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Listen&Learn: The Language of Flowers

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn how people used flowers to send messages in the 19th century.
pink roses in vase

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • universal: understood by everyone
  • restrictive: limiting many freedoms
  • etiquette: a set of rules for being polite
  • taboo: socially unacceptable
  • interpret: to find the meaning of something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Many people consider flowers to be a universal . People often give each other flowers that represent certain emotions. Red roses, for example, are widely known as the flower of love. But the language of flowers was once used for more than just . In the 19th century, society was very restrictive. People were expected to proper etiquette, and many topics were considered taboo. Flowers gave people the opportunity to secretly express their true feelings and . Back then, flower language was much more complex. There were many books about interpreting flower arrangements. But as time went on, social rules became more relaxed, and people no longer needed a way to send secret . Flowers still have meanings today, but most people use them to express basic feelings like love or friendship.

Comprehension questions

1. Red roses are a symbol of

Correct! Wrong!

Red roses are a symbol of love.

2. People used flower language in the 19th century because

Correct! Wrong!

People used flower language in the 19th century because it allowed them to secretly express feelings and opinions.

3. After social rules became more relaxed,

Correct! Wrong!

After social rules became more relaxed, people didn't need to send secret messages anymore.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Flowers are just one way to send secret messages. Do you know any other methods that people have used to communicate secretly?

Transcript

Many people consider flowers to be a universal language. People often give each other flowers that represent certain emotions. Red roses, for example, are widely known as the flower of love. But the language of flowers was once used for more than just gifts. In the 19th century, society was very restrictive. People were expected to follow proper etiquette, and many topics were considered taboo. Flowers gave people the opportunity to secretly express their true feelings and opinions. Back then, flower language was much more complex. There were many books about interpreting flower arrangements. But as time went on, social rules became more relaxed, and people no longer needed a way to send secret messages. Flowers still have meanings today, but most people use them to express basic feelings like love or friendship.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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