Ted plans to become a successful musician.First, he needs Susan to loan him money for a new guitar. Susan suggests that Ted bake cookies to earn the money.
Susan: You’re in good spirits today, Ted.
Ted: I’ve got great news, Mom.
Susan: What is it?
Ted: Amber and I are going to start a rock band!
Susan: Good for you!
Ted: Mom, I’m not going to beat around the bush. I need to borrow $1,000 for a new guitar.
Susan: Ted, your father and I can’t shell out that much. We aren’t made of money.
Ted: You’re not? I thought you were millionaires, like Donald and Ivana Trump!*
Susan: Ha ha. This is no time to be a wise guy! Ted: I promise I’ll pay you back.
Ted: We’re going to take the music world by storm and make lots of money.
Susan: That sounds like a pipe dream. Aren’t high school rock bands a dime a dozen?
Ted: Yeah, but we’re different. With my guitar playing and Amber’s beautiful voice, we’re sure to make a splash!
Susan: Well, we’re going through hard times. You’re going to have to work for that $1,000.
Susan: You can bake cookies.
Ted: I bet Mrs. Clapton never made Eric** bake cookies, but I guess those are the breaks.
* Donald Trump is a famous American millionaire who made his money in real estate. Ivana is his ex-wife.
(to) beat around the bush – to talk around the subject; to avoid getting to the point
EXAMPLE 1: Kara beat around the bush for an hour, then finally told us she needed a ride to Kennedy Airport.
EXAMPLE 2: If you want something, tell me. Don’t beat around the bush!
dime a dozen – so plentiful as to be nothing special; common
EXAMPLE 1: Reality TV shows are a dime a dozen these days.
EXAMPLE 2: There are so many Starbucks coffee shops in Manhattan, they’re a dime a dozen.
NOTE: This expression comes from the fact that a “dime” is worth only ten cents (very little value).
Good for you! – Good job! Well done!
EXAMPLE 1: You won $100,000 on the TV game show Jeopardy? Good for you!
EXAMPLE 2: You passed your math test? Good for you!
hard times – a time of difficulty
EXAMPLE 1: Since his wife left him for her dentist, Dan has been going through hard times.
EXAMPLE 2: Nancy’s family is going through hard times. Her father just lost his job.
(to be) in good spirits – happy; in a good mood
EXAMPLE 1: After she won the tennis tournament, Elizabeth was in good spirits.
EXAMPLE 2: Sam was in good spirits after receiving his Christmas bonus.
made of money – very rich
EXAMPLE 1: My neighbor is re-modeling his house to look like Versailles. He doesn’t have good taste, but he certainly is made of money.
EXAMPLE 2: Max should be willing to loan you $10,000 to start your new business. He’s made of money.
SYNONYMS: loaded; rolling in dough; to have money to burn
(to) make a splash – to win popularity quickly
EXAMPLE 1: Nicole’s beautiful cousin Cecilia from Santo Domingo really made a splash at the high school dance.
EXAMPLE 2: Those new jeans really made a splash. All the kids are wearing them.
SYNONYM: to be a hit
(to) pay (someone) back – to repay a loan or debt
EXAMPLE 1: Nicole paid her friend back the $10 she borrowed.
EXAMPLE 2: You can borrow $50, but don’t forget to pay me back!
NOTE: “Pay back” also means to “get revenge.” Example: I know you’re
the one who stole my car, and one day I’ll think of a way to pay you back!
pipe dream – an unrealistic hope
EXAMPLE 1: Susan would like to move to New Zealand and write romance novels, but she knows that’s just a pipe dream.
EXAMPLE 2: You want to become a famous actor on Broadway? That sounds like a pipe dream.
(to) shell out – to pay (often more than one would like)
EXAMPLE 1: Bob shelled out $5,000 for Nicole’s piano lessons before she decided she’d rather play the flute.
EXAMPLE 2: How much am I going to have to shell out to get two tickets to the Rolling Stones concert?
(to) take (something) by storm – to win popularity quickly
EXAMPLE 1: The play “The Producers” really took New York by storm.
EXAMPLE 2: That new restaurant really took Chicago by storm!
(that’s or those are) the breaks – when something bad happens and you can’t do anything about it
EXAMPLE 1: By the time we got to the theater, the new Harry Potter movie was already sold out. Oh well, that’s the breaks!
EXAMPLE 2: Your glasses fell on a rock and broke while you were fishing? Those are the breaks!
wise guy [slang] – a smart aleck; one who makes a lot of sarcastic comments
EXAMPLE 1: When Mrs. Lee asked Joey what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said, “An adult.” She told him not to be such a wise guy.
EXAMPLE 2: That clerk in the video store is a real wise guy. He’s always making nasty comments about the customers.
SYNONYMS: wise ass [rude], smart ass [rude]