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Last updated at 15:55 BST, Thursday, 12 September 2013

A whale of a time

A beluga whale blows a bubble ring

Beluga whales in a Japanese aquarium have attracted thousands of visitors by blowing bubble rings. Picture: Kasuhiro Nogi/AFP

Today's Phrase

To have a whale of a time means to have a lot of fun while doing something.

Examples:

I spent the summer holidays in Mexico and had a whale of a time!

Mary is a real party girl. She goes out every night and has a whale of a time!

Take note

If someone is described as being the size of a whale, it is an impolite way of saying they are very large and overweight.

Example:

If you eat too many cakes you’ll be the size of a whale!

Interesting fact

In 2012 researchers in the US discovered a beluga whale whose vocalisations were remarkably close to human speech. While dolphins have been taught to mimic the pattern and durations of sounds in human speech, no animal has spontaneously tried such mimicry.

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