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Get the Short End of the Stick
Get the Short End of the Stick English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English meaning of ‘get the short end of the stick’

Date: Jun 06 2017

Themes: Romance, Soap Opera, Travel

Grammar: Articles, Quantifiers, and Determiners


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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. You might work very hard, and do your best, and then still fail. This can happen at school, work, or even a sporting event. You could wait patiently for your turn to win, and you might still lose. This can be really awkward and make you feel bad. But don’t get depressed! Everyone gets the short end of the stick at times.

To get the short end of the stick is to have the worst result. Often, when you get the short end of the stick, it isn’t your fault. Maybe, you were too plum tuckered to do your work correctly. Or perhaps, you wanted to do it in a minute, but your boss wanted you to do it right now. Imagine two people pulling on the same stick. The person who holds the long end, or most of the stick, will probably win this game. The person with the short end, unfortunately, loses.

The ladies are talking about how Andy got the short end of the stick. Watch today’s English soap opera to hear their thoughts.

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1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.







Dominique:  Andy says he’ll be out in a minute.

Jordin:  Is Kelsey sleeping? How does she do that?

Dominique:  She must be plum tuckered. It’s good though, she needs some sleep.

Jordin:  I can’t believe she almost forgot her guitar.

Kelsey:  Guitar?! What? Are we there?!

Dominique:  No, Kelsey. We’re waiting for Andy.

Kelsey:  Oh.

Jordin:  I wonder how he’s doing.

Dominique:  Yeah, he did get the short end of the stick, didn’t he?

Kelsey:  How so?

Dominique:  He patiently waited for Sheila to return from her vacation, and then she broke up with him!

Kelsey:  They broke up? When?

Jordin:  Last week. Kelsey, you were there.

Kelsey:  Really?

Jordin:  Yeah, at the party that Andy threw for Sheila… Is she sleeping or thinking?

Dominique:  Sleeping.

Jordin:  Wow! OK. Well, anyway, Andy. Yeah, I agree. I think he got the short end of the stick. I mean, Sheila was on vacation for a month, and then she comes home to this great party Andy threw, she enjoys it, and then she breaks up with him.

Dominique:  Yeah, I’m worried. Oh, look! He’s coming.

Jordin:  He looks OK.

Dominique:  Yeah, he looks like he’s doing well.

Jordin:  Phew. That was going to be awkward if he was depressed. I mean, Depressed Andy is the worst! So… especially for a road trip.


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Kelsey is sleeping, and Dominique and Jordin are waiting for Andy. Jordin thinks it’s amazing that Kelsey can sleep through almost anything. Dominique agrees but reminds Jordin that Kelsey is very tired. They start to talk about Andy. Jordin and Dominique think he got the short end of the stick when Sheila broke up with him.

Kelsey wakes enough to ask what they are talking about. They explain that Andy did some really nice things for Sheila. Then, she came home, enjoyed her party, and ended their relationship. Kelsey doesn’t hear this. She is already asleep again. Jordin and Dominique see Andy, and he looks OK. They’re happy because, at least, he won’t be depressed on their road trip.

When did you get the short end of the stick? How can you help someone who gets the short end of the stick?



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i am the best example of this kind of situation , seriously i have multiple time faced the worse conditions related to my job hunting etc and still facing failure in life but i got motivation by this little article

06:23 PM Jun 11 2017 |



The best think we can do when someone gets the short end of the stick, is stop talking abt them when they are not there. hahaha.

Thx for the new vocabulary: Awkard.- not comfortable, difficult. 

Get the short end of the stick.- have the worst experienced. 

Plum tuckered.- very tired. :)

05:44 PM Jun 06 2017 |

eduardosoutoSuper Member!


I remember that I got the short end of the stick when my wife asked for my credit card haha, it wasn’t any good at all!

The best way to help someone who is getting the short end of the stick is to motivate them, and always show them that the situation always could be worse! :P

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