Quiz about A Day in the Life Idiomatically Speaking
Quiz about A Day in the Life Idiomatically Speaking

A Day in the Life: Idiomatically Speaking Quiz


This quiz introduces you to a few interesting and slightly weird Russian idioms that you could hear throughout the day. No knowledge of Russian is required. Look for clues in the questions and/or answer choices and have fun!

A multiple-choice quiz by Reynariki. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Reynariki
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
370,243
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
506
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. It's early in the morning and you hear your alarm ring. Fortunately, you are an early riser and it doesn't take long for you to be up and about. You rack your brain and come up with a Russian expression, "bodriy kak ogurchik", that would well describe how you're feeling at the moment - it means that you are as awake and fresh (although maybe not as cool) as what? Hint

A tomato
A cucumber
An avocado
An eggplant

2. You feel slightly hungry, so you decide to have a light meal before setting off for work. After a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of orange juice, you're confident that you won't feel any more hunger pangs until lunch. According to a humorous Russian idiom for a light snack, "zamorit' cherviachka", you've just done what? Disclaimer: no invertebrates were hurt in the making of this expression. Hint

Killed a worm
Caged a bird
Closed the lid
Caught a lion

3. Suddenly you get a call from your colleague who is wondering why you're still not at work. You check the time and realize that you forgot to change the clock after coming back from the holidays! You rush out and catch a taxi, but the driver warns you that he accepts only cash. You check your wallet and are relieved to see that you have just enough for the ride, although not more. What Russian idiom would aptly describe the amount of cash in your wallet? Hint

As plentiful as snow in winter (Kak snega zimoj)
As much as there's water in the sea (Kak vody v more)
Too much for chickens to eat (Kury ne kluut)
As plentiful as cat's tears (Kot naplakal)

4. Being a lucky person, you manage to avoid all traffic jams on the way to work and arrive only ten minutes later than you usually do. You're not very surprised at this outcome, as you're well known among your friends for being an extraordinary lucky person. Your Russian-speaking friends attribute this to the fact that you, unlike most people, were born... Hint

Naked
On Monday
With little or no hair
In a shirt

5. A few hours have passed, and you're going to an annual meeting of your company's shareholders. It is the first time that you attend such a meeting not only as a spectator, but also as a speaker - you have to present an important report in front of a few hundred people. Naturally, you feel a bit scared and out of your element. Suddenly, you remember a Russian expression "byt' ne v svoej tarelke" that describes how you feel at the moment. As it reminds you of the great lunch that you just had, you feel a bit calmer. What does this expression mean literally? Hint

To be not on your own plate
To be out of town
To be on a far-off island
To be in a different land

6. Your presentation goes much better than you could have expected (you are very lucky, after all), and both the shareholders and your management are duly impressed. You leave the podium, extremely happy that you didn't spoil before you spun or, as per a Russian idiomatic expression, "the first pancake wasn't totally ruined". Which of the following is the Russian word for "pancake", which is used in this expression? Hint

CrÍpe
Eierkuchen
Blin
Tortita

7. You're not surprised to see your boss approach you after the meeting with a huge smile on his face, and you're extremely glad to hear what he has to say: 'Remember that promotion that we've talked about? Well, it's as good as done'. Unable to hide your own grin, you thank your boss and absent-mindedly touch the top of your head, as you've just remembered the Russian idiomatic expression for the "deal is almost done" - "delo v shliape". It literally means what? Hint

The deal is under the shoe
The deal is under the belt
The deal is in the hat
The deal is in a bag

8. You call your Russian-speaking friend to tell her the good news about your impending promotion. However, she is a bit more sceptical than you and asks you if you're sure that your boss is not simply pulling the wool over your eyes. The whole conversation being in Russian, however, she uses a different idiom, asking whether or not he "veshaet lapshu na ushi". Wondering at the number of food-related idioms in the Russian language, you reply that... Hint

You're not full of cotton
You don't think that your boss has a medical degree
You don't think your boss would succeed as a fiction writer
There're no noodles hanging from your ears

9. Before going home in the evening, you once again check your mailbox and see a letter from your boss that officially confirms your promised promotion. Although you didn't doubt him much, you're still glad that your boss is not the one to waste his words. You write a short message to your Russian friend saying that your boss "ne brosaet slova na veter", that is, you don't know about caution, but he definitely doesn't throw words where? Hint

Behind his left shoulder
To the sky
On the ground
To the wind

10. Finally, you get back home, quite happy with the events of the day, but also very tired. You go to bed early, confident that after everything that has happened you will sleep like a log. The last thing you remember before drifting off to sleep is the strange idiom used in the Russian language to describe sleeping soundly - "spat' bez zadnikh nog". What is the literal translation of this expression that doesn't seem to apply to humans? Hint

To sleep without one's hind legs
To sleep without remembering oneself
To sleep like a baby
To sleep like dead


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. It's early in the morning and you hear your alarm ring. Fortunately, you are an early riser and it doesn't take long for you to be up and about. You rack your brain and come up with a Russian expression, "bodriy kak ogurchik", that would well describe how you're feeling at the moment - it means that you are as awake and fresh (although maybe not as cool) as what?

Answer: A cucumber

"Kak ogurchik" (like a small cucumber) is a versatile Russian expression that has a few different meanings. When used with the words "bodriy" (awake) or "svezhiy" (fresh), it means someone who is wide awake and is ready to take on any challenges the day presents. Used separately, this expression has the meaning similar to the English idiom "fit as a fiddle" and is most often applied to people who remain alert and energetic after a long and strenuous activity, or, in a positive sense, to older people who take care of their health and remain in good physical shape.
2. You feel slightly hungry, so you decide to have a light meal before setting off for work. After a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of orange juice, you're confident that you won't feel any more hunger pangs until lunch. According to a humorous Russian idiom for a light snack, "zamorit' cherviachka", you've just done what? Disclaimer: no invertebrates were hurt in the making of this expression.

Answer: Killed a worm

"Zamorit' cherviachka" (to kill a tiny worm) is a Russian expression that means "to have a snack or a light meal". There are a few possible origins of this expression. According to one of them, people in Russia used to believe that hunger is caused by small worms that live in the stomach, and to dull the hunger they needed to pacify or kill these worms. According to another theory, the expression comes from the French idiom "tuer le ver" (to kill the worm), which means "to drink a glass of alcohol in the morning on an empty stomach" and stems from the practice of using alcohol to kill parasites in the digestive system.
3. Suddenly you get a call from your colleague who is wondering why you're still not at work. You check the time and realize that you forgot to change the clock after coming back from the holidays! You rush out and catch a taxi, but the driver warns you that he accepts only cash. You check your wallet and are relieved to see that you have just enough for the ride, although not more. What Russian idiom would aptly describe the amount of cash in your wallet?

Answer: As plentiful as cat's tears (Kot naplakal)

"Kot naplakal" (as much as the cat has cried) is a Russian expression that has approximately the same meaning as the English idiom "not enough to swear by" and is used not only in relation to money, but also to describe the lack of resources of any kind. One interesting theory of its origin states that it stems from a phonetically similar, although etymologically different Arabic expression that means "to stop receiving additional income". "Kury ne kluut" (too much for chickens to eat) is the antonym of this idiomatic expression, and is used primarily in relation to money.
4. Being a lucky person, you manage to avoid all traffic jams on the way to work and arrive only ten minutes later than you usually do. You're not very surprised at this outcome, as you're well known among your friends for being an extraordinary lucky person. Your Russian-speaking friends attribute this to the fact that you, unlike most people, were born...

Answer: In a shirt

"Rodilsia v rubashke" (was born in a shirt) is a Russian expression that is used to describe a very lucky and happy person. At present it is most often used to describe a person who managed to escape death, injury or any other type of harm by a hair's breadth, although it can also be applied to a generally well-to-be and successful person.

The origins of the expression lie in the cases of infants being born still coated in amniotic sac - as such occurrences were extremely rare, the children born this way were believed to be exceptionally lucky.
5. A few hours have passed, and you're going to an annual meeting of your company's shareholders. It is the first time that you attend such a meeting not only as a spectator, but also as a speaker - you have to present an important report in front of a few hundred people. Naturally, you feel a bit scared and out of your element. Suddenly, you remember a Russian expression "byt' ne v svoej tarelke" that describes how you feel at the moment. As it reminds you of the great lunch that you just had, you feel a bit calmer. What does this expression mean literally?

Answer: To be not on your own plate

"Byt' ne v svoej tarelke" (to be on a strange, not your own plate) means "to be uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation". The origin of the idiom is quite interesting - it stems from the French expression "Il n'est pas dans son assiette" which can be translated as "He doesn't feel well/comfortable".

However, the word "assiette" can mean both "state of mind" (or "mood") and "plate", and thus the expression "byt' ne v svoej tarelke" is simply an intentional mistranslation of this phrase for humorous effect.

It was, most probably, used at first only ironically, but eventually came into common use as an idiomatic expression through the works of the classical Russian writers.
6. Your presentation goes much better than you could have expected (you are very lucky, after all), and both the shareholders and your management are duly impressed. You leave the podium, extremely happy that you didn't spoil before you spun or, as per a Russian idiomatic expression, "the first pancake wasn't totally ruined". Which of the following is the Russian word for "pancake", which is used in this expression?

Answer: Blin

"Blin" ("bliny" in plural) is the Russian word for pancake ("crÍpe" is French, "Eierkuchen" is German, and "tortita" is Spanish). The Russian expression that means that the first attempt is usually not the best or the most successful one reads "perviy blin komom" (the first pancake comes out shapeless).

It originates from the real-life experience of making pancakes - the first one is usually not of a high quality because it's baked on a cool stove.
7. You're not surprised to see your boss approach you after the meeting with a huge smile on his face, and you're extremely glad to hear what he has to say: 'Remember that promotion that we've talked about? Well, it's as good as done'. Unable to hide your own grin, you thank your boss and absent-mindedly touch the top of your head, as you've just remembered the Russian idiomatic expression for the "deal is almost done" - "delo v shliape". It literally means what?

Answer: The deal is in the hat

The origins of the expression "delo v shliape" are unclear - some sources say that it is related to messengers keeping the most important letters under the hat, while others maintain that it is related to bribing government officials - once the bribe was in a hat, the problem was as good as solved.

However, the latter theory is undermined by the fact that the officials didn't wear their hats while in office. It's possible that the idiom is based on a certain foreign expression, however, this link is yet to be established.
8. You call your Russian-speaking friend to tell her the good news about your impending promotion. However, she is a bit more sceptical than you and asks you if you're sure that your boss is not simply pulling the wool over your eyes. The whole conversation being in Russian, however, she uses a different idiom, asking whether or not he "veshaet lapshu na ushi". Wondering at the number of food-related idioms in the Russian language, you reply that...

Answer: There're no noodles hanging from your ears

"Veshat' lapshu na ushi" can be literally translated as "to hang noodles on one's ears" and means "to deceive". The roots of the expression are unclear, but it's possible that it originates from criminal slang. The other three expressions used as answer choices ("to stuff with cotton" - tolkat' vatu, "to tell fairy-tales" - skazki rasskazyvat', "to treat (as a doctor)" - lechit') can also mean "to lie or deceive", however, they are not related to food.
9. Before going home in the evening, you once again check your mailbox and see a letter from your boss that officially confirms your promised promotion. Although you didn't doubt him much, you're still glad that your boss is not the one to waste his words. You write a short message to your Russian friend saying that your boss "ne brosaet slova na veter", that is, you don't know about caution, but he definitely doesn't throw words where?

Answer: To the wind

The expression "brosat' slova na veter" quite literally means "to throw words to the wind". According to some sources, it dates back to the the Ancient Greek expression "to talk to the wind" and stems from the belief that the wind was a live entity that could carry away and completely erase empty words.
10. Finally, you get back home, quite happy with the events of the day, but also very tired. You go to bed early, confident that after everything that has happened you will sleep like a log. The last thing you remember before drifting off to sleep is the strange idiom used in the Russian language to describe sleeping soundly - "spat' bez zadnikh nog". What is the literal translation of this expression that doesn't seem to apply to humans?

Answer: To sleep without one's hind legs

Originally, the expression was a bit longer and read as "He/she has been running around all day like a dog and is now sleeping without his/her hind legs". The expression is based on the observation that tired animals (especially dogs and horses) would first of all try to relax their hind legs and, if they were woken after an exhausting day, they would first stand on their front legs and might have trouble using the other pair.

The original meaning of the expression "spat' bez zadnikh nog" in relation to humans was "to sleep without moving, from exhaustion", however, at present it simply means "to sleep very soundly".
Source: Author Reynariki

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