The Sunday Quiz | Books
A sketch from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

The Sunday Quiz |

Quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

Popular phrases and interesting idioms!

The Sunday Quiz |

Quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

1/10

1. On February 16, 600 AD, Pope Gregory I did something that he believed was a way to combat the raging Plague of 590. He decreed that for a certain act (which he believed was the first sign of falling sick) any person in the vicinity should wish for divine protection on that person. What was the act and what were you supposed to do according to Pope Gregory the Great?

Answer :

Say ‘God Bless You’ when someone sneezes.

1. This phrase was made popular by its usage in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It is a common saying which is not actually accurate. It refers to a particular bird which, unlike most other birds, does not swoop in the air but follows a certain path. Historically, these birds were kept on ships as on release they instinctively flew towards land. What phrase is this that is used to refer to a direct path between two points?

Answer :

As the crow flies

1. This phrase refers to a person or thing which is preferred above someone or something. The original version referred to an opening in a part of the body which is invaluable to us. The phrase appears five times in the Bible and once in A Midsummer Night’s Dream where the aperture is replaced by a fruit. One theory is that the fruit which was spherical resembled the aperture and hence it was used in the phrase. What phrase is this?

Answer :

 Apple of my eye

1. This phrase refers to an insincere display of emotions. The origin of this phrase refers to the fact that this particular animal usually feeds above water and during the feeding their eyes dry out so they naturally lubricate them. This gives the illusion of irony of a remorseless creature doing something it does not mean to. What phrase is used to denote such superficial sympathy?

Answer :

Crocodile tears

1. The first recorded use of this phrase was in an American 1873 editorial which suggested that excess drinking could be curtailed if owners insisted on following a certain system where every drinker is responsible for his own bill. One of the theories is that it referred to a certain group of immigrant people in the U.S. who took pride on never owing a debt to anyone. What phrase is this?

Answer :

Going Dutch

1. This phrase means to not take something seriously or view it with scepticism. The origin of this phrase is supposed to have come from Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia where he gives the recipe for an antidote to a poison. It has a particular item that makes it seem improbable. What is this item which you might use for taste but not for credibility?

Answer :

Take it with a ‘grain of salt’ or ‘pinch of salt’

1. There are several theories about the origin of this phrase. The most common theory is that it refers to doing an action to carry out a certain method of execution. Another theory is that it refers to a beam on which slaughtered pigs were suspended. The object in this phrase also lends itself to a name of a list one would like to do before things come to an end. What phrase is this?

Answer :

Kick the bucket

1. This is supposed to be a magical phrase first seen in the French translation Les Mille et Une Nuits by Antoine Galland of an Arabic work. The hero of the story overhears a group of 40 thieves saying this phrase to open a cave in which they store their treasures. What phrase is this which is quite popular, thanks to many movies and cartoons?

Answer :

Open sesame

1. This idiom is used to describe the act of ignoring certain information which one does not wish to know. Although there is evidence of this phrase being used in the 17th century, it became popular in 1801 after Admiral Horatio Nelson was told by the commander of the British Forces to stop his action using signal flags. Nelson, who had a visual handicap, then apparently lifted his telescope and said, “I really do not see the signal,” and went on to win the battle. What phrase is this?

Answer :

Turning a blind eye

1. This phrase comes from an usage by ships at sea. Ships that were victorious in battle would sail in to port with their flags raised high on the mastheads. A ship that had been defeated would bring down the flags. The two-word term refers to the act of unfurling and the flag itself. What phrase is this that one nowadays uses after an exam or interview?

Answer :

With ‘flying colours’

The Sunday Quiz |

Quiz: Easy like Sunday morning

0/10

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you

Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 9:22:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/sunday-quiz-feb-16-phrases-and-idioms/article30828424.ece

Next Story