How did you celebrate the start of 2017…maybe with family and friends at a New Year’s Eve party, or watching fireworks in your neighbourhood or in one of the Piazzas in Rome, or perhaps you let in or brought in the New Year (“aveteaccoltol’annonuovo”) quietly at home?
If you live in North America, there is another way to bring in the New Year – by taking part in Annual Polar Bear Plunge charity events (“per beneficienza”)! The most famous ones are in Coney Island, New York and in Vancouver, Canada, but there are also some in the Netherlands and in Scotland.
To plunge means to dive or “tuffarsi” and since a polar bear is the big white bear that lives in the Arctic, you can probably guess that Polar Bear Plunges only take place in freezing weather conditions and traditionally on New Year’s Day, January 1st. If you look at the photo above, you’ll see that there are actually big blocks of ice behind the swimmers!
This leads us to this week’s idiom – if you take the plunge it means you have decided to do something, even though it may be difficult for you or risky. Sometimes we take decisions to do something but we are not sure if they are the right ones, but we go ahead anyway: we take the plunge!
Here are some examples:
- Sometimes new students tell us they have always found it difficult to learn English. Then they realise they need to learn it for their work, or to help their children, or for travelling, so they decide to take the plunge and enrollon an English course.
- My daughter has decided to take the plunge and learn how to drive.
- Some English friends of ours had lived together for 10 years and then finally decided to take the plunge and get married!
Are you taking the plunge and deciding to do something different in 2017, even though you are not sure what will happen? Write a comment and let us know!
Have a good week,
The English Tree Team