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Learn English: Keeping the cold out

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The winter months in Australia are from the start of June through to the end of August. Although Australia is famed for its sun drenched beaches and idyllic summer lifestyle the winter - particularly in the southern part of Australia, brings some very cold weather. In some places of the country there is even snow. There are many different ways to stay warm, so let's learn phrases that will help you stay warm and comfortable.

Rugging up

A cold snap
A cold snap.

Unsplash: Felix Plakolb

If a cold snap hits (sudden extreme cold weather), often people ‘rug up’. If you rug up then you put on extra clothing, and this might include a singlet, a jumper and a coat or jacket.

A common item of clothing in the extreme cold is 'thermal underwear'. Thermal underwear is a special type of clothing that is worn underneath regular clothes that is designed to keep you warm by retaining your body heat.

Lots of layers

Lots of layers
Lots of layers.

Unsplash: Alisa Anton

When people do prepare for a very cold day is not uncommon to put on a lot of clothes, or 'layers'.  A layer is one item of clothing and when we put on layers, we put other types of clothing on top, to stay extra warm. 

For example, you might see someone put on thermal underwear, a long sleeve shirt, a jumper and then a windproof jacket. Similar to an onion, the layers of clothing, all added together create warmth and keep the warmth in.

A 'jumper' as it is known in Australia, or a sweater as its known in the U.S. is a must for the winter months and is a thick long sleeved top that is worn on cold days.  

Another popular item to keep you warm and particularly useful on a windy day is a 'windproof coat'. A windproof coat is a coat or jacket that prevents wind from entering and thus keeps you warm.

Staying in bed

Staying in bed
Staying in bed.

Unsplash: Elizabeth Lies

To stay warm in bed some people use an 'electric blanket'. An electric blanket is a blanket that uses electricity to heat an element inside the material of the blanket that in turn warms the bed. 

Another bed warming mechanism is 'a hot water bottle'. This is a plastic and pliable bottle that is filled with hot water and kept dry and taken to bed where it is placed under the blankets to keep the bed warm.

Once the bed is warm the only part of you that is not under the blanket is your head, so it is a good idea to wear 'a beanie' to bed. 

A beanie keeps your head covered and can also be pulled down to keep your ears warm although it can mess up your hairstyle!

Woollen clothes

Woollen clothes
Woollen clothes.

Unsplash: Giulia Bertelli

One of the most popular materials used for winter layers is wool. 'Wool' comes from sheep and is often used to make clothing and winter clothing especially. Wool can be used to make any type of clothing, jumpers, scarves, gloves, jackets and beanies are just some of the items of clothing that may be made of wool. Woollen clothing may be referred to as ‘woollies’ by some people as slang. 

Food and drink can also ‘warm you up’ on a cold day or night. If something warms you up then it means you are currently feeling cold and the warmth of the heat in the food or drink give you an immediate feeling of warmth.

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