May 31


Macaroni and cheese is a popular dish in the USA. Perhaps it fills a similar role as gratin, which is less well-known. Mac ‘n’ cheese consists of macaroni noodles and cheese sauce, usually baked in an oven. You can add other ingredients such as bread crumbs or vegetables. The recipe came from Europe originally but became popular in the US around the year 1800 thanks to President Thomas Jefferson. It is a comfort food for many people who loved it as children.

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May 24

“The man who went to jail hadn’t committed any serious crime; he was just a scapegoat.” 「刑務所に入った男は大した罪を犯していなかった;ただの贖罪のヤギさ。」


Long ago, people transferred their sins onto a goat, and then let it go into the wilderness. The goat didn’t do anything wrong, but it carried away all the people’s sins. It was a scapegoat. “Scape” sounds like “escape”—you can imagine that a scapegoat helps you escape from the consequences of your actions. A scapegoat isn’t an actual goat anymore, but a metaphor: it’s a person who is blamed and takes punishment for bad things that someone else did.

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May 17

“The painting on the wall is upside down. Can you turn it right side up?” 「壁にかかっている絵がさかさまになっています。直していただいていいですか?」

Right side upはさかさまという意味のupside downの反対です。さかさまになっていることのほうが珍しいから「さかさま」という単語のほうをよく使います。普段はさかさまになっていなければ何も言う必要はありません。

“Right side up” is the opposite of “upside down”. We probably use “upside down” more often because it’s unusual. Most things are usually right side up, and we don’t need to say anything about it!

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