Wise Guy - Idioms in Context Story


Here is a story about a wise who didn't know when to stop talking at a party. Read the story to learn idioms in context and use the definitions provided below to help with understanding. Try reading the story one time to understand the gist without using the idiom definitions. Finally, take a short quiz on some of the expressions at the end of the story. 

Wise Guy

Last week I was at a party having a great time when a wise guy really started to bother me.

The party started off very nicely, there were lots of people and plenty of good food and, of course, everybody was drinking quite a bit. My friends and I were chewing the fat about the past week when this guy joined our conversation. We continued our conversation and everything was very pleasant. A friend of mine was letting off steam about some problems he was having at work. Suddenly, the wise guy asked a loaded question about one of our colleagues. We thought he was horsing around, so we really didn't answer his question. I mean, it's not a good idea to take a dig at a colleague no matter how much you might dislike him. We continued our conversation although it was clear that the new guy really wanted to have a run-in because he kept asking stupid questions. 

It became clear that we weren't going to answer any of his questions. This led him to start talking big about all his projects, business deals and how important he was.

In other words, the guy was full of hot air. In fact, he seemed to be a sitting duck for someone. It didn't take long. One of my friends decided he wouldn't pull his punches and started to make fun of everything the guy said. It just got worse and worse. Finally, my friend told the guy to put a sock in it.

Still, the guy continued on about what a fantastic life he had, the great vacations he had taken, the amazing job offers he got every week, on and on he went. The last straw was when he told us about the brand new hot car he had bought. My friend turned to the man and told him that everything he had told us was a snow job. He obviously didn't have a job, friends or a fancy car. He was, in fact, a wise guy. He had hit the bull's-eye. It was rather sad, but you could see how embarrassed the poor guy felt. It was all rather sad. 

Idioms Used in the Story

talk big = to speak about your own successes or plans in an exaggerated way
take a dig at someone = to criticize someone
last straw = something that happens that makes someone take action 
put a sock in it = shut up, be quiet
hot air = conversation is exaggerated and not true
horse around = to joke and do silly things
hit the bull's-eye = to be right about something
sitting duck = to be an obvious target for criticism 
chew the fat = to discuss, have a chat
have a run-in = to have a disagreement with someone
let off steam = to say or do something in order to relax 
loaded question = a question that means to trap someone into saying something
wise guy = a person who tends to joke and exaggerate too much
snow job = a lie or false story
pull one's punches = to not criticize although you could - often used in the negative

Expressions Quiz 

I wish you would ______________. I can't hear myself think.
Let's have a drink and _________.
We like to ____________ at work sometimes. My colleagues are pretty fun.
I can't answer that because I think it's a _____________.
That's a __________. Don't believe a word of it.
That's right! You've _____________.
If you keep doing that you'll be a ___________ for criticism. 
I like to ___________ by going hiking.

Quiz Answers

put a sock in it
chew the fat
horse around
loaded question
snow job
hit the bull's-eye
sitting duck
let off steam

More Idioms and Expressions in Context Stories

Learn more expressions using stories with one or more of these further idioms in context stories with quizzes.

There are idiom and expression resources that can help with definitions, but reading them in short stories can also provide context that make them come more alive.