One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Pretend to be asleep or unconscious when threatened (in imitation of an opossum's behavior).
- ‘Isn't that playing possum stuff supposed to protect them?’
- ‘Today I did washing at home in my washing machine, on the off-chance that it'd just been playing possum, and lo and behold, it worked just fine.’
- ‘‘I played possum,’ he said with a sheepish smile.’
- ‘When they stopped, the man was unconscious - or playing possum.’
- ‘‘It is not uncommon for a Marine to put rounds in the head of someone playing possum,’ he says.’
- ‘After a retrospective release the band finally relented after 28 years of playing possum.’
- ‘But is he down in a prone shooting position and only wounded, playing possum again?’
- ‘They quickly switched off the lights, played dead possum.’
- ‘He has obviously decided to put the boot in, knowing that the majority of unions have played possum for so long now on so much.’
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.