Seasonal and holiday idioms and sayings

door Regina Coeli

Have you ever wondered why you can’t understand English speakers? Well, perhaps it’s because of the hundreds of expressions they so easily use without even thinking. Here’s a rather exaggerated conversation full of them! See if you can follow the story. After you’ve read it, all will be revealed.


So Bill how you going to ring in the New Year?

Bill: I’ll be spending it with my friend, John, in Australia. I haven’t seen him since the year dot. So what about you?  
Susan:  I’m not sure. I think I’ll spend it with some friends in Amsterdam. So are you going to make any New Year’s resolutions for next year?
Bill:  Well, I’m going to turn over a new leaf and start living more healthily. Did you know that eating at least 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables and working out can take years off you? I’ve heard it can make you look at least ten years younger. Actually, I’ve been even thinking of joining a gym. Do you want to come along? 
Susan:  Not in a million years. I haven’t been to the gym in donkey’s years. I want to spend my twilight years enjoying life rather than in a gym. Anyway, weren’t you going to live a healthier life last year?
Bill:  Yes, that’s true. I tried to go swimming once a week, but I couldn’t find a year-round swimming pool.
Susan:  I don’t know why you make New Year’s resolutions. Year in, year out, you make the same resolutions, but you always break them within a few weeks.
Bill:  But as they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


To ring in the New Year   To celebrate the beginning of the new year at midnight on December 31 
Since the year dot   For a long time
To turn over a new leaf  To start behaving better
To take years off you   To look younger
Not in a million years (Spoken English)   It’s unlikely to happen
Twilight years  Last years of someone’s life
In donkey’s years  For a long time
A year-round  All year round
Year in, year out  Every year, especially in a boring/ negative way
 If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.   Encourage someone to try again, especially someone who has failed many times.

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