Pearson Adult Learning Centre

Level 3 Vocabulary Words  October 29, 1999

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Level 3 Vocabulary:
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Idioms from the News

Trick or Treat! If you don’t give me some candy, I will play a trick on you.

Example tricks: soaping the windows, putting a pin in the doorbell, knocking and then running away, throwing eggs at windows, knocking over garbage cans

Electoral tricks, no treats (headline)

Electoral relates to elections. An electoral trick is a trick about voting, or rules for elections. Often, an idiom is used in a new way. You are expected to know the “normal” way, so you can guess the new way. This is called “a play on words”.

Colour Symbols:

Green: Envy or jealousy
Yellow: Cowardly, fearful 
Black: badness of all kinds
White: pure, peaceful, clean, goodness
Red: passion; sexy; anger; romance
Blue: sadness; depression
Pink: girlishness; romance
Grey: sadness or shock

My son said, “Can I stay out until 1:00 a.m.?” and I said to him, it’s “out of the question”. So this is a strong NO!

You need to watch out for “the creeps” out there. A “creep” is a kind of person who behaves strangely or dangerously. A synonym is “jerk”!

I “would never dream of” letting him walk home alone. Another way to say a strong NO!

Because of the drivers’ reckless behaviour, kids these days “have to fight for themselves”. The children need to take care and protect themselves; no one else can do it for them.

We need to know “what we are up against”. This means we need to understand the problem before we can find a solution for it.

Fast ferries’ cost “threatens to sink fleet
The expensive ferries will cause the other ferries to go bankrupt. This idiom is a “play on words”.

The company has “taken a different tack” from its competitors. This idiom comes from sailing. To tack is to zigzag into the wind. To change tack is to change direction.

Onex “plays trump card” with new bid.
So, a “trump card” is a winning card (kind of a guaranteed win)

What is “the double standard”? Often we see it between men and women.
Activists blast “double standard” at customs (headline) There are different rules for different people, even though they ought to be equal.

He is a “two-faced” liar. He is sweet on one face, nasty on another.

A blockhead is a man who is stubborn and doesn’t want to change.

What “it boils down to” is men and women need to change with the times. To boil down to something is to express the main or major idea.

To change with the times is to give up on older ideas and change to newer ones.

 

 

 

 

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