Christmas and New Year- A Glossary for ESL Learners
Lesson Plan Text
A Christmas dictionary/ encyclopaedia for EFL students and teachers
A calendar from the 1st of December until Christmas Day that has little cardboard doors that are
opened every day to reveal pictures, chocolates etc
Auld Lang Syne
The song that is usually sung at the very beginning of the New Year, often with people linking
hands while their arms are crossed in front of them. People only hear and sing this song at New
Year and its lyrics are in Scots (a Scottish dialect of English), so people can only usually remember
a few words and just hum the rest. In Japan, by contrast, many shops play this song at the end of
every day. The title can loosely be translated as “(for) old time’s (sake)”.
The famously negative attitude of SCROOGE towards Christmas at the beginning of the Charles
Dickens story A CHRISTMAS CAROL. It means something like “nonsense”, but nowadays is only
used to refer to Christmas as a direct quote from the book.
Baubles (Br. Eng)
Things that hang off the CHRISTMAS TREE to make it more colourful. Especially used to mean
shiny balls. In America these would be called ORNAMENTS.
A small town near Jerusalem where Jesus is supposed to have been born. It is mentioned in many
CHRISTMAS CAROLS, e.g. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.
This is the name of the bell inside the Houses of Parliament near the Thames in London, and is
often also used for the famous clock and tower that it is in. In the UK, most New Year parties and
TV channels play the chimes of Big Ben to mark the exact start of the New Year.
The day after Christmas. No one really knows why it is called Boxing Day, but theories include
boxes of good being given to servants and the alms boxes in the church being opened to give money
to the poor.
Boxing Day Bank Holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in Britain, usually on a Monday. If Christmas Day or Boxing
Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2010