Feifei: Hello and welcome to The English
We Speak. I’m Feifei
and joining me is Rob…
Rob: Hello! Hey, Feifei.
Have you heard the news?
Feifei: Gossip, you mean.
Rob: No, no – it’s true! We’ve been given
the day off! So, sorry,
I’m not going to hang
around – I’m off to the beach.
Feifei: Hold on! Who says?
Rob: Neil. He said the boss told him that
we’ve all worked so hard we don’t have to
Feifei: Hmm. It sounds like a wind-up
to me – a wind-up is another way
of saying ‘a trick or joke’.
I’m sure Neil was joking!
Rob: April Fool, Feifei! I was joking!
I wanted to trick you – to see
if you’d leave the office
and… take the day off.
Feifei: Ha ha, very funny.
Well, actually, I have
got the day off today. So the joke is
on you, and it starts now. Goodbye.
Rob: Feifei, where are you going? Come
back and explain what ‘the joke is on you’
Feifei: …OK, Rob! When ‘the joke is on
someone’, it means the person
who has tried to make you look silly has
ended up looking silly themselves.
The joke has backfired. And now
you look silly, Rob.
Rob: Point made, Feifei. Here are some
more examples of this phrase in action…
Daisy laughed at my ‘terrible’ dress sense,
until she found out I was
wearing a designer dress –
I guess the joke’s on her now!
Ha, you thought I’d never beat your
time for completing the marathon.
But I have, so the joke’s on you!
I know you were trying to be funny
by saying I’d never pass my exam.
But now you’re the only one who hasn’t,
so the joke’s on you, I’m afraid!
Feifei: This is The English We Speak from
BBC Learning English and we’re looking at
the phrase ‘the joke is on someone,’
which means someone has tried
to make someone else look silly but
ended up looking silly themselves!
So this perfectly describes you, Rob – the
joke about taking a day off is ‘on you’.
Rob: I was just having a laugh at
April Fool’s Day. But, hold on.
Where is everybody? The
office is empty.
Feifei: Ha – not another one
of your ‘jokes’?
Rob: No, seriously – look, there’s an email.
It says ‘Due to a power failure the office
is out of action. You can all take the day
off.’ Ha, looks like we’ve all got a day off
after all – the jokes on you, Feifei!
Feifei: Ah well, enjoy your free time.
Rob: Fancy going to the beach?
Feifei: No, thanks. Bye, Rob.
Rob: I was joking. Bye.