Idioms: Upper-Intermediate

To Kill A Mockingbird

CHOOSE the idiom whose meaning is given in the brackets:

1. In the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird, Gregory Peck plays a highly principled lawyer, Atticus Finch, who puts his career (at serious risk) when he agrees to defend a young black man falsely accused of raping an ignorant white woman.

(a) tremble                                  (b) is at his wits’ end                                                                             (c) has a screw loose

6. When the members of the lynch mob demand that Atticus hand over Robinson to them, he (remains calm).

 (a) makes himself at home                       (b) keeps his cool                                                          (c) keeps his ear to the ground

7. The plaintiff, Mayella Ewell, and her bigoted father, Bob Ewell, do not hesitate to (tell lies shamelessly).

(a) lie through their teeth                                   (b) live a lie                                                                     (c) shoot their mouths off

8. The prejudiced courts in the all-white jury’s hearts find Robinson guilty of the rape charge. A short while later, he is shot to death when he (tries to escape).

(a) pulls a fast one                                  (b) burns up the road                                                           (c) makes a break for it

9. As Jem and Scout are walking home from school one night, the sound of footsteps in the dark (frightens them). Boo saves them from an attack by Bob Ewell and stabs him fatally during the struggle. To protect Boo, Sheriff Tate intends to report that Ewell accidentally fell on his own knife. Scout agrees with the lawman, and tells her father that exposing Boo would be like shooting a mockingbird.

 (a) leaves them cold                                (b) wipes the smile off their faces                                  (c) makes their blood run cold


1. b                    2. b                3. c                                         4. a                    5. c                6. b                                       7. a                     8. c               9. c

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