Monthly Archives: March 2012

Homophones

Homophones are words with different meanings and spellings, but with the same pronunciation (in British English).

Look out for the homophones in bold in the text and then check out the glossary to understand the difference between the homophones

The American socialite, Kim Kardashian is probably used to receiving plenty of flowers and expensive wine. However, she probably wasn’t expecting to whine about the type of flower she got recently. She was on the red carpet in Hollywood launching her new perfume when she was unexpectedly attacked with flour!

An unidentified woman threw the cooking ingredient right on Kim’s head, and although she wasn’t hurt, her ego was certainly left sore. As a lot of the press were there, photographers and TV cameras saw and captured the incident. The woman who committed the white-powdered assault managed to get through security but she didn’t manage to escape, as she was caught running down the road.

The day of the incident last week had all started so well for Kim, as she arrived wearing a smart black blazer, leather trousers and a new blue blouse. After being flour-bombed, she was quickly rushed into the hotel where the event was taking place. She got dressed and came back out to the press and made a joke of the situation, but everyone knew she was humiliated and tried to laugh it off so that she didn’t lookweak.

Kim Kardashian is only famous for being a reality-star, where TV cameras followed her super-rich family (totalling eight members) and their daily lives – including what theywore and ate. Paris Hilton and Kim reign as the queens of reality TV and you would think that they would be rivals and at war with each other. However, rather surprisingly, they are good friends and come rain, wind or shine, both are normally seen out partying or at an opening for something. (Interestingly, in English to describe someone like this who goes to every opening party, you say, “He/She would go to the opening of an envelope”).

There’s no official reason why she was targeted by the protestor, although according to reports it is because she wears fur, mainly around her waist. She responded by saying that if protestors are trying to promote non-violence towards animals, then why are they being violent towards humans. Very poetic and I am sure people will now listen to her wise words when she’s next out drinking booze. As well as less boos,people won’t waste food but attack her with love!

Categories: Learning English | Leave a comment

Weather Idioms

As the weather is great here in Cheltenham at the moment, I thought it would be appropriate to share some weather idioms with you.

Take a look at these idoms below and if you can think of any more please let us know – there are so many but here are just a few!

Any port in a storm

This means that in an emergency, any solution will do.

Cloud Nine

If you are on cloud nine – you are said to be extremely happy

Come rain or shine

If I were to say I will be somewhere or do something come rain or shine – it means I can be relied upon to turn up or do it.

Dry Spell

If something or someone is having a dry spell, they aren’t being as successful as they normally are.

Face like thunder

This usually means they are clearly very angry or upset about something.

Every cloud has a silver lining

People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining as reassurance or comfort to somebody who is having problems. It means that there is always something positive to be gained out of a situation, no matter how awful it may seem.

Get wind of

This means to hear or learn about something that is usually a secret.

It never rains but it pours

This means that when things go wrong – they go very wrong. It can also be said ‘When it rains, it pours’

Rain on your parade

This is usually used to say that someone has ruined your plans or an idea

Right as rain

This means that everything is going well. Sometimes it is used in the context of if your not feeling very well – you will soon feel ‘right as rain’, so you will soon feel much better

Take by storm

This means to captivate or to be immensely popular  - i.e Britney Spears took London by storm

Throw caution to the wind

This usually means someone does something and doesn’t worry about the risks

Under the weather

This is usually used to describe an ill, sad or tired feeling.

Categories: English Tips, Learning English | 1 Comment

Man’s best Friend – Animal Idioms

It’s a dogs life, the cat that got the cream, having a whale of a time, a dark horse! These are just a few animal idioms you may have heard or probably will hear at some point.

Read the article below to see these idioms being used in a newspaper article context. This article is a journalists review of the new silent movie, THE ARTIST

Title: An Oscar’s Best Friend

The Artist was the top dog at this year’s Oscars. Well with a little help from a friend – man’s best friend to be precise. Uggie the Dog. Forget that there is no sound, the best actor and even look past the fact that it is in black and white, anyone who has seen this film ill know that the real reason to see it is because of its canine actor.

The Artisit is a great film as it proves that there is life in the old dog yet of black and white, silent films. Who would have thought that a films that pays homeage to the 1920′s would be so successful? But a big part of the fils success is because of Uggie. His charm and character oozer off the screen and everyone involved worled like a dog to get that film made, including Uggie himself.

Uggie is not the only animal to have to have had a big influence on the Oscars. Here are a few that people will probably remember:

1) The horse in War Horse, (2011). When it comes to serios war films, Spielberg does not horse around. This is no different, and the horse gives a powerful performance alongside the English actors. This film was also a dark horse at this year’s Oscars – but unfortunately it didn’t win anything.

2) The whale in Whale Rider, (2002) This New Zealand film touched alot of people  about a little girl having a whale of a time with her new aquatic friend, and the bond that connects them.

3) The pig in Babe (1995) This family-friendly film brought home the bacon  for the studios and was nominated because of its sweet talking piglet. He pretends to be a sheep-dog to save his bacon and makes a lot of talking animal friends along the way.

4) The shark in Jaws, (1975) Technically the shark was mechanical, as even Spielberg would have bitten off more than he could chew if he had used a real one. It was still a menacing and terrifying performance by the shark that still scares people today.

5) Milo the Jack Russell in the film, The Mask (1994), He was full of energy, charming to watch and a fresh face in Hollywood – Jim Carrey wasn’t bad either! Milo was outstanding in this and that lucky dog Jim Carrey owes much of his career to him.

ANIMAL IDIOMS

To be Top Dog:  the most important or powerful person/thing in a group

Man’s Best Friend: – synonym = dog (This stems from dogs being known to be loyal to their owners)

There’s life in the old dog yet: Even though something is old – it/they are still good at something

To horse around: To have fun when maybe you should be serious

A dark Horse: Someone who unexpectedly might win something or be successful or have a talent that know one knew about.

To have a whale of a time: To  have a very enjoyable time

To bring home the bacon: to earn money/ to be successful

Save someone’s bacon: to escape from injury, harm, trouble etc

Bite off more than someone can chew: to take on something more than is possible

A lucky dog: A lucky person

Categories: English Tips, Learning English | Leave a comment

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