T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native

He is on his soap box

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) He made sure to dress smartly.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

b) He is apprehensive when speaking in public.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) He speaks in public very passionately.

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

If someone is on their soapbox, it means they are standing on a platform speaking flamboyantly about something impromptu, often about a political subject. Hyde Park, London is known for its Sunday soapbox orators.
The term is often used in a negative way to refer to moralising speeches.

French translation

Il est monté sur sa tribune, il parle avec passion, il fait de brillantes prouesses rhétoriques, il fait de beaux discours

How NOT to translate : *Il est sur sa caisse à savon.


Examples in context

‘David Cameron turns brickie for the day

He insisted that this was not the first time he’d laid bricks before, joking to the professionals that he was a bit worried he was "the weak link in the chain".
The choices of destinations and photo opportunities tell you a good deal about the men fighting to hold the keys to Number 10 after the next election. The North West is one of the key battlegrounds in that contest. Lancashire is a key Labour target in next week’s county council elections.
Where Ed Miliband’s soap box speech in Chorley market was clearly designed to counter the oft-repeated charge that he’s unable to connect with ordinary people (the so-called "weird" factor) David Cameron was, no doubt, trying to prove that he too is not out of touch (the so-called "toff" factor).’

BBC News, 26th April 2013


‘Labour MP Mudie : The lead we have in the polls is not firm enough, big enough

"That means, sometimes, not being in the limelight ’hugging a huskie or doing that sort of stuff’ but actually going to the town halls and doing those meetings, getting on your soapbox, doing Q&As.
"I am afraid that means less time in the (House of Commons) tea room, but I am sure George will appreciate Ed’s objective is to get out there into the country because only 29% of the country voted Labour in 2010 and that is the challenge."’

BBC News, 1st August 2013


Everyday usage

He got up on the soapbox and spoke about his feelings towards the monarchy.

Get off your soapbox, we have heard it all before !

Don’t provoke her. Once she gets on her soap box there’s no stopping her. She’ll talk your ear off all night.

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