April fools’ day

The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time

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. In honour of April Fool’s Day, this post 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 (the most famous TV company in the UK) 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! Do let me know of any April Fool’s customs you have, or any good April Fool’s tricks you know about!

If you click on the title you’ll see the best ones in history!!

April fool – the language of jokes and tricks

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Extra listening: two interviews, and a story about a swan

Three extracts with multiple choice questions


Part of an interview with a woman who works in retail management, a story about a swan, and part of an interview with Bruce Loader, a successful businessman who is talking about his early life.

Posted in 6 Unit, CURIOSITIES, Listening (exam format) | Leave a comment


You get up in the morning and open the tap to get water. A simple action many people can’t dream of. Nevertheless, there’s quite a simple witty solution. Matt Damon has teamed up with water expert Gary White

More information in https://water.org/

Posted in Current affairs, ENVIRONMENT, GLOBALISATION, SOCIAL ISSUES, VIDEO | Leave a comment


Recycling. Are we closer to Norway or to the USA?

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Women’s Day: Equality in freedom

One in three Spanish women has felt sexually harassed, new poll finds

Women in Spain earn 13% less than men for similar work, new study shows

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Before getting one it is critical to do some research and prepare thoroughly.


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Why we knock on wood and the truth about other common superstitions


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