Hi, everyone. This blog features not only entries related to the English language but other miscellaneous issues as well.
It also contains links to other blogs and stuff relevant to the topics which have been included here. Hope you enjoy it!

* This blog is being currently advertised at English Club: http://www.englishclub.com/webguide/ESL_Blogs/
* Also listed at
- AulaBlog: http://www.aulablog.com/a-blog-for-english-lovers-2
- Blogfesores: http://www.blogfesor.org/directorio/index.php?c=51
- Top of Blogs: http://topofblogs.com/education_training/a_blog_for_english_lovers - Welcome to English & Fun: http://www.welcometoenglishandfun.com/links.htm

Friday, 30 August 2013

Women & War: Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in war factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and materiel (= the equipment, apparatus, and supplies of a military force) . These women sometimes took entirely new jobs replacing the male workers who were in the military. The character is considered a feminist icon in the US.
The term "Rosie the Riveter" was first popularized in 1942 by a song of the same name written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. The song became a national hit. The song portrays "Rosie" as a tireless assembly line worker, doing her part to help the American war effort. A riveter is a worker who inserts and hammers rivets.
Rosie the Riveter was most closely associated with a real woman, Rose Will Monroe, who was born in Kentucky in 1920 and moved to Michigan during World War II. She worked as a riveter building bombers for the U.S. Army Air Forces. Monroe achieved her dream of piloting a plane at the age of 50 and her love of flying resulted in an accident that contributed to her death 19 years later. Monroe was asked to star in a promotional film about the war effort at home. The song "Rosie the Riveter" was popular at the time, and Monroe happened to best fit the description of the worker depicted in the song. Rosie went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized icon of that era. The films and posters she appeared in were used to encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort.
The image most iconically associated with Rosie is J. Howard Miller's famous poster for the American power company Westinghouse Electric, titled We Can Do It!, which was modelled on the middle Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle in 1942. Doyle helped the American effort in World War II by working at a local factory in 1942. It was there that she met graphic artist J. Howard Miller, who used her portrait on his iconic poster. Geraldine Doyle didn't know she was the model for Rosie until 1984, when she came across the 1942 photograph in Modern Maturity Magazine.

Cars in Gatsby's Times: The Ford T

The Great Gatsby, the book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, features cars extensively. The Ford Model T is a type of car which became popular in the 1920s. It was an American car built between 1908 and 1928 by the Ford Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the most important cars in history because it was one of the first cars to be sold for very little money, making it easy for people to travel from place to place.
Before the Model T, most cars cost lots of money. Only people with lots of money could afford them. Even Ford's cars before the Model T cost a lot of money.
The man who owned the company, Henry Ford, heard about meat being packed on an assembly line, which moved meat from worker to worker so that the meat could be cut up. No one had ever thought to use an assembly line to put cars together. Ford knew that if he built his cars on an assembly line instead of one at a time like other cars, he could make a car that anyone could afford and would be built like cars that cost more money. He also knew that he could pay his workers lots more money. Henry Ford was born in 1863 and died in 1947. He became one of the US's richest and most successful businessmen. He is also known for saying "History is bunk".

Did you know?

Detroit is a city in the US district of Michigan. It is an important centre for making cars, and the Ford, General Motors and Chrysler car companies are all based there.

Royals in the Kitchen: Edward & Wallis Club

A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich or double-decker, is a sandwich with two layers of fillings between 3 slices of bread. It is often cut into quarters and held together by cocktail sticks. The traditional club ingredients are usually turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise served on toasted white bread.
The Club Sandwich was a favourite of former King Edward VII and his wife Wallis Simpson. In fact, she took great pride in preparing this sandwich.
Edward & Wallis Club is a true British club which makes an excellent lunch. The ingredients are:
Yorkshire butter, extra thick mayonnaise, Crisp shredded lettuce, creamy Lancashire cheese, chicken breast, Cumbrian pancetta, Italian vine tomatoes, freshly milled black pepper
red velvet beetroot, carrot, parsnip & sweet potato crisps.

Edward VIII (June 23, 1894 - May 28, 1972) was King of the United Kingdom from January 20, 1936 until December 11, 1936. Edward was born in White Lodge, Richmond Park, London.
Edward abdicated (resigned) the throne because he wanted to marry the American Wallis Simpson. Simpson had been married twice before. As King, he was Head of the Church of England and the Church did not support divorce at the time. After abdicating as king, he was Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.
As King, he was head of all of the British Orders of Chivalry. After he abdicated, his brother, King George VI made him a member of all of the orders again.
The Abdication Crisis is the period in Britain in 1936, in which King Edward VIII was forced to abdicate so that he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American who had been divorced . According to the law, he was not allowed to marry a divorced woman and still remain king.

Art & History: The Portrait That Was Destroyed

Graham Sutherland (August 24, 1903 – February 17, 1980) was an English artist. From 1940 Sutherland was employed as an official artist in World War II, as part of the War artist Scheme. He worked on the Home Front, depicting mining, industry, and bomb damage.
Sutherland also painted a number of portraits, with one of Somerset Maugham (1949) the first and among the most famous. When Winston Churchill was in his eighties, Sutherland painted his portrait, which had the look of a befuddled bulldog. Churchill openly reviled the work, and the portrait was destroyed: it was burned on the orders of Churchill's wife out of anger only a year or two after its completion...
The controversial portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, which Churchill himself hated because he said it 'makes me look half-witted', was commissioned in 1954 by past and present members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, and presented to the great statesman as a celebration of his eightieth birthday at a ceremony in Westminster Hall on November 30, 1954.

Women & War: Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Lynn (1917- ) is an English singer who was very popular during World War II. She was known as the "Forces' Sweetheart" and entertained soldiers with songs such as "We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover". Lynn was born Vera Margaret Welch on March 20, 1917 in East Ham, London. Later she adopted her grandmother's maiden name Lynn as her stage name. Her father was a plumber and Vera grew up with her parents' Cockney accent, which she has never abandoned. She began singing at the age of seven in a working men's club.
Lynn married clarinettist & saxophonist Harry Lewis in 1939, the year World War II broke out. In 1940 she began her own radio series, "Sincerely Yours", sending messages to British troops stationed abroad. In this radio show she & a quartet performed the songs most requested to her by soldiers stationed abroad. She also went into hospitals to interview new mothers & send messages to their husbands overseas. She toured Burma & gave outdoor concerts for soldiers. In 1942 she recorded the song "We'll Meet Again" while making the film of the same name. The nostalgic lyrics ("We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day") had a great appeal to the many people separated from loved ones during the war, and it became one of the emblematic songs of the wartime period.
Lynn was appointed an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1969 & a DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1975. In 1976 a charity dedicated to funding breast cancer research was founded, Lynn being its chair & later its president. In 2002 at the age of 85 she became the president of the cerebral palsy charity SOS & hosted a celebrity concert on their behalf at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

* Vera Lynn and Pink Floyd

• Pink Floyd wrote a song called "Vera" for their 1979 album The Wall; in the film based on the album, a Christmas song "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot" by Vera Lynn is played over the opening credits.
In the live version of The Wall, Is There Anybody Out There: The Wall Live 1980-1981, "We'll Meet Again" opens the concert before the show starts. It serves as a link between band member Roger Waters and his father, who was killed during World War II.

* Vera Lynn and Language

• A Vera Lynn is cockney rhyming slang for a skin, which is a cigarette paper.
"Buy me some veras and 10 Marlboro Light when you pass the newsagents."
• Vera Lynn is also cockney rhyming slang for words chin and gin and the drug heroin.

Colours of World War I: Soldiers' Uniforms

British Soldiers

British soldiers wore khahi or "service drab". The tunic of coarse serge was buttoned to the neck. Above black leather boots, puttees (cloth strips wound round the legs) extended from ankle to knee.
At the start of the war soft forage caps were worn, but in in 1916, the famous round steel helmets appeared. British infantrymen were expected to carry equipment which totalled a third of their own weight. In fact, they usually carried around 35 kilos and were greatly overloaded.

French Soldiers

At the beginning of the war French soldiers were very smartly dressed. Over their red trousers they wore dark blue capotes (long cloaks) and their headgear was a red or blue flat-topped forage cap or "kepi".
Before the end of 1914, this had been repaced by a more modest blue-grey uniform. French troops carried an awesome 39 kilos of equipment and this included a long unwieldy bayonet.

German Soldiers

The pikel-haube or spiked helment was the best-known feature of the uniform of the German soldier. His uniform was "field grey" worn with knee-length "jack boots". It was not until 1916 that stahlhelms, helmets which gave added protection to the neck, were first used.

The army officer behind the poster

Horatio Kitchener (1850-1916), who was also known as Lord Kitchener, was a British army officer. He fought successfully in the Boer War. During World War I, he was responsible for buiding up the British army, and his picture appeared on a famous poster with the words "Your country needs YOU. Join your country's army, God save the King".
In 1916 Lord Kitchener sailed the cruiser HMS Hampshire for his diplomatic mission to Russia. The Hampshire struck a mine laid by a German U-boat and sank west of the Orkney Islands. Kitchener, his staff, and 643 of the crew of 655 were drowned or died of exposure. As his body was never found, a number of conspiracy theories were put forward. Some claimed that Kitchener was assassinated, or that his death would have been convenient for a British establishment that had come to see him as a figure from the past who was incompetent to wage modern war.

The Colours of War: Military Camouflage

Camouflage is a type of clothing, fabric covering, or painted pattern used by militaries and armies to make it harder to see soldiers and weapons such as artillery guns and military vehicles. Camouflage clothes, fabric coverings, and paint use a coloured pattern of several colours that is designed to blend in with the surroundings. Camouflage patterns are also used for hunting clothes.
Camouflage became an important part of modern military tactics when the accuracy of rifles and cannons improved at the end of the 1800s. But armies continued to use bright colours and designs until the 20th century. During World War II camouflage became a common feature in military uniforms. As well, many military vehicles such as planes and trucks were painted with camouflage patterns.
Different countries use different types of military camouflage patterns.

Types of camouflage patterns

Camouflage patterns used in desert areas, are beige and light brown. Camouflage patterns used in forested areas, mix different green and brown colours. Camouflage patterns used in urban areas mix grey, white, and black colours. Camouflage for snowy areas use white colors to blend in with the snow. There is also night camouflage, which includes different shades of black and dark tones of greys.

Military Colours: Khaki and Olive Drab

Khaki is a dull yellowish-brown colour used especially for military uniforms. The word khaki originated in 1857, from the Urdu word khaki, which literally means "dusty," from khak "dust," from Persian. It was first introduced in uniforms of British cavalry in India (the Guide Corps, 1846) and widely adopted for camouflage purposes in the Boer Wars (1899-1902).
Olive Drab refers to any of various shades of greenish brown, much used as a camouflage colour in the armed forces. The word drab was first used in 1686, meaning "colour of natural, undyed cloth," from Middle French drap. Apparently it is not related to the earlier word meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (c.1515), which seems to be connected with Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," and perhaps with Low German drabbe meaning "dirt."

Literature & Politics: The Mitford Girls

Diana Mitford
The Mitford girls were six sisters (Deborah, Jessica, Nancy, Diana, Unity and Pamela) that belonged to an aristocratic English family. Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was a British writer who wrote novels and other books about the British aristocracy. Her best-known novels areThe Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. She helped to popularise the "U", or upper-class, and "non-U" classification of linguistic usage and behaviour. Two of her sisters, Diana and Unity, became involved in right wing politics. They greatly admired Adolph Hitler and Diana married the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley.    
Deborah Mitford
Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford (September 11, 1917 – July 22, 1996) was an English author, journalist and political campaigner. She gained American citizenship in later life. Jessica (always known as "Decca") renounced her privileged background at an early age and became an adherent of communism. She was known as the "red sheep" of the family. J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, reviewed Mitford's book of letters, Decca, in the Sunday Telegraph in 2006. Rowling stated in 2002, "My most influential writer, without a doubt, is Jessica Mitford. When my great-aunt gave me Hons and Rebels when I was 14, she instantly became my heroine. She ran away from home to fight in the Spanish Civil War, taking with her a camera that she had charged to her father's account. I wished I'd had the nerve to do something like that. I love the way she never outgrew some of her adolescent traits, remaining true to her politics – she was a self-taught socialist – throughout her life. I think I've read everything she wrote. I even called my daughter [Jessica Rowling Arantes] after her."

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Colour: Effects & Meanings

A link which includes issues related to colour such as:
Symbolism & Emotions
Effects on the Body
Effects on Vision
Color Chatter
The Color Police
Color Tales

Especially recommended section: Color Matters for Kids.

Cool Link in English:
Color Matters

Special Vocabulary: Hands & Feet

English-Spanish Glossary: Hands

acrylic nails: uñas esculpidas
ball of the thumb: eminencia tenar
clippers: alicate
cuticle: cutícula
fingerprint: huella digital
index finger: dedo índice
knuckles: nudillos
little finger (Am. E. pinkie) meñique
middle finger: dedo medio
nail: uña
nail brush: cepillo de uñas
nail file: lima de uñas
nail scissors: tijerita para uñas
nail varnish (Brit. E.) / nail polish (Am. E.) esmalte de uñas
palm: palma de la mano
ring finger: anular
wrist: muñeca

English-Spanish: Feet

ankle: tobillo
arch: arco del pie
athlete's foot: pie de atleta
big toe. dedo gordo del pie
bunion: juanete
chilblains: sabañones
club foot: pie equinovaro
dedo en martillo: hammer toe
espolón: calcaneal spur
flat feet: pie plano
foot fungus: hongos
foot odour: pies malolientes
foot powder: polvo pédico
footprint. huella del pie
heel: talón
ingrown nail: uña encarnada
instep: empeine
plantar wart: verrugar plantar
sole: suela del pie
toe: dedo del pie
toenail: uña del pie

Types of baths & bath products

Types of baths 

bubble bath - a bath in which you add something to foam and scent the bath water 

mud bath - a bath in warm mud (as for treating rheumatism) 

footbath - a small bathtub for warming or washing or disinfecting the feet 

hip bath, sitz bath - a bathtub in which your buttocks and hips are immersed as if you were sitting in a chair and you bathe in a sitting position 

sauna - an invigorating bath originating in Finland in which the bather is subjected to hot steam, usually followed by a cold plunge or by being lightly beaten with birch twigs 

Turkish bath - a type of bath in which the bather sweats freely in hot dry air, is then washed, often massaged, and has a cold plunge or shower 

Terms related to the word "bath" 

Bathing beauty is an attractive young woman in a bathing suit, especially one taking part in a beauty contest. 

Bathing cap is a cap worn in a swimming pool, mostly by women, to keep the hair dry. 

Bathing machine is a wooden hut on wheels pulled down to the sea to allow bathers to dress and undress, used in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Bathing suit (also bathing costume) is an old-fashioned word for swimsuit. 

Bath mat is a washable mat used in a bathroom to protect the floor from water. 

Bathrobe is a garment like a loose coat worn before and after having a bath. 

Bath salts are mineral salts that are added to bath water to soften it and make it smell nice. 

Bath towel is a large towel to dry yourself after a bath.

Food & Cooking: Types of Sauces

arrabbiata: tomato sauce with hot chilli
béchamel: white sauce (milk thickened with a butter and flour roux)
bolognese: finely minced meat, tomato and garlic sauce
carbonara: smoked bacon, egg, cream and black pepper
filetto: tomato, garlic, oregano, olive oil
four-cheese: mozzarella, gruyere, fontina, provolone
neapolitan: tomato, garlic, onions,. basil, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, peppercorns, cloves, and mushrooms
pesto: basil, garlic, pinenuts, olive oil and pecorino cheese
pomodoro: tomato, garlic and basil sauce
puttanesca: tomato, garlic, hot chilli, anchovies, capers
vongole: clam, parsley, garlic and olive oil

Did you know?

The béchamel sauce is named after Marquis de Béchamel, a French financier and steward (one who manages another's property, finances, or other affairs) of Louis XIV. The white sauce acquired its name from him for he perfected an ancient type of sauce made from cream originally made by François Pierre de la Varenne (1615–1678), cook of marquis d'Uxelles.

Sandwich Slang

There are a number of other words that can be used in the place of the term sandwich.
Sarney or Sarnie - England
Butty - England
Bap - England
Barmcake - Staffordshire, England
Brotwanger - Germany
Grainy Bread Trap - Tasmania
Malty Doorstep - New Zealand
Sanger - Australia
Le Sand - France
Sanduba - Brazil

Did you know?

The largest sandwich ever made was made by Wild Woody's Chill and Grill, Roseville, Michigan. It weighed 5,440 lbs.

Special Vocabulary: Sugar

English-Spanish Glossary 

Sugar-related terms:
brown sugar: azúcar negra
caster sugar: azúcar extrafino, azúcar de lustre
powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar): azúcar impalpable
sugar beet: remolacha azucarera
sugar bowl: azucarera
sugar cube: terrón de azúcar
sugar daddy: viejo verde
sugar tongs: pinza para terrones de azúcar
sugary: empalagoso

All About Apples

Expressions with the word apple

*American as apple pie 
to be typically American 
A small house with a white picket fence is supposed to be as American as apple pie. 

*in apple-pie order 
Fig. in very good order; very well organized. 
Please put everything in apple-pie order before you leave. 
I always put my desk in apple-pie order every evening. 

*sure as God made little green apples 
absolutely certain. 
I'm as sure as God made little green apples that he's the one. 

* An apple a day keeps the doctor away. 
Prov. Apples are so nutritious that if you eat an apple every day, you will not ever need to go to a doctor. 
Remember to take an apple in your lunch today. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Grandma always fed us lots of apples when we visited her. She believed that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. 

* apple of discord: 
a cause of disdagreement, argument, hatred, etc.

* apple of someone's eye 
Fig. someone's favourite person or thing; a boyfriend or a girlfriend. 
Tom is the apple of Mary's eye. She thinks he's the greatest. 
John's new car is the apple of his eye. 

* apple-polisher 
Fig. a flatterer. 
Doesn't that wimpy apple-polisher know how stupid he looks? 
Everybody at my office seems to be an apple-polisher but me. 

* apples and oranges 
Fig. two entities that are not similar. (Used especially in reference to comparisons of unlike things.) 
You can't talk about Fred and Ted in the same breath! They're like apples and oranges. 
Talking about her current book and her previous bestseller is like comparing apples and oranges. 

* Big Apple 
New York City. 
We spent the weekend in the Big Apple. 

* How bout them apples? and How do you like them apples? 
What do you think of that? (Often used to express admiration, as in the first example; bout is short for about.) 
Tom: I got first prize! Mary: Well! How bout them apples? 
Joe got a job as a newspaper reporter. How do you like them apples?

* motherhood and apple pie 
Fig. an often parodied sentiment expressed about allegedly quintessential elements of American home life. 
Fred is so old-fashioned. Everything about old times is good to him. He's all motherhood and apple pie. 

* rotten apple 
a single bad person or thing. 
There always is a rotten apple to spoil it for the rest of us. 
Tom sure has turned out to be the rotten apple. 

* rotten apple spoils the barrel 
Prov. A bad person influences everyone he or she comes into contact with, making them bad too. Helen is the rotten apple that spoils the barrel in our office. Everyone sees her come in late to work and take long coffee breaks, and they think, "Why can't I do the same?" 

* She'll be apples. (Australian informal) also She's apples. (Australian informal) 
something that you say in order to tell someone that they do not need to worry and that everything will happen as it should 
'What if it rains for the wedding?' 'Don't worry, she'll be apples.'

* upset the apple cart 
Fig. to mess up or ruin something. 
Tom really upset the apple cart by telling Mary the truth about Jane. I always knew he'd tell secrets and upset the apple cart. 
Special Vocabulary: Apples

Types of apples

cooking apple
an apple that one eats cooked.

eating apple
an apple that one eats raw.

crab apple
a small sour apple, often used to make jelly.

green apple
an apple of this colour, when young or unripe.

Common varieties of apples

bright red winter apple, very good in quality, and easily shipped.
Golden Delicious
a large, yellow skinned apple and very sweet to the taste.
Granny Smith
a sour tasting green apple.
McIntosh Red (or McIntosh, colloquially "Mac")
apple with red and green skin, a tart flavour, and tender white flesh.
Royal Gala
a pink-red dessert apple and is therefore usually eaten fresh.
Red Delicious
a deep-red type of apple.

Food and drink made from apples

apple butter
a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown.
apple crumble (Am. E. apple crisp)
a dessert consisting of baked apples topped with a crispy crust.
apple dumpling
a sweet food made of pastry with fruit inside it.
Am. E. a spirit (a strong alcoholic drink) made from apples.
apple jelly
a clear, quite solid jam containing no pieces of fruit, seeds, etc.
apple pie
apples cooked in pastry.
applesauce (or apple sauce)
a sauce that is made from stewed and mashed apples.
apple strudel
a sort of cake of Austrian origin, made of light pastry, with fruit inside.
a beverage made from apple juice.
stewed apple
cooked slowly and gently in liquid.

All About Wine

Idioms with the word Wine

Wine and dine: to entertain or be entertained with a meal and wine:
We wined and dines them until late into the night.
The cliché "wine, women, and song" is a rhetorical figure of a triad or hendiatris (Hendiatris ( a figure of speech used for emphasis, in which three words are used to express one idea). A modern version of this tripartite motto is "Sex, drugs and rock and roll". The terms correspond to wine, women and song with edgier and updated vices. The term was popularised by the hippies, and composed by Ian Dury in his 1977 song of the same name.
The phrase "days of wine and roses" means a period of happiness and prosperity. It originally comes from the poem "Vitae Summa Brevis" by the English writer Ernest Dowson (1867–1900):
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

Special Vocabulary: Wine

Wine is an alcoholic drink made from grapes
white / red wine
It can also be made from fruit
apple wine
Table wine is wine intended for drinking with a meal, especially wine that is not very expensive.
A wine bar is a type of bar that serves mainly wine and also usually provides light meals. Wine-coloured is an adjective which means “having the colour of wine”
a wine-coloured dress

Common varieties of wine

Cabernet Sauvignon red wine is wine having a red colour derived from skins of dark-coloured grapes grown especially in the Bordeaux region of France and northern California.Chartreuse: strong sweet green or yellow alcoholic drink.
Malbec: a red wine made from Malbec grapes.
Merlot: red wine made from the Merlot black grape.
Marsala: a sweet strong wine from Marsala in the island of Sicily.
Muscatel: a sweet light-coloured wine made from a grape of the same name.
Port: strong, usually sweet dark Portuguese wine, usually drunk after a meal.
Sherry: a pale or dark brown sweet or non-sweet strong wine from Spain.
Sparkling wine: giving off bubbles of gas.
Champagne is the most expensive type of sparkling wine.

Bread, Biscuits & Cakes

Types of Bread & related words

sliced bread: pan lactal
rye bread: pan de centeno
pitta bread / pita bread (Am. E); pan árabe
baguette/French bread: baguette
bagel: pan bagel
crouton: croton
bread roll: panecillo
breadstick (grissino): grisín 
hamburger bun: pan redondo para hamburguesa
hot dog bun: pan para panchos
loaf: hogaza de pan
crust: corteza de pan
croissant: medialuna
gingerbread: pan de jenjibre

Types of Biscuits & Individual Cakes

biscuit (Brit. E) / cookie (Am. E): galletita
cracker/ cream cracker: galletita de agua
digestive / chocolate digestive: galletita hecha con bicarbonato de sodio
ship biscuit / hard tack: galleta marinera
hot-cross bun: buñuelo que se come en Pascuas
shortbread: bizcocho de manteca
wafer: oblea
muffin: muffin
petit four: petit four
doughnut / ring doughnut: dona
jam doughnut (Brit. E) / jelly doughnut (Am. E) dona rellena
fairy cake (Brit. E) / cupcake (Am. E): masita fina
madeleine: magdalena
eclair: palo de Jacob

Types of Cakes & Related Words

sponge cake (Brit. E) / layer cake (Am. E): bizcochuelo
black forest cake: torta selva negra
icing sugar: azúcar impalpable
wedding cake: torta de bodas
zebra cake: torta marmolada
Swiss roll: arrollado
ready-mix: mezcla para preparar tortas
custard: crema pastelera
puff pastry: masa hojaldre
yeast: levadura
marzipan: mazapan
crystallized fruit / candied fruit: fruta abrillantada
icing: cobertura
whipped cream: crema batida
piping bag: boquilla para decorar
sprinkles / "jimmies": granas de colores
baking powder: polvo para hornear
baking soda: bicarbonato
food colouring: colorante para tortas
vanilla extract: extracto de vainilla

Eggs, Anyone?

Types of eggs

hard-bolied egg: huevo duro
soft-bolied egg: huevo pasado por agua
fried egg / sunny-side up egg: huevo frito
beaten egg: huevo batido
poached egg: huevo poché

Parts of Eggs

white of an egg: clara de huevo
yolk of an egg: yema de huevo
eggshell: cáscara de huevo

Egg-related terms:

bad egg: a person of dishonourable character
eggcup: a small container without a handle that holds a boiled egg so that it can be eaten.
egghead: a clever, highly educated person , esp. one who is impractical.
eggnog: a thick drink made of beaten eggs, milk, sugar, and nutmeg, often containing whiskey, rum, wine, etc.)
eggplant: Am. E. for aubergine (= a perennial plant with large, ovoid, usually purple-skinned fruits that are eaten 
as a vegetable)
egg roll: Am. E. for spring roll (= a Chinese food consisting of a thin case of egg pastry filled with bits of vegetable 
and often meat and usually cooked in oil).
egg timer: small two-part glass container with sand in it that runs from one part to the other in about three minutes, 
which is used for measuring the time when boiling eggs.
nest egg: an amount of money saved for special future use.
Scotch egg: a boiled egg cooked inside a covering of sausage meat.
overegg the pudding: to make something too complicated or elaborate by adding something that is not needed:
We sent her a birthday card and some flowers; to send champagne as well would just be overegging the pudding.

* Did you know?

An egg and spoon race is a race between people running while balancing an egg on a spoon. The winner is the first 
person to complete the distance without the egg falling off the spoon. Egg and spoon races are often held at children's 
school sports days.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Surgeon behind the Brand Name: Listerine

Joseph Lister (1827-1912) was a British surgeon (= a doctor who does operations on the body) who was the first doctor to use antiseptics (= chemicals that prevent wounds from becoming infected) during operations.
When Surgeon Joseph Lister of Glascow Royal Infirmary removed dressings from James Greenlees' compound fracture, he found the wound had healed without infection-something unheard of before. For six weeks, Lister had treated the boy's wound with carbolic acid. Now Lister had proof of success of his principle of antisepsis -which was to revolutionize methods of treatment and to open new vistas in practice of surgery, of medicine, and of environmental sanitation.
This painting by Robert A. Thom appeared in "Great Moments in Medicine" published by Parke Davis & Company, in 1966.
Listeria is the name given to any of various kinds of bacteria which cause an illness called listeriosis, a kind of food poisoning.
Listerine is a type of mouthwash (= liquid for making your mouth feel clean and smell fresh). Its original formula has notoriously strong flavour, although variations have been released that are marketed as tasting milder. The product is marketed under the slogan "Kills germs that cause bad breath".

Special Vocabulary: Diseases

Though illness and disease are often used in the same way, illness is really a state, or length of time, of being unwell, which may be caused by a disease. It is diseases that can be caught and passed on if they are infectious, and are the subject of medical study:
Several children are away from school because of illness. 
a rare heart disease

* List of Diseases Spanish/English

difteria: diphtheria
gripe: flu
hepatitis A, B, C: hepatitis A, B, C
sarampión: measles
meningitis: meningitis
paperas: mumps
pertusis: pertussis, whooping cough
polio, parálisis infantil: polio
rubéola, sarampión alemán, “alfombrilla”: rubella, German measles
tétano: lockjaw
varicela: chickenpox
encefalitis: encephalitis
lepra: leprosy
botulismo: botulism
brucelosis: brucellosis
cólera: cholera
conjuntivitis: conjunctivitis
dengue: dengue
escabiosis, sarna, acariasis: scabies
fiebre amarilla: yellow fever
fiebre reumática: rheumatic fever
fiebre tifoidea: typhoid fever
malaria, paludismo: malaria
mononucleosis infecciosa: mononucleosis infectious
neumonía, pulmonía: pneumonia
peste: plague
psitacosis: psittacosis
rabia: rabies
síndrome urémico hemolítico: hemolytic uremic syndrome
toxoplasmosis: toxoplasmosis
triquinosis: trichinosis
viruela: smallpox

Literary Gossip: The Wordsworth Threesome

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was a British romantic poet whose poems are about mainly about the beauty of nature. They often describe the countryside in the Lake District in NW England, where he went to live in the village of Grasmere with his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855), who was also a writer. His best-known book of poetry is Lyrical Ballads, which was written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and his most famous poems include Daffodils and The Prelude.
The winter 1798-99 Wordsworth spent with his sister and Coleridge in Germany. There he wrote several works, including the enigmatic 'Lucy' poems. After return he moved Dove Cottage, Grasmere. In 1802 married Mary Hutchinson. They cared for Wordsworth's sister Dorothy for the last 20 years of life – she had lost her mind as a result of physical ailments. Almost all Dorothy's memory was destroyed, she sat by the fire, and occasionally recited her brother's verses.
Dorothy was 21 months younger than William. She was to lose her mother at age six, her father at eleven. She was separated from her brothers and sent to live with her mother's relatives. With no father and having been separated from her brothers since the age of six, at the age of fifteen, now a young woman, Dorothy was reintroduced to her brother, William: she fell in love with him, it was to be a deep and an abiding love which was to last a lifetime. William was off to university (Cambridge) in 1787; and, beginning in 1790, was traveling around quite a lot, including being in France for a year in 1792. After wondering around England, in particular through Wales, it will be recalled that William returned, in 1794, to the lands he knew as a boy. It is at this point that we may see the beginnings of the close and lifelong relationship as did exist between William and Dorothy. In September of 1795, they determined to live with one another, moving into their first little cottage at Racedown, Dorset. They continued to live together until William's death in 1850. The Wordsworth relationship, became a threesome, when, in 1802, William married Mary Hutchinson.
 William likely first met Mary when she was but young, at dame school, at Penrith. It seems, however, that the childhood friendship was more between Dorothy and Mary, a friendship that was to continue throughout their lives. As has been seen, during their adulthood, Mary and Dorothy were to pay regular visits with one another; and, because of the distances and the difficulty of travelling in those days, these visits would last for weeks on end. When Dorothy and William took up living with one another, these long visits continued, with Mary spending considerable periods of time with both William and Dorothy, beginning in 1795, at Racedown and then, after that, at Dove Cottage at Grasmere. In 1802 -- likely inspired by the delightful Coleridge children that now lived nearby -- William and Mary married. Thereafter, brother/husband, sister and wife lived together, first at Dove Cottage and then at Allan Bank (1808) and then, for the balance of their years at Rydal Mount (1813): this arrangement worked wonderfully for all three of them.

Mary, William's Green Willow

Coleridge adored Mary, his "beautiful green willow." Keats described her as Wordsworth's beautiful wife. Wordsworth's biographer, Burra, writes: "[Mary] ... served him and protected him, urged him to his poetry, and attended its labour through nearly fifty years of their lives. Writing his letters, copying his poems, nursing Dorothy, keeping the house, she served him with absolute devotion yet lost nothing of her own character, and gave him equally the wit and the criticism which was almost as useful as her love."
Dorothy, in the physical comparison, was “shorter, slighter.” Unlike most English women, she was of dark complexion, her “face was of Egyptian brown.” There was something about her eyes, which were wild and startling, and hurried in their motion. Were "the Lucy poems" dedicated to her? Whether Lucy was based on a real woman or was a figment of the poet's imagination has long been a matter of debate among scholars. Generally reticent about the poems, Wordsworth never revealed the details of her origin or identity. Some scholars speculate that Lucy is based on his sister Dorothy, while others see her as a fictitious or hybrid character. Most critics agree that she is a literary device upon whom he could project, meditate and reflect.

Literature & Cookies: Madeleines

A madeleine is a delicate, scallop-shaped French tea cake often served with fruit or sherbet. In its preparation, flour, eggs, and sugar are beaten with a large proportion of butter, incorporating as much air as possible; then grated lemon rind and vanilla extract, and sometimes rum, are added. After baking in the customary 12-shell tin, the pastry is served plain or dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
The origins of the madeleine are disputed, but it was brought to its acme, and thence to broad fame, in the 18th century by the pastry chefs of Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.

The French author Marcel Proust immortalized the madeleine in his cycle novel Remembrance of Things Past, in which a taste of the cake is said to have evoked the surge of memory and nostalgia. Madeleines are perhaps most famous outside France for their association with involuntary memory in the Marcel Proust novel À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past in the first translation, more recently translated as In Search of Lost Time), in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine dipped in tea:

She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…

— Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann's Way

Did you know?

Some sources say madeleines may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanisław Leszczyński, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her.