All that glitters ...

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am

Silver and gold are popular Christmas colours. We hang golden baubles and silver tinsel on our Christmas trees to make them look festive. Silver and gold mean happiness and celebration.

Gold meanings

What do these phrases mean?

1 all that glitters is not gold

a. anything that looks shiny must be expensive

b. just because something looks good it doesn't mean it is valuable

2 like gold dust

a. very attractive

b. very rare

3 to be as good as gold

a. to be very expensive

b. to be very well-behaved

4 to have a heart of gold

a. to be very kind and generous

b. to be cold and unfeeling

5 to be worth its weight in gold

a. to be expensive but useless

b. to be very useful or helpful

6 to strike gold

a. to make large profits or become rich

b. to spend a lot of money on a luxury item

7 fool's gold

a. something you discover by accident that turns out to be valuable

b. something you think will be useful but which turns out to be worthless

8 a gold digger

a. someone who tries to attract a rich partner purely for their money

b. someone with a lot of money in the bank

Silver questions

Answer these questions

9 What is a 'silver wedding'?

a. A couple's 25th wedding anniversary

b. A couple's 50th wedding anniversary

10 What does 'a silversmith' do?

a. Works in a shop that sells things made of silver

b. Makes objects out of silver

11 What is 'a silverfish'?

a. A small, wingless insect

b. A type of salmon

12 What does 'to get the silver medal' mean?

a. To come second in a race or competition

b. To come last in a race or competition

13 What is 'the silver screen'?

a. The pop music industry

b. Films or the film industry

14 What do we mean if we say someone is 'silver-tongued'?

a. He/she can speak in a way that charms people

b. He/she is a bad public speaker

15 What does it mean if someone was born 'with a silver spoon in their mouth'?

a. He/she was born into a very wealthy family

b. He/she was born into a very big family

16 What does the saying 'every cloud has a silver lining' mean?

a. The cloudy weather means it is going to rain soon

b. Every difficult situation has a positive element

Match the meanings

Match up these golden nouns with their meanings on the right. There are more meanings than nouns.

17 a golden age

18 the golden boy/girl

19 the golden goose

20 a golden handshake

21 the golden rule

22 a golden jubilee

23 a golden oldie

24 a golden helloa. an idea that makes someone a lot of money

b. a large amount of money that is paid to someone when they leave their job

c. someone who is very successful; admired by everyone and can do no wrong

d. a period of time that was very happy or successful

e. a large amount of money that is given to someone when they begin a new job

f. a song from years ago that is still popular

g. the day 50 years after an important occasion

h. someone who has made a lot of money doing nothing

i. an important thing you have to remember when you do something

j. a company that is financially successful

And finally ...

Put gold / silver / golden into these sentences.

25 The____________________ Gate Bridge is in San Francisco.

26 The kids were as good as____________________ when I babysat last night.

27 He's never had to do a day's work in his life because his parents are millionaires. I wish I'd been born with a____________________ spoon in my mouth like him.

28 I wonder if my novel will ever be adapted for the ____________________screen?

29 The ____________________ rule of making brownies is to use good-quality chocolate.

30 He's had three promotions during the last year. The boss really thinks he's the____________________ boy.

31 It's the king's ____________________ jubilee next year. He's been ruling for 50 years.

32 Paul really struck____________________ when he opened his restaurant.


1. b; 2. b; 3. b; 4. a; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b; 8. a; 9. a; 10. b; 11. a; 12. a; 13. b; 14. a; 15. a; 16. b; 17. d; 18. c; 19. a; 20. b; 21. i; 22. g; 23. f; 24. e; 25. Golden; 26. gold; 27. silver; 28. silver; 29. golden; 30. golden; 31. golden; 32. gold