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elephant in the room

elephant in the room

Date: Jul 11 2013


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

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“It was the elephant in the room; I had to talk about it.”
- Singer Leann Rimes on writing songs about her affair with a married man (Us Weekly)

“这是无法避而不谈的重大问题,我不得不 谈论它。”

- 歌手黎安·莱姆斯 (Leann Rimes) 谈论以她和一位已婚男士的风流韵事为素材的歌曲创作。


1. Definition - Study the definition.

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awkward thing no one wants to discuss

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

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So, you’re at a party. Everything about it seems pretty normal: people are drinking drinks, eating snacks, and flirting with each other. You look around the room. Most of the people are people you recognize. Except, what’s that in the corner of the room? Is that an elephant? That’s pretty weird. And, even more weird, nobody is mentioning that there is an elephant in the room!

OK, so it’s not that likely that an elephant would just show up at a party, and that no one would notice or speak about it. But you’ve probably had an experience where there is something big going on that nobody is discussing. Maybe your friend just got fired from his job, and everyone is afraid to bring it up. Maybe your other friend dyed her hair a crazy shade of green, and she’s just acting like everything is normal. You could say that your friend’s firing, or your other friend’s hair, are elephants in the room. They are major things that are, oddly, going ignored.

This was how LeAnn Rimes felt about her scandalous affair. If she hadn’t written about it on her new album, it really would have been the elephant in the room. Everyone knew about it, so they’d think it was strange that she was keeping silent.

Can you think of a time when you were having a conversation with someone and there was an elephant in the room?


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

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“Listen, I know you don’t want to talk about what happened to your face, but it’s the elephant in the room. It can’t be ignored.”

“Nobody wants to talk about the fact that his dad just died. It’s the elephant in the room. “

“Now, that’s really the elephant in the room: She’s singing the loudest, but her voice is the worst, and no one wants to mention it.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

Olivine something that can not be hidden
by Olivine
Manu4 Something you cannot hide from others, something obvious.
by Manu4
an obvious issue or problem that every eye can notice but non of us mentions it.
by English_Tutor
Something unavoidable
by DarknessLight
dearpesar something you can't conceal or ignore
by dearpesar
one big thing that everyone knows is an issue, but no one has the courage to discuss
by wsj869912279
farehq a problem that everyone knows but nobody talk or discuss about it
by farehq
Plx serious problem or disputable issue which is obviously present but is avoided and ignored because it is easier to do so or is convenient for other party
by Plx
shaerwan an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed
by shaerwan
cloud It means that there is a problem or difficult situation, but people don't want to talk about.
by cloud

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Viet Nam

I can not understand all the meaning of this paragraph. Poor me :((

04:56 AM Jul 23 2013 |

Arlinrat Aui


“the elephant in the room” i think depend on situation as sometime for someone to probable bad or not bad
no one can to avoided and ignored  because we are human and we are social …

Have a good day… TGIF… dear :D

03:29 AM Jul 12 2013 |



Elephants in the room 

08:04 PM Jul 11 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

According to me I can say: It’s an issue that everyone knows but don’t have that courage to talk about

08:02 PM Jul 11 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

OMG,that happens most of times,doesnt matter what you do or who you are.for me as a student,it happens when others cheat in an exam and the situation seems to be so normal!that drives me crazy!cause it is really not fair!it is a elephant in room for me!:)

06:24 PM Jul 11 2013 |



Well, Was a test day, some people were doing the test when a guy started to search the answers by cell phone. Everybody knew, but no one had courage to say to the teacher, because they were cheating too.

04:27 PM Jul 11 2013 |

Ya Nina


I can recall a lot of situations when people prefer don’t notice the obvious things in spite of that they are elephant in the room. For example, your colleague is pregnant and her belly become really huge, but this woman continue to keep a silent about her pregnant so that other people pretend that they don’t notice and, certainly, such situation is the elephant in the room.

On the other hand, there are the different situations when person lost his close friends or relative and other people don’t know how they have to react – maybe they should show their sorry and support that person a kind warm word or maybe, you should keep a silent and don’t annoy that person their sympathy and concern. In that case everyone make a show that everything is all right and such situations also become the elephant in the room.

Also I can give another example when person finds out that he is seriously ill and the doctors sound him terrible diagnosis. His relatives also find out about his ill but they pretend that everything is ok because they don’t know how they should react. It’s the elephant in the room.

I suppose that in more situations you need to show your reaction and emotion, because in more cases other person needs in your support and true emotion.

11:53 AM Jul 11 2013 |

1 person likes this



Syrian Arab Republic


we were in a hall in the college and we were doing elections for administrative body

and a guy was writing the results on the board every time the jury was saying a name

but that guy was cheating and writing more votes for a particular candidate

and that last for about 15 minutes and no one saying something

and i felt that there is an elephant in the room

and i stood up and spoke loudly and let the jury know about him and punish him and that candidate

05:17 AM Jul 11 2013 |

2 people like this



South Korea

If there is the elephent in the room, in case of that, No one wants to start some story then hurt someone’s feeling , but it sometime should be talked among people.

they just ignore that topic for some. 

04:28 AM Jul 11 2013 |



should appear even u try to hide

12:24 AM Jul 11 2013 |

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