Hello, I’m Neil…
… and I’m Feifei and this is The English We Speak.
In this programme I thought I’d impress you Feifei with an old Chinese phrase that we use in English now.
Oh yes – go on then, Impress me!
The phrase is jiggery-pokery.
Jiggery-pokery! Oh come on, that’s not Chinese!
It is – everyone in China uses it – apparently.
I don’t think so. What does it mean anyway?
Jiggery-pokery refers to dishonest behaviour that is intended to trick people.
Oh hold on… were you trying to trick me just to illustrate this phrase?
Yes! I almost tricked you, didn’t I?
Hmmm. I think we had better hear some better examples of this phrase in action.
The company is being investigated after some shareholders accused it of jiggery-pokery.
I was surprised that the businessman got away with so much jiggery-pokery before he was finally caught and sent to prison.
That’s ’jiggery-pokery’, which describes dishonest or secret behaviour – but it is definitely not a Chinese phrase, Neil!
OK, I know. Now before I forget, don’t you owe me ten pounds?
No! I bought you lunch remember. Honestly, jiggery-pokery in action!
Well at least you won’t forget the phrase now.