The Simpsons

simpsons

Five totally random facts you might not know about the popular American television series ‘The Simpsons’:
– It is the longest-running American animated programme.
– If ‘The Simpsons’ aged normally, Bart Simpson would now be older than his mother Marge was in the first season.
– The actor who plays Lisa Simpson was born in France in 1964.
– The actors who play the characters in the Simpsons are currently paid $300,000 per episode.
– In 1992, the then-President George Bush criticized the show by saying, “We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons”.

Here’s a short compilation film of clips of Homer from ‘The Simpsons’ singing.

Pre-Raphaelite Art

pre raphaelite art
Orphelia, one of the finest examples of Pre-Raphaelite art by John Everett Millais.

The Pre-Raphaelite movement was founded by a group of English painters active in the mid to late 19th century. William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones and John William Waterhouse are just some of the notable artists who are considered to have worked in the Pre-Raphaelite style. Here are two examples of paintings that have been labelled Pre-Raphaelite by art critics.

The Pre-Raphaelite painting ‘Hylas and the Nymphs’ by John William Waterhouse.

Related content: Read more about English art.

Mince Pies

This morning a friend and I finished up the last of the mince pies I was given at Christmas. Here’s a picture of the very same prior to their consumption with a rather nice cup of instant coffee.

mince pies

Mince pies are shortcrust or puff pastry filled with a minced mixture of dried fruits, sugar, spices and brandy. Although, this rich and sticky mixture of fruit contains no meat it is called mince meat – and jars of ready-made mince pie filling sold in shop is labelled mincemeat. Mince pies have been eaten as part of a traditional Christmas in Great Britain and Ireland since the 16th century.

Here’s a link to a delicious, easy to make recipe, if you’d like to try making your own mince pies. I though recommend you serve them hot with cream rather than the brandy butter described.

Knock Knock Jokes

‘Knock knock’ jokes are probably one of the most loved of jokes in English-speaking countries. Here are three of our personal favourites:

lettuce joke

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in it’s cold out here.

hobbit joke

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Hobbits!
Hobbits who?
Hobbits going out for a drink later.

ketchup joke

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Ketchup.
Ketchup who?
Catch up with me and I’ll tell you!

Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are an important part of Christmas celebrations in many English-speaking countries, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in coloured paper with a gift, a crown-like paper hat, and a motto or joke on a small piece of paper inside the central chamber. One person pulling one end of the cracker, another person the other end. When the cracker splits a snapping sound, similar to the sound produced by a cap gun, can be heard. This is due to the presence of a card strip impregnated with a special chemical inside the cracker. Christmas crackers are commonly pulled at the Christmas dinner table. The joke or riddle is told and the hat worn during the meal. The tradition of pulling crackers at Christmas dates back to at least the mid 19th century.

Cheddar Cheese

cheddar cheese

Today’s culture spot is dedicated to that most tasty of cheeses, Cheddar Cheese!

cheddar
The village of Cheddar in Somerset, c.1900. Cheddar cheese is still produced in Cheddar to this very day.

Some things you may not know about Cheddar Cheese:
– Cheddar cheese is named after the village of the same name in England where this most delicious of cheeses has been produced since at least the 12th century.
– Traditionally the cheese was matured in the many caves to be found in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, south-west England.
– A good quality strong Cheddar needs to be matured for at least 12 months.
– It is the most popular type of cheese in the UK, Australia, and Canada; and is the second-most-popular cheese in the US, behind Mozzarella.

cheddar cheese
An advertisement from an American magazine published in 1954 for Borden’s Cheddar Cheese.

Offsite link: Cheddar Cheese made in Cheddar in Somerset.

Happy New Year!

anglik englishman

To mark the arrival of new year we’ve decided to completely revamp the anglik website! Instead of the old, fixed html webpages all new content will use this easy to use, mobile-friendly WordPress system.  One of us will post content related to either English as a second or foreign language, British Culture, or the History of English-speaking countries on a regular basis, so please come back soon and have a look.

esl efl

The old site can still be accessed via the English index page.

Today’s language point …

Want to know how to say ‘Happy New Year’ in another language?

Here are a few ways:

Dutch – Gelukkig nieuwjaar.
French – Bonne Année.
German – Ein frohes neues Jahr / Ein gutes neues Jahr.
Polish – Szczesliwego Nowego Roku.

Feel free to add any other ways of saying Happy New Year in other languages to the comments section!