Language point

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 12:00am

'Caught in the crossfire' means to become involved in an unpleasant situation in which people are arguing with each other.

Originally, this term referred to people who were accidentally trapped between two opposing armies in a battlefield.

In fact, the English language contains many terms originally used in times of war which are now part of our general vocabulary.

See if you can match the following terms with their meanings.

1. Jump the gun

2. Fight back

3. Go great guns

4. In the wars

5. A fighting chance

6. Stick to one's guns

A. To be hurt or unwell

B. A small but real chance of success if a big effort is made

C. To take action too soon, before the proper time

D. To get on with great speed and success

E. To stand by your beliefs or actions despite coming under attack

F. To defend oneself

Answers: 1 C, 2 F, 3 D, 4 A,

5 B, 6 E.