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46 terms

Allusions (meaning)

STUDY
PLAY
Throw Down the Gauntlet
issue a challenge dramatically
Muse
Someone's source of inspiration (usually artistic)
Kafkaesque
situation or experience that is bizarre, surreal, or anxiety-producing
Babel
noisy confusion, sometimes caused by different languages
Pollyana
someone unusually optimistic, always looking at the bright side, excessively cheerful or naive
Pavlovian
Automatic, unthinking response
Steal Thunder
to take credit
Sour Grapes
refers to the attitude of a person who did not get what they wanted and then concluded that it wasn't that great anyway
Sold Down the River
betrayed or misled, usually by someone trusted
Nemesis
someone who causes one's downfall; the downfall itself
Pyrrhic Victory
in which the winner's victory comes at great expense that's scarcely better than losing
Flash in the Pan
something/someone who shows great promise but ultimately disappoints
Handwriting on the Wall
indication of coming misfortune
Albatross Around the Neck
burdensome, ongoing, ever-present problem
Prometheus/Promethean
marked by resistance to authority or rebellion against established order
Juggernaut
An especially destructive force that defies opposition
Red Herring
diverting someone onto a false trail
Pharisees/Pharisaical
referring to a hypocrite who upholds the letter of the law, but not the spirit
Shibboleth
slogan or catchword used by or associated with a particular party, group, or sect. (Who Dat!?)
Doublespeak
deliberate use of evasive or ambiguous language (Maybe Apollo's priests used this. Punny)
Murphy's Law
"if anything can go wrong, it will."
Medusa
repulsive or terrifying woman (I know a few of these); also applied to extraordinarily wild, unruly hair
Hoist with One's own Petard
caught in one's own trap or beaten at one's own game (pwned)
Scapegoat
person who is blamed or punished for others
Don Quixote/quixotic
foolish or impractically idealistic
Tilting at Windmills
Naive attempt to be heroic
Bedlam
wildly chaotic or extremely noisy
Benedict Arnold
refers to a traitor
Delphic Oracle
"delphic"- ambiguous and difficult to interpret (maybe they're using doublespeak)
Over a Barrel
unable to act independently (do a barrel roll!)
Philistines/Philistinism
refers to a person with no appreciation for culture and whose tastes are commonplace (and whose only concerns are about their GPA)
Faust/Faustian Bargain
sacrificing one's self or one's values in exchange for getting what one desires, often material wealth (or Gretchen! Maybe Benedict Arnold did this.)
Coals to Newcastle
refers to giving a superfluous gift or making a contribution that is gratuitous and unnecessary
Freudian Slip
you should know this without anyone having to tell you...
Sisyphean/ labor of Sisyphus
seemingly endless, perhaps futile task (busywork!)
Methuselah
proverbially (widely spoken of), an extremely old person. (Dumbledore. Or Gandalf.)
Between Scylla and Charybdis
caught between two equal dangers in which avoiding one means getting close to another; being screwed either way; "stuck between a rock and a hard place"
Holy Grail
refers to an object that is extremely desirable or valuable and which is attainable only after a long and difficult quest (for Don Quixote, it was the demise of the windmills)
Luddites
someone who opposes change, especially industrial or technological advances; possibly Amish
Pass the Buck
to shift responsibility (and often blame) to another person (to make a scapegoat)
Babylon
place of decadence and corruption, kind of like the American government
Pheonix/Rising from the Ashes
symbolizing rebirth or resurrection; describing overcoming great obstacles
Xanadu
refers to any magnificent, beautiful, almost magical place (Universal Studios!)
Muckraker
authors or journalists who expose corruption in government or business, or other arenas
Sine quo non
refers to an essential ingredient without which an endeavor or a situation would be impossible
Witch hunt
A campaign against a part of a group of people after holding unorthodox opinions or behaving in an unconventional manner