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Idioms by Synonyms

We replaced the words in these common English idioms with synonyms. Guess the original idiom.
Not all synonyms are exact. Don't be a whiner!
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedMarch 5, 2018
Last updatedMarch 5, 2018
Times taken5,029
Rating4.15
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Synonyms
Idiom
Perspiring ammunition
Sweating bullets
Albino pachyderm
White elephant
Torrid tuber
Hot potato
Satan's lawyer
Devil's advocate
Scatter the legumes
Spill the beans
Ingesting raven
Eating crow
Scarlet kipper
Red herring
Cyclone in a samovar
Tempest in a teapot
Simian commerce
Monkey business
Cubic zirconia are eternal
Diamonds are forever
Synonyms
Idiom
Purchase the ranch
Buy the farm
Spark in the skillet
Flash in the pan
Whip a deceased nag
Flog a dead horse
Content as a mollusc
Happy as a clam
Wallaby tribunal
Kangaroo court
Smooch and blab
Kiss and tell
Rap on timber
Knock on wood
Wager your lowest peso
Bet your bottom dollar
Callowness is elation
Ignorance is bliss
Slice vertexes
Cut corners
+1
level 80
Mar 5, 2018
Fantastic quiz, really clever idea.
+1
level 76
Mar 5, 2018
Fun quiz! Not too hard for a native English speaker, but I can understand it being exceptionally difficult for non-natives and learners.
+1
level 71
Mar 5, 2018
I can confirm is being pretty hard for a non-native, but it's a great challenge though. In addition to several I knew, I maanged to get a couple more by virtue of trying synonyms, even though I didn't know the original idiom.
+1
level 61
Sep 14, 2019
It is really tough for a non-english speaker yea, some idioms I had never heard of and some words in the clues are quite uncommon, like skillet and callowness and samovar. But I did manage to get all but two. (which in hindsight I hád heard of... so maybe with a bit more time.. I was allready halfway there with one)
+2
level 66
Mar 5, 2018
It's a pretty tough quiz.
+4
level 67
Mar 5, 2018
Could you accept "touch wood" for "knocking on wood", since this is the English and Australian version? I know it's not exactly a synonym to the clue but it's still referring to the same thing.
+4
level 75
May 25, 2018
We fought and won a war so we wouldn't have to accept your Britishisms. 'MURCA!
+1
level 67
Mar 5, 2018
I've never heard the Perspiring ammunition, Ingesting Raven, and Content as a mollusc, idioms before. Are they American phrases that didn't make it across the pond?
+1
level 72
Mar 5, 2018
Yeah, I tried happy as a slug/snail/octopus before giving up on that one! And even though eating crow was kind of obvious in hindsight, didn't even make a guess at anything as nothing seemed sensible. At least they accepted our "storm in a teacup" as a type-in
+1
level 61
Sep 14, 2019
Well they must have crossed the pond, and then another bit of water, cause I have heard of them here in the netherlands :P I mean the sweating bullets and happy as a clamb one.

I think both people from the US aswell as people from the UK do not get exposed much to "the other" english. I have noticed it a lot. That one or the other group havent heard of things which even for me as a non-english speaker feel like common knowledge. I guess your own cultures produce enough that you don't need to see stuff from other people :P Plus maybe a bit of pride? We dont need UK/US stuff, we allready got our US/UK stuff.

Over here we sort of get exposed equally to UK and US stuff. Movies are more from the US quizshows and murder mysteries are from the UK , (ow and antique and nature, ow wait that is the on BBC itself, we cant get any american channels though) There arent too many on, but I think sitcoms were more from the US aswell (though that was more the case in the 90s)

+2
level 41
May 25, 2018
Sweating bullets is definitely a thing in England.
+1
level 82
Mar 5, 2018
I was going to say "that's not what callow means", apparently I confused it with "callous". Now I've learned a new word. Yay.
+1
level 60
May 25, 2018
I think you're right, in as much as that's not what it means. Not the same as callous but doesn't mean ignorant either.
+5
level 72
Mar 5, 2018
Vertexes? VertEXes?
+2
level 73
Mar 6, 2018
that always bugs me. Same with Radii. I work with computer drafting and I hear all the time people saying "radiuses" and I just want to punch them in the face.
+1
level 68
May 25, 2018
I am annoyed by the ads for "Ford Focuses".
+1
level 61
Sep 14, 2019
well for the ford focus it is acceptable, it is not the focus that multiplies but the ford, it is not one ford with multiple focal points (and apparently focus(s)es is accetaple in english aswell..)

But yea vertexen sounds really weird.

+2
level 83
Mar 7, 2018
I know right? Just remember, ox : oxen :: vertex : vertexen.
+3
level 79
May 18, 2018
Either vertexes or vertices. Both are perfectly cromulent.
+1
level 76
May 25, 2018
I've heard both vertexes and vertices, but I'd never heard of cromulent, so I had to look it up. I discovered that cromulent is a cromulent word. (I've never seen an episode of the Simpsons - I really should do that sometime just to see what all the fuss is about.)
+1
level 75
May 25, 2018
I thought vertex was a tall guy from Dallas.
+1
level 72
May 25, 2018
Even worse, I've heard people singularise vertices to "a vertice"
+1
level 72
Mar 6, 2018
Nice quiz! I hadn't heard some of these before.
+7
level 66
Mar 9, 2018
According to my wife, cubic zirconia is definitely not a synonym of diamond. I learned this the hard way.
+1
level 77
Mar 20, 2018
Yeah, diamond is cubic carbon ;).
+1
level 60
May 25, 2018
no, diamond is cubic $$.
+1
level 75
Apr 12, 2018
Haha 👍
+1
level 76
May 25, 2018
You could save about 30% and buy a synthetic diamond. It's often hard to tell the difference between a lab-generated diamond and a natural one, but both are "real" diamonds. (My nephew sells jewelry and he said he has been fooled a few times by synthetics - normally they lack as many flaws as natural diamonds.) They are also making synthetic emeralds and rubies, so I wonder why they all remain so "valuable".
+1
level 67
May 27, 2018
Because gems -- diamonds in particular -- are monopolized by a few large companies who hoard them to create an artificial scarcity. For a long time, De Beers controlled around 90% of the world's rough diamond trade, so they could charge whatever they want. De Beers isn't the only powerful company around now, but they all still stockpile diamonds and sell them off slowly, because they realize that if any of them start selling diamonds at a rate similar to the rate they're actually mined at, the market would be flooded and the whole thing would fall apart.

And of course then there's their marketing, which wholesale created the idea that a diamond is a symbol of love and marriage. Hell, "A diamond is forever" isn't even an idiom, not really. It's a slogan De Beers created in the 1940s.
+2
level 5
Apr 30, 2018
20/20 first time, though got caught up on cut corners
+1
level 75
Oct 8, 2018
Same!
+3
level 62
May 25, 2018
Very happy and satisfying to get 20/20. Hardest one: Spark in the skillet. I kept thinking of "out of the frying pan into the fire".
+2
level 60
May 25, 2018
Callowness is defined as immature or lacking experience. Not the same as ignorance.
+1
level 61
Sep 14, 2019
Perhaps better synonym would be naïve or, unaware or oblivious? But well, if you lack experience, you usually lack knowledge aswell.

Btw I looked up the etymology of callowness, and apparently it is related to the dutch kaal, meaning bald, and callowness refers to be as naked as a babybird, new to life.

+1
level 57
May 25, 2018
I'm an American and I've never heard of Eating Crow. Never. Also never heard of anyone saying flog a dead horse. Only beat a dead horse.
+1
level 76
May 25, 2018
I'm American and I've heard the phrase fairly often. Maybe it's a generation thing.
+1
level 66
May 25, 2018
Ignorance is NOT a synonym at all for callowness.
+1
level ∞
May 25, 2018
Sure it is. Inexperience is closely related to ignorance. But, as clearly stated, not all synonyms are exact.
+1
level 67
May 25, 2018
Heard of 'Storm in a teacup', not quite sure what 'Tempest in a teapot' is.
+1
level 44
May 25, 2018
I've also heard of storm in a cup but not the other!
+1
level 44
May 25, 2018
This was difficult! Not heard of many of them
+1
level 43
May 27, 2018
good quiz!! :)
+2
level 72
Aug 20, 2018
Whoops. I read this as "Idiots by Synonym". Think I'll go make a quiz.
+1
level 71
Dec 17, 2018
There's a tendency to equate 'ignorance' and 'stupidity'. They're not the same. Everyone is ignorant of stuff they don't know yet, no matter how clever they are.
+1
level 61
Sep 14, 2019
Only missed two, but man that was tough, much tougher than the other ones (synonyms and antonyms of bands songs, books etc). A lot of idioms really do not make a lot of sense (ever, in any language not just these), and if it is in another language it is even weirder. Eating crow, what?? I typed it but thought surely that cant be it, but it was haha.