Shake a leg!

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 June, 2011, 12:00am


'I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to stop going to those places.' Henny Youngman, American comedian (1906 - 1998)

Leg meanings

The word 'leg' has five different meanings. Can you pick them out from these eight suggestions?

1 the front part of a car

2 one of the lower limbs on a person's or an animal's body

3 the part of a sweater that covers your arm

4 one section of a particular journey

5 each of the supports of a chair or table

6 the far corner of a garden

7 one of a series of matches between the same sports teams

8 the two bottom sections of a pair of trousers or tights

Does the leg fit?

Put the word 'leg' into five of these sentences so that they make sense. With the word 'leg', the three remaining sentences won't make any sense.

1 There is something wrong with those new jeans you're wearing. One ...... is longer than the other.

2 I need a new ......... because I've given my old one to my dad.

3 I've got a bad pain in my left ......... Do you think I should see a doctor?

4 I don't like that new ....... he has just bought. The colour is dreadful.

5 We finished the first ....... of our journey yesterday. We're staying in a hotel tonight and then going on our way again in the morning.

6 Don't throw that ....... away. We might need it later.

7 I'm going to paint one ....... of the chair green and the other three red.

8 My school team won the first ....... of the competition, but I don't know what will happen in the second.

Leg expressions

What do these useful expressions mean?

1 Pull the other leg. It's got bells on!

a. I don't believe you. You are saying something that can't be true!

b. I will do exactly as you tell me.

2 It costs an arm and a leg.

a. It isn't worth the money

b. It costs a great deal of money

3 She talks the hind leg off a donkey.

a. She talks a lot of nonsense

b. She talks all the time and no one else has a chance to say anything

4 You don't have a leg to stand on.

a. You have nothing to support what you are saying or doing

b. It will cost you a lot of money to do what you want to do.

5 Come on! Shake a leg!

a. Let's take a walk!

b. Hurry up!

Leg verbs

What do these verbs mean?

1 to leg it

a. to run away in order to escape from something

b. to run quickly up a flight of steps

2 to give someone a leg up

a. to accidentally kick someone

b. to do something to help someone get a promotion at work

3 to stretch your legs

a. to go for a walk after you have been inactive

b. to run along a track

4 to be on your last legs

a. to have artificial legs

b. to be on the point of collapse


Leg meanings: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8

Does the leg fit: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8

Leg expressions: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a, 5. b

Leg verbs: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b