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Skate on thin ice

刊登日期: 2021.01.22
作者: Grace Tse  

January is normally the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, it is not surprising that in recent weeks, Hong Kong has suffered from winter monsoons, and some countries in Europe have even experienced icy or snowy weather. Despite the cold weather, people have created winter sports for recreational purposes such as skating


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Nosy Parker

刊登日期: 2021.01.15
作者: Grace Tse  

What is the dividing line between being curious and being nosy? A curious person is eager to explore new knowledge and desires to find out the answers to challenging questions. However, when a person gets overly curious in an annoying manner, he or she will be given a nickname " nosy Parker " or " nosey Parker " . A nosy Parker is always interested in the privacy of others and loves to hear gossip


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New Year's resolutions

刊登日期: 2021.01.08
作者: Grace Tse  

Happy New Year! What is your New Year's resolution? Do more physical exercise, start a new hobby, or do more housework?

The custom of starting the New Year with a resolution can be traced back to about 4,000 years ago in Babylon (known as Iraq nowadays). 


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Merry Christmas

刊登日期: 2020.12.18
作者: Grace Tse  

On Christmas Day, the most traditional greeting which people say to each other is " Merry Christmas " . While the celebration of Christmas started in Rome in 336, the use of the phrase " Merry Christmas " was first recorded at least 1,000 years later. 

On the 22nd of December,1534, English Bishop John Fisher wrote a letter to King Henry VIII's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, to ask for clothing and food. He closed the letter with: 

" And thus our Lord send yow a mery Christenmas, ... " 


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A whale of a time

刊登日期: 2020.12.11
作者: Grace Tse  

What are the largest mammals in the world? Whales, especially blue whales, are the largest living mammal species on earth. Since whales are extremely big, what is the meaning of the slang phrase " a whale of a time " ? 

This phrase has nothing to do with the biblical story of Jonah, who was swallowed by a " great fish ". A lot of English versions often translate this into " whale ". 


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In hot water

刊登日期: 2020.12.04
作者: Grace Tse  

In cold weather, we need hot water to make a warm bath or shower. However, we must be very careful with hot water to avoid scalds. Therefore, when someone is " in hot water ", it means that he or she is in trouble. For example,

Tom found himself in hot water because he bullied his classmates.

The idiom appeared as early as 1537 in the collection of correspondence between a British noble family and their friends and relatives.


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By the skin of one's teeth

刊登日期: 2020.11.27
作者: Grace Tse  

In the expression " by (also 'with ') the skin of one 's teeth ", which part of the teeth does the word " skin " refer to? The gum, the enamel or anything else? This phrase first appeared in the Book of Job (Chapter 19 Verse 20) in the Geneva Bible, an English translation of the Bible published by Protestants in 1560. 

"I haue escaped with the skinne of my tethe." 

In the Bible, Job was a wealthy man, pious and upright. One day, he lost his property, his children and his health. 


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Neck and neck

刊登日期: 2020.11.20
作者: Grace Tse  

About two weeks ago, the hottest topic in the media was the US presidential election. The two candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, were running neck and neck in at least four hotly contested states. The world, particularly the American people, was watching intensely while the votes were being counted. 


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Over-egg the pudding

刊登日期: 2020.11.13
作者: Grace Tse  

Eggs are common but versatile ingredients in our daily cooking. From housewives to restaurant chefs, they can use eggs to make numerous dishes. By changing the noun " egg " to a verb, what is the meaning of the idiom " over-egg the pudding " ?


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Elephant in the room

刊登日期: 2020.11.06
作者: Grace Tse  

By looking at the book entitled " An Elephant in the Living Room: A Leader's Guide for Helping Children of Alcoholics ", you might wonder whether the book is concerned about an elephant or children with alcoholic parents. The idiom " elephant in the (living) room " started to be widely used in the USA in the mid-1950s. It refers to a challenging problem or a controversial issue which everyone is aware of, but ignores or avoids because it causes embarrassment socially or politically. 

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