T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native


Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) angry

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b) arrogant

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

jumped-up’ refers to someone behaving as if they were very important in their job or position (especially because they used to be in a much lower position), or acting above their station.

French translation

quelqu’un qui se la joue, qui se donne de grands airs

How NOT to translate : *sauté en l’air


Examples in context

‘Cityboy’s guide to making a film

Have you ever fancied swapping the City streets for the red carpet ? Geraint Anderson has made the full transition from Cityboy to Creative – here, he shares his tips on how to make a movie (...)

The average time between starting to make an indy film and its premiere is four years. As a first-time producer you’re going to work your arse off, probably for no upfront fees, and have to face innumerable seemingly insurmountable problems.

You’re going to have to deal with actors’ agents (an appalling breed who make tape worms seem pleasant company) as well as some jumped-up director who probably thinks he’s the bastard son of Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut.’

Square Mile, 15 Oct. 2019


Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and a lopsided special relationship

‘This is no time for squeamishness. Within a week, Boris Johnson expects to be Britain’s prime minister. He has already set the direction for the nation’s foreign policy. No more Europe. The new formula is simple : Donald Trump tweets and Mr Johnson jumps.


His long record of mendacity and an infantile habit of comparing the EU to Nazi Germany have not created a reservoir of trust among other European leaders. They are unimpressed by his ‘do-or-die’ threat of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson’s crude English exceptionalism is even less endearing. At the Foreign Office he was heard to muse as to whether Chancellor Angela Merkel had served in East Germany’s Stasi secret police. French president Emmanuel Macron was a ‘jumped-up Napoleon’. As for Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, ‘Why isn’t he called Murphy like all the rest of them’. Such jibes find a way back to foreign capitals.’

Financial Times, 18 July 2019


Everyday usage

We suffered many other annoyances from jumped-up officials who took a childish pleasure in exhibiting their authority.

She thinks that a lot of politicians are all just a bunch of jumped-up nobodies.

c) motivated

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