counting!

Charles laughed.

—I would if someone didn’t keep distracting me! And you’re right; all this money does make my other job look sorry.

Jonah chuckled and put his baseball cap on.

—That’s okay. I hear actors and playwrights get bank too.

.

  • With so many ways to talk about money, it can be hard to choose which word to use! Some words like cash are more common overall. Other words are used in more specific situations. For example, bag or bank are more common when talking about making money, while G’s and bands are for talking about quantities of money. When in doubt, use the words you hear being used most around you. I sure don’t use all of these on a daily basis! What is your favorite money slang?

*The language used in this dialogue is meant to reflect how different Americans might express themselves. Significant incorrect grammar or sensitive words will be underlined for reference.

“Alright” [Kendrick Lamar] – lyrics for English students

Flag of the United States

Videos down below–>

Alls my life I has to fight, n****

  • This phrasing comes from old depictions of how black slaves or servants would talk during earlier American history. These days, sometimes people talk like this to make a joke or even a serious reference to working like a slave. It’s a very informal and cultural form of phrasing, and really only people within a trusted community would make this reference with each other. Otherwise, it can sound racist or offensive.

Alls my life I…

Hard times like, “Yah!”

Bad trips like, “Yah!”

  • A “trip” can sometimes mean an event or situation that is happening. “We had some bad trips” may not mean a bad vacation, but an actual bad situation he was going through. A lot of people say “Like” as an interjection before they give more information or reveal what someone said. It can replace the word “said” in this sense in casual speech. “Michael was like, I need a quarter. And I was like, No, Michael, I don’t have a quarter.” (Correct: Michael said, I need a quarter.)

Nazareth, I’m f***** up

  • In Christianity, Jesus resides and grows up in Nazareth. To be “F’d up” is the same as “Messed up,” “Jacked up,” or “Screwed up.” It means that something is wrong with him, he has serious problems, or has been damaged very badly. This goes for both the physical and emotional senses. It’s more profane, so try to use those other options if you can 😉

Homie, you f***** up

  • *”Homie, you’re…” “Homie” is another word for friend or someone you trust.

But if God got us, then we gon’ be alright

  • *”Then we’re going to be…” One use of “Got” is to say that you have someone’s back, or you’re looking out for their wellbeing. “I got you, man.” {I’m here to support you, man.}

N****, we gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

We gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me?

  • To “feel” sometimes means to understand what someone is saying on a deeper level. “Do you feel me?” (Do you understand what I’m saying?) “Yeah, man, I feel you.”

We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Huh? We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

Uh, and when I wake up

I recognize you’re looking at me for the pay cut

  • His managers look at him when they want to cut down someone’s salary.

But homicide be looking at you from the face down

  • *”Homicide is looking at you…” This is an incorrect but very common way for people to speak in vernacular language. “I be doing… They be watching…” It’s very common in street or community settings but is very unusual in a work or professional setting. “From the face down” means all over your body or completely.

What MAC-11 even boom with the bass down?

  • *”What MAC-11 even booms…” A MAC-11 is a kind of machine gun pistol generally with a silencer. This may compare his rapping (making noise, being provocative) to the sound of booming gunshots, since he can’t make a point or provoke anyone with a quiet song, low bass.

Schemin’, and let me tell you ’bout my life

  • *”Tell you about…” “Scheming” here probably refers to people making plans or plotting against him. “Scheme” is normally used for big plots against a large entity, but we use it sometimes to talk about a personal attack too.

Painkillers only put me in the twilight

  • “In the twilight” refers to a weird state between night and day. He’s not fully conscious, present, etc. Also, in case you didn’t know, “painkillers” is a casual way to call pain medication.

Where pretty p**** and Benjamin is the highlight

  • *”are the highlights.” Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill. Money and women had been a big part of his life, or fame in general.

Now tell my momma I love her, but this what I like

  • *”This is what I like.”

Lord knows

  • This is a popular exclamation, especially among the religious or Christian community. It’s said when an outcome is unknown or when something is too much to understand. “Lord knows what I’m going to do to pay the rent.” Also used to state a fact. “Lord knows I have worked harder than anyone else in the company.”

Twenty of ’em in my Chevy, tell ’em all to come and get me

Reaping everything I sow, so my karma come in heaven

  • *”So my karma comes…” To “reap what you sow” is an old adage that means you get what you give, or what goes around comes around. To “reap” literally means to collect, as with crops. To “sow” literally means to plant or put seeds in the ground.

No preliminary hearings on my record

  • “No preliminary hearings” means he doesn’t want him or his group to testify. Everything they’ve done remains silent, and the true judgment will come in the afterlife.

I’m a m************ gangster in silence for the record, uh

  • “For the record” is another way of saying “By the way,” or “Just so you know.” “I had a lot of fun this weekend, for the record (just so you know).” It has a double meaning here since the record can be a musical recording as well.

Tell the world I know it’s too late

Boys and girls, I think I gone cray

  • *”I think I have gone…” “Cray” means Crazy. It was made popular by Jay-Z and Kanye West in their song “N**** in Paris.”

Drown inside my vices all day

Won’t you please believe when I say

Wouldn’t you know?

  • This is a funny way to express some interesting information. “Wouldn’t you know? Jerry bought himself a pony! Isn’t that weird?”

We been hurt, been down before

  • *”We’ve been…” To be “down” here means to feel down, sad, or hurt.

N****, when our pride was low

Lookin’ at the world like, “Where do we go?”

N****, and we hate po-po

  • “Po-po” is a slang term for the Police.

Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho’

  • *”They want to kill us dead in the street for sure.” “Fo sho” is a colloquial way to pronounce “for sure.”

N****, I’m at the preacher’s door

My knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow

  • *”My knees are getting weak…”

But we gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

We gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Huh? We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

What you want you, a house⁠? You, a car?

  • *”What do you want, a house? A car?” This is another very colloquial way of speaking. “You want you a nice watch? He got him a good job!” This might come from “He got himself a good job!” but in a shorter version.

40 acres and a mule? A piano, a guitar?

  • This comes from a special order during the American Civil War when some freed black slaves were offered 40 acres of land and a mule as a sort of reparations (compensation) for their suffering. The order was only enacted for a short time before being dismissed.

Anything, see my name is Lucy, I’m your dog

  • This line is full of double and hidden meanings. Mainly, Lucy is a reference to Lucifer, the Devil. “Dog” in slang often means a friend, a person of trust, much like a real dog (It’s often spelled “Dawg” in slang, though).

M***********, you can live at the mall

I can see the evil, I can tell it, I know it’s illegal

  • In slang, saying you “can tell it” means you can identify it. “Does it look like rain outside? Hmm, I can’t tell it.” A similar phrase is, “call it.” “Hmm, I can’t call it.”

I don’t think about it, I deposit every other zero

  • “Zero” here refers to lots of money.

Thinking of my partner, put the candy, paint it on the Regal

  • “Partner” sometimes is used in referring to a close friend, and in this sense does not show any kind of romantic relationship. “Candy” refers to candy paint, or colorful paint used to paint cars. The car he talks about is a Buick Regal.

Digging in my pocket, ain’t a profit big enough to feed you

  • *”There isn’t a profit big enough…”

Every day my logic get another dollar just to keep you

  • *”My logic gets another dollar…”

In the presence of your chico… Ah!

  • “Chico” means Boy in Spanish. He says “boy” because it’s a popular way for some people to talk. It just means Friend. “I’m your boy, man, let me in. Kendrick is my boy, I should call him more often.”

I don’t talk about it, be about it, every day I sequel

  • “Don’t talk about it. Be about it.” This is a popular way to tell someone to do what they say they’re going to do. Similarly, “I’m about it,” means that you do what you say you’re going to do. “Are you about it? Oh, he’s not about it.” He turns the noun “sequel” into a verb. This is very common in English, even if the dictionary definition of the word is not a verb. He does bigger and better things every day, basically. Makes a sequel of his previous day.

If I got it then you know you got it,

  • *”If I have it then you know you have it”

Heaven, I can reach you

Pat Dawg, Pat Dawg, Pat Dawg, my dog, that’s all

  • Pat Dawg is apparently a cousin of Kendrick’s who died. It’s also a double meaning with the term, “pat dog,” like petting a dog.

Bick back and Chad, I trap the bag for y’all

  • These are other references to dead friends of his. To “trap” is to make money, basically. It usually means to make money selling drugs or doing other illegal things, but nowadays it’s used for making money in general. “Bag” is a slang term for Money.

I rap, I black on track so rest assured

  • Again, he turns the color black into a verb. This could mean he “acts black” in his music, which is a thing here in the U.S. Acting stereotypically black. He might also mean that he represents black culture or issues in his songs. He could also just “black out” or be out of his body in a higher consciousness when he raps. It’s an interesting line. “Rest assured” is a way to tell someone to be calm, you don’t have to worry. “Rest assured, we will find the man who did this to you, ma’am.”

My rights, my wrongs; I write ’til I’m right with God

  • “Rights” and “wrongs” refer to good and bad deeds or actions. Rights can also be civil rights. To “be right with someone” is to get on their good side, or to have no problems with them.

Wouldn’t you know

We been hurt, been down before

N****, when our pride was low

Lookin’ at the world like, “Where do we go?”

N****, and we hate po-po

Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho’

N****, I’m at the preacher’s door

My knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow

But we gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

We gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Huh? We gon’ be alright

N****, we gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

I keep my head up high

I cross my heart and hope to die

  • “Cross my heart and hope to die,” is an old swear that people, especially kids, used to say to make a promise or make a wish. It’s still said nowadays, but not in such a serious way as before.

Lovin’ me is complicated

Too afraid of a lot of changes

I’m alright, and you’re a favorite

Dark nights in my prayers

.

  • This song has a lot of identification with the rights of black Americans and social injustice. Police brutality, political deception, and black on black violence are brought up in bits throughout the lyrics. There is heavy use of more stereotypical “black” sayings and wording here, as well as the repetition of the N-word. This gives the sense that Kendrick is communicating directly to black people, almost in an exaggerated way, but the language is very authentic and direct. The rights and treatment of minority groups in the U.S., especially those of black people, have been a hot-button topic and caused controversy for decades up until now. There are also lots of personal themes in the song; he might feel guilty for giving in to his vices (i.e. money, sex, drugs, etc.); religion and judgment are also heavy themes here. In the end, he is definitely making a statement!

  • Also, a note: Alright and All right are accepted forms, though I’ve seen All right used more in older literature.

There’s a lot of slang in this song! Did you get it all? Let me know what you think.

Listen to the song here:

Here’s the full music video if you’re interested:

“Cameo Lover” [Kimbra] – lyrics for English students

Blue field with the Union Flag in the top right corner, and four red stars with white borders to the right.

*Don’t forget the video down below–>

This is nonstop baby, you’ve got me going crazy

You’re heavier than I knew

  • “Heavier” here in the sense that he is weighing on her or holding her down, in a figurative sense.

But I don’t want no other, you’re my cameo lover

  • *Double negatives. “But I don’t want any other/another…” Sometimes using a double negative can sound more natural, though, like with these lyrics. A “cameo” is a quick appearance of someone, usually famous, in a work like a movie or TV show. The guy is her lover who appears in her life for only small amounts of time, as she explains in the next line.

Only here for a moment or two

You stay inside that bubble with all of your trouble

In your black hole

  • The idea is that he is collapsing on himself, self-destructing.

You turn from the skies,

You dance with your demise

  • “Demise” is another word for death, basically, or an otherwise bad ending to life. “Dancing with your demise” is a more formal way of saying, “Playing with death.”

I’ll be here when you come home (home)

We’ve all gotta break down

  • *”We’ve all got to break down.” In the English accents more closely related to British (Kimbra is from New Zealand), using “have got to” tends to be more common than “have to” in such situations. “I’ve got to go pick up my mother.” “I have to go pick up my mother.” “Break down” here has a double meaning; to have an emotional breakdown and cry, get depressed, etc., or; to have fun and dance! Interesting, right? She is probably referring to both of these opposing meanings in the line.

Let me come and break down there with you

  • Whether he wants to cry and be sad or have fun and dance, she still wants to be there with him.

‘Cause every day’s like talking in your sleep

  • *”Because every …” The original author from the website where I found these lyrics wrote, “Everyday’s like…” I wanted to take advantage and explain: “Every day” is where “every” just describes “day.” “I go to the mall every day. I wake up early every day;” “Everyday” is an adjective and describes something that is done every day, or is very common. “I’m going to do my everyday bike ride. He’s your normal, everyday teacher. Nothing special.” Native English speakers also often get these two confused.

Love is like a silhouette in dreams!

  • A “silhouette” is the outline of a shape, usually of a person, something like an empty shadow.

Open up your heart, open up your heart

Open up your heart and let me pull you out

Every day’s like talking in your sleep

Love is like a silhouette in dreams!

Open up your heart, open up your heart

Open up your heart and let me pull you out of here

I’ve got high hopes baby, but all you do is take me

Down to depths that I never knew

You’ve got two arms baby, they’re all tangled in ladies

As the black sky’s posing blue

  • To “pose” here means to fake an appearance or to show an untrue face. A similar word is “to front.” She could mean that he feels dark or sad on the inside, but he’s showing that he feels sunny and clear like a blue sky on the outside. On another note, “pose” is also used a lot to get into position for a photo. “Pose for the camera!”

Let go of your mother and turn to your brother

Not a long gone lover’s noose

  • A “noose” is the loop of a hanging rope. He’s literally choking himself to death because he won’t let go of this past love.

Sometimes baby the hardest part of breaking

  • “Breaking” again refers to having a breakdown, being depressed, or emotionally hurt.

Is leaving pieces behind you

  • But she plays double meaning again with the literal definition of breaking; tearing into pieces.

Oh we’ve all gotta get by

  • *”We’ve all got to …” To “get by” means to survive, make a living, get past our challenges.

Let me come and hold you high, with you

‘Cause every day’s like talking in your sleep

Love is like a silhouette in dreams!

Open up your heart, open up your heart

Open up your heart and let me pull you out

Every day’s like talking in your sleep

Love is like a silhouette in dreams!

Open up your heart, open up your heart

Open up your heart and let me pull you out of here

Open up your heart to me!

The sun won’t shine if you’re not looking

Baby, love is all that you need…

When every day’s like talking in your sleep

Love is like a silhouette in dreams

Open up your heart, open, open… (open…)

And the lyrics repeat.

  • She seems to be talking to a person she wants to be with or feel closer to. This person has a hard time letting go of some past lover who apparently hurt him emotionally. Still, he refuses to let go and wants others to feel sorry for him. This is obviously weighing on Kimbra who’s tired of his downer attitude, but she also doesn’t want to leave him (I don’t want no other). He seems to hide in a bubble, lose hope (you turn from the skies, you dance with your demise), and express himself very lazily like a person mumbling in their sleep. He seems to be going through a rough time, though her words are not harsh but hopeful. Kimbra insists for him to open up and let her help, be a part of his recovery, to hold him up high, and to pull his love out from inside.

Do you think this kind of relationship is worth it? Let me know your thoughts!

Watch it here:

Very manly family – “my dude” “bro” “son” and more, meanings & uses

Terms: my guy / my dude / bro / bruh / son

Rip. Scribble. Check. Pass.

These were normal work days for Charles. His life was not any more exciting than a stone’s on an average day. At work, it was at least half of the usual. Paintings had more fun hanging on white walls than Charles did at work. Old sneakers had more fun being trodden through the mud on a cold day than Charles did at work. Even the little fruit flies taunted him as they buzzed after each other in the dead-air room; a financial office at a small community college waiting to be demolished and replaced by new facilities.

Yes, I understand … Okay … But what would you like to do, Sir?

I just really want to get a loan, man. I was hoping you’d help me out with it.

A fellow student, small and muscular, was asking Charles about his options for paying for his upcoming classes. The student really needed a break, but the school’s policy was strict. The situation was leaving him quite irritated.

Charles told him, —I can’t give you a loan this semester because you still owe money from your past classes.

Come on, my guy. Are you for real? I really can’t have just one little loan this time? Man, what the hell?

Really, Sir, I cannot …

You sure? ‘Cus I bet you can’t even read them pages right.

The student was referring to Charles’s accent, assuming he couldn’t read since his English wasn’t totally natural.

Hey, bro, you need to back up. We’re all in line here. Just let the man do his job.

His job—!

But before the small angry student could finish, another larger student calmly grabbed his backpack and shoved him out of the line. The smaller student made a quick gesture to scare the bigger student, but he noticed he would enter into a fight he couldn’t win. He walked away after sucking his teeth and hit the bare office wall hard, one time.

Thanks for getting him out of here, Charles told the big man.

Hey, my grandparents were immigrants. I couldn’t let him disrespect you like that.

Charles took advantage of their conversation to ask a question.

He was pretty mad, but I noticed he called me his “guy.” Is that a bad thing? Because it sounds like he wants me to be his man.

This comment made everybody in the sweaty office laugh; one girl in the back laughed a little too hard.

That was funny, I’m sorry. No, he wasn’t asking you to be “his guy.” It’s just an expression. It’s how you might refer to someone you’re speaking to. Hey, my guyMy dude is another good one that’s used the same. There are some other more derogatory ones, but these two are good to use with anybody.

But he also called me bro, like his brother. Is that right?

The big student scratched his chin hairs for a minute, then said;

Oh. Well, bro is short for “brother,” but it’s the same as with “my guy.” You can use it with any man, doesn’t have to be your real brother. Some people, like me, put more of an “uhhhh” sound to it. Like, bruh. “What’s up, bruh? Wanna buy me a Coke?”

Charles smiled.

I get it now.

Yo, are we still in the classroom? I ain’t got all day, son.

Another student was being impatient and yelled out from his point in line. His comment made the big man turn his head and look at Charles who was staring at him, again, confused.

And that’s another one! Son. And no, he’s not calling you his actual son …

Sure ain’t! the loud-mouthed student replied again.

Charles had a jump on the meaning, though.

Son. It’s the same as calling me “guy” or “bro.” Or “bruh,” even. They’re all the same. Cool alternatives to “man.”

The big guy tapped Charles on the shoulder happily.

You got it! So, uh, bruh, can you help me with a payment plan for the next two semesters?

Then the loud mouth, —Yeah, me too, my dude!

Charles smiled at the fact that even within that hot, boring, smelly box of an office, he could turn his gruesome job into an exciting real-world English lesson. In addition, he was now able to understand all this action coming at him at once. He ruffled some papers and answered his schoolmates;

Sure! One financial plan coming up, bro.

  • Calling men “my guy,” “bro,” and “son” is very informal, and we usually use it with people of a similar or lesser age to us or with friends, not in formal situations! Do you think you could use these words correctly with a friend of yours? Tell me what you think!

*The language used in this dialogue is meant to reflect how different Americans might express themselves. Significant incorrect grammar or sensitive words will be underlined for reference.

“The Ghost Who Walks” [Karen Elson] – lyrics for English students

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View the video below–>

The ghost who walks, she’s on the prowl

  • “On the prowl” is used generally for predators or hunters, as with a lion or shark. Searching for a victim.

For the man she loved, he cut her down

  • This is an artistic or lyrical way of speaking and is not common in regular speech. “For” means “because” here. “Because the man she loved cut her down.” She could also be on the prowl for this man, so it has a bit of double meaning. “He cut her down” is a lighter way of saying he killed her.

It was an ordinary night in June

When he drove her to the lake so they could watch the full moon

The ghost who walks she’s on the prowl

For the man she loved, he laid her down

  • Sometimes, saying “lay” referring to a person has a sexual meaning. “He laid with her last night.” It’s a bit old-fashioned though. “Laid” here probably uses both sensual and physical meanings.

In the tall grass he kissed her cheek

But with a knife in his hand he plunged it in deep

She looked at him with pleading eyes

  • “Pleading eyes” are associated with a victim begging not to be attacked or killed.

He softly spoke, My dear, the love has died

And then he muffled her desperate cries under the moonlight

The ghost who walks, she’s on the prowl

Wanders in the moonlight, she’s crying to herself

  • *She wanders in the moonlight…

Because his eyes never looked cruel

But the moon in the blade, it shimmered like a jewel

She looked at him with pleading eyes

He softly spoke, My dear, the love has died

And then he muffled her deadly cries under the moonlight

Under the moonlight

Under the moonlight

Under the moonlight

The lyrics are written in a very literary, poetic way. Karen wants the song to sound old-fashioned on purpose, since the story sounds like an old ghost mystery tale. Instead of singing about feelings or partying, she tells a story of a woman who was taken by her man to a field, seemingly a nice and innocent guy. He was never cruel to her before, but he “snaps” and kills her, admitting that their love has died, or ended. The only witness of the murder was the moon above. Her ghost floats around trying to find the man who murdered her. Kind of dark, but it’s an interesting change of pace to most current song lyrics.

Watch here:

Os americanos são religiosos? Os religiosos são todos protestantes? – Religião nos EUA

Entre algumas comunidades brasileiras, tenho ouvido algumas dúvidas sobre se os americanos realmente pregam a religião ou não. Sinto que essa idéia vem da percepção de que os países desenvolvidos (aqueles países “bem-sucedidos”) não colocam muita importância na religião embora, em vez disso, se focam na força das suas nações sobre as outras. Às vezes parece que esse louvor se torna ao favor do consumismo. Pode até ser que como uma sociedade, os americanos tendem a focar muito no sucesso, ganhando dinheiro, ou os demais valores capitalistas.

Porém, os americanos em geral tendem a ser religiosos de alguma forma. Entre mais que 320 milhoes de pessoas, mais que 200 milhões reclamam ser cristãos. E para tocar na sua segunda questão, sim, quase a metade do país segue algum tipo de denominação protestante ou evangélico, como são comunmente referidas. Mas, entre elas;

  • 162 milhões de protestantes
  • 76 milhões são católicos
  • 23 milhões de religiosos não-cristãos

Bom, existe um robusto grupo de não-afiliados, cerca de 20% do país, para dar uma idéia. Nesse leque, pode achar tudo desde agnósticos a ateus e até gente que “não sabe” ou que simplesmente não tem preferência alguma. Alguns desses simplesmente não responderam a essa parte do censo.

Uso os números para lhes dar alguma vista sobre o tamanho e de quantos indivíduos habitam esse país tão gigante. Mesmo entre os religiosos, existem aqueles que não praticam regularmente ou que não declaram uma religião por causa de propósitos pessoais. Alguns, como eu, são espirituais e têm uma visão mais geral e naturalista sobre religião que não é ligada a qualquer igreja em particular. Ao final do dia, os Estados Unidos ainda é um dos países mais religiosos do mundo, ainda que protestante na sua maioria. Tem na verdade a maior quantidade de pessoas que consideram religião importante entre os “países desenvolvidos,” nao contando os países do sul da Europa (pensa em Portugal, Itália, etc.). Também tem muita diversidade entre as religiões praticadas, desde o siquismo, budismo, judaismo, até todos os tipos de islã e cristianismo que pode imaginar.

Mas 76 milhões de católicos ainda conta como muita gente, não conta?

Recursos:

Demografia dos Estados Unidos: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/united-states-population

A construção religiosa dos EUA: https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

A importância da religião em cada país: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country

“Child” [Lights] – lyrics for English students

A vertical triband design (red, white, red) with a red maple leaf in the center.

Video below –>

What is this about? _ Where is everybody going? _ What am I doing here?

  • She seems very uncertain about her place in the world.

Can’t separate what I really need to know and _ What I just want to hear

  • *I can’t separate… This is related to today’s media in part since we hear so much information on TV and social media that it’s hard to decide what’s important and what’s not. Also, there may be some trouble deciding between what’s true and what she just wants to accept as true, similar to the whole “fake news” deal.

Maybe I’m alone _ Maybe everybody’s lost too _ Looking for a way out

  • She’s not sure if she’s the only one or if everyone is struggling with this. Problems of our times.

Maybe I don’t know _ Maybe I don’t even want to _ Just don’t want to be let down

  • *I just don’t… To “be let down” is to be disappointed because your expectations were not met.

There is no sureness, I kind of just stumble along

  • “Kind of” is a very popular term in common speech. It often shows that the speaker is not sure or is explaining something that they’re unsure about. It’s also used a lot just to take up space so that the speaker has time to think while they talk. “I just kind of need some help.” We also use it to mean “a little.” “I kind of liked that show, a little bit.” Different from when we use it to talk about a type of something. “Football is a kind of sport.” That’s a completely different usage.

There must be purpose in trying to keep on

  • *There must be a purpose… To “keep on” is to continue with something. In this case, it sounds like she’s questioning if there is a purpose to keep living, working hard, dealing with other people, etc. The tone is not suicidal or depressed, though; she seems to be just questioning the world and people’s motives.

What do I know? _ I’m a child _ Just trying to talk like a mother does

  • She says she’s not really a grownup but a child who is acting like she thinks an adult should act. A little girl in a grown woman’s costume, to put it one way.

Seeing life come and go all the time _ It’s never as long as you wish it was _ oh-oh-oh _ Maybe I’m still trying to see like a child does

  • It sounds like she’s saying that life or childhood don’t last as long as you wish they would. Even as an adult, she’s still trying to be confident and not worry about things, just like children do.

And I always feel like I did when I was younger _ Can’t talk sense into me

  • *You can’t talk sense… To “talk sense into someone” means that you give them some advice to make them wiser. She’s saying that people try to give her advice and help her, but she denies it and does what she wants anyway. This behavior is similar to a stubborn child, which is why she makes the connection.

How do you decide when to know or how to wonder _ Or how to just get free?

  • Here, “get free” means to free oneself from undesired situations, like the stress of social media, the news, and living in a complicated modern world. She struggles between knowing when to be a teacher and give information, when to ask questions and learn, and when to just accept things for what they are and not worry about them. She says a lot with just a few words.

There’s no certainty _ I kind of just stumble along _ Doesn’t bother me

  • *It doesn’t bother me… Her not using a subject in many of her sentences makes the lyrics seem very casual and relaxed, the same way she might talk in regular situations.

I’m trying to keep on

  • She says stumbling (making mistakes) doesn’t bother her, but she’s trying to “keep on.” This makes it feel like “keeping on” is not a huge struggle in her life. Maybe, like most people, she has accepted that there will be difficult times and that she will make mistakes. But she’s trying, and that’s the best she can do.

What do I know? _ I’m a child _ Just trying to talk like a mother does _ Seeing life come and go all the time _ It’s never as long as you wish it was, oh-oh-oh _ Maybe I’m still trying to see like a child does _ I’ve seen both sides of the door _ I’m not a child anymore _ But I can stand in it the way I did when I was a kid

  • She’s been a child and an adult, so she knows how both sides feel. Standing in the door gives the sense that she continues to be rebellious and speak her mind or be stubborn like she was when she was a child, at least when she wants to. She still keeps part of her “inner child” with her, both the bad parts (being stubborn, naïve, insecure, making mistakes) and the good parts (being outspoken, being confident, not worrying too much about life).

Then the lyrics repeat.

  • *Just a note: Child and kid mean the same thing, as with children and kids. Kid is more commonly used and sounds more natural in most situations, though child tends to be used in more serious situations.
    • “Do you want to play with the kids down the street?”
    • “Hey, you stay away from my child!”

Watch the video here:

A stoning fight – “get high” “get wasted” “fade” and more, meanings & uses

Terms: get light / get high / get stoned / get wasted / get faded / get baked / fade

*The language used in this dialogue is meant to reflect how different Americans might express themselves. Significant incorrect grammar or sensitive words will be underlined for reference.

Skies were blue with those thin strips of white like ripped white pillow feathers painted all around. The birds sang and the sun burned a little on the arms. It was a perfect day to sit in a park — or so thought Charles. In fact, it was a great day for the park for another reason. The sun and birds are fine and all, but what Charles really was looking for was music.

He had recently went to a concert with some work buddies of his and he loved it! Now, Charles was itching for more of the live music experience. He wanted to feel the beat vibrate inside his ribs. He wanted to enjoy the energy of people jumping and singing all around him. He wanted to smell the sweat of the singers as they yelled their lyrics at the crowd. Charles would have never guessed it, be he was radically in love with live concerts. And to his luck, there would be one today at the park.

After walking for some time, he finally found where the stage was. Charles found a quiet, clean spot to lay his coat down in the grass and kicked his shoes off. He stretched his feet, closed his eyes, and let the sun sizzle his arms just a little bit. He was nearly falling asleep when the mechanical screech of a microphone pulled his attention back to life. There was a middle-aged lady on stage tapping on the mic as if to test it.

Hello all, she said, greeting the crowd of park-goers. —I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. My sponsors and I are here to get the show started off tonight. How about that? Are you all excited?

The people around the stage sitting in the grass all yelled and cheered in approval. They were, in fact, all excited. The sun was starting to go away, and the mood was getting set.

Excellent! Well, we’ve got a great show planned for you all tonight. A$AP Rocky and Tyga are here.

Yo, where they at? some guy yelled out impatiently.

A$AP? Aw man. I thought this week was Twenty One Pilots. You’re kidding me, right? another guy moaned.

Yes, the lady from before said, We will get on with the show in just a minute. Firsthand, I want to talk about the “big M.” Mari-what?

Oh, no! We don’t wanna hear it, lady! someone else yelled.

Charles was confused and looked around for someone to help him understand.

What a buzzkill, right? They always bring these old-timers trying to keep us from getting stoned in public. It’s a waste of time. That’s why I stopped coming to public concerts.

It was a young woman about the same age as Charles.

What do you mean? They throw stones at people in public? he replied.

Oh, God no! Haha, ain’t you ever heard of someone getting stoned? Like, high?

Charles shook his head to say No.

Well, to tell you what it means, it’s what happens when you smoke weed. You know, cannabis. Some people say they get faded or get baked. It’s all the same thing.

A guy sitting next to the lady had been listening and made a sound that meant he agreed.

He then told Charles, —Yeah, sometimes we say we get wasted or we get light. Wasted’s a little more for drinking, though. Most people just say high, when in doubt.

Another lady nearby complained, —Don’t teach him that stuff! Poor guy. He was so innocent until you told him all that junk.

The lady next to Charles turned to the complainer and told her, —Shut up, yo. Or do you want to fade?

She got quiet and turned away. The lady next to Charles laughed and bumped her friend to laugh together.

She told Charles, —Don’t worry, I wasn’t really gonna fade. It was just a threat.

Charles asked her, —A fade is a hair style, right? Or were you talking about smoking?

She said “No” and, —By fade, I mean … and she moved her arms around like she was punching someone invisible. —I wasn’t gonna fight her, you know?

Fade can mean fight, then? Charles asked.

Yeah. And if you catch a fade, you end up fighting someone. Or worse, they try to fight you.

Sounds like a heavy hand tapping on the microphone bumbled from the stage once more.

And without further ado, here is your concert! the woman on stage announced. And several people sitting in the grass simultaneously sighed Finally!

Charles looked over and whispered at the pair he’d been talking to.

I’m glad she stopped telling us not to get high, or she was gonna catch a fade from somebody in this crowd.

The three laughed at his comment and invited him to stand up and dance. The sun had gone down, the big lights were turned on. Everyone started to vibrate as the first pounding beats rolled out from the massive speakers.