3 great words/phrases to use in English when it´s cold


In the first of many posts, I am going to start exploring words, phrases and idioms that have come up in the week of English teaching. Sometimes they will be phrases that reflect something happening in the news or they might just be an interesting expression that you should try to use in your English to not only achieve better marks in your First Certificate or Advanced Cambridge exams, but to make speaking English that little bit more fun and interesting.


  1. Cosy /kəʊzɪ/

This has been a cold week. The Beast from the East has all but chilled us to the bone, causing a lot of disruption all over Europe. The worrying thing is that scientists claim that the cause of this freeze is actually a heat wave in the Arctic. If this is global warming then the temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland are extremely worrying. We all need to do our part to stop climate change.

However, the cold is a perfect excuse for us to get cosy. When it’s cold outside and you get into your nice warm house, put the fire on, get a hot cup of tea, drink some soup, wear a comfortable sweater, curl up on the sofa with your favourite people, and watch a classic family film: this is cosy. Have you ever wondered why English pubs have open fires and low ceiling and wooden features, like an old house? Well, it’s cosy. Most of the year is cold in England, so we want to feel cosy.

  1. Bless you

Another symptom of the cold is the spread of the colds, or flu. People around you are blowing their noses with tissues all day, sneezing and sniffling. Well, you could tell them to get away from you because you don’t want to catch it. But, more polite might be to say ‘bless you’ when they sneeze. Spanish students may mistakenly say ‘Jesus’ in this scenario, but this is not good. In English, ‘Jesus!’ is more of an expression of shock or anger. So, wish your friend well; that the bad spirits causing their illness leave their body, by saying ‘bless you’.


  1. Chilly /ʧɪlɪ/

You may hear the English describe cold weather with this word. Chilled means that something has been made cold. Chilly is more commonly used for the weather. However, it can be used for varying degrees. You can use it when there is only a slight cold in the air, on an otherwise warm day. You can use it when it is actually cold. And you can use it when it is absolutely freezing; but in this case you are under-stating the real temperature.


Phwoar, it’s a bit chilly, ain’t it?

            Chilly? It’s minus five degrees, mate! It’s f’in freezing!


Written by James R. McCance for Aston School

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