I DIG ENGLISH - just a cool blog about English

I hope you enjoy reading this blog
half as much as I enjoy writing it for you.
Because I have a ball.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Digs: Average is the New Black

Hi guys!

The inspiration for today's post is none other than my old t-shirt. Well, it's not ancient but it's definitely past its prime. Have a look yourselves. (I'm sorry for the awful picture quality. I can't really help it.)

I've been wearing it to aerobics classes and before you ask me why I don't go and buy myself a cool new spandex top, let me tell you one thing: spandex is for people who know a thing or two about sport and fitness. In my book, you can wear spandex to the gym ONLY if you:

  • exude a sense of purpose when in the gym;
  • are not intimidated by the gym environment;
  • can memorise the kind and number of repeats of exercises to do at the gym;
  • are or seem to be a sporty type of person.

none other than – nic innego tylko (used to say when a person or a thing is surprising in a particular situation)
past its prime – widziała lepsze czasy (after the period of the most activity and success)
spandex (US) – lycra (UK) (a stretchy material used especially for making clothes fit tightly)
to know a thing or two – wiedzieć co nieco/ orientować się (to have a lot of practical skills and knowledge learnt through experience)
in my book – moim zdaniem (in my opinion)
to exude a sense of purpose – sprawiać wrażenie, że mamy określony cel (to exude – to show something so other people can feel it/ a sense of purpose – knowing what you want to do)
to be intimidated – coś nas przeraża (frightened or nervous because you are not confident in a situation)

It goes without saying that none of these applies to me. Evidence: I bruised my chin while lying on an exercise ball during the first class. A cotton & polyester blend sounds about right for a rookie like me.

it goes without saying – nie trzeba dodawać (used to mean that something is obvious)
it doesn’t apply to me – to mnie nie dotyczy (it's not true about me)
to bruise – posiniaczyć, stłuc (to develop an injury or mark where the skin has not been broken but is darker in colour, often as a result of being hit by something)
a blend – mieszanka (a mixture)
a rookie – nowicjuszka (a beginner)

And if you want to say: "Hey, that shirt is really corny." To that I say: that's true, but who doesn't make mistakes? Beyonce even wrote a song about it:

What she says before she sings:

Have you ever been in a situation where you look back and realise something you thought was so incredible is so whack? And you think: 'What was I thinking? Thank god I dodged that bullet.' That's what this next one is about and I need y'all to help me sing this. Y'all know what to do, right?”

to look back – patrzeć się za siebie
whack – zły (bad)
to dodge – zrobić unik (to avoid being hit)
a bullet – nabój
y'all – you all

Oh, ok, in this clip Beyonce sings about relationships. But that behaviour, that what-was-I-thinking-pattern definitely applies to other things too and especially to our taste in clothes. One day you think it's cool to customise your t-shirt and blog about it and the next day you think it's a complete embarrassment...

to customise – dostosowywać do potrzeb klienta (to make or change something according to the buyer's or user's needs)

Getting back to the subject. There are a couple of things that come to mind when you think of the black colour. It's universally flattering, suitable for almost any occasion and any age, timeless, cool and classy.

universally flattering – twarzowy dla każdego (making everyone look good)
timeless – ponadczasowy (never getting out of style)


  • is used to say that something has become very popular and widespread;
  • in the fashion world, it is used to show that one colour (e.g. grey or navy blue) has become a staple and can be incorporated into any outfit during the given season.
  • is used ironically to poke fun at trends or social phenomena.

widespread – rozpowszechniony (common, popular)
a staple – podstawowy artykuł (a basic product)
to poke fun at – wyśmiewać coś (to make fun of)
a phenomenon – zjawisko (plural – phenomena)

Have a look at some examples:

a rehab – ośrodek odwykowy
a ginger – rudzielec (a redhead)
a geek – a person who likes video games/ fantasy books/ science/ etc. to the point of having no social life ;)

The X is the new black phrase gave rise to a broader pattern: X is the new Y.


  • is used to say that one thing or idea has replaced (or surpassed) its older counterpart;
  • is used in absurd contexts for ironic or humorous purposes;
  • is often criticized for its simplicity and overuse.

to give rise to – dać początek czemuś, wywołać coś (to cause) –
to surpass – przewyższyć (to be better than)
a counterpart – odpowiednik
overuse – zbyt częste użycie (something is used too often)

Again, have a look at some examples: 

Rap Is The New Shakespeare or at least very similar, serving a similar purpose.
They both use meter, are based on rhyme, and blend music and language to create unique narratives.

to serve a purpose – pełnić funkcję (to have a use)
meter – metrum (the regular arrangement of syllables in poetry according to the number and type of beats in a line )
a narrative – narracja/ opis (a description)

DIY is the new Prada for today's time-poor, cash-rich couples, according to a new report from Crown Paints.

DIY – do it yourself

Food Trending Forecast: Marshmallows are the New Cupcakes. Gourmet marshmallows are all the hype.

a marshmallow – pianka
a cupcake – babeczka (a muffin)
gourmet – dla smakoszy ( of very high quality)
all the hype – popularny (popular)

Pininterest is the new Facebook. Who would have thought looking at photos of Funfetti cupcakes and pink patent-leather high heels could be so addictive?

patent leather – lakierowana skóra (shiny leather)


Tom's are the new Crocs.


Single is the new Married. Just look to George Clooney as an example of a happy single. Indeed, he is so content in his bachelorhood that four years ago he bet Michelle Pfeiffer £50,000 that he’d never again tie the knot.
content – zadowolony (happy)
bachelorhood – kawalerstwo (being a single guy)
to tie the knot – brać ślub (to get married)

Pale is the New Tan. Information from In-cosmetics shows more face care products in the U.S. are being launched with SPF and sun care elements.

to launch – wprowadzać na rynek
SPF – faktor filtru słonecznego (sun protection factor)
sun care elements – składniki, które chronią przed słońcem

Vegan is the new vegetarian. Vegan diets exclude all animal products. That means no red meat, poultry, fish, dairy or egg products. Some strict vegans also omit honey from their diets

20 is the new 30. Before, people lied about their age when they hit 40, then 30, and now it's not uncommon for 23 year olds claiming to be 18.

it's not uncommon – zdarzać się nawet często (it's not so rare)

The following dialogue is a scene from The Devil Wears Prada, in which Nigel, the art editor, explains to Andy, a newbie assistant, the dietary proclivities of the Runway (a fashion magazine) family.

an editor – radaktor
a newbie – początkująca (beginner)
dietary – żywieniowy (connected with your diet)
proclivities – (dziwne) skłonności (habits, usually strange)

Nigel: Corn chowder. That's an interesting choice. You do know that cellulite is one of the main ingredients in corn chowder?
Andy: So none of the girls here eat anything?
Nigel: Not since two became the new four and zero became the new two.
Andy: I'm a six...
Nigel: Which is the new fourteen.

a corn chowder – zupa z kukurydzy, ziemniaków i mleka (a thick soup made from corn, potatoes and milk)
cellulite – cellulit (fat in the human body, especially in the upper legs, which makes the surface of the skin appear lumpy (= not smooth)

a raise – podwyżka (making more money)
crappy – zły (bad)

Getting back to my old t-shirt. Some time ago I was obsessed with MyLifeisAverage.com. The idea behind the site is that having an average (i.e. regular/ boring/ mundane) life could be exciting in its own way and way cooler than just having a cool life. I wanted my t-shirt to convey that message. I couldn't choose between Average is the New Cool and Average is the New Black, but, as can be seen in the picture, I finally decided on the latter :)

to convey – wyrażac (to express a thought, feeling or idea so that it is understood by other people)
mundane – przyziemny, prozaiczny (ordinary)

Enjoy the summer!

See you in my next post!


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