Thursday, January 27, 2011

the dead of winter

This idiom conjures up images of darkness and freezing temperatures. Because of this, it has a slightly negative ring to it. However, people usually just use it to refer to the time of year that they're talking about, and they usually mean the middle of winter. This expression is often used when telling a story or when you want to emphasize the fact that it is, in fact, winter and that it's freezing.

like this:
1. Our story begins in the dead of winter, in a land where the sun doesn't rise in January and the villagers ...
2. We were in Virginia in the dead of winter, and he wanted to go to the beach! Can you believe that?
3. We love going there in the dead of winter when the tourists are gone, and the place is so quiet.
4. Alright, alright! I'll go with you to Alaska, but just not in the dead of winter.
5. We enjoyed our summer vacation there so much, we went back in January to see what it's like in the dead of winter.

When I think of the dead of winter, I think of a little village covered in snow; it's freezing, and there's a warm glow coming from people's windows. Of course, depending on where you are, there doesn't have to be any snow and sometimes, it may not even be freezing. For example, you can say, "I can't believe it's the dead of winter, and it's 50 degrees!" This means that you expect the middle of winter to be cold, but it isn't.

What do you think of when you picture the dead of winter? Let us know.

Joe Yu
the small guide 

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