April fool vocabulary – the language of jokes and tricks

April fool vocabulary – the language of jokes and tricks

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Április elseje a bolondok napja. Tanuld meg, hogy milyen szavakat tudsz használni arra, ha meg akarsz tréfálni valakit.

April 1st is known in many Western countries as ‘April Fool’s Day’. The idea is to trick other people, to try to make them believe things that are not true. If you succeed, you shout ‘April fool!’ at the person you have tricked. This article will look at some words and phrases connected with this custom.

One important thing is to remember that we play tricks on someone (we don’t ‘make’ or ‘do’ them). The tricks are often practical jokes (using actions instead of words), and they are almost always harmless – they are intended to be fun. Other words for this kind of trick are prank or hoax, although the word ‘hoax’ can also be used for more serious, unpleasant tricks in the same way as the words fraud or deceit.

Children often like to kid or dupe (trick) their friends on April Fool’s day with simple jokes such as pretending that their shoelaces are undone or that there is a spider on their head.

However, some April Fool’s hoaxes can be very elaborate (complicated and difficult to do). For example, in 1957, the BBC made a film about Swiss spaghetti farmers, and showed pictures of people picking spaghetti. The film was very realistic and a lot of people  were taken in (believed it). Some very gullible people (people who believe everything they are told) contacted the BBC because they wanted to buy spaghetti plants – they didn’t realise that the plants were fake (not real)!

Another very plausible (easy to believe) prank was a newspaper article about ‘FatSox’ – socks that were said to absorb fat from a person’s body and make them thin. Most people saw through the trick (realised it was not real), but many others fell for (believed) it and wanted to get a pair.

One common idiom we use to talk about playing gentle tricks is pull someone’s leg. In fact, when people want to say that it’s obvious that someone is trying to trick them, they sometimes say ‘Pull the other one!’ or even ‘Pull the other one – it’s got bells on!’.

Strangely, in the UK, April Fool’s Day stops at midday – anyone playing a trick after that becomes the fool! And in France, April Fool’s day is called ‘Poisson d’Avril’  – April fish!

source: dictionaryblog.cambridge.org

Can you match the words with the definitions?

1. elaborate

a. to play gentle tricks

2. gullible

b. to realise something is not real

3. fake

c. easy to believe

4. plausible

d. complicated and difficult to do

5. to see through

e. not real

6. to pull someone’s leg

f. they believe everything they are told

Key:

1. d.

2. f.

3. e.

4. c.

5. b.

6. a.

Vocabulary

to trick

megtréfálni

to succeed

sikerrel járni

to play tricks

megtréfálni

action

cselekvés

harmless

ártatlan, ártalmatlan

to be intended to be

valamilyennek szánják

prank

csíny

hoax

tréfa, beugratás

fraud

csalás

deceit

becsapás

to kid

bolonddá tesz, becsap

to dupe

rászed, becsap

to pretend

úgy tenni, mintha

shoelaces

cipőfűző

to be undone

ki van kötődve

elaborate

bonyolult, alaposan kidolgozott

to be taken in

beveszik, elhiszik

gullible

hiszékeny

fake

hamis

plausible

könnyen hihető

to absorb

felszívni

to see through something

átlátni valamin

to fall for something

elhinni, bevenni

to pull someone’s leg

ugratni

bell

csengő

midday

dél

 

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