Tag Archives: holiday

Tenuous

tenuous meaning

Photo credit: Francesca Alviani (flickr)

Today I was listening to my favourite radio show on BBC 6 Music – presented by Cerys Matthews – which was dedicated to Norwegian Constitution Day. One of my best friends lives in Norway (hello, Sasha!) and I know that it’s a big deal over there. So Cerys was picking tunes – not necessarily from Norwegian singers or bands – but those that had some links with Norway and listeners had to guess what the link was. As answers came in about Elvis Presley’s song, she said these were all good guesses, but the link she had in mind was more ‘tenuous‘. So, this is my new word for today: a tenuous link is the one that is rather weak or perhaps even far-fetched.

Here are a few more examples:

– Every night, it seems we read of yet another instance of a local trader virtually forced out of business by the hike in car park charges or, however tenuous the link, the introduction of car parking charges during the evening (Oxford Dictionary)

– The Plantagenets’ family connections to the king are far more tenuous: Richard had no surviving children but five siblings, and now could have several million similarly distant descendants (The Guardian).

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Boxing day: what’s in a box?

boxing day origin

Photo credit: gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk

The other day my husband asked me whether I knew why Boxing day was called Boxing day and I had to admit that I didn’t. Somehow I never asked myself this question. So I went on a googling mission and found an article in Time that was quite helpful.

In fact, the origin of Boxing day is somewhat murky. One possible explanation is that around Christmas people were encouraged to donate money to the poor, putting them in alms boxes.  According to another popular version, the aristocracy distributed presents (boxes) to their servants, who ‘returned home, opened their boxes and had a second Christmas on what became known as Boxing Day.’

It’s impossible to say which one (if any) is correct and in any case, these days Boxing day is mostly known as the Day When the Sales Start.

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