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Archive Language Point 96

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Family vocabulary

Alice in Paul's sitting room
Words we use to talk about our families (mother, father, sister etc.) can also have other meanings, either on their own or as part of compound words or phrases.


Other words for mother

mummy mommy (US) ma mum

Other words with 'mother'

mother tongue
the language you grow up speaking, or your first language

She's lived in Spain for years and is completely fluent in Spanish. You'd never guess that German is her mother tongue.

Mother Nature
nature, particularly when it is seen as a force that controls the weather and all living things

The tsunami showed Mother Nature at her most fierce.

a mother-to-be
a woman who is pregnant (expecting a baby)

You shouldn't be smoking. You're a mother-to-be now. You need to think about your unborn baby's health.


Other words for father

daddy pop (US) dad

Other words with 'father'

a father figure
an older man who people trust and respect

My first boss was such a father figure to me. He taught me so much about the art world. 

Father Christmas
Santa Claus, an imaginary man who brings presents to children at Christmas  

The children can't wait to see what Father Christmas has brought them this year.  

founding father
someone who begins a new organisation or a new way of thinking

Galileo was the founding father of modern physics. He did scientific experiments that no-one had ever done before.


Other words with 'sister'

a nurse who is in charge in a hospital ward

Sister, can I have some more medication? My leg is hurting very badly now.

a nun (a woman who is a member of a religious group) who usually lives with other nuns in a convent

Sister Bernadette, please say a prayer for my daughter. She's got her exams today.

a word to show support between women

We hope all our sisters will raise their voices against this injustice!


Other words with 'brother'

soldiers who fight or fought together in a war (often used as a literary reference)

They were brothers-in-arms and 40 years later, they still remembered every battle.

Big Brother
a person or ruler that has complete power and tries to control people's behaviour and thoughts (from the book '1984' by George Orwell)

Everywhere you go now there are CCTV cameras. The government has turned into a real Big Brother.


Other words with 'twin'

twin town
a town or city that has formed a relationship with a similar town in another country and which encourages business and tourist visits between them

Glasgow's twin town is Havana


time when people (especially children) go to sleep  

I'd love to have your company
It would be nice if you could stay with me and spend time with me  

let me stay down
allow me to remain here  

you can't make me
you can't force me


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