May 16

忙しいときに夜遅くまで働くことがあります。夜に石油ランプを使っていた17世紀では夜中まで働くときは「深夜の石油を燃やす」必要がありました。今は電気を使いますが、それでも遅くまで残業するときなどに「burn the midnight oil」という表現を使います。

Sometimes when you are very busy, you have to work late into the night. In the 1600s, when people used oil lamps for light at night, they had to “burn the midnight oil” in order to see their work late at night. Now we usually use electricity, but we still say things like, “We’ll have to burn the midnight oil,” if we have to work a lot of overtime.

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Apr 25


They say April is a good month to watch for shooting stars. Shooting stars are actually not stars, but meteors that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They are small rocks or even dust that almost always burn up before reaching the surface of the Earth. If you are lucky enough to see one, make a wish!

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Apr 22





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Apr 18

“I wish you would clean your room.” 「部屋を片付けてくれたらいいのに」

“I wish people wouldn’t talk so loud on the train.” 「車内で大きな声を出さなかったらいいけどね」


We often use “wish” to talk about things that we would like to happen, but that aren’t very likely. If we expect it to happen, we often use “hope” instead: “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I hope you do well on the test.”

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Apr 11

ボクシングでは手を上げて自分をガードします。Put up your dukesと言ったら、勝負に誘って、身を守る準備をするように促しています。

If you are a boxer, you raise your hands to guard yourself in a fight. If someone tells you to “put up your dukes”, they’re challenging you to a fight and inviting you to get ready to defend yourself.

なぜdukeが手やこぶしの意味になっているのかについては、より古い手というスラングのfork(フォーク)が由来だと考えられています。ForkとDuke of York(ヨーク公爵)が韻を踏むのです。手という意味のDuke of Yorkは短くなってただのdukeになりました。

We think that the usage of “dukes” to mean “hands” comes from another slang term for hands, “forks”. “Fork” rhymes with “Duke of York”, which was then shortened to just “duke”.

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Apr 04

“I’m sure you two will be good friends.” 「あなたたちはきっといい友達になるでしょう。」

“In a pig’s eye! He’s a complete jerk.” 「まさか!彼は本当にひどい人よ。」


When someone talks about “a pig’s eye” it means they strongly disagree with what was just said. Maybe pigs have very bad judgement, so whatever they think they see is wrong!

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Mar 28

“That’s it. You’re grounded, young lady!” 「もうたくさんだ。お前は外出禁止!」


Grounding is a common punishment for children. When you are grounded, you can’t go out (except for school), just like a plane that can’t fly (it stays on the ground). Parents may have more rules for grounded kids, such as no TV, no video games or no internet.

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Mar 14

“I wonder if the rain has stopped.” 「雨は止んでいるかしら。」


When you wonder, you ask yourself about something or feel curious.

“The children watched in wonder as the magician performed his tricks.” 「子供たちは驚嘆しながらマジシャンの手品を観た。」


Wonder is an emotion we feel when we see something amazing and delightful—or wonderful!

“The bee is one of the wonders of the natural world.” 「ハチは自然界の奇跡の一つです。」


A wonder can also be something that makes us feel wonder, such as a beautiful building or talented person.

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Mar 07

“I’ll get the cookies from the jar. You watch at the kitchen door and tell me if the coast is clear.” 「私がクッキーを取るからあなたは台所の扉のところに立っていて誰もいないか教えて頂戴。」

Coast is clearと言ったら見られてしまう人がいないとうい意味です。例えば、台所からクッキーを持っていくところを両親にみられたくなければ、誰も見ていないと確認してから出る必要があります。見られることはない、安全だということを伝えるのに使うフレーズです。元々の意味は、海岸に敵がいないから船が着陸しても大丈夫です。

If “the coast is clear” it means nobody is around to see you. For example, if you don’t want your parents to see you leaving the kitchen with a handful of cookies, you must wait until the coast is clear before you come out. We use this phrase to tell people when it’s safe and they won’t be seen. The original meaning is that there are no enemies on the beach (coast) so it’s safe to land your boat!

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Feb 28

“Don’t worry about anything, just go for it! We’ve got your back!” 「心配しないでやってみろ!見守っているから!」

“I can focus on studying because my family has my back.” 「家族がサポートしてくれるから勉強に集中できます。」


Imagine a soldier. He can advance more easily if his allies protect him from attacks from the rear. They “have his back”. In many other areas of life, we can be more confident and focused if we know our friends will protect us from unexpected problems.

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