English in Use – Oi! Stop swanning off with our cress

A selection of headlines from stories in the news.  They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse, but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.

Oi! Stop swanning off with our cress! is the headline in a Sun story about swans eating £250,000-worth of a farmer’s watercress crop.

If you “swan off with something” it means you take something in a relaxed way for pleasure and without caring that others may feel annoyed. Obviously these swans aren’t particularly bothered that the poor farmer is extremely annoyed.

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I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2019