The English We Speak – Out for the count

This expression comes from the sport of boxing and describes a boxer who has been knocked unconscious who can’t stand up within a count of ten seconds…

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The English We Speak from BBC Learning English
Neil: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Neil and joining me today is Li.
Li: Hello everyone. The expression that Neil and I will talk about today is “out for the count”.
Neil: This expression comes from the sport of boxing and describes a boxer who has been knocked unconscious who can’t stand up within a count of ten seconds. The boxer is said to be “out for the count” and loses the match. But the expression can also be used in another way..
Li: Oh, how?
Neil: Well, I had a really active weekend. I went hiking in Wales with my wife and our two children.
Li: Hiking in Wales, that sounds like hard work.
Neil: Well not to my kids. They loved it, they were racing each other, running up and down the hills…then we went to the zoo where they had more fun.
Li: So you had a nice day out then?
Neil: Definitely. The evening was even nicer for us, me and my wife as there was no reading of bedtime stories and no computer games. By 7 o’clock, the kids were in bed, and the next thing we knew, they were out for the count!
Li: Oh I think I’ve got it. Do you mean they were so tired from all the exercise that they fell asleep immediately their heads touched the pillows?
Neil: Yes, that’s right. Let’s hear some examples how this expression is used:
Examples
Jack had so much to drink last night that when he got home he was out for the count.
There was some trouble outside my house last night but I didn’t hear it: I was so tired I was out for the count.
Li: Oh, how I wish I could fall asleep quickly – but I often have to take a sleeping pill.
Neil: That’s not good. You should try doing some exercise to make you tired: how about jogging?
Li: Oh no, it’s boring, it’s too monotonous.
Neil: Well, how about something relaxing like yoga?
Li: Yoga, no, I’m not very flexible, I never have been.
Neil: Well, what about boxing? It’s exciting and you could be knocked unconscious – out for the count!
Li: Very funny!
Neil: Anyway you have learned a good expression and it’s time to say goodbye.
Li: Bye!


















 

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