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Showing posts from December, 2018

Who was King Wenceslas? And the the Feast of Stephen?

Why do the British call the 26th December Boxing Day?

There is no agreement about this. We can be pretty sure it is not because:

How did A Christmas Carol change the English language?

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) introduced many  memorable words, phrases and idioms into the English language. It also popularised the greeting 'Merry Christmas' which was not widely used at that time.

Stave One is a particularly rich source of memorable phrases.
Bah Humbug!interjection. An exclamation of irritation or disgust. Dead as doornail - obviously/conclusively dead.Ghost of Christmas Past:noun.  A person or thing from a past you might choose to forget Gruel - a thin liquid food of oatmeal - used to refer to cheap/poor food. Scrooge:noun. Someone with cold/mean/miserly attitude. Also someone who transforms from bad to good.Tight fisted - ungenerous  Famous quotations A Christmas Carol is one of the most widely quoted texts in literature. Here are some widely used examples from the opening description of Scrooge:
Marley was dead, to begin with … Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.Oh! but he was …tight -fistedThe cold within him froze his old features.He car…

What is figgy pudding?

We want some figgy pudding
Please bring it right here! We won’t go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
So bring it out here! The pudding that the (apparently drunk) guests singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas demand so rudely is a variant on the tradition Christmas Pudding. 

If your guests 'won't go until {they} get some' you could try a recipe here.

What is Frankinsense? And Myrrh
More Christmas-related posts

Did Dickens invent Christmas?

Christmas is, of course, the celebration a certain event in Bethlehem, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. But the immediate and enduring success ofA Christmas Carol (1843) has played an important role in shaping the secular elements of the modern festival.  
Read More
A Christmas Carol Audiobook (abridged)
Fred & the Christmas Ghost? (playscript/worksheet)

English Language Teaching Packonly £1.99 

Who introduced the phrase 'Merry Christmas'?

"If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly. "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."

Where does the word nativity come from?

The word derives from the Latin 'natal' meaning birth (1200–50; ME nativite < OF nativité < LL nātīvitās)

Scrooge says 'Bah! Humbug!'? What is humbug?

‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. ‘Humbug! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money? For finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer?'

How did Dickens change the English language?

What is Hanukkah? Why the different spellings?

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival in late November or early December.