Top Language: Dont break them!

Top Language


The EASI NETWORK, our TEFL teaching Group, is connected via a private Facebook Group. One of the trainers, who will remain nameless, posted the following message about a week ago.

 Does anybody actually say ‘don’t break my balls’ in English or is it just a funny translation from Italian.  I’ve been here so long, I don’t know.  My production boys want to know :)))’

This was such an important question that a slew of replies soon followed:-)))

The expression means that you are bothering someone or that you are causing them trouble.

The Scottish and British trainers confirm that it is not a BE expression and one actually said that her relatives think she is a weirdo when she uses it.

The American, Canadian and Irish ladies confirm that it is commonly used in the States.

I figure it has to be an Italian expression that was adapted to American English post war or something like that.

Here are a few variations:

  • Don’t break my balls! (related to testicles)
  • Don’t bust my chops!
  • He is a ball buster.

Be careful when you use it because it does have a South-of-the-border allusion!

In Italian, one would say:

  • Non mi rompere le scatole/palle.
  • Non scocciare.


p.s. Apologies for the crude language above but it seemed like an interesting colloquial expression to share. I hope it has not offended anyone.




What’s your take on Bang With Friends?


Listen to the podcast while reading the post.

A girlfriend of mine shared a post on Facebook last night. Her post read “Brilliant!”. She had just posted an article about a new Facebook application called ‘Bang with Friends’.  Yes,! Bang with friends as in have sex with them! This app was invented by a small group of clever university students in just a few hours & it’s fast becoming one of the most popular apps on FB.

So, how does it work? Well, once you authorize it, you can select people in your circle of friends you would like to sleep with. You do this by clicking a “down to bang” option associated to that person. Your selections are anonymous unless the other person has also flagged your name in which case you have a ‘perfect match’. Brilliant….right?

If my answer were ‘wrong”, would you call me a prude? With all the talk about privacy surrounding Facebook, this has got to be the most risky & racy app around.  Can you just imagine what would happen if your list of favorite hotties got out? Not to mention how offended friends could get if they chose you but you didn’t choose them!  This app might actually have the power to break your friendship with a big bang!

On a scale of one to ten, how dicey do you think this whole concept is? Do you think curiosity will kill more than a few cats?

This is Crissy Faita for Learning English Matters.


Sex (Photo credit: danielito311)

Vocabulary Boost:

  • Brilliant – fantastic, smart
  • To bang with  – to have sex with
  • Clever – ingenious, inventive
  • Sleep with – to have sex with
  • Down to bang – agree to have sex with
  • To flag – to select
  • A prude – a person who is too proper
  • Risky – chancy , dangerous
  • Racy –  sexy, lewd
  • Hotties – people you think are attractive
  • To get out – make known
  • Dicey – risky, not safe
  • Curiosity killed the cat – being curious can get you into trouble

Read It:

It’s your turn. Read the post out loud. Have you ever tried recording your voice & playing it back . It’s great practice. Articulate to communicate!

Speak It:

Discuss what you’ve heard with your teacher or classmates. You can even simply share this post with a friend & suggest discussing the topic together by using the new vocabulary & questions. Practice speaking English today!

Share this ‘What’s your Take’ with your circle of friends…it’s a fun way to learn a little English.