Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubrey will talk about one key phrase that means something different in American and British English.

They will also share similar terms that you can use to diversify your English vocabulary.

Listen in to avoid a dead-end in your conversations in English today.

Different English Accents

There are so many words in British English that are different from American English.

You can try and search for the meaning online but often times it’s not intuitive.

Lindsay shares that if she had to choose an accent, she likes the Australian accent over the British Accent.

Aubrey agrees with her and adds that she likes the New Zealand accent as well.

This may be because her favorite comedians, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, are Kiwi and she loves their accents so much.

Lindsay shares a story that she taught in Japan and there was a woman from New Zealand who moved there to teach.

She was a very independent thinker and Lindsay remembers her whenever she hears the New Zealand accent.

Pool Analogy in Different Countries

Lindsay and Aubrey talke about the question sent in by one of their All Ears English listeners in Brazil.

The listener was responding to the term “behind the 8 ball” where he shared that it’s similar to a term they have locally which is “sincua di bico.”

The term “sinuca di bico” means the situation is a dead end.

It is an analogy on the game of pool wherein the ball you need to hit is arranged behind other balls that make it difficult for a player to figure out how to make the next move.

Lindsay and Aubrey share that they have the same term in America which is “snookered.”

This is the English equivalent to the term “sinuca di bico” that our listener shared.

How to Use the Term Snookered

In the UK, the term snookered means something is preventing you from making you do what you want to do.

This is quite similar to the definition of “sinuca di bico.”

An example that Aubrey shared is: “We wanted to rent a castle in the countryside but we’re snookered.”

In America, the term snookered is used as slang which means to cheat someone.

If someone sells you a car and then it breaks down the next day, you have been snookered.

Lindsay adds that you can also say that you got sold a lemon.

This is another term to say you have been deceived.

Another example shared by Aubrey is when someone is playing cards with you and is hiding cards, you can say you are being snookered.

Similar Vocabulary Words to Snookered

  • Zero-sum game

This term can be used beyond games.

This is a situation where if one party wins the other party loses.

It’s used commonly in business, law or politics.

Lindsay took a class in national negotiations and they read a book that said you don’t have to think of negotiations as a zero-sum game.

It should be a win-win situation where both of you get the benefit you are looking for.

In relationships, if you have a zero-sum type of dynamic, it can be really toxic.

  • Stalemate

This is a term in chess where you are moved to call a draw between players.

In difficult situations, you are pushed into a corner and have no choice but to accept it.

  • Standstill

This term is usually used in traffic.

It can be the same as stalemate but it is more physical when describing what’s preventing you.

You are more of stuck in a position that you can’t move from and you can’t do anything about it.


Lindsay and Aubrey do a roleplay where they are moms on a Parent Teacher Organization.

They are discussing the individual tasks they have in preparation for the School Carnival.

They will be using the terms shared in today’s episode so you can easily understand how to use them.

Lindsay: I heard you hit a bit of a dead-end with the magician you were hoping to book.

Aubrey: Yes, unfortunately, his fee was much too high so it would’ve been a zero-sum game for us.

Lindsay: Yeah that makes sense. It would’ve been a great benefit but it would take far too much of our budget. I don’t want to get snookered into spending too much on something.

Aubrey: Exactly! I did however get to book a lot of food vendors. We’ll have cotton candy, popcorn, candied apples, and a few food trucks as well.

Lindsay: Oh nice! I hope there will be a Taco Truck.

Aubrey: Yes! There will be a really good food truck that serves Tacos and Palapas which are like Mexican popsicles if you haven’t had one. I was worried we weren’t going to get them, we were at a bit of a stalemate when they wouldn’t call me back for a while.

Lindsay: I guess they finally contacted you though.

Aubrey: Yup, what about you? Were you able to get some carnival games?

Lindsay: Yes, I also hit a dead end with a few of the booths I wanted to do but I was able to get a ring toss game and a few other fun ones.

Aubrey: Ugh. It can be frustrating when everyone’s busy and not hearing back. Everyone just comes to a standstill.


There are so many different terms you can use in your English conversations.

Language is very colorful and expanding your vocabulary will help you build better connections with others.

The term snookered is used differently in American and British English.

You can use them, either way, you want it depending on the situation you are in.

Learn more about British English with 5 British Phrases Most Americans Don’t Know.

Today’s episode also provides you with similar terms to give you more choices to use.

What term do you like the most from today’s episode? Share how you’ll use it in the comments down below.

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