Fun phrasal verbs!

The English language is riddled with fun phrasal verbs that if literally translated into your language would likely make no sense. In today’s post, we are going to explore some of the most fun phrasal verbs in English and what they mean. Then you will have to opportunity to put your knowledge to the test to see if you can remember the meanings of these strange sayings!

Beef up:

  • Beef up is a fun way of saying to become muscular. For example, if I am trying to gain muscle mass I may say that I am trying to “beef up”.


Wipe out:

  • Wipe out means to completely get rid of or ruin something maybe even to the point of extinction. For example, I could say that a certain species of plant was totally wiped out in an area due to construction. Meaning all of that species is gone.
  • Funnily enough you can also use the word to mean that you fell! You can say, I was running when I totally wiped out. This means I fell really hard while I was running.


Clam up:

  • To clam up is to become so nervous to the point that you are unable to speak. It has a similar meaning to the word “tongue tied”. However, we would say I was tongue tied, where as for clam up we would say simply I clammed up. Here is an example: I was so nervous around my new teacher I totally clammed up and couldn’t tell her any of the answers to our assignment.


To scarf down:

  • To scarf down means to eat food really quickly. For example you could say: I have no time to eat my breakfast this morning, I am going to scarf down some oatmeal and head out the door! Or, he must have been so hungry because he really scarfed down his dinner!


To chicken out:

  • To chicken out means to be scared of something to the point of not doing it. Here is an example: I was thinking of jumping into the lake, but I got scared and chickened out.


To butt in:

  • To butt in means to interrupt when speaking. It can be used politely when you want to make a point but feel as though you are interrupting. Here are some examples of the two usages:
    • Sorry to butt in, but I think this is not a good idea.

Don’t butt in, this conversation is none of your business!


Fun phrasal verbs quiz

Okay, now for the following examples try and fill in the blanks with the correct phrasal verbs!

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