No. 1.—Acting Out Idioms & Proverbs.

Much delightful amusement may be had at parties by dividing your guests into actors and spectators and playing this very amusing game. The actors are given a series of idioms and proverbs, which they are required to act out in pantomime; the spectators must attempt to guess which idiom or proverb is represented. A few examples will suffice to demonstrate how the game may be played:

A player walks into the center of the room leading a live elephant. He stands still in the center of the room and attempts to persuade the elephant to do the same. IdiomThe elephant in the room.

An actor walks in carrying a battery-operated alarm clock from which the battery has been removed. He sets the clock before him and glances at his watch (which is set to the correct time), then at the face of the clock. He repeats these actions until the watch and the alarm clock at last read the same time; then he jumps up and down excitedly, pointing to the clock. Then he sits and waits twelve more hours, repeating the same actions as before. ProverbA stopped clock is right twice a day.

Two actors enter, one carrying a tray of hors d’oeuvres. The one with the tray attempts to place some of the food in the mouth of the other, who bites down on the first actor’s fingers, causing howls of pain. IdiomBite the hand that feeds you.

Nine actors are suspended by a fraying strip of fabric over a cauldron of boiling oil. A tenth appears with a needle and thread and sews the fraying fabric to prevent it from tearing. ProverbA stitch in time saves nine.

An actor opens a large sack suspended above the spectators, releasing a number of animals (easily obtained from a local animal shelter) to land on the heads of the amused and delighted audience. IdiomRaining cats and dogs.

An actor leads a leopard to the center of the room and begins to scrub the animal with a sponge, giving up when he or the leopard has had enough of the charade, and pointing at the leopard’s fur while sadly shaking his head, if it is still attached to his body. ProverbA leopard cannot change his spots.

An actor abruptly stands and leaves the room. He never comes back, and eventually the rest of the guests forget about him. ProverbOut of sight, out of mind.


  1. The leopard can be re-used for “Cat Got Your Tongue”, but if you want to use it as well for “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, you’d better wait until after getting through the other idoms first.

  2. Greybeard says:

    The actor, wearing only a loin cloth and a bone inserted through his nose places a missionary wearing jungle shirt and pith helmet into a cauldron of boiling water, adding a variety of vegetables and seasoning. After consuming the missionary the cannibal gets violently ill. Idiom: You can’t keep a good man down.

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