It's April Fool's Day! It's a day when your friends and family, colleagues, even newspapers, magazines, and radio programs play practical jokes on people. The jokes can be quick and simple or they can be elaborate, making others believe that they're true when, in fact, they're not. Then the pranksters yell out, "April Fools!" ... and you feel (sort of) bad that you fell for the joke.
- PLAY PRACTICAL JOKES - trick someone to believe something false just for fun
- ELABORATE - complicated; complex
- PRANKSTERS - people who play practical jokes on people
- FALL FOR A JOKE - believe someone's joke, usually something that is not true
Here's an example of a practical joke: Michael Brady told his class this morning that they were going to have a test today. The class was taken by surprise.
- BE TAKEN BY SURPRISE - be surprised
"No! Really?" the students said in protest. There were a lot of groans.
- GROANS - sounds of complaint
Then Mike said, "April Fools!" He explained why he played a joke on them.
Another example of a practical joke is a radio program Taylor shared with us this morning. The news report is about self-driving cars with attitude. :-)
There are several theories of the origins of practical jokes on April 1. The video below from History.com and the article on their page mentions a few of them. One theory is that it began when France switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, switching the beginning of the year to January 1 from April 1. Those who kept celebrating the new year on April 1 for some reason were considered fools and became the butt of practical jokes.
- SWITCH - change
- BUTT OF A JOKE - the target of a joke
Well, it's just one day, and they're just jokes--as long as no one gets hurt, so there's usually no reason to get upset. But be aware, and DON'T FALL FOR IT! :-)
Have a fun and safe April Fool's!
-- Joe Yu, ESL instructor