Allusion test

0.0(0) Reviews
Report Flashcard set

Spaced Repetition

Scientifically backed study method

spaced repetition


Review terms and definitions



Study with MC, T/F, and other questions


Practice Test

Take a test on your terms and definitions



32 Terms
😃 Not studied yet (32)
a no win situation, absurd originated: Joseph Heller- book setting in WWII, airman request wouldn't be relieved, only if insane, but it was seen sane to do a dangerous mission
Lot's wife, pillar of salt
someone who disobeys rule; looks back on their actions Lot and family allowed to leave city before destroyed, God told them not to look back, but wife did and she got turned to salt
letting the cat out of the bag
secret is being revealed originated: medieval times when farmer tried to sell cats instead of pigs
buying a pig in a poke
buying something without seeing it; an unwise decision because of the risks involved originated: medieval times, buy pigs without checking if it was a cat
fifteen minutes of fame
when someone receives attention for something trivial originated: Andy Warhol, American pop artist, commented on his media coverage by saying it could happen to anyone
skeleton in the closet
a unpleasant secret that one would prefer to keep hidden originated: skeleton's can be frightening, who would want to see one
burning bush
a medium which a voice of absolute authority speaks originated: God spoke to Moses through a bush which burned but was never consumed; told him to lead that people to the Promise Land
noble savage
a person who has not been corrupted by society originated: Rousseau, believed people were born good and innocent, and it was civilization that caused them to loose it
a chip on one's shoulder
someone who is resentful; looking to pick a fight originated: young boys would dare someone to knock off a wood chip on their shoulders, would be the reason to start a fight
loaves and fishes
having a miraculous abundance of something when it seemed scarce originated: in the gospels Jesus would preach to thousands of people, only had five loaves and two fish; fed everyone plus extra left
fiddle while Rome burns
showing indifference in a time of emergency originated: Roman emperor Nero played his fiddle while Rome was consumed in flames, disregarded people's hardship
white elephant
something that is seen as an inconvenience to owner, no use; may even cause financial hardship originated: the rare breed of elephant did not work, so the cost of feeding them was more than the profit they generated; King of Siam would gift them to those he disliked
non sequitur
unrelated to what has been said before, doesn't logically follow originated: Latin for "it does not follow"
golden calf
an idol that is not worthy of worship originated: people out of the Promise Land started to worship a golden calf they created; Moses was angered because they weren't worshipping God
left-handed compliment
a compliment that is more insulting in a way originated: being left-handed is associated with a sinister side sometimes in the English language
emperor's new clothes
someone who points out the falseness of something even when others are afraid to point out the truth originated: in a Hans Christian Anderson story, swindlers claim to make the fitting clothes of r a emperor, call them "invisible" clothes, emperor wears them to parade and a little boy finally shouts that he is naked
meeting one's ultimate defeat originated: Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo 1815
even though people are aware of some unpleasant realities, they insist for them to be located away from where they live; example is prisons or landfills originated: acronym for "not in my backyard"
bread and circus
polices in place meant to keep the public content while there are concerning issues going on originated: Roman Empire, government would provide people with food and entertainment to keep them in line; write declared this shameful that they could easily be regulated
an Icarus, fly too close to the sun
someone to fail because of too much ambition and lack of caution originated: Icarus was warned by his father not to fly close to the sun because his wings were constructed of wax, he did not listen and fell to his death
sound and fury
a great passionate uproar that ends up being meaningless originated: in Shakespeare's Macbeth, when Macbeth finds out his wife had died, but ended up saying life is meaningless anyways
all that glitters is not gold
appearances can be deceiving, something that appears valuable may be fake originated: a proverb from Aristotle
ivory tower
someone who is secluded from the real world, out of touch with reality originated: poet, Alfred deVigny shut himself in a ivory tower to write
thirty pieces of silver
payment received for an act of betrayal originated: Judas received thirty pieces of silver for identifying Jesus
betrayed with a kiss
when a supposed friends betrays you originated: Judas was a disciple of Jesus but betrayed him for a payment, identified him to the authorities with a kiss
read the riot act
to issue a stern warning that if bad behavior does not cease, then their will be consequence originated: the English Common Law had to read the Riot Act to a unruly crowd to force them to disperse
anything that tempts a person towards a destructive path/decision originated: Greek mythology, sirens would lure sailors to their deaths with a beautiful and irresistible song
crocodile tears
to show false sympathy for someone originated: previously thought that crocodiles shed tears before devouring their prey, obviously don't really have feelings of remorse
pearls before swine
giving something precious to someone without them being able to appreciate its value originated: Jesus told people to spread the word to those who would appreciate it; "cast not your pearls before swine" pigs wouldn't appreciate pearls
crossing the Rubicon
taking an irreversible step originated: when Caesar took his army across the Rubicon river, entering civil war because he violated the law
pound of flesh
someone's insistence on being repaid, even if it causes damage to the debtor originated: Shakespeare, moneylender demanded pound of flesh because fleet of ships didn't return
Achille's heel
a person's spot of vulnerability originated: his heel was the only place that did not touch the River Styx, and so when a arrow hit his heel, he died