Quiz: Can You Finish These Common Phrases?
Can You Finish These Common Phrases?
By: Olivia Cantor
Image: Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's interesting to encounter many common phrases used in our everyday language and then learn of their unique origins. Are you familiar with such phrases?

Part of the development of human culture is to have certain words or phrases evolve through time and usage. That's the reason why we can determine if a certain word or phrase came from a certain era or period. For instance, we always use "the green-eyed-monster" to refer to jealousy, but did you know that the phrase originated centuries ago, during Shakespeare's time? The Bard wrote variations of this concept in his two plays: one as "green-eyed jealousy" in "The Merchant of Venice," and the other as "green-eyed monster" in "Othello."

There are also phrases from specific cultures, and intercultural exchanges through the centuries made it possible for nuances in language to be shared from culture to culture. A good example of this is how we use "Achilles' heel" to refer to a weakness of any kind in a given system. If you're familiar with Greek mythology, you know this phrase refers to the hero Achilles and his only unprotected body part: his heel.

Usually, many of these phrases started with a literal meaning. That means the situation they're describing happened on a literal level, then someone fashioned the literal phrase into a kind of "lesson learned" phrasing, which evolved into "words of wisdom." Such wisdom eventually became common. These words are still wise, but now more widely used.

Do you think you can identify the missing words in these common phrases? Figure them out, then!

1 of 35
Something that "rings a __" means it's very familiar.
2 of 35
In your "neck of the __" refers to your area or locality.
3 of 35
To be a "__ of all trades" means you are skilled in many areas.
4 of 35
When you "read __ the lines," you're looking for hidden meanings.
5 of 35
For several persons to be considered as "__ in a pod," they should exhibit similar traits.
6 of 35
If you "let your __ down," you're definitely relaxing, at last!
7 of 35
Suddenly losing one's temper shows that the person can "__ off the handle" from time to time.
8 of 35
When something "__ in the family," character traits of relatives appear the same.
9 of 35
You are "as fit as a __" when you can demonstrate that you're in good health.
10 of 35
A person "eats like a __" whenever they eat in small bites.
11 of 35
Someone who "__ humble pie" owes up to committing mistakes.
12 of 35
If you "go off the __ end," you're exhibiting unusual behavior that may lead to an outburst or breakdown.
13 of 35
Let's "play it by __" and adjust plans according to what happens later.
14 of 35
To "__ your Ps and Qs" is to check your behavior or manners.
15 of 35
When two parties "__ the hatchet," they're coming to a truce.
16 of 35
Someone's "on cloud __" when they're feeling very happy and excited.
17 of 35
You're a "__ for sore eyes" when someone is happy to see you.
18 of 35
Adding a "feather in one's __" means getting another achievement or award.
19 of 35
When we all go "back to __ one," we need to go back to the first step.
20 of 35
Theater people always say "break a __" when wishing someone good luck.
21 of 35
Something is "a __ a dozen" when it's very, very common.
22 of 35
To "race against __" is to do something big immediately.
23 of 35
You are "__ as a tack" when you are clever and bright.
24 of 35
When you "can't see the forest for the __," you're missing out on the big picture.
25 of 35
In an office, "heads will __" when lay-offs are forthcoming.
26 of 35
When someone "gives their __ cents," they are sharing their insights on a particular matter.
27 of 35
To "learn the _____," a newbie should practice and know how to do something well.
28 of 35
If an item is "selling like ______," it's being bought a lot!
29 of 35
We're "on the same __" when we're both in agreement over something.
30 of 35
To find something "in the __line" means you need to look for it in the development phase.
31 of 35
"Start with a __ slate" suggests beginning with a clear record.
32 of 35
When certain things "raise __ flags," beware of pending trouble.
33 of 35
You "drive a __ bargain" when you show you're determined to get what you want.
34 of 35
It's dangerous to "burn the __ at both ends" because it's too stressful to do that.
35 of 35
When someone is not updated on current information, they are automatically "__ of the loop."
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