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  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Bulgarian
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      • Bulgaria
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      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    a stake of holly

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me in plain English the meaning of the expression in bold in the following excerpt from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”?
    If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!
    Thank you for your efforts.



    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: a stake of holly

    Evildoers were buried at crossroads, with a stake of wood driven through their hearts. This later transferred to the killing of vampires.

    The stake of holly is underlining the point that the story is set at Christmas time and that Scrooge heartily disapproves of the festival.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    Re: a stake of holly

    And holly - I'm not sure if this is true in Bulgaria - is a widely-used decoration (originating from the pagan rituals onto which the Christian Christmas was grafted) common at Christmas time.


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