英語錦囊(十二月)

Marilyn Eversole,  英語中心高級導師 │ 第64期 十二月號 澳大人

Idioms

  • Dead of winter = in the middle of winter, when it is very cold and dark
  • Behind the house was a garden with curving flowerbeds that w ere beautiful, even in the dead of winter.
  • To be snowed under = to be very busy with work, overwhelmed.
  • Since we took on the new clients, I’ve been snowed under . There is so much work to be done.
  • To put something on ice = to postpone something.
  • We’ve been talking about this project for a while, but haven’ t got anywhere. I suggest putting it on ice for now and moving onto another project.
  • To be on thin ice = to be in a risky situation; to push the limits.
  • You’re on thin ice, John. You’ve been late to work a lot lately and you could lose your job!
  • To give someone the cold shoulder = to be intentionally unfriendly to someone
  • Moira was angry with her friend, so she gave her friend the cold shoulder and did not speak to her.

 

Vocabulary – Read the following definitions and fill in the blanks

Hibernate (v.) – to sleep through the winter in order to reserve energy Blizzard (n.) – a heavy snow storm. Glacier (n.) – a slowly moving mass of ice originating from an accumulation of snow.

  1. Many ___________ in the North Pole area are melting because of global warming.
  2. Whenever December arrives, I just want to _______________ like a bear until spring!
  3. The ____________was so bad that airports were closed and all flights were cancelled.

 

(Answers: 1. glaciers 2. hibernate 3. blizzard) 

 

Reading Practice

Let’s take a look at this passage about celebrating the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, around the world. This day is usually on 21 December or 22 December.

 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year. It celebrates the rebirth of the sun and beginning of winter. It is one of the oldest winter celebrations known.

 

Although winter is the season of darkness and cold, the December Solstice marks the ‘turning of the Sun’ and the days slowly get longer. Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle have been common throughout cultures and history with feasts, festivals, and holidays around the December Solstice.

 

We all know about celebrating Christmas on 25 December, which marks the day that Christ was born. We celebrate this day by exchanging gifts, and in some countries, having a special dinner with family and friends. But how do other cultures celeb rate the shortest day of the year?

 

The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December Solstice. Fires were lit to symbolise the heat, light, and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and burned on the hearth in honour of the Scandinavian god Thor.

 

A piece of the log was kept as both for good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log. In England, Germany, France, and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained. The ashes were then collected and either spread on the fields as fertiliser every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and or as medicine.

 

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated in many different ways throughout history. What are you going to do to celebrate the shortest day of the year?