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Two Heads Are Better Than One & a Diamond in the Rough

This lesson is a part of an audio course English Phrases and Idioms by Robert Davey

Hello and welcome to lesson 2 of the 'English Phrases and Idioms' course. In this lesson, we will be looking at the origin and meaning of 'Two Heads Are Better Than One & a Diamond in the Rough.'

– The first phrase is 'Two Heads Are Better Than One.' Hello Cami, any ideas about the origins of this phrase?

– No, Rob, where does this phrase come from?

– Well, this is quite an old phrase and was first used in 1546 by John Haywood, but the idea that 2 is better than 1 can actually be seen even earlier in the Bible, Ecclesiastes chapter 4 verse 9. The phrase simply means that 2 people have a better chance of solving a problem than 1 person. It is now a common corporate phrase, and people use it in terms of group projects and assignments.

For example, 'You should bring your friend to the quiz night because 2 heads are better than 1.' Or 'The company hired another marketing consultant because it is an important project and 2 heads are better than 1.'

– So if I can't solve a problem, I should ask a friend?

– Yep, because 2 heads are better than 1.

The second phrase we are looking at today is 'A Diamond in the Rough.'

– What does this phrase mean?

– Well, this is usually used to describe someone who has a good heart but is a little rude or doesn't always show much respect. Or someone with a lot of potential but no training.

It's a phrase that has been used since the 1600s. When Diamonds are discovered in a mine, they are often cloudy and vary in shape and size. It's only when they are cut, cleaned, and polished that they take on the impressive look we see in the shops.

– Can you tell me an example?

– Sure, we can say, 'Her singing voice is beautiful, but her performance needs work, she is a diamond in the rough' or 'Wolverine is often angry and aggressive, but he has a good heart, he's a diamond in the rough.'

So listener, can you think of any situations where 2 heads are better than 1? or do you know anyone who is a diamond in the rough?

This is the end of lesson 2 of the 'English Phrases and Idioms' course.

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Written by

Robert Davey