All Roads Lead to Britain: Chapter II

Chapter II

Celtic moods

As fierce as tigers (These barking dogs do bite)
         It would be very difficult to study the history of any European country without mentioning the Celts. They dominated a vast part of western and northern Europe during the first millennium BC and their influence on the neighbouring people around was great, leaving a deep mark not only in their languages but also in their customs, religion and economy.
They have gone down in history as a nation of fierce, blood-thirsty warriors, fond of human sacrifices and quarrelling, as people whose only sight would make one’s skin crawl, and who were able to make mincemeat of anyone who dared defy them. Well..., there’s no smoke without fire certainly; it is true that they were no angels, but if it can serve as an excuse for their behaviour, let him without sin cast the first stone. In  those times when survival depended mostly on strength, there were not many other choices.
         This may seem to be acting as the defence lawyer at a trial, but someone has to give moral support to these wretched Celts; after all, they are pushing up daisies and cannot defend themselves; and all they did was move with the crowd. Comparisons are odious, but what would we think of the Romans...? What about the Angles...?And the Saxons...? Weren’t they cruel too...? Didn’t they devastate huge territories or kill thousands of people too...?
         To cut a long story short, there’s no need to make such a fuss. The Celts were just like any other people of those days. Perhaps, to be honest, we could say that they were the best of a bad bunch.

It’s all Greek to me!  (Double Dutch)
         Another matter that may catch our attention is their language. What’s the betting you wouldn’t understand a single word in an old Celtic language?
         To start with, you would have to familiarize yourself with the “runic characters”, a sort of...let’s call it alphabet, in which symbols like à or 8 represented letters. Fancy having to pronounce something like “Ùà8z÷Ìll  or “DցvÏ8÷>”... Should you expel the air from the lungs with or without pressure...? Do you think that your soft palate should be in its lowered position in order to allow an escape of air into your nasal cavity or that it should be raised...? Should there be friction throughout the vocal tract...? And one more question that may be worrying you: should the tip of the tongue make a light contact with the alveolar ridge or not...?
         The word rune seems to derive from run, which in Old English meant “secret”. The origin of the word itself can give us an idea of the way this language was used: it was a sort of code language invented for the purpose of secrecy. The deeds of the bravest warriors or the prophecies of the Druids were recorded in such a way. However interesting these pieces of writing may have been, they were never published (the printing press, as you surely know, was invented much later). These strange symbols were normally carved onto stones using other stones as the instrument for writing (paper and ballpens, as you surely know too, were invented much later).
         Fortunately, the Celtic language which arrived in Britain evolved and adopted our alphabet. The root Indoeuropean language changed and gave birth to two languages: the Gaelic and the Cymric. Variations of the former can be found today in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, whereas variations of the latter still persist in Wales and Cornwall. But in spite of their evolution, the present Celtic languages are still very hard to understand. You may be racking your brains for hours and hours and yet not find sense to, for instance, the Welsh expression Croeso i Gymru, unless you know beforehand that it means Welcome to Wales (and now don’t say that you knew it meant that, it’s easy to be wise after the event!!!. ), or continuing with the bets, it’s ten to one that you don’t understand the phrase Cyfleusterau Cyhoeddus although you may be desperately looking for one after having drunk three or four pints of beer at the village pub.
         Therefore,  fortunately (???) the Celtic language which arrived in Britain evolved (???).

Make yourself at home!
         The first historical reference to the Celts was made around 800 BC by the Greeks, who found a new civilization of tall, blond and blue-eyed people in central Europe. They called themselves Keltoi. This word evolved into the Latin Celtae, and later into the present Celts.
         As time went by, the Celts started to move westwards and finally reached the British coasts. We do not know exactly if that crossing of the Channel was intended as an invasion (there is nothing unusual about thinking that invading could be the reason) or as a “business trip” (since the trade between the islands and the Continent increased tremendously around the 8th century BC). Whatever the reason for coming was, they came, they liked it and they stayed. And what’s more, they invited their friends: new Celtic waves from the Continent kept on arriving in the island for centuries.
         The Celts were cleverer than the native inhabitants. For example, they used iron, not bronze, to make their weapons; they were very skilful in the art of decorating warlike equipment; and they knew much about agriculture. And they were more attractive: they were very tall, blond  or red-haired, blue-eyed and well-built, whereas the native inhabitants had dark hair, brown eyes and were rather short. (As we can see, the idea that tall fair people are better-looking than short dark-haired people goes back to an old, old age; and that’s simply “not fair a tall”..., oh, sorry, “not fair at all”!!!... Dark-haired individuals also deserve a chance!. After all, beauty is only skin deep, isn’t it?...Signed: the author, a short, dark-haired, brown-eyed fellow in whose opinion whoever “invented” this proverb never said a truer word).
Intelligence and beauty (...outer beauty, remember). Two reasons which were strong enough to have the native inhabitants accept the newcomers. The Celts soon took control of the situation and imposed their political and economic organization.
         (N.B. If you keep on reading this book, you’ll find out that the last sentence may  appear at least about three or four times. The only thing to take into consideration is that the second word, “Celts”, should be rubbed out and that an empty line should be placed instead. Then a new word can be introduced; for example, try with “Romans” and you will get what happened in Britain from 43 AD until, in round numbers, 400 AD. Don’t stop here; now write “Angles” or “Saxons” on the line and what do you get...?: British history from 450 AD until 1066. Let’s keep on playing this funny game. Now complete the space with “Normans”; the result is the same, only the dates are different. And so on... Isn’t that the way history goes?)
         The Celts were organized into tribal groupings. Each tribe (or clan) was headed by a chieftain who belonged to the noble classes. This chieftain was responsible for his subjects, mostly farmers or craftsmen who had an extra-job: warriors. It is hard to determine, nevertheless, if they devoted more time to practising the first job or the second. They  lived on hills, on which they built a fort with high defence walls and deep ditches around it. Inside these forts, there were small huts where they lived and workshops where they worked. There was not enough room to swing a cat, but it didn’t matter since there’s nothing like a tightly-knit family.
         One of the favourite pastimes which took place inside the walls of these hill forts was the “Boasting Contests”. Celts loved making parties and wetting their whistles, especially in two cases:
1.     before a battle, to strengthen their muscles and lift their spirits. Please, interpret the expression lift their spirits either from the emotional or from the alcoholic point of view; it doesn’t matter, both of them are correct (since everyone knows that spirits are good for the spirit).
2.     after a battle, to celebrate the victory, which was the normal thing. If for some reason the battle was lost, they came to grief and needed cheering up. (Then, go back to case number 1)
At those parties, the warriors made a sort of verbal competition. One by one they
stood up and told the others about their deeds on the battlefield and how brave they had been, killing a lot of enemies with their swords. When one of them had finished his story, it was another warrior’s turn and he had to try to do it better than the previous one. Although they played this “game” without music, it is what we call to blow one’s own trumpet.

Rest in peace...(in peace?)
         There are not many archaeological Celtic remains, but a visit to the British Museum in London (also known as the Egyptian-Mesopotamiam-Assyrian-Indian-Greek-Roman-Islamic Museum) will take us to the upper floor, in which we can see the corpse of a  man. He was found by pure chance in Lindow, Cheshire, in 1984 and then taken to a showcase in the museum. After experts had carefully studied him, they decided that he was a Celt, probably buried in the 1st century BC. He is the only Celt we know, since in those times portraits did not exist (and if they existed, they must be in a secret museum under the ground). Thousands of tourists come like flies to see the Lindow man. Some of them because it is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made in the world; some others simply because the leaflet that they have taken at the museum entrance describes it as “an object of special interest” and they must therefore show much interest and learn all they can about it so that they can impress their friends when they return home from their holidays. Anyway the fact is that  crowds of people gather round the showcase to have a look at this poor man on display whether they have the faintest idea who he was or not.
         There must not be much fun in having “thousands of eyes” staring at you and “thousands of mouths” whispering and making all kinds of remarks about you day after day, year after year. What would the Lindow man himself think about all of this?. If he could speak, perhaps he would say something like this:  ‘Well, I never intended to achieve fame. I just wanted to go unnoticed and be one more in the crowd. I just wished to sleep in Abraham’s bosom peacefully. Then, one day, not many years ago, I heard a terrible noise; the earth quaked  and I saw a big thing before my eyes. Later I found out that that thing was called “a mechanical digger” (I wonder what the devil “mechanical” means). Then I was taken to a big house (quite different from the hut I used to live in, by the way). The owners of the house must be very kind because they invite thousands of friends every day. The problem is that they stop beside me and stand there looking at me! And I feel embarrassed. There is only one thing that relieves me: when they took me out of the ground, they only found half of my body, the upper half; that means that at least they cannot watch me from head to foot.’

Singing a different tune
         The ferocity and cruelty that traditionally has been assigned to the Celts could apply not only to their warlike activities but also to their religious ones. The number of deities they worshipped was great: they had gods all over the place, in the air, in the water, in the fire, in the stones, absolutely everywhere, even in the plants (an especially well-known holy plant was the mistletoe, which was said to have magical powers on condition that it was cut with a druid’s gold sickle).
         The problem with having so many gods was that they had to keep all of them satisfied; and apparently gods become happy, pleased and even overjoyed when living beings are sacrificed in their honour. Celtic gods did not care a damn if those beings were animals or people, but the fact that human sacrifices were offered to them has, again, made the word cruelty be attached to Celts. Human sacrifices! And what about animal sacrifices? The word cruelty seemingly is appropriate only when the victim of the sacrifice is a person, but what would an animal have to say about all of this? What would be the opinion of, for instance, one of the many cows which were stabbed in order to please one god or the other?...Perhaps something like this:
         ‘Men say they are superior and consider that we animals are not fit to hold a candle to them. They have always exploited us and we have never complained. We accepted that from the very beginning. But now..., what is this???. They do not content themselves with taking advantage of our work, now they want to kill us because something they call the Supreme Being tells them to do so. And I wonder: Have we not eyes? Have we not hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food (well, not exactly), hurt with the same weapons (absolutely true), subject to the same diseases (except cow disease, which is exclusively ours), healed by the same means (no comment), cooled and warmed by the same winter and summer...? If you prick us, do we not bleed?, if you tickle us, do we not laugh?, if you poison us, do we not die?...What a wonderful speech I have just made! It is a pity I can’t write, so  it would remain in everyone’s mind  for ever and ever. Anyway, I am sure someone will write something like this in the future.’
         Fortunately for the cows (and for the people too), these ritual sacrifices came to an end when the Celts converted to Christianity. Then the tables were turned: no more sacrifices were allowed and there was only one god. Too much change in so little time! The conversion brought about another important change in the social structure: the Druids, the religious leaders in Celtic society, were not necessary and got the sack. But... who were the Druids?

Jack of all trades (and master of none?)   (As wise as an owl)
         The Druids “lost their jobs” when the Christians arrived in the Celtic world in the 5th century. Up to that moment they had exerted a strong influence on the political and social life of the country. That’s life..., one day you are at the top, and the next day you are at the bottom..., today a man, tomorrow a mouse.
         Until they were “dismissed”, the druids advised the chieftains on political matters, acted as judges at trials (by the way, the worst punishment a druid could give was to ban someone from attending a sacrifice!), presided over the religious ceremonies, executed the victims at the ritual sacrifices, studied astronomy and astrology, taught philosophy and geography, were said to have magical powers (such as changing their shape at their own will or making themselves invisible) and foretold the future, for example, by examining the flight of birds or by looking at the entrails of sacrificed animals (I wonder if you can foresee something nice by looking at sticky bloody guts).
         Therefore, they were political counsellors (a sort of present-day minister), judges (surely judge and jury), priests, butchers (sometimes also called executioners), astronomers, astrologers, teachers, wizards and fortune-tellers. It is not surprising that when their power diminished and society did not need them any longer, the problem of unemployment started to be solved.
         One of their main duties was to convince people that, when one goes the way of all flesh, there is another life; the soul passes from one body to another, death being consequently nothing to be afraid of. This thought gave warriors courage to fight on the battlefield without fear. This means that, if druids did not take people for a ride, perhaps..., yes, perhaps...you..., you are a Celt!!!. Heaven forbid!


         Note: It is impossible to study the history of the Celts without mentioning the Romans or the Anglo-Saxons, the two subsequent settlers of the British Isles, and the fights between them and the new invaders. What we can call the Celtic period starts about a thousand years before Christ and finishes in 450 AD. Approximately at the middle point of this period, the Romans invaded the islands (43 AD), their occupation lasting until c. 400 AD. So there is a moment when the two periods, the Celtic and the Roman, overlap. We could say that there is another overlap between the Celtic and the Anglo-Saxon period, in this case, a shorter one. Angles and Saxons arrived in the islands in 450 AD. The first years of their dominance were characterized by the struggle of the Celtic tribes against the Continental invaders. Queen Boudicca was the most representative Celtic figure during the first period, whereas King Arthur was the Celtic hero par excellence during the second.
         This book will provide the reader with a chronological account of historical events. So, for example, Queen Boudicca’s rebellion against the Romans will be dealt with in the following chapter (We came, we saw, we stayed) because it took place during the Roman occupation. King Arthur, an important figure who deserves a few pages in this book, will appear in the chapter concerning the Anglo-Saxon period (Angleland, Saxonland, Juteland, Vikingland) because the Celtic resistance against the new invaders occurred after 450 AD.


Celtic moods (Exercises)

1.- As fierce as tigers / As wise as an owl
         The expressions following the structure as...as... are very frequent in English. In the previous chapter, we studied some of them, those referring to physical defects. Let’s see now some others which make reference to animals and a quality they are associated with. Choose the animal that you consider appropriate for the phrases below.
as brave as a....
tiger / lion / elephant
as brave as a lion

as busy as a...
bee / fly / squirrel

as cold as a ...
haddock / frog / chameleon

as close as an...
ostrich / ant / oyster

as cunning as a...
lynx / wolf / fox

as dead as a...
dodo / parrot / worm

as fast as a...
hare / lizard / hawk

as free as a...
fish / bird / cat

as graceful as a...
horse / pheasant / swan

as happy as a...
lark / sparrow / pigeon

as harmless as a...
cock / dove / camel

as hoarse as a...
jackal / crow / monkey

as meek as a...
deer / goat / lamb

as merry as a...
cricket / cockatoo / butterfly

as mute as a...
fish / starfish / jellyfish

as poor as a...
church mouse /
fish out of water /
lion in the greengrocer’s

as proud as a...
giraffe / peacock / leopard

as quiet as a...
hedgehog / seal / mouse

as silly as a...
penguin / goose / turkey

as slippery as an...
anchovy / octopus / eel

as slow as a...
tortoise / snail / slug

as strong as an...
elephant / ox / elk

as timid as a...
rabbit / lamb / goat

as wet as a...
a trout in the river /
a seagull by the shore /
a drowned rat


2.- These barking dogs do bite
         This sentence is not the real proverb. If it were like that, it would mean that people who lose their temper and behave in a rude and violent way are really to be feared, because they carry out their threats and are very harmful. But the idea of the real proverb is just the opposite: people who behave like that are usually harmless. There are two versions of the proverb. The words which form both of them have been mixed in the box below. Could you make up the two proverbs we are referring to?

bite       dogs       bite           seldom     barking    
worse         bark      his   than  bite   his    is

         2.1.- ________________

         2.2.- ________________

3.- Make one’s skin crawl / Let him without sin cast the first stone
         Examine this structure: MAKE/LET + object + infinitive (without TO). The verbs let and make are followed by an object and a bare infinitive (not by a to-infinitive or an ing-form). For example:
She made me repeat the exercise
They made her tell the truth, and all the truth
Will he let me go to the party tonight?
He let us use his car for one night
         But what happens when these sentences are turned into their passive form...? Complete the sentences below:
         3.1.- I was made ___________ exercise.
         3.2.- She was ________and all the truth.
         3.3.- Will I be _________________ tonight?
         3.4.- We were _______for one night.

4.- Let him without sin cast the first stone
         This is a sentence from the Bible. There are five more in the list below. Which of them belong to the Holy Book?
         a.- Let this cup pass from me
         b.- God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb
         c.- Set a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride to the devil
         d.- God shapes the back for the burden
         e.- An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
         f.- Thou shalt not kill
         g.- God helps those who help themselves
       h.- Blessed the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God
         i.- Bless you!
         j.- Turn the other cheek
         k.- One man´s meat is another man´s poison
         l.- A rolling stone gathers no moss

5.- Pushing up daisies
         A daisy is one of the commonest kind of flowers. Do you know many kinds of flowers? There are some more below but the letters are disordered. Write them correctly.

         5.1.- EOSR:                             5.2.- CRIHOD:
         5.3.- YLLI:                              5.4.- DRENGIAA:
         5.5.- FLODFAID:                    5.6.- PLUIT:
         5.7.- LEOTVI:                         5.8.- AEIODDNNL:
         5.9.- AIYHHNCT:                   5.10.- TRANCIOAN:
         5.11.- GRETOF-EM-TON:

         And talking about flowers, in the first section of this chapter (“As fierce as tigers”), there appears a word which is connected with them. It may mean “a group of flowers that have been tied together, for example, in order to give them as a present”. What word is that?      .........................

6.- All they did was move with the crowd
         The infinitive which appears after “was” is a bare infinitive. A to-infinitive is also possible, but an infinitive without to is more frequent as in the example above. This happens when there is a clause (move with the crowd) which explains the meaning of the verb do which appears before it. For example:

         They did just one thing. What was that thing? They moved with the crowd
          All they did was (to) move with the crowd

Now do the same as in the example:
         6.1.- Now you’re not near. There’s only one thing I can do. I just can dream of you.
          Now that -------------_______________________________________________________
         6.2.- There is something I can do for you. I can lend you five pounds. But that’s all I can do.
          All I ---------------___________________________________________________________
         6.3.- This product has a function. It provides a transparent protection finish for photographs.
          What this product ---------------________________________________________________
         6.4.- You need to do one thing. You should breathe fresh air.
          What you -----------_______________________________________________________

7.- It is easy to be wise after the event
         In fact, to be wise after the event is the subject of the verb is. Let’s examine the sentence: One thing is easy. What? To be wise after the event. Then, “to be wise after the event is easy”. That should be the logical order in the sentence (subject + verb be + adjective). This structure mainly occurs if the subject is a short one ( as in the well-known saying to err is human), but if the subject is rather long, the structure with a “preparatory subject” is preferred. So, for example, “it is not advisable to drive a car like this”, rather than “to drive a car like this is not advisable”; or “it is dangerous to smoke thirty cigarettes a day at your age” rather than “to smoke thirty cigarettes a day at your age is dangerous”. Another option is to use an ing-form as the subject of the sentence: “smoking thirty cigarettes...”.
         To sum up, there may be three ways of expressing the same idea:
·        to-infinitive clause + verb be + adjective
·        ing-form clause + verb be + adjective
·        preparatory it + verb be + adjective + to-infinitive clause

Use the three patterns in the following examples:

         7.1.- Make a suggestion. Important.
                   7.1.1.- To make a suggestion is important
                   7.1.2.- Making a suggestion is important
                   7.1.3.- It is important to make a suggestion

         7.2.- Learn to drive a lorry. Difficult.
                   7.2.1.- _______
                   7.2.2.- _______________
                   7.2.3.- _______________

         7.3.- Understand what he is trying to say. Hard.
                   7.3.1.- ______________
                   7.3.2.- _______________
                   7.3.3.- ______________
         7.4.- Spend the weekend with all of you. Fantastic.
                   7.4.1.- ______________
                   7.4.2.- _______________
                   7.4.3.- _______________

Note: If we are talking about a general activity, the ing-form is more frequent. If it is a particular action we are talking about, then the to-infinitive is more usual:
         Driving cars may be dangerous   vs.   It is dangerous to drive a car like this, since it is very old and may break down at any moment. I’d rather not do it.

8.- Celts loved making parties and wetting their whistles
         In some cases the main verb of a sentence is followed by a to-infinitive (I want to go to the country) and in some other cases by an ing-form (I love going to the country). That depends on the verb itself. For example, verbs such as decide, offer, or wish belong to the first group, whereas verbs such as avoid, deny or imagine belong to the second. In Sánchez Benedito’s Gramática Inglesa, 9ª ed. (Pearson), you will find a complete list of both groups.
         The verbs which express “likes” and “dislikes” are some of those which are generally followed by an ing-form (like, dislike, love, hate, enjoy, detest...) (Note: like, love and hate can be used with an –ing-form or a to-infinitive for habitual actions, but only the to-infinitive is used for concrete actions. Compare: I like having/to have a cup of tea after lunch vs. I’d like to have a cup of tea after lunch; I hate living/to live alone vs. I hate to see you suffer)
         Complete the sentences with a suitable word from the box and write it in its appropriate form:

         8.1.- I detest __________  at night
         8.2.- She does enjoy __________ on new clothes.
         8.3.- I dislike __________ you go out, but I’ll do it.
         8.4.- I love __________, especially by plane. I can´t help it!. It is so much fun!
         8.5.- I hate __________ to wake up at seven every morning.

let   have   drive   try   travel

9.- Heaven forbid
         Examine this sentence carefully. The verb is forbid, but what tense is it?...Present...? Imperative...? It is not either of them; it is the subjunctive form of the verb. The subjunctive is formed in English by some different means; the base of the verb is one of them. This kind of sentence is not very common; they are sometimes  called “formulaic” and are used as set expressions which cannot be altered. Below you have more “formulas” of this sort. Complete them with the verbs in the box.

         9.1.- God __________ you all and give you all the happiness in the world!
         9.2.- God __________ the Queen!
         9.3.- Long __________ the King!
         9.4.- __________ that as it may, whether he is right or wrong, I think he should not have spoken the way he did.
9.5.- God _________ that anything should happen to you!
9.6.- __________ what may, I will support you, don’t worry!
9.7.- He is perfectly appropriate for the job. __________ it to say that he has studied at Oxford University and can speak four languages.
9.8.- He promised not to smoke again. So  __________ it then!.

come   forbid   bless   be
  be   live   suffice   save

10.- From head to foot
A)   There are many idioms using parts of the body and “head” is not an exception. Below you have some of them. Complete the spaces with the words in the box. Once this is done, match the phrases and their explanations which appear next.

   10.1.- Better be the head of an ass than the ___________ of a horse
   10.2.- To have a good head on one’s __________
   10.3.- To       lose      one’s head
   10.4.- To __________ one’s head in the sand
   10.5.- To hit the __________ on the head
   10.6.- To keep one’s head __________ water
  10.7.- To bang/beat/ knock one’s head against a brick/stone _______
   10.8.- Like a __________ with a sore head
   10.9.- To __________ one’s head into the lion’s den/mouth
   10.10.- To have one’s head in the __________
   10.11.- To be head over heels in __________ with someone
   10.12.- To make neither head __________ tail of something
   10.13.- To hold a __________ to somebody’s head

bury      wall      tail      nor      pistol      above    shoulders      
      lose     bear     love     clouds     place     nail
   a.- To lose control; to panic and act in a confused way. It is the opposite of “to keep one’s head”.
   b.- To be impossible for one to understand something
   c.- To avoid facing realities
   d.- To have common sense, to act wisely. It is the same as “to have one’s head screwed on the right  way”
   e.- Not to pay attention to somebody because one is always thinking of something different
   f.- To arrive at the exact conclusion, to state the exact reason for something
   g.- It is preferable to be the best in a group of ordinary people than to be unnoticed in a group of
        outstanding people
   h.- To be ill-tempered, very angry
   i.- To manage to keep out of difficulties
   j.- To make fruitless attempts in order to get something which seems to be impossible
   k.- To expose oneself to danger needlessly
   l.- To oblige someone to do something against their will
   m.- To be very much in love with someone
B)   There is a synonym of from head to foot. Choose the words in the boxes that you consider appropriate in order to find it.



11.- Jack of all trades
         Jack is another word for John, but in many phrases this word is used as a generic name for a man. Likewise, there is a generic name for a woman. It also starts with a J, but which of the following names is it?. Do you need a clue? If you know the nursery rhyme
Jack and ______ went up the hill
to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down and lost his crown
and ______ came tumbling after,
it will be very easy for you

Julie   Jill   Jane   Joanna   June

         This feminine name you have got is also used in other phrases along with Jack:
-         A good Jack makes a good ______
-         Every Jack shall have his ______

12.- Jack of all trades and master of none
         Below there are more expressions with the word Jack and their explanations. Match both of them.

1.-Jack’s as good as his master
2.- I’m all right, Jack
3.- Jack-at-a-pinch
4.- Jack-in-the-box
5.- Jack-in-the-cellar
6.- Jack-o’-the-clock
7.- Jack of both sides
8.- All work and no play makes  
     Jack a dull boy
9.- Before you can say Jack 

a.- This expression is used to denote selfishness, self- interest and a complete disregard of the troubles of  other people
b.- The mechanical figure that strikes the hour on a bell
c.- a person who tries to benefit from two things which are antagonistic
d.- a toy that consists of a box with a doll which springs out when the box lid is open
e.- all men are equal and must have the same rights
f.- an unborn child
g.- a person who lends a hand to someone who needs it urgently
h.- immediately, very quickly
i.- your work is important but it is not the only thing you must concentrate on; allow some time for relaxation too                 



Chapter 2: Celtic Moods

1 as busy as a bee;  as cold as a frog;  as close as an oyster;  as cunning as a fox;  as dead as a dodo;  as fast as a hare;  as free as a bird;  as graceful as a swan;  as happy as a lark;  as harmless as a dove;  as hoarse as a crow;  as meek as a lamb;  as merry as a cricket;  as mute as a fish;  as poor as a church- mouse;  as proud as a peacock;  as quiet as a mouse;  as silly as a goose;  as slippery as an eel;  as slow as a tortoise;  as strong as an ox;  as timid as a rabbit;  as wet as a drowned rat
2.1.- Barking dogs seldom bite;  2.2.- His bark is worse than his bite
3.1.- I was made to repeat the exercise;  3.2.- She was made to tell them the truth and all the truth; 
3.3.- Will I be allowed to go to the party tonight?;  3.4.- We were allowed to use his car for one night
4 a, e, f, h, j
5.1.- rose;  5.2.- orchid;  5.3.- lily;  5.4.- gardenia;  5.5.- daffodil;  5.6.- tulip;  5.7.- violet;  5.8.- dandelion;  5.9.- hyacinth;  5.10.- carnation;  5.11.- forget-me-not
The word which means “group of flowers...” is bunch.
6.1.- Now that you’re not near, the only thing I can do is (to) dream of you;  6.2.- All I can do for you is (to) lend you five pounds; 6.3.- What this product does is (to) provide a transparent finish for photographs; 6.4.- What you need is (to) breathe fresh air
7.2.1.- To learn to drive a lorry is difficult / Learning to drive a lorry is difficult / It is difficult to learn to drive a lorry;   7.2.2.- To understand what he is trying to say is hard / Understanding what he is trying to say is hard / It is hard to understand what he is trying to say ;   7.2.3.- To spend the weekend with all of you will be fantastic / Spending the weekend with all of you will be fantastic / It will be fantastic to spend the weekend with all of you
8.1.- driving;   8.2.- trying;   8.3.- letting;   8.4.- travelling;   8.5.- having
9 9.1.- bless;  9.2.- save;  9.3.- live;  9.4.- be;  9.5.- forbid;  9.6.- come;  9.7.- suffice;  9.8.- be
A) 10.1.- tail;  10.2.- shoulders;  10.3.- lose;  10.4.- bury;  10.5.- nail;  10.6.- above;  10.7.- wall;  10.8.- bear;  10.9.- place;  10.10.- clouds;  10.11.- love;  10.12.- nor;  10.13.- pistol

10.1.- g;   10.2.- d;   10.3.- a;   10.4.- c;   10.5.- f;   10.6.- i;   10.7.- j;   10.8.- h;   10.9.- k;  10.10.- e; 10.11.- m;  10.12.- b;  10.13.- l
B) from top to toe
11 Jill;  “A good Jack makes a good Jill”;  Every Jack shall have his Jill”
12   1-e;   2-a;   3-g;   4-d;   5-f;   6-b;   7-c;   8-i;   9-h

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