11 February 2023
And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.
Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are events that we often celebrate with a party. Have you ever noticed how some people love such gatherings while others dislike them just as strongly? And we have names for both kinds.
Consider the term party animal173;, for example. A party animal does not just like parties. They love parties. They are always ready for parties. They seek out parties and they may throw a lot of parties as well! When a party animal is at such gatherings, they are often the most energetic and enthusiastic of attendees. They are likely to be called the life of the party. That is the person who is best at keeping the party fun and alive.
On the other hand, there are people who do not enjoy parties. They do not think such gatherings are fun. This person is a party pooper. When others want to have fun together, they would rather be doing something else.
A person can be a party pooper about events other than parties, also. Let's say a friend asks you if you want to go for a bicycle ride. You say no. You say it is cold and cloudy and you have too much work to do. Your friend might call you a party pooper as a result.
Similar to the party pooper is a Debbie downer. This is someone who always points out the bad in a situation. The term came into existence in 2004 as the name for a character on the television show Saturday Night Live.
A similar meaning word is killjoy: someone who crushes a pleasurable experience. We could also substitute the term buzzkill, although it can be anything that destroys a pleasurable situation. For example, rain is a real buzzkill at a parade.
We can also say that a negative person dampens the mood of a situation. Dampen literally means to make something wet. Similarly, we can say someone is a wet blanket if they make a situation less enjoyable. And how do we describe the actions of such a person? We say they throw a wet blanket on a situation.
"Party" is both a noun and a verb. When people are very excited about a social event, they might say they want to party down. You can party down at a baseball game or at a restaurant or dance place. Just remember, often partying down can mean being up all night!
So who are you? Party animal? Killjoy? Or something else completely? Let us know. And please feel free to celebrate the expressions you are learning from Words and Their Stories.
I'm Andrew Smith.
Andrew Smith wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Catherine Kelly Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
enthusiastic -adj. characterized by having strong positive feeling and support for something
character -n. a fictional role