Common phrases are well-known forms of expressions that refer to analogies and life lessons. In this quiz, we've rounded out 35 difficult phrases that you may or may not have heard of.
Let's take a look at some of these "difficult" common phrases. For example, did you know that "fit as a fiddle" means that someone is very fit? While some might think it's a way of saying that someone looks heavy, due to the shape of a fiddle, it's actually a compliment for saying that someone looks great!
Another common phrase is "all Greek to me." While you might think that this phrase literally refers to the Greek language, it actually means that someone doesn't understand something at all. For example, if you're talking about computer parts to someone who doesn't know anything about computers, they might say something like, "What you're saying sounds all Greek to me."
This quiz will look at 35 "difficult" common phrases that will put your wits to the test! All you have to do is match the common phrase to the correct definition. If you ever get stuck, be sure to utilize the applicable hint that is attached to every question. Without further ado, take this "difficult" common phrases quiz now to see if you can score a 100%!
The phrase "two ships passing in the night" is an analogy for two people who have met by chance. They then go their own separate ways, like ships that pass by each other.
If someone tells you to "swing for the fences," they want you to give 100% of your best effort. This phrase is often used in sports competitions.
Here's an example of how this phrase is used: If person A says "Who won the Super Bowl last year," Person B might say "OK, shot in the dark here, but I think it was the Patriots." "A shot in the dark" is used to guess or take a chance on something that is probably not going to be right.
To go unpunished from a situation means that you are "scot-free." This can also be referring to jail time, custody or a potential punishment from your parents.
"When the rubber hits the road" means that a proposition or an idea is being implemented. This is often used for newfound hypotheses.
Flies are often a nuisance, so if someone "wouldn't harm a fly," it means that they are too kind to not only hurt flies, but anybody. This is often used to signify how kind and gentle a person is.
Someone who doesn't feel as valued as someone else may use the expression, "What am I, chopped liver?" The food "chopped liver" is an analogy for feeling like just another "side" item.
"The whole nine yards" refers to the "whole" of something. So if I say "I want the whole nine yards of this turkey," that means I want all of the turkey.
"Sitting on the fence" means that someone is indecisive. In other words, the person can't make up their mind on a decision.
The common phrase, "Don't pull wool over other people's eyes" means to not make people think that you like them. The phrase is also used to tell someone that they are being deceptive.
"Once in a blue moon" refers to the rarity of a situation. So if I say that my dad only comes around once in a blue moon, I'm saying that it's rare that he pays a visit.
Someone who is "off their rocker" is someone who is not behaving appropriately. This often means that they are acting stupid, crazy or childish.
To "not play with a full deck" means that someone is not thinking very intelligently. This can refer to their overall intelligence or to a particular situation.
Somebody who does not have a "spark of decency" means that they are not a very polite person. This also refers to a lack of manners.
"Let the sleeping dogs lie" means to not bother someone or something. This also means to just let something be, and to not disrupt it.
If you "heard something on the grapevine," it means that you heard gossip or secretive information about a situation. This can refer to both true or false kinds of information.
"Every cloud has a silver lining" is an optimistic way of saying that, "Good days will come soon." This is often acknowledging that the bad times are current, but that they will pass.
"Elvis has left the building" means that the show is over. This also means that a situation is over, which does not necessarily have to refer to a show.
To be successful means that someone "cut the mustard." For example, if I say that John "cut the mustard in the race," it means that he was successful in the race (and probably won).
To be "caught between two stools" means that someone is being indecisive with two choices. Both choices are typically of equal importance to cause such indecisiveness.
Trying to attempt a task of high difficulty or responsibility means that you are "trying to bite off more than you can chew." This can also refer to multiple tasks, not just one.
"A stitch in time saves nine" means that you can prevent quite a bit of headache down the road if you solve an issue now. This is another way of saying, "Don't procrastinate."
If you ever have the time to stand around and literally watch a pot of water boil, it will feel as if it's taking forever. This is an analogy for how time feels slow when we attentively wait for something to "boil" or something to happen.
A trendy topic might also be referred to as a "hot potato." For example, headlines of trendy news articles are considered to be "hot potato" articles.
When you take a fish out of water, the fish is uncomfortable and foreign to its new environment. This is an analogy for a person who looks lost or uncomfortable in a certain situation.
The phrase "fit as a fiddle" means that someone looks very fit. It can also be used to say that someone looks healthy.
If someone is "foaming at the mouth," it means that they are expressing rage. The anger that is expressed is usually of a very high degree.
If my remarks were considered to be too impolite, you might say something like, "Your words hit me below the belt." This is typically used to express vulnerability and feeling offended.
If someone is holding a grudge that still makes them upset, it means that they have a "chip on their shoulder." This can also refer to a regret.
"All Greek to me" doesn't necessarily refer to the Greek language. Rather, it means that you don't understand what someone is trying to tell you.
"Bull in a china shop" refers to someone who is very clumsy in nature. This person may also have a habit of damaging surrounding items.
Feeling suspicious of a particular situation or of a person means that someone "smells a rat." The "rat," or person in such a case, is usually lying and deceptive in nature.
"In the red" refers to a person's financial situation. The phrase is usually used for someone who has depleted their money and assets.
If someone wants you to "keep your shirt on," it means that they want you to remain level-headed about a situation. This is also used to help calm someone down.
"Greased lightning" refers to something that is high in speed, or something moving very quickly. For example, if I say that this car is like greased lighting, I'm saying that the car drives very fast.