Phrase of the day: Bah humbug!

The phrase Bah, humbug! comes from the Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol and is said by the main character Scrooge, who doesn’t like anything about Christmas. People can be called a scrooge when they don’t like spending money. You might say ‘Don’t be such a scrooge’ or ‘He’s a right scrooge’ (and let’s face it, these people usually are men!). These days, Bah humbug! is used more as a joke when you know you are basically complaining about things other people enjoy, or you are refusing to join in the fun. You might call someone like this a party pooper (if you are talking about parties) or more generally, you can say they’re a whinger or (my personal favourite, though some may think it’s bit rude) a miserable git.

3558739760_af4310e07b_b

Of course, there is a lot about Christmas that does bring out the miserable git in me and makes me proclaim Bah humbug!

Here are just a few of my pet hates at this time of year:

  • Christmas shopping! Hordes of people in the streets desperately searching for that perfect present, which recent research suggests most recipients won’t actually want anyway! Bah humbug!
  • People decorating their houses with thousands of lights and tacky Christmas tat. Think about the electricity bills! Think about global warming! Bah humbug!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Having to wear paper hats and other forced fun at Christmas parties. Bah, humbug!
  • Endless terrible Christmas music played 24-7. Everywhere. Bah, humbug!
  • Turkey. An over-sized, bland variation on the theme of chicken that you end up having to keep eating until the New Year in order to finish it off! Bah, humbug!
  • Mulled wine. There is a reason no-one drinks this stuff at any other time of the year. Personally, I think one glass is enough for a lifetime. Bah humbug!

Glögg_kastrull

I  don’t think that the message of A Christmas Carol was that at Christmas we should all embrace rampant consumerism and stuff ourselves stupid all holiday, so I wouldn’t say I am a complete scrooge here. I do actually like some things about Christmas, but I shall leave that to our next post: Christmas Cheer.

Want to learn more about British language and culture? We have just the course for you.

  • Do you have any pet hates about Christmas or things that might make you go Bah humbug!?
  • Do you know anyone who’s a bit of a scrooge when it comes to money?
  • Do you share any of the pet hates mentioned above? Why? / Why not?
  • What do you usually eat during your main festive days of the year? Do you like it?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


One Response

  1. Homepage says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: lexicallab.com/2017/12/phrase-of-the-day-bah-humbug/ […]

Leave a Reply


RECENT CHUNKS OF THE DAY
At a party last week I was introduced to a foreign businessman who was visiting London. We got talking and started chatting about what
Generally speaking, I'm not one for complaining about people’s use of language, and certainly not those supposed transgressions of grammar
Those of you who follow my ongoing series of ONE-MINUTE ENGLISH videos on YouTube or Instagram may have noticed that
By the 18th of June 1984 – thirty-seven years ago today – miners in England had been on strike for