All Ears English Podcast - 1910: This Episode is Fan-freaking-tastic!

This is an All Ears English podcast, episode 1910.

This episode is fan-freaking-tastic.

Welcome to the All Ears English podcast, downloaded more than 200 million times.

Are you feeling stuck with your English?

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Can you be creative with your English?

Today you’ll learn about infixation and why it’s popular in English.

We’ll teach you slang you can use to be playful and sarcastic so that you can build the connections

in English that you want.

Listen in today.

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Hey, Aubrey.

How’s it going today?

Hi, Lindsay.

I am great.

How are you?


I have a question for you.


One of my favorite restaurant bakery is called Le Pain Quotidien.

It’s in like big cities and in Europe.

Have you ever been to that bakery restaurant?


Of course.


It’s good stuff.


I love it.

I think it’s fan-freaking-tastic.

It’s one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, it’s not here in Phoenix, so I can only go when I go to L.A.


Oh, my God.


I think at least 90% of our listeners have no idea what you just said, Aubrey.

So we are ready to get into this today.

Yes, right.

You may have heard that word or a similar word on TV or friends maybe have used it,

but maybe not.

And so we want to share a little bit of fun slang that came up because of a listener question.

And this is also why I asked you about that particular restaurant.

The name of it is Le Pain Quotidien, which means daily bread in French.

That word quotidien means daily.

And this listener is from France, I believe, or is at least French-speaking and uses that

word in the question.

So I’ll go ahead and read this question, and then we’ll dive into this very interesting


All right.

Go for it.

All right.

This question is from Maro.

Bonjour, Lindsay, Michelle, Aubrey, Jessica.

Listening to you guys has already become a part of my quotidien life.

So in English, daily life.

If I don’t listen to an episode, it’s like something is missing.

I love that.

Love that.


Could you talk about a phenomenon that I’ve observed just in English?

It’s the insertion of a word inside another, like ah-freaking-some.

I think it’s peculiar and amazing, like verlain that exists only in French.


And this was in an Android review for the Android app.

So thank you, Maro, for reviewing us on Android.

We love that.

Yeah, guys.

If you don’t know that we have an app, go and check out our app,

slash app, Android and iOS versions, where you can go deeper with every episode and get

transcripts right in your phone for every episode.

That’s so funny.

I find it hard to believe, Aubrey, that this is only happening, it only happens in English.

I don’t know.

I would imagine other languages do it.

I mentioned verlain, which in French, they’ll invert.

That’s actually l’envers, which means inverted, backwards.

And this is common in French to create slang by inverting a word, and I’m sure that exists

in other language.

I would love to know, you guys.

Come to YouTube, find this video, and let us leave us a comment.

Does this exist in your language?

For sure.

For sure.

Let us know, guys.

Good stuff.

So, all right.

This is a great question.

Where are we going to start here?

Where do we start?

Let’s first define this phenomenon, which is called infixation.

We have affixation, where we’re adding different suffixes and prefixes.

Infixation is where we’re inserting part of a word in the middle of a word, in the body

of a word.

And it’s what’s called a formative element, means it actually isn’t just like a tiny nothing.

It kind of changes the meaning, or it is important, right?

It sort of changes the whole word, usually for emphasis.


I like that expression, a tiny nothing.


That’s cool.

It’s not a tiny nothing.

It’s not a tiny nothing, guys.

That’s why we’re listening today.


This is fun to say as a native speaker, and you guys can implement this into your language.

We’re going to show you how and why.

So should we have some examples here, Aubrey?


What do you think?



We want to make sure it’s clear that these, they’re non-standard slang forms, but they

do follow rules of English word building.

And I actually want to point out in Moho’s example, I have never heard anyone say, ah,

freaking some.

The ones I have heard very commonly are the ones we’re going to share today.

You certainly could say that, but I don’t feel like that’s common among native English

speakers, at least in the United States, to say, to put it in the middle of awesome.

What do you think, Lindsay?

Do you hear that?

Ah, freaking some.

I know.

I was going to say that also struck me when you were reading that as not something that

I’ve heard or would say.


My guess is he just sort of picked a word and stuck freaking in the middle.

The two that we have heard very commonly, we’re going to talk today, are in absolutely

and fantastic.

But they do follow rules.

And here’s a little interesting tidbit.

Do you watch The Simpsons, Lindsay?

I never watched The Simpsons.

I know, I know of The Simpsons.

I’ve never gotten into it though.


I don’t either.

I haven’t like watched it religiously, but every now and then I’ll see a little clip

here and there.

I do think it’s funny.

But on The Simpsons, there is a lot of this in fixation and a couple of the characters.

Flanders, Ned Flanders, he adds diddly in the middle of words.

He’ll say like scrumdiddlyumptious.

And this is becoming part of our vernacular.

I hear people say that, scrumdiddlyumptious.

That’s so funny.

What does that even mean?

What does it mean when he adds diddly?

It doesn’t really mean anything.

It maybe is adding a little bit of emphasis.

It’s just like, it just points it as something he would say, right?

It’s very much like Flanders-ism.

I like it.

I like it.

And then Homer, the, you know, the man, right?

The father, Homer Simpson.

What was his kind of thing he was famous for?

He’ll add muh in the middle of a word.

So instead of educational, he’ll say edumacational and add the syllable to a lot of different

words, right?

He might say saxamophone.


And that’s what this is, is in fixation.

So there’s kind of two ways to do this, right?

The examples we just showed you are more about personal style, right?

That’s like your own trademark.

That’s not something everyone would understand what you’re saying.

But now we’re going to show you things everyone says and understands, right, Aubrey?



If someone says scrumdiddlyumptious, they watch The Simpsons, they know other people

watch The Simpsons, and it’s sort of a nod to each other, right?

Yeah, it’s a nod, yes.

If you say, instead of scrumptious, delicious, if you say scrumdiddlyumptious, anyone who

watches The Simpsons might kind of be like, ah, mm-hmm.

That’s pretty fun to say too, scrumdiddlyumptious.

It’s fun to say.

So but now we’re going to share the ones that we hear all the time, we use all the time.

Number one is absolutely, where we add freaking, or the actual curse word that’s very similar

to that, to the middle of this word.

We say abso-freaking-lutely, or frickin’ abso-frickin’-lutely.

I love it.

On this show, guys, unfortunately, we don’t curse as a rule, as our own policy.

So you can imagine that.

You can hear it when you hear a native speaker say it.

You know what we’re talking about.

Natives say it all the time.

It’s to emphasize or for humor a lot.

I will, I don’t curse very often, but this is one of the few times I would.

I would say the actual curse word there just to be funny.

Yes, I love it.

I love it.

And what are some kind of don’t say rules, would you say, Aubrey?

I would just say the same with regular curse words.

You want to be aware of your audience, right?


If, you know, if you’re recording a podcast or if you’re in a mixed group where there

may be people who are offended by a curse word, you can say abso-frickin’-lutely, at

least in the United States, that’s not going to be offensive to anyone.

But if you use the actual curse word, there will be people who are offended by that language.


So just, yeah, like you said, Aubrey, be aware who you’re speaking to, be careful and just

choose your words intelligently.

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So let’s show our listeners how to do this in a small role play.

What do you think?

Yes, exactly.



All right.

Lindsay, go ahead and start us out.

We’re talking about going and grabbing drinks.

All right.

Hey, want to go grab a drink with me?


This is totally something I would say because you’re just emphasizing how much you want

to do that.


And I’m imagining what would be some scenarios when you might use this as opposed to just



Well, what are we feeling?

Like if you’ve had a long day at work, right?

And you really need a drink, that’s when you would say that.

Or let’s say you’ve been doing yard work, you know, or I would imagine last week I was

in Los Angeles cleaning out my aunt’s house with my brother and he and I were hauling

big bags out.

At the end, he goes, oh, it’s hot, it’s sticky, we’re exhausted, you know, want to go get

a beer?


Let’s do it.



You’re not going to say this when you’re just like, yeah, sure.

You really want to say like, absolutely.

And you add that extra syllable.


And it also kind of creates a nice connection, right?

Because if someone’s just invited you, maybe you’ve shared some kind of a difficult situation,

difficult day at work, difficult day cleaning out a house.

And it makes them feel like, yeah, you actually want to have a beer with me.

That’s cool.


Yes, absolutely.

That’s such a good feeling whenever someone emphasizes how much they want to spend time

with you.



You guys should do that.

These are joys of life, guys.

These are joys of life that we want you to have and be able to express so you have that


So don’t forget about this.

This is good stuff.

For sure.

The next expression is fantastic.

And we will insert the same word and say fan-freaking-tastic.

Here’s what’s interesting is we often use this sarcastically, but not always.

I will sometimes use it just to say how fantastic I think something is, but sometimes I’ll use

it sarcastically.

And what I mean is I do not think that is fantastic.


Yeah, that’s interesting.


So this just comes back to sarcasm in American English.


So you guys can come back to and type in sarcasm.

You’ll get a couple of our older episodes for sure.

So let’s share in a couple of role plays what this would look like.

First of all, non-sarcastic.

You know that I’ve applied for a job and so you’re just going to react when I tell you

I got it.


I’ll start.

Yeah, just standard.

I got the job.

That is fan-freaking-tastic.



I would absolutely say that.

I would hear that.

No sarcasm there.

You’re just excited I got the job.



Good stuff.

Good stuff.

So that’s standard.

That’s sarcasm.

That’s enthusiasm.

I could also obviously say that’s fantastic and I could show my excitement by doing other

things like tone of voice.




Or add another adjective.

That’s absolutely fantastic.



There’s a lot of other things we could do.

We’re just giving you another tool, guys, to show that enthusiasm.

Now the sarcastic way.


So in this one, we’re both competing to win a raffle.

Do you ever win raffles, Lindsay?

I never win.


No, not much.

Not much.


So in this one, we’re both competing and I’m going to start.


I won the raffle.

Well that’s just fan-freaking-tastic.


We have sarcasm here because you wanted to win the raffle, but I won.

So I would totally do this.

I’d be like, well, that’s fan-freaking-tastic.




It’s the right intonation.

So that is showing a whole different set of emotions, guys.

That’s showing that I’m bitter, I’m annoyed, I’m bothered by the fact that I didn’t

win and that you won.


And we’ll totally use this to be playful.

So like you probably aren’t really that mad, whatever, you don’t win a raffle, but you’re

sort of being playful about how annoyed you are that you didn’t win the raffle.


This is so native.

I do this all the time.

My friends do this all the time.

It’s such a fun, playful way to build connections.

It’s so fun.

So I imagine you don’t play the lottery very much, Aubrey.

If you never win raffles, you probably never play the lottery.


I used to buy lottery tickets myself, but every now and then like coworkers would or

neighbors would go in and buy like a whole bunch together and we never win, never, never.

Never win.

Never win.


For some reason, I think my home state has a lot of lottery winners.

I’m not sure what New Hampshire, I’m not sure what that is, why more people win the

lottery from New Hampshire, but it’s just something to note.

Someone just who lives just around the corner from us did win like mega billions lottery

not long ago.

They didn’t ever release their names, but I was like, wow.

How did you know it was someone?

It was reported in the news, the gas station they bought the ticket from.

And so maybe they didn’t live right there, but it’s not really a tourist destination.

So probably.


They live in your town.


I always wondered what that would be like, you know, what would you do first?

I know.


First you’d pay taxes, which would take a bite.

Probably you’d have to hire a lawyer and hire security and do all that stuff that no one

wants to do.



And then you’d have to take a boat and live on it for a year.

This is so fun.

Aubrey, what should we leave our listeners with today?


This in fixation.

It is a very fun and playful.

You do want to be aware of your audience when you’re adding actual curse words to these


But for pretty much any audience, you could add freaking, freaking, right?


Adjusting the curse word, but it makes you sound so native and natural to use this vocabulary,

you guys.

Yeah, guys.

You know, be fun with your word choice, guys.

Be creative.

Be fun.

Have fun speaking English.

And then other people will have fun speaking with you, right?

That’s the key.



And you want to be fun.

You want to have fun speaking English.

So glad you guys are here.

Follow if you’re not.

We have lots of fun episodes where we teach you how to be fun in English.

Yeah, guys.

Hit follow on All Ears English right now.

Good stuff.

Aubrey, I’ll see you very soon.

Have a good one.



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