To prepare our WHS wildcats with the vocabulary section of the FCAT, ACT, and SAT they are presented with weekly words. Click on the month to see the words we have learned.

August/September | October | November | December | January | February | March | April/May

December 2007

Allusions are indirect references
to real or fictional persons, places, or events.
December 3 (Monday)
Achilles’ heel
Definition: vulnerable spot or weak point - Thetis dipped her son Achilles in the river Styx, making him invulnerable, except in the heel by which she held on to him. That is the spot where he was mortally wounded by an arrow.
Sentence: The only department in which our team is vulnerable is relief pitching. It is our Achilles heel.

December 5 (Wednesday)
Definition: paradox (contradiction) in an order or regulation that makes people victims of its provisions, regardless of what they do
Sentence: The Budget Fitting Room was closed, so we went to the other fitting room, where a sign said: “Closed. Use Budget Fitting Room.” It was a Catch-22 situation.

December 7 (Friday)
crocodile tears
Definition: false tears; insincere show of grief - It used to be believed that crocodiles shed tears while devouring their victims.
Sentence: The expressions of regret at the party for the retiring executive were crocodile tears. The staff was glad to be rid of her.

December 11 (Tuesday)
fifth column
Definition: subversive group of civilians working secretly within their own country to turn it over to an invading enemy. General Mola, advancing on Madrid with four columns in 1936, said that he would be aided by a fifth column of sympathizers within the city.
Sentence: The Nazis coordinated their surprise attack with acts of sabotage by a well organized fifth column, so there was little effective resistance.

December 13 (Thursday)
Freudian slip
Definition: slip of the tongue by which it is thought a person unintentionally reveals his or her true feelings.
Sentence: In accepting the Oscar, she made a Freudian slip: instead of saying “I couldn’t have done it all without you,” she said “I could have done without all of you.”

December 17 (Monday)
Definition: massive, irresistible force crushing everything in its path - Juggernaut is a name of the Hindu god Vishnu, and hence of his idol and the huge car on which it is annually hauled in a procession. Worshippers are alleged to have thrown themselves under its wheels to be crushed.
Sentence: After sixteen consecutive victories the Red Sox juggernaut ground to a halt as the Rovers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 triumph.

December 19 (Wednesday)
Murphy’s Law
Definition: satirical maxim stating that if anything can go wrong, it will
Sentence: I had a flat tire on the way to work, and when I opened the trunk I found that my spare, too, was flat. Clearly, I was a victim of Murphy’s Law.

December 21 (Friday)
Pandora’s box
Definition: source of extensive unforeseen troubles - Beautiful Pandora, the first mortal woman according to Greek mythology, received a box she was forbidden to open, but she did, releasing all the ills that have since plagued the world.
Sentence: The mayor’s advisers opposed a public hearing, warning that it could be a Pandora’s box, and the mayor later regretted that she had not listened to them.

© Western High School, 1200 SW 136th Street, Davie, FL 33327