Wintertime is known as “Holiday Season,” and the term ’tis the season, an old abbreviation for “it is,” refers to this time of year.

‘Tis the season to be jolly” in the popular Christmas carol “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” is the source of its identification with the winter holidays more than any other season.

Despite the fact that the song is a centuries-old Welsh classic, the phrase didn’t begin to appear in newspapers and publications until the 1970s

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What Does ‘Tis Mean?

That the song’s initial word, ’tis, is merely an archaic contraction of “it is,” long since driven out of ordinary usage by it’s. Of course, this is what really makes the phrase jump out.

Even though ’tis has been around since at least the middle of the 16th century, ’tis has been largely forgotten until (since the 1970s).

The days get shorter and the twinkly lights start twinkling and the word emerges, tinsel and pine needles still clinging to it, to guide readers to the new holiday season. ‘Tis the season, everyone.

‘Tis the Season for Caroling’

However, as we don’t say “’tis summer” only because it’s summer, it’s impossible to deny that the term has deeper meaning. And here’s what else it is: Christmas carol “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” is a reference to ’tis the season.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

‘Tis the season to be jolly,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

During the month of December, this song serves as a cultural earworm for many people. In the days running up to the end of the year, you’re likely to hear someone singing it somewhere.

’tis the season” is right there in the song’s best-known lines. Despite the song’s extensive history, the phrase hasn’t been used in headlines and titles for as long as its present (seasonal) popularity might suggest.

For the most part, it wasn’t until the 1970s that we began to see it mentioned in publications like Time and Life.

Origins of “Deck the Halls”

It’s not a new song. The 1784 Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards contains a recording of its Welsh-derived tune.

(The Welsh ballad “Nos Galan,” which translates to “New Year’s Eve,” is also associated with this.) Originally published in 1881 in New York in The Franklin Square Song Collection, no lyricist was given credit for the lyrics.

An 1884 edition of Song Book: Words and Tunes from the Best Poets and Musicians lists Thomas Oliphant’s translation of Talhaiarn as the source of English lyrics.

The first of which he held in 1832; Talhaiarn was a Welsh poet and architect better known by the pen name John Jones; Oliphant was a lyricist and longtime member of the Madrigal Society;

Harps have historically played an important role in renditions of “Deck the Halls,” but this has been lost on recent hummers of the song.

In December 1994, composer and conductor John Rutter discussed it to Bob Edwards on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Why is ’tis Used?

A proclitic is what we call something like this. These words have no distinct phonological or accentual characteristics, and are therefore “closely linked in pronunciation.”

If you needed to convey yourself quickly or in the lyrics of a popular song, ’tis may have been the best way to accomplish it because it’s so easy to utter (it really does just slide off the tongue).

Why do we Say ’Tis the Season?

As long as ’tis had been around, it wasn’t until “Deck the Halls” was released in 1862 that ’tis began to get into the spirit of Christmas.

‘Tis the season to be jolly is the second line of the song, which begins with the word ’tis. Thomas Oliphant wrote the English-language lyrics for the song.

We may trace our love of Christmas carols, such as “Deck the Halls,” back to the even older Anglo-Saxon custom of wassailing, which involved toasting friends and family and wishing them well.

As part of the winter solstice festivities, wassailing was commonplace. To get food or booze, wassailers would sing happy songs and knock on doors, hoping someone would open their door and give them something to drink.

Even before Oliphant wrote the lyrics to “Deck the Halls,” both Shakespeare and Charles Dickens had utilised the contraction ’tis in their writing, so it’s possible he was inspired to follow their lead.

How to Use ‘Tis the Season’ in a Sentence?

Here are some examples of how you can use “tis the season” in a sentence now that you understand its meaning and origin (or even in your IELTS Speaking test).

“I can’t wait for some time off work.” “Yes, I know! ‘Tis the season.”

‘Tis the season to celebrate with family and friends.

But be careful: outside of this phrase, it’s is rarely seen in writing or heard in speech.

Deck the Halls Song: Explained

Many of the lyrics of “Deck the Halls” are a little odd. Consider the meaning of the following statements.

Meaning of “Boughs of holly” 

It is common knowledge that a bough refers to a particularly large branch of a tree. Holly is a tree or shrub with needle-like leaves and vivid red berries.

It’s because of this that, when you “deck the halls with boughs,” you use holly to decorate it.

Meaning of “Don we now our gay apparel”

“Don” is a verb that means “to put on” or “to outfit (oneself). Homonyms include “gay” and “lesbian” (a word that shares the same written form as another word but has a different meaning).

It was once used to describe someone who was cheerful, jovial, or light-hearted. As a result, donning your gay attire entails dressing up in bright and colourful attire.

Meaning of “Troll the ancient yuletide carol” 

When you hear the word “troll,” you might picture a legendary monster or someone who makes uninvited and/or contentious comments on the internet at random.

As a result, “troll” is a homonym as well. Historically, it meant “to sing with a loud, resonant voice.” The pagan holiday of Yule, also known as Yuletide, was eventually incorporated into the Christian holiday of Christmas.

An old Christmas carol is being trod upon when someone says, “Troll the ancient yuletide carol.”

Meaning of “Hail the new, you lads and lasses” 

As a noun, hail refers to small, hard balls of ice that drop down from the sky. “Hail” as a verb, on the other hand, means to summon someone or something to their attention (you can hail a taxi, for example).

“Hail the new year” is a call to celebrate the start of a new year. The term “lads” refers to a group of men. The term “lasses” refers to a group of females under the age of 30.

It’s a polite way of saying “call/wish for a new year, boys and gals” in this context.

Conclusion

“Deck the Halls,” a Christmas carol written in 1862, is said to be the inspiration for the expression. The tune was first recorded in the 1600s.

It wasn’t always connected with Christmas; the tune derives from a Welsh winter ballad called “Nos Galan,” which is actually about New Year’s Eve.

Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are just a few of the many celebrations that take place during the holiday season.

With the majority of these holidays focusing on gift giving and fun, the ‘holiday season’ has come to be regarded as this time of year.