TV series English: Orange Is the New Black

Hi there!

I’m coming back with your favourite series of free English lessons – English from TV series! This week I’d like to share with you a lesson based on one of my favourite series, Orange Is the New Black.

It’s based on the last episode of the series, and by “last,” I mean “truly last” – the last episode of the last season. There will be no more. I cried at the end… If you haven’t seen it, there will be no spoilers, so feel safe to read on!

The three items of English I have for you today come from one scene, when Luschek talks to Gloria.

1. “I found some vape pens – you want a hit?” – this is what Luschek says to Gloria. The most common meaning of “vape pen” is an electronic cigarette – and this is the expression we are used to in Polish. When someone says “electronic cigarette,” I’m sure you’ll understand. But a vape pen? Probably not, and that’s why I’m bringing this to your attention today!

The second part of the name – “pen” obviously comes from the shape of the object, so no surprises there :). But what about “vape”? Well, it comes from the word “vapour” (= small drops of water in the air – in Polish: para, mgiełka), and refers to the smoke emitted by the device.

So, e-cigarette is one meaning of vape pen, but…

2. “I found some vape pens – you want a hit?” Now, a hit is the use of an illegal drug! In this case, it’s marijuana. So, when Luschek asks Gloria if she wants a hit, that is, if she wants some drug, he makes it clear that he is using “vape pen” in its second meaning, a slang meaning, of the device for heating up marijuana. So, be careful when someone offers you a vape pen, because you never know what might be inside!

3. “You don’t want me to rat you out,” replies Gloria. If you rat someone out, you reveal embarrassing information about them, especially to someone higher up in the hierarchy. For example, you can rat out vandals to the school principal. This is a slang term. Here, Gloria says that she won’t tell prison authorities that Luschek has a vape pen.

That’s it for today! I hope you’ve found this mini-lesson useful! Which word will you use this week? Let me know in the comments!

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