This is an all ears English podcast, episode 14 86, mini fridge, mini golf minivan, how to talk about small things in English.
Welcome to the All Ears English podcast downloaded more than 150 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 U. S a and to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to all ears. English dot com forward slash subscribe.
In today's episode, we show you five English words that begin with Minnie, what do they mean? How can you use them? Plus, get to hit pop culture suggestions to have better conversations in English.
Hey, Lindsay, how are you doing?
Awesome. Michelle, how are you doing? I'm good. I'm good. I feel I feel very well. I feel full. But I could have had a couple, so I actually had a mini bagel this morning. Do you ever have mini bagels?
Not really. Did you buy it from the grocery store or is there some kind of bagel shop that you like to go to?
No, this is just from the from the bagel, you know, from the pickle. This is from the grocery store. Yeah. Mini bagel. Bagel. Yeah, exactly. But have you seen many bagels.
Yeah, I guess so. I think I have what is so great about them, just because they're bite size, their bite size, they're good for a snack sometimes.
I don't want the whole bagel also.
Yeah. Bagels could be heavy for sure. Yes. Yes, yes. For sure. So they're good. So I had a mini bagel this morning and was so good. So yeah I am a big bagel fan. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean what is so. Yeah. A mini bagel. So I had many many, I mean what I like, I like things, I like many things. Not Mickey Mouse Rice, not Mickey Mouse but but it's with as a mini it's miniature.
Miniature. Right. The miniature thing. So for example, one thing that is the best is around Halloween when you get the little mini Snickers bar, little mini mini Reese's cups that come in the the gold thing wrapper, you know what I mean. Those.
Yes, yes, yes, yes. A lot of many things on Halloween for me, I end up just eating more.
Right. So I should have just had the full, you know, candy bar really. That's what happens a lot with that kind of stuff.
As you know, you think, oh, just getting the little ones. Yeah, exactly. It's the best. But yeah, money is good. Yeah, money is good. So guys, today we were actually going to be talking about Mini and the many used in different words.
And yes, it is, you know it is short for it's a mini way of saying miniature. Yeah. Think of miniature also like minimize. Right. Right. Just getting something smaller and like not Minnie Mouse.
We're going to show you guys today how kind of prominent this is in our language, in the English language and American culture. It's everywhere. We're going to give you lots of good examples.
So definitely. Definitely. So before we get into that, though, we want to talk to our listeners in China who are on WeChat because your English is on WeChat, right, Lindsay? Absolutely.
Guys, we have been on WeChat for the last couple of months. Make sure you go over if you are in China and you do hang out on WeChat, make sure you go over and find the account called All Ears English official. That is us. And you're getting updates on a regular basis on our episodes. OK, so you definitely want to be over there, hang out with all ears English listeners, because in English Listener is a special kind of English learner, right, Michelle?
What are the verdure? We love our listeners. Yeah. I mean, I would say our listeners really value connection because we value that. Right. It's connection, not perfection. That's the key.
I think that's like why our listeners are drawn to us and why we are drawn to our listeners because of that basic it's this mutual understanding of this, you know, core philosophy with language learner.
Oh, I just miss our live events. Yes. Our live events, getting the chance to meet our listeners. You know, we had live events in New York, Boston, Japan. So cool to meet our listeners who enjoy all English and believe in connection, not perfection. Hopefully we'll be able to do those again in the future.
I hope so. I hope so. It was all let's stay positive. OK? All right.
Let's talk about many, many. OK, so the first one I was thinking of was a mini fridge. And this makes me miss being at a hotel, actually.
What what's the mini what's a.
Well, actually that's a fridge. But what is a mini fridge. Did you have one of these in college. Yeah, everyone did. Right.
It's so standard. The typical American college experience. Right. Like people just have mini fridges in their dorm.
You may have your own to a really small one, or maybe you share a mini fridge with your roommate.
But yeah, when I think of hotels, I think of the mini bar. The mini bar.
That's another one. Yes. We'll skip to that one as well. We'll just do that one next and said, yeah, but yeah, I remember I shared a mini fridge with my roommate.
I remember it was kind of used as our night stand, like in between. Yeah. And that was the fridge. And like everybody has a mini fridge, everybody. Yeah.
I mean it's interesting because I think for a lot of our listeners, it's not typical to live on campus. When you go to college, you may live at home or may not just live where you go to school. So it's a very unique experience that we have here. So I think we should talk about this more, Michel. Yeah.
Yeah. Another day. Yeah. We should really talk more about our college experiences. We should. It's really unique, so anyways, mini fridge, mini bar, Michel, when you go to a hotel, do you ever use the minibar? And in a very emergency situation where which doesn't really happen. Why, Lindsay, what about you? I mean, why do people try to avoid it?
They're usually super overpriced. Yes, they're just really expensive. You may pay for a candy bar or something. You might pay five dollars instead of a dollar. Fifty is what it's worth. Right. I have had to resort to room service for breakfast a few times when I go to these conferences, because these hotels that host conferences, they get so crowded that you end up standing in line for breakfast at the Starbucks downstairs for too long. You miss your sessions, right?
So having to resort in emergency situations to a kind of a room service, maybe a mini bar is a last resort, though, right?
I would Resor. I love that expression. What does that mean? It's a good expression. Yeah. It's the absolute last thing you'll do if you are starving and you're not going to have a chance to go to anywhere else to get food. Maybe you're at a conference. You got to go to the first session.
You're going to go for that mini bar for sure. Definitely. OK, so another one is a mini golf. Yes.
OK, so this is fun. I just watched a funny movie over the weekend. It was one of those rom coms. Geez, I don't even remember the name, but one of the first dates that they went on was mini golf. Mini golf. Very typical first date activity.
Yeah. In the U.S.. Yeah.
So this is short for miniature golf. And I was thinking this is really the only one on this list where you actually might use the word miniature. Like you wouldn't say you want to say mini fridge or miniature dry like that would be so weird.
Guys, this is an example of how we've shortened something, but you cannot lengthen it again except for in this case. Right. So sometimes people also say miniature golf. So, yeah, it's this is a super fun thing to do with your family or on a date and all the you know, you're hitting. I'm terrible at this stuff, but you're hitting the the balls until, like, fun things with water and it goes around and around and lots of different things.
Did you play mini golf a lot? Oh yeah.
We used to go all the time. I grew up in New Hampshire, the most boring town in the universe. We were two hours from the beach, two hours from Boston. You couldn't get anywhere. We're isolated.
So we went mini golfing all the time. Yeah, yeah. It's definitely a fun thing to do, like kind of in your kid and teenage years. But I haven't been in a very long time.
But I have a feeling that I'll be up for some mini golf soon. Michel Throwback here.
I have a throwback for you. You know what this episode makes me think of? What, honey? I shrunk the kids.
Oh, my gosh, honey, I shrunk the kids. Yes, I loved that movie. Oh, it's so good, guys. It's a throwback to the night I knew.
You're going to love that, Michelle. To the nineteen eighties good movie where the guy is like a scientist and somehow he's coming up with some kind of process. Then he shrinks his children to the size of like one tenth of a blade of grass. And they're out in the yard. In a jungle. Yes, yes.
Yes, exactly. So oh my gosh. Are they making another one? There's like that the actor Rick Moranis is in the news a lot. Is he? I don't know. I don't know anything about him, but it really was. I don't think they should make a new one if they're going to. I think they need to stick with what's good, the original and just. Well, you know, it's fun watching old movies that were made in the 80s, I think.
Oh, yeah. Oh, my gosh. Don't even get me started. Oh, I love that stuff. So, yes, that's a good way to use many as well.
His kids, he made his kids like a miniature right there.
Like a giraffe. Yeah. Yeah, another one minivan. Yeah.
OK, so you definitely would never say miniature van otherwise it would sound like a toy vet or something. Right. Right. But you would say minivan. So I just want to reemphasize that guys, even though many destined for miniature, except for in the case of I guess, mini golf, we cannot we cannot say miniature van. You cannot say miniature. But I just wanna say that again for our listeners. Yeah, I think that's very important.
Yeah. So a minivan.
So a minivan is a smaller van, but it's not like when I think of many, I think of like really much smaller.
So minivan is kind of funny because minivan is still big. Yeah, for sure.
I remember the day we got a minivan and I don't know how my parents were feeling. They must have been feeling a real sense of like, oh God, I've my life is over and love again.
And but I was psyched. Like we got the shiny Dodge Grand Caravan and like nineteen ninety one. And it was great because you had like a way back and a middle back and it was.
Oh yeah, yes. We had the station wagon, we didn't have we never had a van or a mini van but we had a station wagon and in the back and the way, way back you could set you were facing backwards. And it was that was the best in a sense.
That was kind of like the original minivan from the 70s. Right. I think minivans came along more in the eighties and nineties, but the original minivan was kind of the station wagon, if you want to go.
Back to the 70s, you know, we had a green one, and I remember when my mom like I guess we were going to trade it in for another car and I still I mean, my mom would remember it, too, if I asked her, I'm sure of it, because she dropped me off somewhere and then she was going to give them the car.
And I remember we were crying like, oh, yeah, it's funny how you got attached to cars because they really symbolize a certain period in your life. Like sometimes it's not the actual car. It's kind of, you know, because you have a car. I mean, a car is kind of like a pet and in it. And this weird way, not an important it is to you, but in the length of time you have, you have it for.
Yeah, I know what you mean. It kind of symbolizes well it's familiar. Anything that's kind of familiar. Right. And symbolizes more than it symbolizes time with your family. Right. So that's kind of what it's about.
You know, I remember going shopping in our minivan and all these family vacations, road trips. I mean, another movie recommendation for our listeners, of course, could be what does that Christmas Griswold's when they're in the show.
Oh, my God, Lindsay. Family Christmas. Yeah, well, I mean, yeah, Christmas vacation. OK, all of the National Lampoon's Christmas, a National Lampoon's Vacation with Chevy Chase. Those are some of my favorites of all time classics.
And guys, if you're talking with native speakers who are our age, are a little older, maybe even they're going to reference these at times. Possibly.
So you do want to watch these movies. I mean, these are great.
Yeah. Yeah. And then you develop things in your family. Were you like reference these movies with your and your family all the time? Like we have one thing with my dad. Do you remember in those movies where he can never find his son Russ and he's always standing right behind him and he'll he'll be like Russ?
And we always joke about that because somehow my dad always does what you guys did.
You hear that? We have a wee chat page now. Yes. If you want to enjoy all your English materials on WeChat, you can find us at all. Is English official. See you over there.
Yeah, I mean, there's also the phrase good talk, good talk, right? Yeah, that is a reference. So for the longest time, a friend of mine was using that reference that I didn't know. It was a reference to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. But she would say it all the time. You're like, that's kind of a weird thing to say all the time. But she was making a reference. Guys, if you can get these references, you can come back to that person with a reference of your own from the movie.
And it's just you connect on a deeper level.
Yeah, my family says good talk to like they do. Yeah. Oh, good. I think he's like, good talk, son. So sometimes it's like good talk son. Yeah. Oh so good. We will do another episode.
You're me. I'm smiling. It got to about this one is on YouTube. My my smile is so big and goofy right now because I'm like you get so excited when you talk about like one of these movies with somebody that you don't normally like chat about it with. And you're like, oh. You know, and you're also a nostalgic person, too, and so am I. You know what I mean? And so but guys, you can do this in your conversations, right?
We're modeling what we want you to be able to do. Right. With native speakers. You want to put a smile on their face and then have that level of connection.
So that's why the photos are so important. Yes. Yes. OK, what else do one more, because I think that's a fun one.
So this is a mini skirt, OK. I would not say miniature skirt. No, never. So a mini skirt, guys, is a very short skirt.
And what it makes me think of is schools and dress codes.
Did your school have a dress code, Lindsay? Hajjis. They probably did, but I never wanted to wear a mini skirt anyways, so I never, like, ran up against it, you know, so I didn't really know what it was.
But yeah, these are just very short skirts the girls might wear in school, like high school or college or something. Yeah. So what's the fingertip roll? What about the fingertip rule.
That's what it makes me think of, is this was for shorts or skirts and this is kind of controversial thing.
Now I think about like this school dress codes I've heard.
I don't know if you've heard this, Lindsey, but yeah, the thing what we had back in the day was if your fingertips like to show, if you could wear something, a short skirt or whatever, and you had to put your fingertips down and if, like your middle finger, your longest finger was the low wear your shorts were, then it was too short.
OK, so, yeah.
And this kind of like, you know, this is always like this annoying thing because sometimes the shorts, not so much the skirts for me, but sometimes the shorts are just a just a little shorter at that time. So yeah, I remember that was a big thing. The fingertip rule.
Interesting. I know a lot of things have changed with the times. Like we're so much more politically correct now, you know what I mean? And it's true. I mean, yeah. So that's another topic.
That is another day. Like actually we're a big topic. Yeah. Oh okay. Yeah. So that's Manesar. So guys, you see that the word mini is used a lot. Sometimes it's okay to make it miniature, but really probably not that frequently because in all these examples I only found one miniature golf where people can say both.
And let's see what are before we go, what are some other ways to kind of express something being on the smaller side?
Well, sometimes you can use toy before the noun as an adjective. So, for example, like a toy poodle or a toy.
Yeah, I'm trying to think of other examples.
I'm trying to think of other examples, too. And that's like the main I feel like I'm more like toy car like.
Yeah, but that's good guess. Old toy. Yeah.
You know, I wouldn't be like a small car, an actual that kids play Boyka or something or a bottle.
So models model car. I mean again adults and kids collect these model airplane. Right.
The right model airplane model rocket. Right. So and that's not always about it being. Well yeah. I guess it was always about it being miniature but yeah. You don't have an actual giant rockets and that you're calling a model rocket. So yeah it is about it being small, like something that you make usually a model. Something.
And of course there's baby right. Like baby teeth. Right baby.
Like sometimes you might say like now I'm trying to think of an example but I.
Yeah, well you see I feel like certain people will use these like have you ever seen Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that show. Oh I'll hear what's his name.
Jonathan and Jonathan. Say that as a cute way to like your little baby teeth. They're not baby teeth. We're going to fix your little baby teeth. They're going to go to the dentist, get you veneers, right? Oh, my gosh. Yes, he's gonna do that now.
So that's he's doing that as a part of his personality because he's kind of he exaggerates and he talks with the hands.
He's a really he's such a sweet guy. I love you. Yes. Oh, my gosh. Me too. And he has a podcast of his own, too, by the way.
I read his book, actually. Yeah. So how cool.
Well, maybe we should do another episode on on him, but we'll try and get him on the show podcast. His name is Jonathan Van Ness. He's great. So anyways, I've seen I've seen that kind of thing. Right. So people within their own personality, they may use baby to describe a noun in a way that they're trying to connect with someone and be really endearing with them.
Oh, yes, that is a very good point. So, guys, not all of these can be used. It's not that you can just take any of these and stick them with one of the words. And, you know, it's not like it's not one size fits all right. You you can't say like model golf or baby golf or you want to say that. So really stick to the ones we told you. But these are some other ones you might hear as well that you could be like, oh, that's probably a smaller version.
Exactly. Guys, remember, before we finish up today, what I remind you, if you're in China, go over, find us on WeChat, all ears, English official. OK, so Michelle, what should we leave our. Listeners with today, I mean, what do we want them to remember? Yeah, well, guys, today we I mean, many things that came up in today's episode. Well, first of all, the word mini, right.
So with vocabulary words. And we had a discussion and that really led us into this whole other talk about nostalgia and references. And just to remind you guys how important those things are for connection. So, you know, we talk about good talk, talk, sign or good talk, Ross, or different things that, you know, we were talking about. Honey, I shrunk the kids. Lots of things that this led us to.
So we want to remind you that you really want to be taking in not only vocabulary, but also culture so that you can learn references so that you can make somebody smile and have that connection with you.
Yeah. So definitely write down the movie references and the show references from today. Go watch all of them, guys, because that's the stuff of conversation, right? For many people, that is what people talk about and you want to be to participate and build that connection. That's what we want for you guys. OK.
Absolutely. Oh, my God. This was so much fun. I am going to go and watch some vacation movies now. I might one of my favorites. I love the Vegas vacation.
Oh, good stuff. Good stuff. We'll talk about it another day. Another episode. OK, I could go on. All right. Bye, guys. Take care. Bye bye.
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