Rhyming Compound Words

A. Match the expressions in heavy type to the definitions below:
1) He’s a scary guy; he gives me the heebie-jeebies.
2) She’s a bit of a snob: she prefers not to mix with the hoi polloi.
3) It’s all higgledy-piggledy: you need to straighten it out!
4) I’ve always thought that astrology is a load of mumbo jumbo.
5) His wife divorced him when she found out about the hanky-panky with his secretary.
6) The doorman refused to let a group of guys into the club and there was some argy-bargy.
7) My friend dragged me along to some arty-farty exhibition.
8) Some interfering fuddy-duddy told us we were dressed inappropriately for the occasion.
9) Urban planning is important: you can’t just allow people to build houses willy-nilly.
10) The proposal looked interesting but after looking at the nitty-gritty we decided not to accept.
11) Don’t listen to him: he’s talking claptrap.
12) They are always so lovey-dovey they make me want to vomit!
13) Sometimes I need to get away from the hurly-burly of life in Bari.
14) A lot of these bigwigs pay far less tax than we do.
15) It was the simplest exam ever: easy-peasy!

      1. a) artistic in a pretentious way
      2. b) common people
      3. c) disturbing feeling of anxiety
      4. d) essential substance or practical details
      5. e) excessively romantic or affectionate
      6. f) important or powerful people
      7. g) improper sexual or financial behaviour
      8. h) in disorder
      9. i) noisy confusion
      10. j) noisy dispute or scuffling
      11. k) not at all difficult
      12. l) old-fashioned, conformist person
      13. m) pretentious nonsense
      14. n) superstitious nonsense
      15. o) without planning, criteria or method


B. Complete the following using the expressions in heavy type in the sentences above:
1) It was _____: an absolute piece of cake!
2) Don’t be such an old _____ ! Come with us and try something new!
3) When the referee gave the penalty there was quite a bit of _____ between the players.
4) Don’t just leave your clothes _____ on your bed, tidy them away in your wardrobe.
5) He’s having lunch with some _____ from head office today.
6) I can’t say I’m looking forward to returning to the _____ of the office.
7) She gets the _____ whenever she walks past the cemetery at night.
8) I refuse to listen to all this pompous _____ !
9) It’s not my kind of film; far too _____ for my taste.
10) She was never this _____ with her previous boyfriend.
11) The tables are not arranged _____ but carefully positioned to ensure there is a good view from each.
12) Some of these politicians have been getting up to all kinds of _____ .
13) They stay in ridiculously expensive hotels so they won’t have to associate with the _____ .
14) You don’t seriously believe in all that _____ , do you?
15) We need to examine the _____ before we make a decision.

1)c 2)b 3)h 4)o 5)g 6)j 7)a 8)l 9)o 10)d 11)m 12)e 13)i 14)f 15)k

B. 1) easy-peasy 2) fuddy-duddy 3) argy-bargy 4) higgledy-piggledy
5) bigwigs 6) hurly-burly 7) heebie-jeebies  8) claptrap
9) arty-farty 10) lovey-dovey 11) willy-nilly 12) hanky-panky
13) hoi polloi 14) mumbo jumbo 15) nitty-gritty