Shopping in America

Conversation A

New Words and Expressions

Definitions of the Underlined Words and Expressions:

1 Your best bet is a commonly used idiom which refers to the best possible choice or option available. In Conversation A, it refers to the most suitable store for appliances, in Anna's opinion.

2 The best deals is a frequently used shopping-related expression that refers to items for sale at bargain prices (i.e., cheap). Sometimes, "good deals" or "a real steal/What a steal" are used instead.

3 Glossy ads are colorful advertisement pamphlets or catalogs (on rich/glossy paper) that entice shoppers and usually encourage them to be "smart shoppers" or people who look for "good deals" or "sales."

4 A rip off is another frequently employed shopping-related expression used by shoppers who feel that they have been cheated. It is generally the case that the item purchased was overpriced (i.e., too costly) when it was bought.

5 Items that are high-priced are very expensive.

6 A wide selection refers to a wide array of items (e.g., models of VCRs, TVs, microwaves, walkmans, etc., depending on the store in question).

7 Stuff is a "safe" word that can be used to refer to anything the speaker intends it to refer to. Often, it is used when a speaker cannot recall the names of things s/he wants to refer to, and when s/he wishes to avoid having to mention what may appear to be an endless list.

8 Stores are known to carry items. In other words, they have the items they "carry." However, stores could be "out" of certain items (when their supplies have been exhausted).

9 Convenience stores, as the name suggests, are stores that carry basic necessities such as bread, milk, eggs, soft drinks, tooth paste, newspapers, magazines, and so on. They are usually conveniently located (in small towns, suburbs, and big cities) which also accounts for the name.

10 In bulk is a shopping-related idiom that is used to refer to items purchased in large quantities. Such supplies are cheaper and last longer. Generally, families shop in bulk for items such as sugar, rice, candy, canned products, etc. However, perishable products (such as vegetables) are rarely purchased in bulk. Instead, they are usually purchased on a daily or weekly basis. Specialized stores are stores that sell particular things. In other words, they specialize in the sale of particular products (e.g., grocery stores sell groceries, hardware stores sell hardware products such as nuts and bolts, paint, nails, hammers, etc.)

11 Specials refer to discount deals/prices. In Conversation A, they refer to discount video rental rates.

12 A buck each refers to a dollar per item in question (video tapes in Conversation A)

13 A shopping list is a handy list of items a shopper intends to buy. Most Americans draw up shopping lists before they go shopping. Such a list makes shopping easier, as the shopper consults it while shopping, and that way, does not forget to buy what s/he needs.


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