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to run around like a headless chicken


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) in a disorganized and uncontrolled manner

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

If you do something like a ’headless chicken’ you do it very quickly and without thinking carefully about what you are doing.

French translation

courir dans tous les sens, courir partout

How NOT to translate : *courir comme un poulet sans tête

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Examples in context

‘The Daily Mirror offers an alternative analysis arguing that the UKIP leader Nigel Farage is now calling the shots on Europe, while the Tories are running wildly about like headless chickens.

BBC News, 13th May 2013

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‘Playing on the famous phrase, run round like a headless chicken, the campaign created by Adam&Eve, features headless chickens dressed in key items from the Spring/Summer 2013 collections, alongside the strap-line, ’The Harvey Nichols Sale. Try to stay calm’.’

Daily Mail, 6th June 2013

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Everyday usage

I always end up running around like a headless chicken the day before our holiday. There is always so much to do !

You should have organised your time better to avoid running around like a headless chicken.

b) to know what you’re doing

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to be very quick

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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