serious – still – wide

#1 serious

Leonard and Sheldon are having Penny over for the first time. Penny is very impressed with their boards containing complicated formulas.


Leonard: Okay, well, make yourself at home.

Penny: Okay, thank you.

Leonard: You’re very welcome.

Penny: This looks like some serious stuff, Leonard, did you do this?

Sheldon: Actually that’s my work.

Penny: Wow.

Sheldon: Yeah, well, it’s just some quantum mechanics, with a little string theory doodling around the edges. That part there, that’s just a joke, it’s a spoof of the Bourne-Oppenheimer approximation.

Penny: So you’re like, one of those, beautiful mind genius guys.

Sheldon: Yeah.

Penny: This is really impressive.

Leonard: I have a board. If you like boards, this is my board.

Penny: Holy smokes.

Sheldon: If by holy smokes you mean a derivative restatement of the kind of stuff you can find scribbled on the wall of any men’s room at MIT, sure.


Make yourself at home. = If you say to a guest “Make yourself at home”, you are making them feel welcome and inviting them to behave in an informal, relaxed way.

Quantum mechanics and string theory = important theories in physics

to doodle = to draw pictures or patterns when you are bored

spoof = a funny and silly piece of writing, music, theatre, etc. that copies the style of an original work

approximation = a guess of a number that is not exact but that is close

beautiful mind = A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical film about the mathematician John Nash.

Holy smoke / Holy smokes = used to show that you think something is surprising, shocking, or impressive

derivative = not new or original but has been developed from something else

restatement = the act of saying something again or in a different way

men’s room = a toilet for men in a public building

MIT = short for Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(definitions taken from the Cambridge Dictionary, the  Collins Dictionary and Wikipedia)

#2 still

Sheldon and Leonard are having a not-so-important, yet funny, conversation about the height of stairs.


Sheldon: Are you still mad about the sperm bank?

Leonard: No.

Sheldon: You want to hear an interesting thing about stairs?

Leonard: Not really.

Sheldon: If the height of a single step is off by as little as two millimeters, most people will trip.

Leonard: I don’t care. Two millimeters? That doesn’t seem right.

Sheldon: No, it’s true, I did a series of experiments when I was twelve. My father broke his clavicle.

Leonard: Is that why they sent you to boarding school?

Sheldon: No, that was the result of my work with lasers.


sperm bank = a place in which human sperm is stored in order to be used by doctors to try to help women become pregnant

to trip = to lose your balance after knocking your foot against something when you are walking or running

clavicle = the technical word for the collarbone (= the bone between the shoulder and neck)

boarding school = a school where students live and study

(definitions taken from the Cambridge Dictionary)

#3 wide

Leonard wants to invite his new neighbor, Penny, over for lunch. But Sheldon has other plans.

Leonard: Should we have invited her for lunch?

Sheldon: No. We’re going to start Season Two of Battlestar Galactica.

Leonard: We already watched the Season Two DVDs.

Sheldon: Not with commentary.

Leonard: I think we should be good neighbors, invite her over, make her feel welcome.

Sheldon: We never invited Louis-slash-Louise over.

Leonard: Well, then that was wrong of us. We need to widen our circle.

Sheldon: I have a very wide circle. I have 212 friends on Myspace.

Leonard: Yes, and you’ve never met one of them.

Sheldon: That’s the beauty of it.


Season = one of several series of television programs with the same title and the same characters

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction media franchise.

Louis-slash-Loise = Sheldon is referring to their former neighbor who was a crossdresser, i.e., a person who sometimes wears the clothes, make-up, etc., usually worn by women.

Myspace is a social networking service based in the United States. From 2005 to 2009, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world.

(definitions taken from the Cambridge Dictionary and Wikipedia)


PS: In case you came here via Google (or any other search engine): This post is part of my online course on typical mistakes people with German as their native language make in English. You can get to the course here: Englisch lernen: Hoffentlich machst du diese Fehler nicht!