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).
- ‘They quickly switched off the lights, played dead possum.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Isn't that playing possum stuff supposed to protect them?’
- ‘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?’
- ‘‘It is not uncommon for a Marine to put rounds in the head of someone playing possum,’ he says.’
- ‘When they stopped, the man was unconscious - or playing 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.’
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