Cultural Literacy Unit #4 (for seniors — quiz on Tues. 2/22)


1.) To throw the book at someone means to punish him or her to the fullest extent possible.

2.) To air your dirty laundry means to speak about private matters publicly.

3.) The elephant in the room is the issue or situation that everyone is aware of, but no one is speaking about. Eventually it will have to be addressed.

4.) Having skeletons in the closet refers to having things in your past that you aren’t proud of and therefore wish to keep hidden.

5.) Making a tongue-in-cheek comment means speaking ironically; not meaning what is said.

6.) A sacred cow is a value or belief so deeply rooted that it cannot be criticized or challenged.

7.) To quit something cold turkey means to stop immediately and completely.

8.) To pay lip service to someone means to tell him/her what he/she wants to hear, despite having no plans to follow through with actions.

9.) To play second fiddle to someone else means to take a subordinate role to them.

10.) The idiom “the pot calling the kettle black” is used to indicate that a person is being hypocritical, especially if criticizing someone else.

11.) A crackpot idea is useless or impractical.

12.) Getting cold feet means backing out of a commitment at the last moment.

13.) The eleventh hour is the last possible moment to take action on something.

14.) The writing on the wall is a sign of impending doom.

15.) A golden parachute is a large payment or other financial compensation provided for an employee (usually an executive) when he or she leaves a company.

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