Saturday, 4 August 2012


An Olympic Gold Medal from 2000
Image:  Wikipedia

All that glisters is not gold
- English proverb from Shakespeare
[Modern English would use "glitters".]

I would guess that we are all interested in gold medals at the moment, so today let's have a look at some expressions and idioms that use the words gold or golden.

First of all, what is the difference between gold and golden?  Basically, gold means that something is made of the metal gold, whilst golden means "having the appearance of gold" and is often used poetically or figuratively.  We talk about a gold ring but a golden age or golden opportunity, for instance.  As always, there are exceptions, so it is always worth checking the context of these two words.

Now see if you can match up the gold or golden expressions 1 - 6  with their meanings a - f.  You will find the answers below:

1.  good as gold

2.  to be sitting on a goldmine

3.  a gold digger

4.  to have a heart of gold

5.  worth its weight in gold

6.  a golden rule

a.  a woman who forms relationships with a rich man or men because she is interested in his / their money

b. an important rule in a particular field / a principle ensuring fairness

c.  extremely valuable or useful

d.  a well-behaved, genuine person

e.  to be very kind

f.  to own something that could make you a lot of money

To see the answers, highlight the space below:

1d, 2f, 3a, 4e, 5c, 6b.  You can also use expression number 5 about a person, for example:  "A teacher who could help me with this exercise would be worth their weight in gold."

To go for gold means to try as hard as you can to achieve something.

By the way, did you know that Welsh gold is very rare and that the wedding rings of the royal brides of Britain are made from it?

Is it raining where you are? Never mind - you may find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  In Irish folklore, a leprechaun is supposed to guard it.


Now it's time for a song!

This Beatles prelude to Carry That Weight  is based on a 1603 poem by Thomas Dekker.

The Beatles - Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight

And you have to clap your hands to this one! [In American English, a wedding ring is sometimes called a wedding band.]
James Gilreath - Little Band of Gold

Little Band of Gold - Lyrics

There you were, standing there, smiling as you made your plans
You were going to leave me and go with him
You said you loved him so and your love would always be
And that's the very same thing you once told me.

And you still had my little golden band on your hand
Does my little band of gold mean nothing to you?
To me it means the world but you've torn my world apart
You're leaving me alone with my broken heart.

So take my little golden band from your hand
My little band of gold means nothing to you
To me it meant the world but you've torn my world apart
You're leaving me alone with my broken heart.

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