All Ears English Podcast - 1906: Create Your Own Playful Adjectives in English

This is an All Ears English podcast, episode 1906.

Create your own playful adjectives in English.

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

Are you feeling stuck with your English? We’ll show you how to become fearless and fluent by

focusing on connection, not perfection. With your American hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the English

adventurer, and Michelle Kaplan, the New York radio girl, coming to you from Colorado and New

York City, USA. And to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to

forward slash subscribe. Did you know that native speakers invent their own adjectives when they

want to be a little fun and less direct? Today, find out exactly how to do this in English and

when you should use it and when to avoid it. Hey, Michelle, what’s shaking? Hey, Lindsay,

not too much. How are you? I’m feeling great. I’m feeling great. What are we talking about today

for listeners? Well, this is going to be a fun one. So recently we did an episode where we were

talking about the expression your neck of the woods. I believe it was 1900. Guys, go listen

to that one. Yes. And you said, I think it was because we were talking about, like, if you say

I’m where you live or like, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right. You were

talking about, oh, I’m going to be in your neighborhood. And I said, that sounds a little

stalkery. Stalkery. Yeah. And then you were saying, and rightfully so, that that would be

great for a future episode. So I wanted to just snatch it up right away, because why wait?

Oh, this is great. This is so native and natural. And I have a feeling

our listeners have never learned this. This is not going to be taught in any textbook,

guys. So listen in today. This is good stuff. Absolutely. So, I mean, what does that mean to

say something sounds stalkery? Yeah. So what we’re doing here is we’re taking the word

and then we’re adding Y, which sounds like E. Right. So we’re saying stalkery. If you guys

have the transcripts on the iOS or Android app, you’ll see this. It means something is

like a stalker or someone is like a stalker. Stalkery. What is a stalker?

A stalker is, yeah, someone who, well, often men following women, to be honest,

it’s usually how it happens. Just someone who crosses boundaries and in a creepy way,

in a way that feels like dangerous to the woman, follows her and keeps an eye on her.

And sometimes she has to get a restraining order in that case. Right. That kind of thing.

Right. Sometimes it happens. There’s celebrity stalkers. Oh, yeah. Right. So that could be,

that might be, yeah, not a gender specific. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it’s not always meant to

women or meant to men. It’s just, yeah, if someone’s like, it’s like usually obsessive.

Obsessive. Yeah. And I mean, it’s, you know, sometimes we could do a whole episode on this.

But like, sometimes we use it like more as a joke. And sometimes it’s serious.

It kind of makes me think a little bit of those, you know, those tours you take in Hollywood,

like the Hollywood Hills tours. I feel a little weird sometimes. I’ve been on that tour once or

twice because you’re literally in a van. Luckily, you’re visiting like 25 different Hollywood

stars homes. So it’s not just one person, which would be weird. But you’re in a van sitting out

there looking at the front of their house. It’s weird and strange, you know?

Right. It’s true. It’s true. Anyway, but yeah, you could have just said, oh, that sounds

like a stalker or that sounds like something like a stalker, like a stalker would say. Right. But

you said stalkery. So why didn’t you just say like, oh, that sounds like a stalker, right?

Oh, because it’s more fun. It’s fun. What we’re, we’re using art. We’re creating art here with our

language, guys. You know, we are, we’re inventing a word. I mean, this is a word. I’ve heard people

say it. But in that instance, I kind of invented it. Right. A little bit. Yeah. Right. Having fun

with language. Right. Exactly. Exactly. So this is just a very common way to express yourself

with some personality. And Lindsay, like you said, it’s an art. I mean, I mean, so but what

does it convey if you do that? It conveys that I’m not afraid to break the rules. Right. Because

this is not really something you’re going to find in a grammar textbook as a rule, guys.

Right. This is not like conventional English grammar. This is slang, urban dictionary type

stuff, I guess. It conveys that I’m just I’ve got a great noun. And instead of finding an adjective,

a totally different word, I’m going to put a Y at the end because I want to use that noun

to describe to make it an adjective. Right. Right. Right. Yeah. I like it. Yeah. That’s

kind of what I’m doing. Yeah. And it’s fun. Like like it. It made me laugh, I think, in the episode.

Right. Like it kind of it was kind of humorous that you said stalkery. Yeah, it’s fun. So I

think it’s fun because it’s spontaneous. Like that’s that couldn’t have been in really a script.

It was something personal to me that I came up with. Right. That’s fun. Right. Yeah. I love that.

OK, so guys, so the format is noun plus Y. Right. So. Yeah. Yeah. E. E. Stalker E. And

be careful because if you’re seeing this in writing, you might think it’s stalkery

because often the I the Y is put. Right. Isn’t it? Yeah. Sometimes it could be. But it’s E. So

just be careful there, guys. Right. Right. Right. Right. So really. So it really kind of changes

it to an adjective, really. Yeah. So, yeah, we’re going to talk more about this today.

We’re more of like this, like the idea of like a person or a thing into an adjective.

So let’s let’s do nouns into adjectives now with E. So let’s do some examples.

OK, here we go. Oh, wow. Look at you. You’re so parenty. So responsible.

Right. So you’re just like being funny there. Parenty. Right.

Yeah. And again, it’s not it’s fun because maybe you and I are like meeting for lunch and you have

your two kids and all the stroller, all the things that you have as a mom, you know now. Right. And

there’s no better word in that moment than just you’re so parenty. Right. Right. It’s fine. Like

I’m just embracing you and just putting a word on it. Right. Yeah. Right. It’s fun. It’s fun.

Here’s another one. She gives off very teachery vibes. So I’m not surprised she’s a teacher.

There really are people like this, especially for teachers that teach younger kids. There’s

a certain tone of voice that I’m often like, oh, I’m not surprised that person’s a teacher.

Right. They just have a certain nature to them. Playful, sweet. Yeah. Yeah.

Right. Right. Right. Exactly. All right. What’s another one? Let’s see.

OK. It was a good show. It was kind of high school music musically. Right. So I’m saying

let me say that again. It was a good show. It was kind of high school musically. Interesting.

That one. Wow. Musically. Again, spontaneous. You can put this on the end of any now.

Literally. There’s no rules here. Right. Right. Yeah. So.

Yeah. So it’s just like there it’s like saying maybe, oh, like it was good, but maybe it was

like maybe like I mean, high school musicals can be very good. OK. I didn’t know if you

were referring to a particular the actual. Oh, yeah. Then there’s high school. Yes,

there is high school musical. Right. OK. OK. Good. I don’t know. Well, either one.

That could work, too. Right. So if I was saying this seemed like that movie,

like it reminded me of that movie, I could say it was very high school musically. Right. Right.

Right. That’s tough to say. Yeah, I brought that. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to say. Yeah.

So, yeah, I mean, so. Right. We talked about parenting and then teachery, you know,

so we kind of went through these. Sometimes we use this to clue at something else,

but not exactly say it to hint at something else. That’s what I should say.

Right. Like, oh, like, you know, oh, it’s very high school musically. Right. Like,

maybe you have this and maybe you have this feeling like that. I mean, it’s funny. I shouldn’t

like I was in high school musical. So but like, you know, just I don’t know, maybe that’s a way

to say it’s like very maybe a little amateur, you know, like something like that. I feel bad

insulting high school music. Yeah. No, no. Like, for example, I’m thinking like I’m thinking about

banana bread because I bought this great loaf of bread at Whole Foods last week. It’s so good.

It’s got dates and nuts in it. But maybe someone you caught someone invite you to their house.

They’re so excited. They made their signature banana bread. But let’s say, you know, they put

too many bananas in their banana bread and you go, oh, it’s good. It’s really banana. Right.

That’s a perfect example. That’s a perfect example. Right. So, you know, it doesn’t mean

you’re trying to offend them or even tell them that there’s too many bananas. You’re just saying

there’s a lot of bananas in here and maybe they’re trying to do it that way. I mean, that’s me, but

right. Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah. All right. I love it. So what else, Michelle? This is fun.

This is so fun. I mean, you can also say like something is like alcoholy. Right. Like I like

to I mean, to be honest, I don’t love the taste of alcohol. Right. So I might say like if I’m

ordering a drink, I might I mean, and I have in the past said something like, oh, does it taste

very like alcoholy? Like, yeah. Yeah. That would be a common one that I’m sure bartenders get a lot.

Right. Don’t you think? Right. I would think. Right. Like it’s just like more fun, kind of

cutesy than saying like, oh, does it have a strong alcohol taste? Right. Like what’s the alcohol

content or what? Yeah. Right. I’ve run into that. Alcoholy. Yeah. I wonder if there would

ever be a time, Michelle, that it would sound weird to add E. I mean, I think the musically

was hard to say. I would say that like the high school musical. Yeah. Yeah. So even though that

was my example. Sorry. But like I but it’s true. It wasn’t hard to say. I think sometimes sometimes

if you have like a word that already ends with E, it might be a little awkward. Oh, gosh. Like,

oh, like, oh, he’s very attorney. Like that’s right. Right. Or like she’s a secret. He’s he’s

very secretary. Even though I have heard people do this and I’ve done it, it’s just hard to say

you have to make sure the person knows exactly what you’re saying and what you’re going for.

Right. Right. I would agree with that. Yeah. Yeah. So. All right. Well, let’s do a role play with

with with another one. All right. Here we go. Well, here we’re talking about people that we

met at a party. So here we go. Oh, Pete was really nice. Really? I thought he was a little

librarian. What’s that supposed to mean? I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe a little dry.

Well, my mom is a librarian. Oh, my gosh. I’m so sorry.

But librarians are cool now, right? It’s cool. It’s kind of nerdy. Nerds are cool. I mean,

Michelle, things have changed. Exactly. Exactly. So I shouldn’t make fun of that.

So you said I said Pete was really nice and you said, really? I thought he was a little librarian.

Right. Librarian. Yeah. Right. So I’m hinting here like like I didn’t want to say what I

thought, but then you went for it because you’re like, well, what do you mean? Like,

yeah. So I was kind of then like, oh, I don’t know. Like I was hoping you would like you did

understand what I was saying. But and that’s why you kind of got a little defensive. Right?

Yeah, exactly. I mean, and what you’re doing is you’re kind of trying to mask what you

really think, which is maybe you think he’s kind of boring or like kind of quiet or just

not dynamic or something. Right. So you’re kind of using this E word to have fun and

describe something that you don’t want to say directly. Exactly. I’m hinting at something,

but you picked right up on it and you did not like it. I’m pretty quick, Michelle. You are.

And I mean, so that is like I wanted to do that example not to insult librarians. Guys,

librarians are very cool and very important. But I wanted to do that to show you that like

sometimes this can be like used to stereotype and you know, so in that kind of context,

you do want to be careful because then you can end up putting your foot in your mouth,

which what does that mean? Oh, my gosh. Yes. Do really regret what you’ve just said,

because then my mom’s a librarian. Right. It turns out. Right. So, yeah, you have to be careful

what you say and how you kind of can. Yeah. So be careful with this. Have fun with it. But just

be careful. Be careful. Right. Right. Right. Exactly. Like so here I was kind of like

offensive things to say about librarians that I believe in real life. But just for the example.

But yeah. And you caught me and I realized like, oh, no. Yeah. I’ve said that. I love it. So good.

I think this is a great episode. It’s how you guys can be creative with your language and not have to

say the straightforward words that I think as human beings, for some reason, we just don’t want

to say because they don’t help connection. Right. That’s true. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. No, this was

fun. This was a great idea, Lindsay. I’m glad that like you that you said stalkery and the other

episode. But yeah, guys, try it. Try this out. I mean, this is one to have fun with, to be playful

with. I gave you some like actual, you know, like real concrete examples that you can use. Right.

That like, you know, try try going to if you’re if you’re if you’re old enough and you are ordering

a drink and, you know, ask, oh, is it very alcoholic? Right. Like that’s totally normal.

You can definitely use. Yes. You know, and then other ones, you know, try and see how this could

this could like kind of apply to the conversations you have instead of saying, oh, does this have a

lot of alcohol in it? Right. Just like different examples of, you know, try and try and think it

over in your head of like, is there is there a moment when I could try this out? What would I do?

I love that idea. And also, now that you guys know that native speakers create this weird way of

inventing words, you’re going to hear this. And whereas before listening to today’s episode,

you may have just totally misunderstood what they were saying or just gotten lost in a little bit

distressed. Now you’re going to get it. You’re going to I know what you’re doing right. You’re

doing right. You’re making up a fun little adjective. Right. Right. Keep your ears open

for that one. And, you know, also, I’m I’m really curious, you know, let us know. Are there you know,

is there something similar in your first language or another language that you speak

or this kind of these playful things kind of happen where you hint at something by making

up a word? Right. As I’m having a lot of fun right now, Michelle, prepping for my trip to Argentina.

We are recording this in advance, but I’m going to Argentina in a week and a half and I’m learning

the Argentine slang. Right. It is so fun. And just the rhythm, the tone of voice,

the accent is so unique and beautiful. I’m super excited. So I’ll come back with some

stories for sure. That’s great. Can’t wait. All right, Lindsay. Well, thanks for this idea.

All right. Thanks for hanging out, Michelle. I’ll talk to you very soon. Have a good one.

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