Podcast For Fight Language – With Script

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This is the script and  click here for the podcast. We appreciate your comments and suggestions, please provide  feedback at the bottom of this article.


Hi there, you are listening to Professor’s school of English slang

I’m Rick and this topic is all about phrases that are aggressive or that you may hear before a fight is about to start.

Please note that if you are under 18 or easily offended, then you should not listen to the rest of this podcast.

I am not teaching you this topic so that you can fight, and I do hope that whist you are in England you never experience such aggressive language and that you stay safe. I just think it’s important that you can understand this language so you know if someone is being aggressive toward you, and also so that you can understand this language as it is often said in modern English and American films.

First of all someone may say “are you starting” or  “are you starting on me”. This means they are asking if you are trying to start a fight with them. However, often they know that you are not trying to start a fight and they are just saying this to scare you.

If someone says to you “get lost” it is an impolite way of saying ‘go away’ or ‘leave me alone’. For example you may try to talk to someone and they may say “get lost”. It means they don’t want to speak to you. If someone says “get out my face” it also means ‘go away’ but it is a very aggressive way to say it. “Get out of my face means they immediately want you to leave them alone or go away.  For example you may annoy someone and they may say “get out my face right now otherwise there will be big trouble”.

Another phrase which is, means similar to go away is “back up”. Really this means that the person feels threatened and wants you to walk away from them which is why they say “back up”. In a non-threatening situation “back up” can have a different meaning. It can mean “go back”. For example if you are watching a video and someone says “back up”, it means that they want you to rewind the video a bit. Also if you are talking about something and someone says “back up” it may mean that they want to know more about what you have previously said.

In films it’s very common to hear “Back up or get smacked up”. This means if you don’t move back then you will get hit. The word ‘smack’ means ‘hit’. So if I say “I’m going to smack you”, It means I will hit you, normally once or twice.  But if someone uses violence against you and hits you many times this means that they “beat you up”. For example I can say “yesterday 3 guys beat me up and stole my phone”. Another slang word for ‘Beat up’ is ‘smacked up’. For example, “my friend got smacked up and spent 3 days in hospital”. So if someone says “back up or get smacked up”, It means they are threatening you. It means if you don’t leave the area immediately they will hit you or beat you up.

As it’s a threat people often use aggressive swear words to sound more threatening and scare you. For example instead of saying “back up or get smacked up”, people may say “back the fuck up, or get smacked the fuck up”. This sounds much more aggressive with the swear words. This phrase is most often heard in movies.

If someone threatens you and you walk away from them they may say something like “thats right, you better keep walking” or they may say “you better keep stepping”. This means that they are saying you should continue to walk away otherwise there could be trouble. I would recommend that you never say this to someone in a serious situation because it’s like an extra insult to them. Sometimes people are happy to walk away, but if they hear someone say this then it can actually increase their motivation to fight you instead of walking away because they don’t want to lose even more face.

You may hear someone say “hold up”. ‘Hold up’  is slang for ‘wait a moment’. So if you are walking out of a restaurant and you forgot to pay the bill, you may hear the waitress say “hold up, you forgot to pay”. This ‘hold up’, is just a signal for you to stop walking in this case.

In English culture, friends often help each other in fights or arguments. So you may hear your friend say “I got your back”. This means that he or a she will help you if you need it and literally means they will protect you from attacks from behind you. For example, you cannot see your own back. So if I say “I got your back”, it means I am protecting you from attacks that you cannot see.

However, don’t confuse this phrase with another phrase that sounds very similar. This phrase is “Watch your back”. If someone says this to you it probably means they are threatening you. ‘watch your back’ means that they are saying that you have annoyed or offended them and they want to attack you at another time. So this is why they say watch your back, because one day they will just attack you from behind. It really depends on the situation, the person may be very serious but very often it is just a threat, they are just trying to scare you.

You may have heard this phrase ‘dead man walking’. It is very popular in American movies. ‘A dead man walking’ is someone who is currently alive, but many people want to kill him and may try to kill him soon. So actually it’s often said in gangster movies. For example if someone betrays someone they may say “he is a dead man walking”. It means he is alive now but once they find him, they will kill him. So he is as good as dead. So if someone says to you “you are a dead man walking”, It is similar to them threatening you with “Watch your back”. It means they don’t want to fight you now but they may do so later.

If you hear someone say “come on then” in an aggressive tone it means they are challenging you to hit or fight them. For example you may say to someone “stop insulting my girlfriend or there will be big trouble” and they may say “come on then”. This means they are not scared and they want to fight you for saying this .

You may have heard in many movies the phrase “what’s your beef”. This simply means “what is your problem. This can be said in many different situations. For example if your friend walks into the house and just kicks the wall for some reason you can say “hey what is your beef”. Or if your friend phones  you and says “can you help me with something” you can say “what’s the beef” meaning what is the problem that you need help with.

Ok. If you repeatedly look at someone who is aggressive, they may say “what are you staring at”. This basically means ‘why are you looking at me, what is your problem’. Staring means looking at someone or something for a very long time. For example we all stare at our computer screens. Only aggressive people seem to say “what are you staring at”. They may do this for two reasons. Maybe just to scare you or because they are using this as an excuse to start a fight with you. How you respond if someone says this to you really depends on the situation. Some people choose to say nothing and ignore this, others will say sorry and say they were looking at something else. Some people  feel very confident and say “I’m staring at your ugly face”. The last response is almost certain to start a fight.

The last phrase I’m going to teach you is “who do you think you are”. This is not a direct question. If someone says who do you think you are  it means they are offended by you or they think that you are not important enough to say something or do something. For example your university professor could say “who do you think you are coming into my class late every week” or “who do you think you are talking in my class”. In this case he is offended by you and looking for you to say that you are sorry.

The last thing I need to explain is that a lot of these phrases are used with the swear words ‘hell’ or ‘fuck’. People use these words to sound extra aggressive and threatening. For example “who the hell do you think you are”. Or “who the fuck do you think you are” sounds a lot more aggressive and threatening than “who do you think you are”.

“Get the fuck out of my face” sounds more aggressive than “get out of my face”.

“What the hell is your beef,” is more aggressive than “what is your beef”.

“Back the fuck up”, is much more aggressive and scarier than just “back up”.

Also “I’m going to smack you the fuck up” sounds more serious and threatening than “I’m going to smack you up”. So people are more likely to be scared of this threat when used with the word fuck.

I hope you guys find this useful, and I think it will be most helpful when watching movies. I do hope that you won’t hear much of this language in England except on the TV.

You can view this podcast again at our

I hope this helps you. You can view this podcast again at our website www.proofessor.co.uk. We also have this podcast in written form on our website in case you didn’t understand anything that I said. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding any of our podcasts then please email us at podcasts@proofessor.co.uk. We want to reach out to as many students as possible, so please remember to tell your friends to listen. Bye for now.

This is the script and  click here for the podcast. We appreciate your comments and suggestions, please provide  feedback at the bottom of this article.

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