T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native

stocking filler

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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) a Christmas song

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b) a small gift

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a stocking filler or a stocking stuffer is a present of a size suitable for inclusion in a child’s Christmas stocking. Traditionally, stocking fillers are smaller gifts that tend to be secondary to the main gifts under the Christmas tree.

French translation

un cadeau pour les chaussettes de Noël

How NOT to translate : *un remplisseur de bas


Examples in context

‘Beauty : stocking fillers

‘Small, useful, relatively inexpensive things are somehow more satisfying than bigger, flashier Christmas presents’

I’ve always been a stocking-filler kind of girl, rather than someone who nags to get at the bigger, flashier presents under the Christmas tree (after lunch and no sooner : I brook no ripostes). Small, useful, relatively inexpensive things – and I do realise that word means different things to different people – are somehow more satisfying, and ideal for filling stockings, the dreaded Secret Santa, ring-fencing for unexpected guests, or expected ones you love slightly less than everyone else.

The Guardian, 21 November 2015


Ladybird book pastiches become stocking-filler hit of 2015

Spoof titles with vintage artwork strike a chord with Christmas shoppers, selling more than 600,000 copies in less than two months

The Guardian, 22 December 2015


‘Last-minute gift ideas for the style-savvy

Back in the Celtic Tiger days, it wouldn’t be unusual for a family living beyond its means to have a secret stash of Christmas gifts. There might be a car boot stuffed full of just-in-case bottles of brandy or fancy preserves. Maybe someone bulk-bought sterling-silver jewellery to hand out to random nieces, willy-nilly, as they passed out the front door after visits full of stilted conversation and enforced jollity.

If there’s something to be learned from our past selves, it’s to be more frugal, plan accordingly and realise that one can only get so much pleasure out of giving and receiving overpriced jam. But the best-laid plans are always built on shaky foundations, and there’s an excellent chance you might just forget to buy a gift for someone special, or someone who remains an enigma to you in terms of taste. Here’s a selection of gifts to suit anyone – proper gifts, however, not stocking fillers – that any style-savvy person would be happy to get.’

The Irish Times, 22 December 2015


Everyday usage

A little notebook will be a perfect Christmas filler for Claire, who loves to write down song lyrics.

Tickets to this event will make an ideal stocking stuffer or holiday gift.

c) a small sum of money

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