Halloween English Tricks or Treats

I love Halloween! I've probably asked everyone of my students about their Halloween plans. Most have informed me that while the holiday is starting to gain interest in their perspective countries, it's still not wildly popular. While I was able to control myself during our lessons and not share every bit of Halloween vocabulary, lore, and tradition I thought I'd be doing a disservice not to hand out a few useful treats.

Common Halloween Vocabulary

1. Jack O' Lantern

This is a hallowed out pumpkin usually with a scary face or frightening picture carved in the side. Often people will place a candle inside the pumpkin to create light or "lantern."

2. Trick or Treat

This is what children will say after they have knocked on a neighbor's door. It's basically a request for candy. The act of going from house to house to ask for candy is called "trick or treating".

3. Trunk or Treat

This is very similar to "trick or treat". The difference is that people will park cars in a lot or open field. They will then hand out treats to children from the open decorated trunks of their cars. These are planned events.

4. Costume

These are the outfits that children (and many adults) will wear on Halloween. Many of the common costumes are scary creatures such as, witches, ghosts, vampires, or zombies.

Adjectives of Halloween

gruesome- causing repulsion or horror

frightening- making someone afraid or anxious

haunted- a place in which ghosts reside

spooky- sinister or ghostly in a way to cause fear

nightmarish- very frightening or unpleasant

Idioms used during Halloween

hand out- to give, as in to give candy

put on- to get dressed, as in to get dressed in a costume

make up- to put on cosmetics, as in to put on cosmetics for a Halloween costume

freak out- to get very frightened or upset; as in getting very frightened by a scary movie

scare off- to be frightened away from a location, as in to be frightened away from a neighbors house

I hope I didn't scare you off! Don't be afraid! Start using this vocabulary today.

Happy Halloween!

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