Hello I’m Feifei and this is The English We Speak.
And hello I’m Neil.
Neil, I wonder if you could help me. I’m trying to find something on this map.
Oh yes, map reading – I’m good at that. What are you trying to find?
Well, I went to a gig last night and saw this new singer – he was amazing.
Thanks for inviting me! Anyway, what’s that got to with a map?
Well, afterwards everyone was talking about it and saying the gig was so good that it will ’put him on the map’. But… I just can’t find him on here.
Put the map away Feifei – you won’t find him there. When we say someone will be ’put on the map’ it means they will become famous or become more prominent – but not on a map!
Right! Actually Neil, I’ve heard about a new restaurant I ate at being ’put on the map’.
Yes, something as well as someone can be put on the map – or in other words, become famous, popular or well known. You must have eaten at a good quality restaurant for it to be put on the map!
I did! Let’s tuck into some examples shall we?
Her first exhibition at the Tate gallery has put her on the map as a serious modern artist.
This great tasting food has really put this new restaurant on the map.
Hosting the Olympics has put this city on the map as a great place to come for a holiday.
So that’s to put someone or something on the map – to become famous, popular or more prominent. I suppose it suggests that becoming famous means you are now important enough for your name to be seen or heard by everyone.
That’s right. In the old days when a place was too small and unimportant it wasn’t shown on a map – but when it became more important it was ’put on the map’.
Right.Anyway Neil, let me look at that map again…
Look! That singer I saw really is on the map – right there.
Really? What was he called?
Man-chester, Manchester.Of course!