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Suppose you're a student and Tuesday and Thursday are official holidays. School is closed on those days, but, Wednesday, it is open. I need to know what English people call such a Wednesday.

Where I live, people would say classes on Wednesday "aren't officially active". I need to know what common word, phrase, or idiom English people would use to describe "not officially active".

In our country, people tend to not go to school on such days though they shouldn't. If a child doesn't go to school on Wednesday and his parents ask,

Why aren't you going to school today?

He might reply,

Well the school is _______ (officially open yet closed).

I need the English word to fill the gap.

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  • In America the classes would still be "officially active" and if you decided not to go, you'd be *skipping class"
    – Jim
    Feb 8, 2019 at 5:40
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    Are you saying that Wednesday, because it is a single day between two closed days, would also automatically be a day that school was closed in your country? Or is it just understood that attendance would be low due to people improperly taking the day off? Feb 8, 2019 at 6:20
  • Hi Sam, welcome to EL&U. You might not be aware that there are strict rules for single-word-requests: "To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. You must include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used." You can add this using the edit link. I recommend you also add the information that George White asks about. For further guidance, see How to Ask, and make sure you also take the EL&U Tour :-) Feb 8, 2019 at 6:46
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    One difficulty is that English people never encounter this situation. There are no occasions in England where Tuesday and Thursday are official holidays. The closest might be when Christmas Day is on Tuesday (with another holiday on Wednesday 26 December), and people might take 24 and 27-28 December off to join the official holidays to the weekend. However, there is never an assumption about simply not going to school or work: if the office is open, you're expected to be there or take the days off as approved leave. We don't experience the situation described in the question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:15
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    Given that the OP never came back to answer the crucial question by @Lawrence, this question is unanswerable, so it is perhaps the time for it to be officially (!) closed.
    – jsw29
    May 5, 2020 at 16:11

4 Answers 4

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I live in Chile, not in England, but English is my mother tongue. However, the words that I know for the situation that you describe are used in Spanish. For a good example (from Wikipedia):

In Chile, a "sandwich" is a day that falls between two holidays, independently of whether it's a holiday by itself or not. In the latter case, workers may take it off on account on vacation days, an action called "tomarse el sandwich" (lit.: "taking the sandwich"). In formal writings, the term "interferiado" is used instead of "sandwich". In colloquial contexts, these days, almost always a Monday or a Friday, may be called "San Lunes" or "San Viernes" (lit.: "Saint Monday" and "Saint Friday", respectively) as well.

We might say: "Tuesday is Independence day; I am going to make Monday a sandwich and install the kitchen cabinets." It is called a "sandwich" day because it is something of a different sort between two other things, like meat between two pieces of bread. "Sandwich" is native English, but I have no indication that it Is ever used that way in England.

The English are rather more cool and disciplined in their approach to holidays, as indeed they traditionally are in their approach to many other aspects of life. Indeed, the article sited above also states:

This is typically referred to by a phrase involving "bridge" in many languages; for example in some Spanish-speaking countries the term is puente ("bridge") or simply "fin de semana largo". Four-day bridge weekends are commonplace in non-English speaking countries, but there are only a couple of examples in English-speaking countries:

Long weekend, sandwich or bridge, it is usually something that the student or employee "takes" or "makes" on account of leave days, rather than the institution.

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Your question is unclear. Let me see if I understand it correctly. To say 'not officially active' suggests that the school is unofficially active (such as a teacher tutoring students at the school even though it's a Saturday).

In your example, you stated that Tuesday is an official holiday and Thursday is an official holiday. Therefore, no one will attend classes at the school on Tuesday or Thursday.

English speakers would say:

"There is no school on Tuesday."

"There aren't any classes on Tuesday."

or, more formally,

"Classes are not in session on Tuesday."

EDIT:

I don't think there is a idiom like that in English. English speakers would create an excuse on the spot, like"

"Oh, there is no class today because the teacher is sick."

"There is a school assembly, but I didn't have to go."

Any plausible excuse will do.

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  • Thank you very much indeed for your help.Maybe I should clarify the context by saying that in our country people tend not to go to school if the day before and the day after are closed although they shouldn't. So if a child doesn't go to school on Wednesday and his parents ask why aren't you going to school today? He might say well the school is ......... ( not officially closed not open) . I need the English word to fill the gap.
    – Sam
    Feb 8, 2019 at 6:58
  • @Sam Please add all clarification to your question, to help other people who read it. You can click on the edit link below it to edit it. However, "not officially closed not open" is unclear -- is it open, or closed?
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:10
  • @AndrewLeach - He's brand new. We can get him started by showing him how (leading by example). Nov 7, 2019 at 7:13
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In the case of school, one might call Wednesday an unofficial skip day. When taking the day off work, you might call it a floating holiday. In general, though, in the United States the only days that come close to this situation are the day before and the day after Thanksgiving, and I have not heard any word or phrase used consistently to describe them in the way you are asking.

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In the US I've heard my sixteen-year-old son explain it this way:

I don't have to go on Friday because it's the last day of classes before the vacation and no one's going to really do anything that day.

I think your example is probably going to result in no one attending classes for the whole week. A better example would be an official holiday occurring on a Tuesday. Then people would often take Monday off too. In this situation, people would say

Everybody's going to be taking Monday off for a long weekend.

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