It’s been very cold and rainy here lately but I’m not going to complain because if it were any colder Washington would be covered with snow. I’m not ready for snowy weather.
I decided to pop into a cafe for something warm to drink and I was really pleasantly surprised to see how the barista jazzed up my cocoa with a cute spider web. It was delicious too. The drink was served with a small pot of extra hot chocolate. Mmmmm! I will definitely go back in the coming weeks for another.
Have you “jazzed up” anything recently? This is English idiom is fairly common:
to jazz up something or someone (to jazz something or someone up): to make something or someone more interesting, appealing, exciting or stylish.
For example, in the pictures below you can see our Christmas tree before it was jazzed up and after it was jazzed up with lights.
Our Christmas tree before it was jazzed up.
Our Christmas tree all jazzed up with lights.
A lot of people I know got jazzed up to go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve. This year I didn’t get jazzed up. I stayed home and lounged around the house in my sweat pants and read a book. At midnight, we opened a bottle of champagne though to celebrate. Sometimes at bars and cafes, the bartenders will jazz up drinks with fruit, olives and umbrellas.
What have you jazzed up lately? Practice this new idiom in the comments below!
To learn more idioms, check out the main idioms page on my website!
Spring has definitely sprung!
Spring (noun)- a season between winter and summer when plants and flowers begin to grow.
Sprung (verb: spring; the past tense of this verb is irregular – we don’t say
springed): to suddenly jump or move forward.
Spring is definitely here because my allergies are killing me. That means that my allergies are really bad. Continue reading
Is “beauty only skin deep?”
The English idiomatic expression, “beauty is only skin deep” means that a person’s inner beauty—not their outward physical appearance—is what’s most important.
In English, when we say something is “deep” we are often using the word as a metaphor to say something is important and significant. It is not just something one on the surface (superficial); it’s deeper down below.
English lesson: Click here for a guided English lesson that includes an excellent video of Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o discussing her personal struggle with feeling beautiful when she was growing up.
To learn many more idioms, click here to go to the main idioms page.
Ever had one of those days? Sometimes Fridays can be difficult because it is the end of the week. Here are a few idioms that have the word “hour” in the. They are all related to time.
Fill-in the correct words:
Do you understand each of these idioms? If not, here are the definitions: Continue reading
Writing in the snow
Is this the last snow of the winter? It was very warm all weekend and then I woke up to this. It’s the 17th… I thought March was supposed to go out like a lamb!
English proverb: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Since the first time this occasion was celebrated (in 1911), the rights of women have improved significantly in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, equality among men and women is still a big problem. In many places in the world, women have very few rights.
What is it like in your corner of the world?
Google has created an interesting Doodle to celebrate this occasion. There are 100 women in the video and some of them are saying “Happy International Women’s Day.” Do you know any of these women? What does this day mean for you?
If you would like to see the list of all of the women in this video, please click here for the list on Google’s website.
Grab your scuba gear and get ready to dive deep for this English lesson. On Tuesdays, we do a lesson on an interesting TED Talk — these are short but entertaining speeches by a wide-variety of different speakers. This talk is about the amazing things deep in the sea.
Click here for the lesson. Enjoy!
It’s February 14 … usually people either love it or hate it! If you don’t have a sweetheart or you’re suffering from a broken heart, you can always show love to your family and friends.
There are lots of idioms and expressions about love and relationships. The letter (in the picture above) has a lot of idioms. Do you know any of these? If you don’t understand all of them, the definitions are below. Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo, Nicole
blind date: a date (social meeting) where two people have never met before.
love at first sight: feeling an immediate attraction or love for someone when you first see or meet them. Continue reading
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles on January 26 and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk was crowned the Best Record of the Year. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers were also featured on this song.
Who is Daft Punk? This is a French group that is popular for electronic music. The group was very popular in the late-1990s. The two musicians who make up the duo are Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.
A unique thing about Daft Punk is that the Frenchmen wear helmets and gloves to look like robots during their performances and when they are in public. Ready to take a closer look at this song? First, listen to the song and try to fill in the blanks. This will help you practice your listening skills. Continue reading
Third time’s the charm: Don’t know the meaning of this expression?
2014 Australian Open winner Li Na explained the meaning of this idiom in her victory speech:
“Finally I got her [the Australian Open trophy]. The last two times [in 2011 and 2013] were very close.”
So third time’s the charm means the third time you try something it will work out (you will succeed). By the way, we also say “third time lucky” in English to mean the same thing.
Before her match, Li Na was asked if she’d be “third time lucky” in the final and she replied, “In China, 6 and 8 are lucky.” I guess it’s a good thing she was playing in Australia and not in China today!
If you haven’t seen her victory speech then you have to watch it (see video below). Li Na is Chinese so English is her second language and she did very well with her speech. Congratulations Li Na! Well done!