English Language Blog

Archive for December, 2015

English nicknames based on appearance and personality Posted by on Dec 29, 2015

In English, like in other languages, we have some commonly used nicknames for people that are based on how people look or act. These aren’t unique nicknames, like those people acquire from their family or friends, based on their individual characteristics.  Instead these are general nicknames that can be applied to anyone with similar physical…

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Gingerbread houses – Christmas tradition Posted by on Dec 22, 2015

Making gingerbread houses is a Christmastime tradition in the United States (and other countries too). In the US, children often make small gingerbread houses in school, while at home some families make large, candy-covered gingerbread houses. There are even gingerbread house competitions this time of year, where people make elaborate and theme-based gingerbread houses. If…

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5 Interesting Christmas Customs Posted by on Dec 21, 2015

In most English speaking countries Christmas is one of the most important holidays. There are many old traditions associated with Christmas, most notably attending mass to celebrate the birth of Christ. Another tradition that many know about is decorating a Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus will down the chimney and leave gifts for…

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Which is English: Just Deserts vs. Just Desserts Posted by on Dec 17, 2015


Native speakers make mistakes, too, and sometimes those mistakes are painfully obvious to learners of that language! Of course learners tend to know the grammar of the language better than natives, while natives tend to have the advantage in pronunciation. There are, however, times when the language itself seems to be doing its best to…

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An intro to universities (English vocabulary) Posted by on Dec 15, 2015

Many of you reading this blog are studying at universities or are hoping to attend a university in the future. So, today we are going to look at some important vocabulary related to the people you will see and meet at a university. Let’s start by looking at the words ‘university’ and ‘college.’ These two…

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Asheville Video Tour Posted by on Dec 14, 2015

Last month, I introduced Asheville as one of America’s great cities. Although this small mountain city in North Carolina isn’t very famous, there’s a lot to do there. In this final post about Asheville, join the Grateful Gypsies for a video tour of the city’s “Streets, Beats & Eats.” Check out three awesome local restaurants…

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Know Your Wonga – British and American Slang Terms for Money Posted by on Dec 10, 2015

How many slang expressions for money do you know? It turns out there are dozens, and many of them have a fascinating back story. These illustrations, made from actual money by Go Compare and Art Money, capture the origins of these terms in vivid detail. Check out the images and learn how to use these phrases for yourself. 1. Brass  Northern English slang…

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