Hello and welcome to the Everyday Language Podcast for English Learners. I’m Mark, and I’m recording this episode in Akita, Japan.
In today’s episode, I want to talk about idioms connected to spring.
Because, today is the 14th of March 2018 and we’re about to enter spring, the spring season.
So I’m going to talk about three spring idioms, and I’ll introduce them, tell you the meaning and give you some example sentences.
So the first one – “full of the joys of spring”.
So, if somebody is “full of the joys of spring” it means that they are very happy and in a cheerful mood and energetic. So my first sentence is this:
Julie seems to be full of the joys of spring, something good must have happened to her.
Ok, so, Julie seems to be really happy, she seems to be really cheerful something good must have caused that to happen.
And my second example sentence:
Ever since Keith quits his job, he’s been full of the joys of spring, he’s like a new man.
Meaning that since Keith stopped working since he resigned from his job. His mood has changed and now he’s a really happy person, he’s full of the joys of spring.
So this phrase “full of the joys of spring” is often used to express a change. A change in mood has happened. So someone has become happy, and they’ve become brighter in mood.
The next idiom is this – “to have a spring in one’s step”.
This use of spring is to do with having a bounce in your step. So it’s about walking, and as you’re walking along, you know, you’re feeling happy, so you’ve got a spring in your step.
It means you’ve got some energy, and, you know, you can show your happy mood by walking in a kind of happy way.
You know, when you’re depressed, when you’re the opposite, you drag your feet. You know, it’s hard to move your feet off the ground but when you’re in a happy mood, you feel light and bubbly, and you can just kind of bounce, as you move.
You’re almost jumping; you’ve got a spring in your step.
So again we use this phrase to mean energetic and happy and cheerful. So it’s similar to the previous, previous idiom.
And here’s the example sentences that I made:
After going to the onsen (the onsen is the Japanese hot spring) Matsuda San had a spring in his step, he was very refreshed.
Okay, so after going to the hot spring and (the warm natural bath which there are many [of] in Japan) Matsuda San – so Mr Matsuda, had a spring in his step. So he was very happy and relaxed, and he felt energised.
Okay, there’s a bit of a pun there with that one.
The next example sentence:
Ever since he finished his exams, Damon has had a spring in his step.
So exams are, you know, really tough, kind of a bit boring, to, to do. And when you finish them, you’re really happy. You know, all your stress can come out and you can be carefree. You know, you can forget all or the worries you had about learning lots of things.
And so you, you may be walking in a more happy [- happier – my bad] manner. You know, showing your relaxed attitude and your relief. So you may have “a spring in your step”.
Okay, the next one is this – “hope springs eternal”.
So, you say this idiom when you want to express that you continue to hope that something will happen, although it’s unlikely that it will happen.
Okay, so when you’re in an optimistic mood, when you’re thinking positively – “hope springs eternal”.
For instance, you play the lottery, and it’s very unlikely that you will win the lottery because the chances are very, very small.
You know, like, millions to one. Like, twenty million to one that you will win the lottery, so it’s very, very unlikely. And your friend says to you,
“Like, why are you bothering playing the lottery? You know, that’s just wasting your money.”
And you can say, “Hope springs eternal!” “You know, I know that it’s very unlikely that I will win, but I’m optimistic. I’m a hopeful person.”
You know “Hope springs eternal” “Even if it’s a very, very small chance – I might still win.”
Okay, and, and, lastly, “hope springs eternal” is often used in a sarcastic manner. So people might not be sincere when they say “hope springs eternal”.
Instead, they are implying that being hopeful is foolish or a waste of time. So when used sarcastically, the emphasis isn’t on the small chance that something might happen.
Instead, the emphasis is on the large possibility, the large chance that something will not happen. So the attitude is pessimistic, not optimistic.
I’ll give you an example of this, your friend asks you, “Will it be sunny today?”
And you reply, “Hope spring eternal”.
And what you really mean is – it’s very, very unlikely, there’s almost no chance, don’t even think about it being sunny.
Okay, so remember “hope springs eternal” is about the likelihood of something happening and probably it won’t happen.
But used sincerely it means that you retain your hopefulness, you retain your-your wish that it will be, be sunny or that you will win the lottery, or whatever your wish is, or whatever your hope is.
But when used pessimistically, when used sarcastically, you are thinking that there’s almost no chance.
Okay, so that’s it for today’s idioms about spring. Do try to use these if you get the chance.
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Okay, thank you for listening, and I’ll see you soon, okay, bye-bye!
If you want an easy to use reference dictionary about English idioms this is my recommendation:
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Thank you to Setuniman and Tristan Lohengrin
Intro music: Happy by Setuniman, see his work on Pond5.com (Royalty free licence)
Outro music: Accordion improvisation by Tristan Lohengrin. See his YouTube channel here.
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