STATESIDE STORIES: American Expressions!

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By Mary Foran

When you use the word “cool”, you are saying that something is “awesome!”. “great!” or simply “nice!”.

It can also mean “with it” or even “stylish”. But the best meaning for a long, hot and sweaty summer is “refreshing”, like a drink of water after a marathon run!

“Cold” and “cool” may be interchangeable, as in “kept at a low temperature.”

Sunglasses CC BY-ND2.0

Looking cool with shades

To be “cool” is to follow the latest trends, letting everyone else know that you do!

You can “look cool” with “shades” on for the sun, as in “sunglasses”. (Light sensitivity might just be mistaken for “coolness”!)

“To keep your cool” means to remain calm in challenging situations. The expression and the word itself is a little old-fashioned, and often sounds out of place in this modern world…but the meanings become obvious in context!

Refrigeration is not completely ubiquitous the world over, even now, but just remember how it used to be in America, when the ice-man used to come to homes by wagon to put ice for families into their “ice-boxes”!

To refrigerate means to “chill a substance in a refrigerator or to preserve food by chilling.” And according to Webster, a refrigerator is an “insulated cabinet or room used for storing food at a low temperature.”

Here are some “cool” verbs: to refrigerate, to freeze, to re-freeze, to deep-freeze in a deep-freeze!

Winter Scenes CC BY 2.0 Generic

Cold as in frigid winter

How about “to feel a frigid breeze”? A frigid cold front? To “chill out”! A frigid winter vs. a very cool summer!

Air conditioning is so very cool in the summer here that I actually have to bring a sweater along!

Ice-making machines, ice vendors, ice bags, ice chips, shaved ice, flavored and scooped into cone-shaped paper containers…and the “Slurpies! (Lots of crushed ice in flavors in large paper containers with plastic lids and plastic straws!) They haven’t seemed to have invented biodegradable lids and straws, as of yet!

So “chill out” and “be cool” as much as you can, although both slang expressions are fading with time!
Featured image by Fraser Mummery via Flickr, CC BY2.0 Generic
Sunglasses by katZfunky via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0
Winter scene by Diego Torres Silvestre via Flickr CC BY 2.0 Generic