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It Is Not Nice to 'Dump on' Others

FILE - A dumpster filled with spoiled food waits for removal behind a Key Food supermarket in the still powerless East Village section of Manhattan, November 01, 2012, in New York.
FILE - A dumpster filled with spoiled food waits for removal behind a Key Food supermarket in the still powerless East Village section of Manhattan, November 01, 2012, in New York.
It Is Not Nice to 'Dump on' Others
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And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.

Trash may not be a glamorous subject. But it is an important one. We can throw our trash in a container called a trash can. We can dispose of our garbage in a garbage can. We can dump our unwanted things in a dumpster. All these unwanted things might end up at a landfill, sometimes called a dump.

We explored being down in the dumps in a recent Words and Their Stories.

Being at the bottom of a dump is probably not a nice place to be. If you are down in the dumps, you feel sad. Down in the dumps means you have the blues, or you feel out of sorts. You are the opposite of happy.

If your friend is down in the dumps, you could try to do something fun to lift their spirits. You could take them to their favorite restaurant or a movie to cheer them up.

The verb “dump” means to place things without care. For example, when I wash my clothes, I dump the dirty clothes on the floor in front of the washer. But I don’t dump the clean clothes on the floor. They are clean! Dumping them on the floor could make them dirty again.

We can dump other things besides trash and dirty clothes. If you dump on someone you say bad things about them. You show them little respect.

And at work, you do not want to receive a document dump. This means someone has given you a huge number of documents. Usually, you have to deal with them in some way.

Now, let’s hear these “dump” expressions in a conversation between two co-workers.

A: Hey, let’s go! TGIF! Time to have some fun!

B: [sounds sad] I can’t. You guys go ahead without me.

A: Why? And why are you so down in the dumps?

B: Karen just dumped a huge stack of work on my desk.

A: She gave you a document dump at 5 o’clock on Friday?

B: She did. And she wants me to file it all before I leave.

A: Can’t you tell her you’ll do it on Monday morning?

B: I tried. She said no.

A: You know, she did that to me once and I dumped her document dump right in the dumpster.

B: Did you get in trouble?

A: No. She didn’t even ask about those stupid papers. I don’t mean to dump on her, but dumping a bunch of needless work on someone on a Friday is a mean thing to do.

B: You know what…you’re right! I’m coming with you guys. This document dump can wait until Monday.

And that’s all the time we have for this Words and Their Stories. Until next time.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

glamorous –adj. very exciting and appealing

dispose of –v. (phrasal) to throw away or remove something

dumpster –n. a big container for waste

landfill –n. a place where waste is buried

dump –n. a place where waste can be thrown out

TGIF (thank God it’s Friday) –expression an exclamation of happiness or relief that the work week is over


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