If you are not a native English speaker and if you want to improve your English, you may make some friends who are native. You discuss everyday issues with them and you clearly see how English is used in daily life. Some issues that you talk may require a certain terminological knowledge e.g. politics. There are many specific terms that do not come to your mind easily. If you are talking online, that’s fine; you have enough time to find the right term online while talking at the same time. However, if you are talking to them face to face, it is a little bit more challenging. You should be familiar with certain terms. In high school, when my English was just intermediate or so, I used to have a conversation class and once in a while my teacher brought a native speaker to the class. Since I was not familiar with certain terms on certain topics, my dictionary was always under my hand and often I had to resort to it. Therefore, the conversations went very slowly and boring that I can see from the face of the native speaker J
Nowadays, everybody is talking about Christmas. Your native friends may want to start a conversation about it or you may hear a song about Christmas and wonder about the terms that you hear in it. What about learning the most common terms? You can find a short list below. If you want to see more, you can click the link at the bottom! Merry Christmas!
Advent - From the Latin Adventus (coming) the four week period preceding Christmas which serves as a time of reflection in preparation for the celebration of the Nativity.
Baubles - Shiny trinkets and ornaments, traditionally made from glass, used in Christmas decorations.
Bells - Hollow metal objects that emit a tuned sound when struck, used during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season and proclaim the birth of Christ.
Carols - Originally secular songs to accompany dancing during communal celebrations, Carols have evolved to become religious songs sung at Christmas.
Christmas Star - The star that guided the Wise Men, or Maji, to Jesus in the stable. One of the more prominent symbols of Christmas and one extensively used as decoration at Christmas time.
Dove - An ancient symbol of love and peace, later used by Christians to symbolize the Holy Ghost. Often used as a decoration at Christmas, particularly on the Christmas Tree.
Epiphany - A life changing event. The last of the 12 days of Christmas, Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ to the gentiles, as represented by the visiting Wise Men.
Holly - A bush with green glossy leaves, and most known for the varieties with red berries, used as a Christmas decoration representing new life.
Holy - Sacred, or participant of the holiness of a divine power, usually God.
Lamb of God - One of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible.
Mistletoe - A semi-parasitic plant that grows on certain types of trees, typified by the sticky substance surrounding the seed which helps it to attach to a potential host when excreted by birds. Mistletoe is used as a Christmas decoration.
Nativity - That moment of birth when the infant takes its first breath and so begins the process of self maintenance of bodily functions. In Christmas terms, Nativity refers to the birth of Jesus.
Offerings - Gifts of money made in the spirit of Christmas gift giving and used to aid the needy.
Parade - A ceremonial procession involving people marching and also sometimes decorated vehicular floats. Christmas is a popular time for parades with many cities holding official parades.
Santa Claus - An imaginary man who circles the globe on Christmas Eve distributing gifts. Believed to be a derivation of Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of Children.
Shepherd - Someone who watches over a flock of sheep, usually in the fields. This concept has been expanded to mean anyone caring for another group of beings, such as a Pastor who watches over and cares for a group of people.
Sleigh - A vehicle used in snowy conditions, traditionally pulled by animals. Used by Santa Claus on his Christmas Eve journey.
Twelve Days of Christmas - A popular Christmas song representing the twelve days from December 35 to January 6. It is thought that the song was a means to teach the tenets of the Catholic faith during times when Catholicism was banned, although this is open to debate.
Wassail - From the Middle English “Waes Haeil”, meaning to be in good health, the custom of toasting to each others health, a custom that has woven itself into Christmas traditions.
Wise Men - Magi/Sages/Medicine Men from the East who visited Jesus with Mary and Joseph shortly after he was born. Although never stated, it is assumed they were three in number as they brought three gifts for the child; Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh.
For more words, click here.
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