Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーThe New Arrival pt 1/3 「新生児」

Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーThe New Arrival 「新生児」

Hello, this is Simon.

Sorry for not posting anything for a while, but I actually have some very good news. Around one month ago we had a baby. However, about a year ago it is something I honestly wasn’t expecting to happen.

We had actually been trying to have one for some time with little success and were about ready to call it quits, when one day my wife said to me, “I think I have a bun in the oven.”

The news came completely out of left field. Initially, I didn’t want to get my hopes up and start thinking about the pitter patter of little feet in our house, because I was worried that something might happen, and the feeling of devastation that would follow, as we had had a few misfortunes in the past. So, kept my hopes in check.

However, week by week the baby grew steadily, and it started to become more certain, that we would be blessed with a little bundle of joy. So, I started to allow myself the luxury of thinking about life with a new baby. Little by little, I started to look forward to its arrival and caring for it. The months passed slowly, and just around the time I was thinking about informing family of our wonderful news, our doctor told us there could be a problem…



“a bun in the oven”

To have “a bun in the oven” simply means to be pregnant.

I think it gives a pretty clear image: something that starts of small and without any real form, like a lump of dough, which over time grows and slowly takes shape to become something that have been looking forward to.

“came completely out of left field”

The phrase to “come out of left field” means to be completely unexpected, unusual or strange.

It is an American idiom which comes from baseball. To be honest I have almost no knowledge of the game, but whenever I hear the phrase I get the image of a ball that comes flying in from a totally unexpected place. I think that is why I like this phrase, because like “a bun in the oven” it invokes a clear image.

“the pitter patter of little feet”

“Pitter patter” is onomatopoeia. It describes a series of quick light tapping sounds. One common use it to describe the sound of rain as it hits something like the ground or the roof of a house (e.g. I could hear the pitter patter of rain outside my window.) The other common use is to describe the fast footsteps of a small child (e.g. Now that you are married, I’m sure it won’t be long before we hear the pitter patter of little feet.)

“kept my hopes in check”

To “keep something in check” means to keep it under control or to stop it from becoming too great, powerful or causing problems. It can be used in various situations.

For example:
“I managed to keep the weeds in my garden in check this year.”
“He was devastated by the loss of his father, but he had to keep his emotions in check for the funeral.”
“Tom has a habit of saying too much, so I’ll keep him in check during the negotiations.”

“a little bundle of joy”

A “bundle” is a number of things that are held or have been fastened together, such as a bundle of clothes or newspapers.

A “bundle of joy” is another word for a baby. I guess it is because they are wrapped or bundled in a few layers of clothes and things like blankets when we first get to hold them.

“allow myself the luxury of…”

“Luxury” in this case is actually a noun. It means something that is pleasurable or advantageous that cannot always be done easily, or that we do not usually have (e.g. We can’t afford the luxury of time in a making this decision. = We have very little time to make this decision.)

In the case of my expression, thinking about life with a baby was a “luxury”, because I was worried that something unfortunate might happen.


Above are a few words and expressions that you may not have heard of, but could come in handy.

See you next month!

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Hello! My name is Simon. I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999. My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.