Can You Complete These Common American Expressions?

Becky Stigall

More bang for your ____.

The expression is "more bang for your buck." It means to get more for your money.

Shot in the ___.

The phrase is "shot in the arm." It means to give someone or something a boost.

Use a ______ to crack a nut.

The phrase is "use a sledgehammer to crack a nut." This refers to using too much force to get something done.

The ____ test.

The expression is "the acid test." To give something the acid test is to make sure it is true.

It cost an ___ and a leg.

The expression is "cost an arm and a leg." This means that something cost a great deal.

Easy as ___.

The expression is "easy as pie." This means that something is very easy.

Happy as a ____.

The expression is "happy as a clam." Clams appear to be smiling, so this expression means that someone is very happy.

Back to the _______ board.

The phrase is "back to the drawing board." This means to go back to the planning stage and start all over.

Barking up the wrong ____.

The phrase is "barking up the wrong tree." This means that you have made a mistake in an assumption.

Between a rock and a ____ place.

The expression is "between a rock and a hard place." It means that you have to choose between two undesirable options.

Big ____ in a small pond.

The expression is "big fish in a small pond." It means that someone is important, but only to a small extent.

Break a ___.

The expression is "break a leg." This is said to actors before they go onstage, as a way to wish them luck.

Brownie ______.

The expression is "brownie points." This refers to the ability to earn fictional credit for something.

Bury the _______.

The expression is "bury the hatchet." This expression stems from an old Native American practice of burying a hatchet to signal peace or agreement.

Jump on the _________.

The expression is "jump on the bandwagon." This means that you have joined other people for something.

Close, but no _____.

The expression is "close, but no cigar." This means that you have fallen just short of something and refers to a time when cigars were awarded as prizes at fairs.

To coin a ______.

The phrase is "to coin a phrase." This means to create a new saying - or to trot out an old cliche.

Cold ______.

The phrase is "cold turkey." This means to withdraw from something suddenly.

Cut to the _____.

The expression is "cut to the chase." This means to get to the point.

Double ______.

The expression is "double whammy." This means to receive a double blow, typically referring to some sort of setback.

Down the _____.

The expression is "down the tubes." This refers to something that is not salvageable. One might also say "down the drain."

Drop dead ________.

The expression is "drop dead gorgeous." This phrase is used to refer to something or someone that/who is extremely beautiful.

Face the _____.

The expression is "face the music." It means to own up to the consequences of one's deeds.

Fifteen _______ of fame.

The expression is "fifteen minutes of fame." The expression is a variation of the Andy Warhol quote, "In the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes." Actually, some experts believe Warhol never said these words.

Flavor of the _____.

The expression is "flavor of the month." This phrase is used to refer to something that is popular, but only for a short time.

Fly off the ______.

The expression is "fly off the handle." This refers to when the axe head flies off the handle, and it describes the actions of someone who is very angry.

Down to the _____ tacks.

The expression is "down to the brass tacks." This means to get to the nitty-gritty, or the basics.

Good riddance to bad _______.

The expression is "good riddance to bad rubbish." Some might also say "good riddance to bad trash." This means to get rid of something annoying.

I have an ___ to grind.

The expression is "I have an axe to grind." This means that you have a dispute with someone or something.

If you can't stand the ____, get out of the kitchen.

The expression is "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." This phrase is used to tell someone to stop doing something if they can't take the pressure.

Know your ______.

The expression is "know your onions." This is typically said about someone who is very knowledgeable.

Level the _______ field.

The expression is "level the playing field." This means that the competition is made to be more evenly matched.

Paddle your own _____.

The expression is "paddle your own canoe." This phrase is used to tell someone to be responsible for their own destiny by making their own decisions.

Paint the ____ red.

The expression is "paint the town red." This means to have an extremely lively and raucous time.

Pulled the ____ over your eyes.

The expression is "pulled the wool over your eyes." If someone has pulled the wool over your eyes, they have deceived you.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Every country has expressions that only make sense if you know the meaning behind them. Take this quiz to see how well you score on these American phrases.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!