What a pain in the neck

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2012, 12:00am
 

'The turtle only makes progress when he sticks his neck out'

James Bryant Conant - president of Harvard University (1933-53)

That crew neck suits you

What is ...?

1 a crew neck

a. a coat with a high collar

b. a sweater with a round neck

2 a polo neck

a. a jumper with a high collar that folds back on itself

b. a T-shirt with a very low neck

3 a necklace

a. a piece of jewellery such as a gold chain or string of beads worn round the neck

b. a piece of rope used to tether an animal to a post

4 a neckerchief

a. a special dispenser for handkerchiefs that is worn around the neck

b. a triangular piece of cloth that's rolled up and worn around the neck, especially by Scouts and cowboys

You'll get it in the neck!

What do these verb phrases mean?

1 to get it in the neck

a. to win the first prize in a competition

b. to be punished or criticised severely

2 to be a pain in the neck

a. to have a sore throat

b. to be annoying

3 to breathe down somebody's neck

a. to ignore what somebody says

b. to stand very close to someone and watch everything they do

4 to save somebody's neck

a. to apologise when you don't mean it

b. to help someone avoid getting into trouble

I've got to save my neck

Complete these sentences

1 I've lost the phone my dad gave me for my birthday. I will ................... when he finds out.

a. be a pain in the neck

b. get it in the neck

2 Do you realise I've ................ by telling the boss what I thought?

a. saved your neck

b. breathed down your neck

3 Can you move farther away, please? I don't like people ........

a. sticking their neck out

b. breathing down my neck

4 I'm tired of arguing with you all the time. You are ..........

a. being a real pain in the neck

b. breathing down my neck

My neck's on the line

Here are more useful verb phrases. What do they mean?

1 to be a millstone around somebody's neck

a. to bring someone a great deal of happiness

b. to be an unwanted responsibility to someone

2 to put your neck on the line

a. to give your opinion when it is not asked for

b. to put yourself in a position of great risk

3 to be up to your neck in something

a. to be pleased with what is happening

b. to be very busy with something

4 to be in someone's neck of the woods

a. to be in an area where someone lives

b. to be in someone's home

This neck of the woods

What is the missing word?

1 I'd like to help, but I'm ... to my neck at the moment.

2 I'm ... your neck of the woods next week. Let's have lunch.

3 I put my neck ... the line at the meeting yesterday.

4 I know I'm a big millstone ... your neck. Sorry!

Answers:

That crew neck

1. b, 2. a, 3. a, 4. b

You'll get it in the neck

1. b, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b

I've got to save my neck

1. b, 2. a, 3. b, 4. a

My neck's on the line

1. b, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a

This neck of the woods

1. up, 2. in, 3. on, 4. around

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