[Phrases] Idioms From Greek Mythology

Hey guys! Welcome to [Phrases]! As we all know, Greek mythology, together with the Bible, is the source of western culture. Today I`m going to introduce 5 idioms originating from Greek stories.


1. Achilles’ heel: a weak part of someone`s character, which could cause them to fail at something.

  • I think Frank`s vanity is the Achilles’ heel in his character.

2. the sword of Damocles: an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power.

  • I’ve had the sword of Damocles hanging over me for months, and now I can finally relax.
  • Nuclear weapons, the sword of Damocles that hangs over mankind, should be completely prohibited and thoroughly destroyed to make the world peaceful.


3. Trojan Horse: a person or thing that is used to trick an enemy in order to achieve a secret purpose.

  • They are defeated only because of the Trojan horse in their country.
  • He believed that government health insurance was a Trojan horse: the real goal was the country`s full-on socialism.

4. riddle of the Sphinx: the mysterious person and riddles.

  • The essence of human beings is an unsolved Sphinx riddle huanting the thinkers and philosophers throughout the history of mankind. 
  • The disparity between Hamlet’s mental ability and his physical action makes him a cognitive riddle which rivals that of Sphinx, whose head is incongruent with his body.


5. Pandora’s box: a process that, if started, will cause many problems that cannot be solved.

  • This court case could open a Pandora’s box of similar claims.
  • But according to its critics, it is little less than a Pandora’s box, capable of unleashing untold woes upon those curious enough to open it.

Practice: fill in the blanks below.

  • Secondary mortgage loan becomes the                      which hung on the top of the finance market.
  • Their claim is just a                       for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.
  • Reform is a                       ; opening up the system can lead to a loss of economic and political control.

That`s all for today!

Don`t forget to leave your comments below. See you next time!


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