Final Jeopardy: Phrase Origins

The Final Jeopardy question (12/3/2012) in the category “Phrase Origins” was:

This 2-word adjective for “going against accepted speech or conduct” first appeared in a 1933 translation from Izvestia.

3-day champ Jason Shore returns once again. He has won $67,800 so far and, today, he is up against these two ladies: Basia Pioro, from Georgetown, Grand Cayman and  Chris O’Toole, from Pittsburgh, PA.

Jason found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Shakespearean Scene Settings.” He was in the lead with $6,800, $2,600 more than Basia in second place. He bet $2,000 and he was RIGHT.

“Another part of the island.”

Jason finished in the lead with $8,800. Basia was second with $4,400 and Chris was in the hole for $200.

Basia found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “Painted Ladies.” She was in second place with $6,800, $9,600 less than Jason’s lead. She bet $2,000 and took a guess with Picasso but that was WRONG.

His painting of the naked & clothed “majas” caused him to be called before a tribunal.

Two clues later, Basia found the last Daily Double in “Mountain Do.” She had $4,800 now, $11,600 less than Jason’s lead. She bet $1,500 and she was RIGHT.

Appropriately, the highest mountain peak in this South American country is Pico Cristobal Colon.

Jason finished in the lead with $1,200, a huge runaway. Chris was next with $7.000 and Basia was in third place with $4,700.

NONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


The phrase appeared in this report in the Christian Science Monitor in November 1933: “The results of a recent investigation of the knowledge of 65,000 Soviet pupils are candidly summed up in the official newspaper, Izvestia, in the following terms: ‘Bad grammar, abundance of mistakes in spelling,…superficial and often politically incorrect information in civics and social sciences.'” (

Basia was writing “counter culture” down but time ran out and she only got half of the last word in, but it was wrong anyway so she lost $4,699, leaving her with a dollar.

Chris wrote down “going against the grain,” a lot more than two words and it’s been around long before 1933. Her $6,999 bet also left Chris with a dollar.

Jason didn’t write down anything. He bet $3,800, a mere pittance comparatively speaking, so he won the game with $17,400. His 4-day total is a whopping $85,200. We probably don’t have to point out that he’s making over 20 grand a day but we will anyhow because we greatly admire that feat.

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