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26 Cards in this Set

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Yin and Yang
two forces in the universe, according to a Chinese theory: yin is the passive, negative force, and yang the active, positive force. According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces in the seasons, in their food, and so on, and will regulate their lives accordingly.
Yom Kippur
In Judaism, the Day of Atonement, the most important religious holiday; a day of fasting to atone for sins. It comes in autumn.
Big Ben
The popular name for the huge clock mounted in a town near the meeting place of the British Parliament in London. Big Ben strikes the quarter-hour with the familiar Westminster chimes.
Apocalypse
Another name for the New Testament Book of Revelation; from the Greek word for "revelation."
An "apocalypse" is a final catastrophe. The Apocalypse is supposed to come at the end of time.
Armageddon
The Greek and Roman goddess of love and beauty; the mother of Eros and Aeneas. She was thought to have been born out of the foam of the sea, and is often pictured rising from the water. Roman name Venus. The second planet from the sun is named Venus, possibly because it is one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky.
Narcissus
A beautiful youth in classical mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. Because he was unable to tear himself away from his own image, he wasted away and died.
"Narcissists" are completely absorbed in themselves.
there are plenty of fish in the sea
There are many potential mates in the world. This saying is often used to console a person who has lost a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Manhattan Project
The code name for the effort to develop atomic bombs for the United States during World War II.
read between the lines
To pay attention to what is implied, though not explicitly stated, in writing or in speech.
status quo
The existing order of things; present customs and practices. From Latin, meaning "the state in which."
Halcyon days
Times of peace and tranquility; the expression refers to a mythical bird that had the power to calm the waves when it nested on the sea.
in loco parentis
To assume the duties and responsibilities of the parent. From Latin, meaning " in place of a parent."
lock, stock, and barrel
The whole of anything. Lock, stock, and barrel are the three parts of a rifle.
sit on the fence
To remain neutral, to refuse to take sides in a dispute; often used in a derogatory way about someone who is thought to lack the courage to decide.
bar mitzvah
A ceremony in Judaism marking the beginning of religious responsibility for Jewish boys of thirteen. Bar mitzvah is Hebrew for "son of the commandment."
bat mitzvah
for girls, counterpart of the bar mitzvah
Et, tu Brute?
A Latin sentence meaning "Even you, Brutus?" from the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. Caesar utters these words as he being stabbed to death, having recognized his friend Brutus among the assassins. "Et, tu Brute?" is used to express surprise and dismay at the treachery of a supposed friend.
"All animals are equal , but some animals are more equal than others"
A proclamation by the pigs who control the government in the noble ANIMAL FARM, by George Orwell. The sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of a government that proclaims the absolute equality of their citizens, but gives power to a small elite.
Enrico Caruso
An Italian tenor of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, generally considered one of the greatest tenors in the history of opera.
Lizzie Borden
A woman charged with the ax murder of her father and stepmother in the 1890's in Fall River, Massachusetts. A jury found her not guilty. The crime has never been solved.
Scarlett O'Hara
The heroine of the book Gone With the Wind. Scarlett is a shrewd manipulative southern belle who survives two husbands and finally is matched for wits by a third, Rhett Butler.
doughboys
United States infantry soldiers who served in World War I.
hit below the belt
To say something that is often too personal, usually irrelevant, and always unfair. The expression comes from boxing, in which it is illegal to hit an opponent below the belt.
"Ask not what your country cant do for you; ask what you can do for your country"
Words from the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy, delivered in 1961.
Aphrodite
The Greek and Roman goddess of love and beauty; the mother of Eros and Aeneas. She was thought to have been born out of the foam of the sea, and is often pictured rising from the water. Roman name Venus. The second planet from the sun is named Venus, possibly because it is one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky.
Verberus
In classical mythology, the three-headed dog who guarded the entrance of Hades.