Chess: king, queen, knight, pawn

Chess Pieces

Idiom Explanation Example
king of the castle(BrE)/hill(AmE) the most successful/powerful person Mark Zuckerberg is king of the social networking castle.
a king’s ransom a large sum of money We paid a King’s ransom for a simple hotel room in the centre of New York City.
live like a king/queen live in luxury/comfort Live like a king for two weeks with our unbeatable holiday packages.
to queen it act in a superior way to others I don’t really like Janine. She’s always queening it over us. Telling us what to do, treating us like slaves.
A knight in shining armour a person who helps or saves someone in a difficult situation If things go wrong, will you be my knight in shining armour?
be a pawn in someone’s game have no power/be manipulated or used by others To him, I wasn’t a friend. I was there to help him. I was a pawn in his game of power.
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Exercises C1

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. As the oldest sibling, Dorris loved bossing her brothers and sisters around.
  2. My car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Out of nowhere, Alex appeared and gave me a lift home.
  3. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Everything costs a fortune and you’ll …
  4. Patricia is the smartest girl in the class.
  5. When Marjorie and Tony went to Thailand on holiday, they couldn’t believe their luck. They drank cocktails from coconuts on the beach and had massages every day.
  6. The little king did everything his mother told him without ever making a decision of his own.

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