Bring on the bling!
Written by John Millen
'Bling' is a new word that has quickly become widely understood and used in modern English. It can be both an adjective and a noun. 'Bling' originally described jewellery that attracted attention because it was big, expensive and flashy. If you wore a 'bling' watch, you wanted everybody to look at it and think you were rich.
The word was first used in the hip hop scene in the United States in the late 1990s. Its meaning has now expanded and can be applied to any object that looks or is flashy and expensive. Bring on the bling!
Which of these sentences are true and which are false?
1 'Bling' describes objects that look ordinary.
2 The word was first used in the United States.
3 'Bling' was first used in the late 19th century.
4 After its invention, use of the word quickly spread.
5 'Bling' is used as an adjective only in England.
6 The word can either be used as a noun or an adjective.
Look at these sentences. If it makes sense, replace the highlighted adjectives with 'bling'.
1 The sky looks very bright this morning.
2 The necklace he's bought for his girlfriend looks too flashy. She won't like it.
3 I enjoyed that book you lent me. It was very exciting.
4 Her new handbag is covered with glass diamonds. It's much too cheap-looking for my taste.
5 The interior decorations in his new flat are very colourful and bright.
6 She's bought her dog an expensive-looking collar.
7 Look at those flashy glass frames at the back. I quite like them.
8 Her engagement ring looks very expensive. Those diamonds can't be real.
Here are five verbs that have the same basic sound as 'bling'. Do you know what they mean and can you use them?
1 to fling
a. to move suddenly
b. to throw with sudden force
2 to sing
a. to make musical sounds with your voice
b. to make a very loud noise
3 to ring
a. to make a sound like a bell
b. to send a letter
4 to cling
a. to refuse to do something
b. to hold on tightly
5 to ping
a. to make a short, sharp ringing sound
b. to walk slowly
Choose the right words to complete the following sentences.
1 I'm going to (fling/sing) two French songs for my music exam.
2 Did the phone just (cling/ring)?
3 (Ping/Cling) on to me and then you won't slip on the ice.
4 When the food is cooked, the microwave will (sing/ping).
5 Please don't (ring/cling) on to the idea that I love you.
6 Why did you (ping/fling) the letter into the bin?
7 (Ping/Fling) the ball into the sea and the dog will fetch it.
8 I hope he's not going to (ping/sing). He's got a terrible voice.
Use your eyes: 1. b, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b, 6. b
The apple of my eye: 1. proud, 2. very quickly, 3. was crying, 4. a big disappointment, 5. appearing on TV, in magazines and newspapers
Matching exercises: 1. c, 2. e, 3. h, 4. a, 5. g
Right choice: 1. apple, 2. red-eye flight, 3. dry eye, 4. cast an eye over, 6. one in the eye, 7. eye shadow, 8. in the blink of an eye