Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Social_nav_masthead_logged_in
 
turn on

turn on

Date: Jun 19 2008

Themes: Pop Culture

Quote

1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“I turn on things once I can’t change them any more.”

- Writer David Sedaris explains why he no longer likes some of his work. (Entertainment Weekly)

Definition

1. Definition - Study the definition.

to betray; to turn against; to oppose something that you once supported

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

Turn on is one of those tricky idioms that has two seemingly opposite meanings. Of course you know that you turn on a light or turn on a computer to give it power and make it work, but did you know that that use of turn on extends to people as well? If an idea turns you on, it means that it excites your mind and you like it. If something or someone makes you sexually aroused, you can say you’re turned on. Things that turn you on are called turn ons.

But that’s not what David Sedaris is talking about. Even though turn on has lots of positive meanings, it has a negative meaning as well: betrayal. To betray someone is to turn on him or her.

When David Sedaris publishes a story, he thinks it’s good. Why would he publish it if he didn’t? But as time goes on, he notices things he wishes he could change. But it’s too late. There are already millions of copies of the story printed throughout the world. So he starts to dislike his work. He turns on it.
When’s the last time that something that once turned you on turned around and turned on you?

Examples

1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“Everyone was interested in her business proposal, but by the time she was finished, the whole room had turned on her.”

“The criminal turned on his comrades and kept all the money they stole together.”

Winners

1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

juliebabe to become hostile towards things you dislike
by juliebabe
SAEID become suddenly hostile to someone or sth thx ........................................
by SAEID
Bambucia Turn on-to miss it up. to make things wrong.
by Bambucia
kiojohn discard and change
by kiojohn
piltir to change your decision
by piltir
Pavlionka I suppose here this expression means "to change your attitude to negative" But actually this phrasal verb has other meanings ("to interest", "to produce automatically", "to arouse emotionally" and etc.)
by Pavlionka

Want to guess next week's slang?

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Comments

Log in to Comment

SÉRGIO

SÉRGIO

Brazil

Slang is the same “gíria”

11:23 AM Jun 21 2008 |

zxstaiyuan

zxstaiyuan

China

A ENEMY MAY DISLOYAL TO YOU AND WE CAN SAY HIM TURN ON TO YOU OR HE IS HOSTILE HE DOESN’T SUPPORT YOU ANY MORE

04:33 AM Jun 21 2008 |

Hydronori137

Thailand

thx

10:34 AM Jun 20 2008 |

little boat

China

“turn on ”,yes ,i had the feeling ,and i think it very bad ,just like the word will gone!

08:19 AM Jun 20 2008 |

心云如梦

心云如梦

China

oh,i am so poor about “turn on”.
1.If an idea turns you on, it means that it excites your mind and you like it.
2.Things that turn you on are called turn ons.
3.to betray; to turn against; to oppose something that you once supported

12:55 PM Jun 19 2008 |

SunshineHBWR

Israel

Well, I always thought that turn on has only positives meanings…
Turn on, tune in, drop out – what do you think about ? :)

11:56 AM Jun 19 2008 |

Likes (49):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast