Word Wonders: The language of the body Part 2

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. handcuffs / ˈhændˌkʌfs / (n) – a set of two metal rings that are locked around a person’s wrists and joined by a short chain

    The police put the suspect in handcuffs before taking him to the police car.

  2. be talked into (doing something) / bi tɔkt ˈɪn tʊ / (phrasal) – to be convinced to do something

    I was talked into paying for a two-year protection plan when I bought a new laptop.

  3. pester / ˈpɛs tər / (v) – to repeatedly bother someone

    I shut my bedroom door because my little brother kept pestering me.

  4. live with / lɪv wɪθ / (phrasal) – to accept an unpleasant or difficult event, situation, etc.

    The doctor said my leg would never fully heal, so I’ve learned to live with the pain.

  5. annoying / əˈnɔɪ ɪŋ / (adj) – causing someone to feel slightly angry or impatient

    This video has so many ads; it’s really annoying.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

Often when a police officer arrests someone they twist the arms of the person behind their back to put handcuffs on. In English, we use the phrase “twist someone’s arm” to mean when someone is talked into doing something they don’t want to do. Imagine you and your partner want to have dinner out. You want to go to your favorite Chinese restaurant, but your partner pesters you until you agree to go to an Italian restaurant instead. Later, you complain to a friend: “I wanted to go out for Chinese but my partner twisted my arm and we went out for Italian.”

A “pain in the neck” can hurt a lot and be very difficult to live with; you just want it to go away. In the same way, a person who is a “pain in the neck” is very annoying and hard to get rid of. You might complain to a colleague about someone in the office who doesn’t leave you alone to do your work. She agrees, “Yes, that guy is always being a pain in the neck.”

The cheeks are the fleshy part of the face or buttocks. A “cheeky” person is often bold or rude to others, especially to people who are more senior. It doesn’t have to have a bad meaning, though. Some people who are cheeky are just being playful, like children are. If your younger teenage brother makes fun of you, you might not get angry, but you will warn him: “Don’t be cheeky!” (Rob Horn)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • In your opinion, what’s the best way to deal with a colleague who’s a pain in the neck (ex. ignore him/her, complain to one’s boss)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think most people realize when they’re being a pain in the neck to others? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think it’s ever okay to twist someone’s arm? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it ever okay to be cheeky to your boss or other senior people? Why or why not? Discuss.