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Quiz about Dont Delay
Quiz about Dont Delay

Don't Delay Trivia Quiz

Procrastination... it's the name of the game (with apologies to Bobby Darin). This quiz takes a look at a range of idioms that deal with DELAY, but here's the catch... they have been altered and you need to correct them.

A matching quiz by pollucci19. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Apr 09 23
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 136 (2/10), fletchdg (7/10), Guest 173 (8/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
Either one word or a run of words needs to be changed to correct the idiom. Select the appropriate replacement from the right to amend the idiom on the left. (Note) Generally one word from the idiom needs to be removed but, if there are more, the number will be placed in brackets after the saying. Note 2 The idioms deal with DELAY.
1. Take a rain coat  
2. Hang up  
3. Drag your cigarette  
4. Kick the dog down the road  
5. Play for keeps  
6. Cool your Grandma's closet (2)  
7. Sitting on the dock of the bay (4)  
8. Running around the bush  
9. Cold Chisel  
10. Fish or cut corners  

Select each answer

1. Take a rain coat
2. Hang up
3. Drag your cigarette
4. Kick the dog down the road
5. Play for keeps
6. Cool your Grandma's closet (2)
7. Sitting on the dock of the bay (4)
8. Running around the bush
9. Cold Chisel
10. Fish or cut corners

Most Recent Scores
Jul 09 2024 : Guest 136: 2/10
Jul 05 2024 : fletchdg: 7/10
Jun 19 2024 : Guest 173: 8/10
Jun 16 2024 : Guest 173: 0/10
May 31 2024 : Guest 137: 10/10
May 23 2024 : haydenspapa: 10/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Take a rain coat

Answer: Check

Taking a rain check is a postponement. In truth it's a polite way to tell a person "Thank you for the invitation, I would really love to come but I cannot on that day. Can we make it another time?"

The idea of the rain check originated at baseball games in the 1800s where, should a game have been cancelled due to inclement weather, the promoters gave tickets to patrons that indicated they could return to the postponed match without any additional cost.

The same idea extended to retail stores. There would be times when the demand for an item was so strong, particularly during a sale, that the retailer ran out of stock. On those occasions, the retailer would provide the customer with a ticket, which promised that when the fresh stock arrived they would honour the sale price for them. It was a great way to prevent those clients going to the opposition.

In 1989, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced the "Unavailability Rule". This was to counter a practice known as "bait and switch", where the retailer advertised a product for sale, usually at a price "too good to be true", knowing that they had very little of the stock in store. The idea was to increase the foot traffic in the hope that consumers would buy other products while they were there. To counter this, rain checks became a standard practice.
2. Hang up

Answer: Fire

The phrase hang fire goes back to the early days of firearms... back to the days when gunpowder was poured out of a flask into the gun and then the powder would be ignited by a spark that is created by having a piece of flint striking an iron plate. However, gunpowder was not always reliable - the quality could be dodgy or, worse, slightly damp.

When this happened, instead of exploding, the gunpowder would only smoulder. This was called "hang fire". This eventually evolved into a phrase to describe hesitation or doing something a lot slower than it should have.
3. Drag your cigarette

Answer: Feet

Dragging the feet, the classic delaying tactic. It essentially means to dawdle, and it stems from the idea of intentionally walking slowly. This is usually a condition that stems from having a lack of enthusiasm about the task at hand. How often have you heard someone say "Aww, do I have to go?", before moving to task as if though their feet are suddenly clad in concrete shoes.

Alternate takes on the phrase include "dragging your boots" or "dragging your heels". It should not be confused with digging in your heels, which is a term to describe your strong opposition to an idea.
4. Kick the dog down the road

Answer: Can

"Kick the can down the road" is a phrase that became popular in the 1980s and bears a political connotation. Essentially it means postponing an event until it becomes someone else's problem.

There is no definitive origin attributed to the idiom though, and this is a stretch at best, some have endeavoured to link it to an improvised children's game, "kick the can", that started in the late 19th century and became popular during the Depression era. This was, primarily, because it didn't require a designated field, it could be played in any open space, nor did it require expensive or elaborate equipment. A discarded tin can was ideal. Similar to hide and seek, children would run and hide until the person designated "it" counted (without peeping) to a designated number then went in pursuit of those hidden. A can is placed in the open and those hidden had to tip or kick that can, once the counting was complete, without getting caught. Those that were caught (tagged) were sent to a designated holding area and could only be freed when someone finally "kicked the can".
5. Play for keeps

Answer: Time

Playing for time is "Procrastination 101". One of the world's great stalling tactic that can be used to (a) avoid doing something or, alternatively, (b) allow time for some event to take place, without creating damage. For example, the defendant's lawyer was playing for time while they searched desperately for the witness. Better still, as a tactic used by some sporting teams, slowing down play, to protect a lead or a result.

The latter is also known as "winding down the clock".
6. Cool your Grandma's closet (2)

Answer: Heels

Cool your heels means to slow down and take a break.

Originally the phrase implied hooves, rather than heels, and it dates back to the 16th century. The main means of transport in those days was by horse and the curse of a long journey meant that the horse's hooves would overheat. It became prudent for the rider to give the animal a rest and allow it to cool down.

Alternatively, rather than procrastination, the idiom can also be a wisdom that exhorts patience. In other words, there's no need to rush at the task at hand. Slowing down and working with deliberation will ensure that fewer (or no) mistakes are made, which could result in the task being completed more quickly.
7. Sitting on the dock of the bay (4)

Answer: Fence

A person sitting on the fence is said to be undecided and procrastinates about making a decision. Essentially, they end up making no decision. The visual of this idiom will show a person straddling the fence. If he climbs down one side, he's made the decision to go in that direction and, vice versa, should he climb down the other side. Some may argue that making no decision is, in fact, making a decision. That, however, is a question of philosophy and I will not go into that here.

The term is another that is generally used in politics and there is a link between this phrase and a group of 1884 Republican politicians who were call Mugwumps. Mugwumps stemmed from the Algonquin term "Mugquomp", which meant "important person", however, this term was not used as a mark of respect. It was a derisive name that indicated that the person in question was so full of self-importance that he appeared to be like a bird "sitting high on a fence". The 1884 Republicans, that were called Mugwumps for this same reason, did not believe in their candidate, James G. Blaine, so they jumped the fence and supported the Democrat candidate, Grover Cleveland. The irony here is that, whilst Mugwumps stemmed from a word that implied sitting on a fence, these guys didn't, they actually made a decision.

(Footnote) "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" was a 1968 (posthumous) hit for Otis Redding, however, it would have also sat comfortably within this quiz. Part of the lyrics within the song read as follows;
"I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time".
8. Running around the bush

Answer: Beating

Beating around (or about) the bush is another classic stalling tactic. It usually means you're looking to avoid an unpleasant conversation or event and, as a result, you spout a lot of gibberish or unimportant information to delay the inevitable. An example: "For crying out loud, stop beating around the bush and tell us what's on your mind".

Beating about the bush has a hunting origin. In medieval times men were hired to beat "around" a bush or thicket with the aim of flushing out any game. The object was to avoid directly striking the bush as that presented certain (unpleasant) risks. For example, there may have been a beehive in there and that certainly would not have been a joyous moment for those involved if disturbed.
9. Cold Chisel

Answer: Feet

Cold feet relates to a sudden loss of enthusiasm about a task, hence the procrastination, or worse, doing a runner. Perhaps a good example of this would be Julia Roberts, as Maggie Carpenter, in "The Runaway Bride" (1999), getting so nervous on her wedding day(s) that she leaves a trail of fiancÚs, waiting at the altar.

The Oxford English Dictionary credits the earliest usage of the saying to American author Stephen Crane who, in his work "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" (1896) (Is it a coincidence that the Julia Roberts character was also a Maggie... Hmmm), where he writes "I knew this was the way it would be. They got cold feet." In this context it was a loss of courage. A short while later this phrase became the basis for the term "cold-footers", a phrase to describe men who had a fear of fighting in World War I.

There is also an earlier reference to a similar saying, but in a different context. It appears in Ben Johnson's play "Volpone" (1605) where the phrase "cold on my feet" is used. Here, though, it meant being short on money.

(Footnote) A cold chisel is a tool used for cutting into tough objects, such as stone, brick or metal. In Australia it is also the name of one of the most notable pub-rock bands.
10. Fish or cut corners

Answer: Bait

To date, all of our idioms have revolved around hesitation and not taking action. Finally, we arrive at an idiom that reflects the title of this quiz... Don't Delay. The idiom, "fish or cut bait", unsurprisingly, comes from the sport of angling. It refers to being on a fishing trip and doing nothing at all and receiving the ultimate admonishment "either fish or start cutting up the bait for others".

The term has been extended to management practices where business leaders choose to play a waiting game... waiting for the right moment, waiting for the right information, waiting for the right person to surface... waiting and over analysing, rather than taking the bull by the horns. This is generally driven by a fear of failure and the over-thinking compounds the situation creating a form of paralysis by uncertainty. Acknowledge that no decision is also a decision, but it is one that leads to both frustration and stagnation.
Source: Author pollucci19

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
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This quiz is part of series Commission #73:

Everything delightful, daring, and delectable can be found in this list, a set of quizzes all devised for the Author Lounge's seventy-third Commission, bringing authors together in March 2023 with titles starting with 'D'. Dive on in!

  1. Dancing in the Dark Tough
  2. Do You Know What You're Doing? Very Easy
  3. Dream Time Easier
  4. Don't Know Much About History Easier
  5. Don't Delay Average
  6. Dance with the Devil Average
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  8. Desperate Measures Average
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  12. Done and Dusted Easier

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