Useful Idoms(轉載6)

201、on a cloud
On a cloud是很高兴的意思,高兴得走路轻飘飘的好像腾云驾雾一样。
例句 1 :I’ve been on a cloud all day long–I heard this morning that I got an A on my final biochemistry exam.
我今天一天都很高兴,因为我早上听说,我生物化学期末考试得了一个A。
例句 2 :My wife has been on a cloud since I told her the other day I would spend my year-end bonus at the office to take us to Hawaii to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. And to tell you the truth, I’m really looking forward to it myself.
我那天告诉我的妻子,我要把办公室发给我的年终奖金用来和她一起去夏威夷旅行,以庆祝我们结婚二十周年。自从那天起,我太太一直很高兴。说实话,我自己也非常想去。
202、under a cloud
任何人under a cloud是绝不会高兴的,因为他不是丢尽了面子,就是被怀疑做了什么坏事。
例句 1 :The judge had to let him go because there wasn’t enough evidence against him. But he’s going around under a cloud because most people think he’s guilty.
法官由于没有足够的证据来定罪,所以只好放了他。但是,他到哪儿都受怀疑,因为大多数人都认为他是有罪的。
例句 2 :See that man sitting at the table by himself? He’s supposed to be a very smart lawyer, but he’s been under a cloud ever since he was mixed up in a scandal involving a company that was run by a mobster.
瞧那个桌子边独自坐着的人,看见吗?他 本来是一个很能干的律师,但是自从他和一个公司的丑闻有牵连以来,他一直被人怀疑,而那个公司是由流氓集团经营的。
203、basket case
Basket的意思就是“篮子”。比如说,要是一个人在一次事故中失去了四肢,他就变得毫无能力来料理自己的生活,只能让人们把他放在一只篮子里抬来抬去。这种毫无能力和希望的情景就是basket case的意思。Basket case经常被用来形容那些很穷的国家,它们的人民饥寒交迫,毫无希望。有的时候,basket case也是指那些老是亏钱,即将倒闭的企业。
例句 1 :I’m really worried–our company is losing so much money these days that if things don’t get better in the next two months we’ll be a basket case and have to go out of business.
我真是非常担心,我们公司这些日子亏损了那么多钱,要是在今后两个月里情况没有好转的话,我们就彻底没有希望,只好倒闭了。
Basket case也可以用半开玩笑的口气来指个别人,就像下面这个人。他正在找工作,刚刚到一个公司去面谈回来:
例句 2 :They made me wait so long for the interview that I was a basket case by the time I finally got called in. I’ve never been so nervous! I stammered, I stuttered–I almost couldn’t remember my own name.
他们让我等了很久才和我面谈。等到他们叫我进去的时候,我根本就不行了。我从来没有这样紧张过,结结巴巴地说不出话来,差一点连自己的名字都忘了。
204、all washed up
wash就是洗东西的“洗”。但是,all washed up的意思是彻底完蛋,和乾净不乾净毫无关系。下面这位女士在和她妹妹说另一个他们都认识的朋友:
例句 1 :Did you hear that Gloria’s marriage is all washed up? She found her husband was seeing another woman, so she packed up, took the kids and moved out. Now she’s suing for divorce
你听说了没有,格洛里亚的婚姻是彻底完蛋了。她发现她的丈夫有外遇,因此她收拾起自己的东西,带着孩子搬出去了。现在,她向法院提出要离婚呢!
例句 2 :That man over there used to be one of the best players in baseball. But then he started drinking, turned into an alcoholic, and just two years later he was all washed up.
那边那个人以前是最好的棒球运动员之一。但是,后来他开始喝酒,逐渐酗酒成习。这样,只过了两年,他的棒球生涯也就完蛋了。
205、Smart (as intelligence)
Smart这个字可以有好多解释,用在许多地方。它可以解释为很聪明,或者指一个人衣着很时髦,或形容某个自认为比别人都好的人。
例句 1 :I hate to admit this, but my kid sister is smarter than I am. I barely passed algebra and geometry, but here she’s head of her class in both.
我虽然不愿意承认这个事实,但是,我的小妹妹确实比我更聪明。我的几何和代数只是勉强及格。可是,她这两门课在班里都是第一。
例句 2 :What makes my brother think he’s so smart? Sure he did a lot better than I did in college. But if he’s all that smart, how come I have a better job and make more money?
我哥哥凭什么认为自己是那么聪明?是的,他在大学时功课比我好得多。可是,要是他真是那么聪明,那我的工作怎么比他的好,我怎么钱比他赚得多?
206、Smart (as fashionable)
例句 1 :The thing I like about Harry is that he’s such a smart dresser. He probably doesn’t spend any more money on his clothes than I do, but somehow he manages to look so stylish.
我之所以喜欢哈利是因为他在穿衣服方面很聪明。他在衣服方面花的钱可能不比我花的多,但是不知什么缘故他总能穿得看起来很时髦。”
例句 2 :I’d love to go to this party; it’s the smartest social affair this year. But I can’t afford to buy a new gown, and everybody else there will be so smartly dressed.
我很想去参加这个聚会,这是今年最热门的一次社交活动。可是,我买不起新的夜礼服,而所有参加这次聚会的人肯定会穿得非常漂亮的。
207、to put on the back burner
我们经常说做事要看轻重缓急,有的时候不得不把正在做的事或计划要做的事先搁置一边。美国人把这叫做:to put on the back burner。Back就是后边,而burner在这儿的是指做饭的炉子。美国的厨房里,炉台上一般都有四个炉口,前面两个,后面两个。人们往往把很快能煮好的东西放在前面炉子上煮,把一些要慢慢煮的东西放在后面的炉子上。这就是to put on the back burner这个俗语的来源。
例句1 :Joe, I know you’re working on the Anderson contract, but let’s put it on the back burner for now. We need your help on the new Jones contract–it’s worth more than five million dollars.
乔伊,我知道你现在正在处理安德森合同的事情,但是,让我们先把它放一放。我们要你来帮忙处理和琼斯签订的新合同。这个合同价值达五百万美元。
例句 2 :Honey, the boss told me today he can’t give me that pay raise I was expecting. I’m afraid that means we’ll have to put our plans to buy a bigger house on the back burner until next year.
亲爱的,老板今天告诉我他不能满足我的愿望给我加工资。所以我们想买栋大房子的计划恐怕不得不等到明年再说了。
208、to drag one’s feet
好多人在做一些事的时候会表现出拖拖拉拉,很不愿意的样子。美国人把这种现象称为:to drag one’s feet。
例句 1 :Billy and Sally always drag their feet when I tell them it’s bedtime. They love to watch TV after dinner and they’d stay up till midnight if I didn’t chase them off to bed.
每当我叫比利和萨利上床睡觉的时候,他们总是拖拖拉拉。他们喜欢吃完晚饭后看电视,要是我不催着他们上床的话,他们可以一直看到半夜。
例句 2 :The union is dragging its feet on agreeing to a settlement. They think the company is getting desperate to get people back to work because Christmas is coming and that’s our busiest time of year.
工会拖拖拉拉地不肯就解决方案达成协议。他们认为,公司一定会迫不及待地要雇员回去工作,因为圣诞节快来了,这是我们一年最忙的时候。
209、to turn one’s back on someone
从字面上解释,这是把自己的背对着某人。可是,实际上这是指根本不理会某人,或不肯给那个有困难的人任何帮助。
例句 1 :I won’t ever forgive my older brother–he turned his back on me and refused to lend me any money when I lost my job.
我永远也不会原谅我的大哥哥。当我失去我的工作的时候,他根本不肯帮忙,一点钱都不愿意借给我。
例句 2 :My father deserted my mother and me when I was five years old. But I can’t turn my back on him now that he’s old and sick. So I’m paying the rent for him on a little apartment in Los Angeles.
当我五岁的时候,我爸爸抛弃了我妈妈和我。可是,现在我爸爸又老又病,我可不能不管。他现在在洛杉矶租了一个小公寓套房,我替他付房租。
210、to get on someone’s back
To get on someone’s back是指对某人唠唠叨叨没完。太太嫌先生不帮忙做家务,先生又嫌太太太唠叨,这个现象可能是没有国界的,那儿都存在。下面两个例子表达了双方的观点,先听太太的吧:
例句 1 :I really don’t like to get on Henry’s back all the time. But after twenty years, you would think he’d learn to pick up his clothes and hang them in the closet to help me keep the house neat.
太太的话听起来很有理,她说:“我实在并不喜欢老是对亨利唠叨。可是,二十年啦,你想他总学会了把自己的衣服拣起来,挂在衣柜里,帮我把屋子弄乾净吧!”先生倒也承认太太有道理,但是就是……还是让他自己说吧:
例句 2 :Helen is always on my back to make me pick up my clothes when I leave them lying around the house. She’s right, of course, but I wish she wouldn’t get on my back so much.
他说:“每次我把衣服随便扔的时候,海伦总是唠唠叨叨,让我把它们拣起来。当然,她是对的。可是,我就是希望她不要那样唠叨个没完。”
我的丈夫总是把衣服往床上、地上乱扔,我老得把它们拣起来,真叫我生气。”
例句 2 :And there’s one thing that really gets my back up: my wife nagging at me to hang my clothes up as soon as I walk in the house at night after a hard day at the office.
每天在办公室辛苦地工作了一天,可是晚上一走家门,我老婆就开始唠叨,要我把衣服挂好。这实在让我生气。
214、to scratch one’s back
要是你觉得背上某一个地方痒痒,而你自己又抓不到。这是很难受的。在这种情况下,最好有人替你抓一下。美国人有一个普遍的说法,那就是:to scratch one’s back。To scratch one’s back从字面上来看就是“抓某人的背”。它的真正含义是:某人帮了你一下忙,而这个帮你忙的人也期望你下回帮他的忙。因此,to scratch one’s back实际上就是:这回你帮我忙,下回我就帮你的忙。
例句 1 :This senator from the 11th district scratched my back when he voted for my bill to cut state income taxes, so it’s my turn to do him a favor and vote for that bill for more money for roads in his district.
上回在投票通过我提出的有关裁减州所得税的提案时,第十一选区的参议员投了我一票,帮了我的忙。所以,现在是该我帮他忙的时候了,我得投票赞成为他的选区修建公路增加拨款的提案。
例句 2 :In my business it’s important to scratch each other’s back. Say a customer does me a favor by giving me an extra big order. The next time he’s in town I might take him out to dinner and a broadway show.
干我们这行(推销员),相互帮忙是很重要的。要是一位顾客订了特别大的一批货,帮了我的忙。下次他再到这个城市来的时候,我可能得请他吃晚饭和到百老汇去看演出。”
215、brainchild
brain是指脑子,child就是孩子的意思。在一般口语里,brain和child这两个字合在一起的意思就是:脑子里产生的一个想法。
例句 1 :The electric light bulb is the brainchild of Thomas Edison, the telephone is the brainchild of Alexander Graham Bell, two 19th-century American inventors.
电灯泡是爱迪生发明的,电话是贝尔发明的。这两人都是美国十九世纪的发明家。
Brainchild不一定要像那些伟大发明家的发明创造。一般人都会有brainchild。
例句 2 :To set up a foundation in our college to help poor students was the brainchild of our sociology professor.
在我们学校里成立一个帮助贫困学生的基金会,这是我们社会学教授想出来的主意。
216、to pick one’s brain
Pick这个字的意思就是拣什么东西的“拣”。To pick one’s brain就是向别人了解情况,或是徵求精通某个问题的专家的意见,也就是利用别人的智慧。
例句 1 :I don’t understand all this scientific language. I’d better go see Doctor Rogers at the medical school and pick his brain; maybe he can make it clear to me.
我是不懂这些科学名词。我还是到医学院去请教罗杰斯大夫吧,没准他能把问题给我解释清楚。
在美国,to pick one’s brain是非常普遍的一种现象,因为美国人喜欢各述己见,进行辩论,然后看看谁的意见更合理。不管世界其他地方上或是在美国发生了什么事,电台和电视台都会请一些专家来谈谈他们对问题的看法,这实际上也是to pick their brains。
例句 2 :People all say that Mary is very smart. Yes, she is. But you have to know the reason why she is smart is because she always picks other people’s brains.
人们都说玛丽这个人非常聪明。是的,她确实非常聪明。但是,你们得知道她之所以聪明是因为她老是听取别人的意见。
217、To give up the ghost
世界上到底有没有鬼?真正看见过鬼的人似乎也不多,可是几千年来,许多人一听鬼的故事就毛骨悚然。根据字典里的解释,ghost就是看不见的幽灵,人死了,他的灵魂也就离开了人体。To give up就是“放弃”。一个人放弃了灵魂不就是死了吗?To give up the ghost的意思也就是:“ 死”。
例句 1 :My poor old aunt was in bed with cancer for six months before she finally gave up the ghost.
我那可怜的老阿姨得了癌,在床上躺了半年后终于去世了。
To give up the ghost不一定指人,它还可以用来说别的东西,就像那些磨损很利害无法修理的机器:
例句 2 :I need money to buy a new car. My old one is twelve years old and I’m afraid it’s ready to give up the ghost.
我需要钱去买一辆新车。我那辆老的汽车已经开了十二年,恐怕是要完蛋了。
218、ghost town
要是你看过美国的西部电影的话,你很可能看到过那种被遗弃的城镇。美国人把它们叫做:ghost town。一百多年前,成千上万的人都争先恐后到美国西部去淘金,想一夜就变成富翁。当时那里的小城镇都很繁荣,后来,随着淘金活动的结束,人们也就逐个地离开了那里到别处去谋生,这些城镇也就没有生命了。例句 1 :These old ghost towns can give you a scary feeling, with the buildings falling apart and the only sound is the moaning of the wind blowing through the deserted streets.
被遗弃的城镇真让你感到害怕。那里的房子东倒西歪,唯一能听到的声音就是在那没有人的街道上风吹的呜呜响声。
例句 2 :I come from a city in Illinois which used to have three big steel plants. But these factories closed twenty years ago and the city has almost become a ghost town with most of the people gone and most of the stores and houses boarded up like a mining town out West.
我的老家是在伊利诺伊州的一个城市。那里原来有三个大钢铁厂。但是,二十年前这些厂就关闭了,那里的大多数人也都搬走了,商店和房屋都钉上了木板,就像西部那些开矿的城镇一样。所以我的老家也几乎成了一个被遗弃的地方。
219、ghost writer
Ghost就是“鬼”。Ghost writer,难道鬼还能当作家?你可知道,美国人天天都看好多 ghost writer写的东西。可是,这些作家不是鬼,他们都是所谓的“黑笔杆”。Ghost writer替有名望的人写讲稿或写自传,因为大多数有名望的人没有写作的才能,也没有时间来写。他们雇那些ghost writer来替他们写,然后把成品当做自己的作品来发表。
例句 1 :Writers like to see their names on books. But ghost writers have to be invisible like real ghosts. But don’t feel to sorry for them: they get very well paid for writing under somebody else’s name.
作家都喜欢在书上看到自己的名字。但是,黑笔杆就得像真的鬼一样让人看不到。可是,他们以别人的名义写东西能赚很多钱,所以也别太同情他们啦。
例句 2 :Shakespeare died almost four hundred years ago but there are still a few people who believe Francis Bacon or somebody else was the ghost writer who really wrote all the plays which have shakespeare’s name on them.
莎士比亚大约四百年前就去世了,可是到如今仍然有些人认为莎士比亚的剧本实际上不是他自己写的,而是由弗朗西斯·培根或其他什么人替他写的。
220、spooky
有不少人说他们不信鬼,但是在某种阴森森的场合,他们也会感到害怕。美国人常用spooky这个字来形容这种感觉。当spooky这个字解释为害怕的时候,这种害怕往往是由于怕鬼而引起的。
例句 1 :I don’t believe in ghosts. But you know something? I get this spooky feeling every time I walk by this old, deserted house at night where that woman was chopped to death 30 years ago.
我是不相信有鬼的。可是,你知道吗?每当我晚上走过那栋空无一人的老房子,就是三十年前那个女人在里面被人剁成好几块的那栋房子,我就感到毛骨悚然,真害怕。
例句 2 :Every time I pass by funeral homes or cemetries, even in broad daylight , I always have that kind of spooky feeling as if ghosts will appear.
每当我走过殡仪馆或墓地的时候,那怕是大白天,我总是感到阴森森,好像鬼就会出现似的。
211、nag
大家常常可以听到有的丈夫抱怨说,自己的太太在家里老是唠叨个没完,说他家务事做得不够,衣服到处乱扔等。美国人用一个字来形容这种爱唠叨的现象,那就是:nag。Nag这个字的意思就是没完没了地唠叨,让听的人很烦燥。但是,这个字不是用来专门形容太太的,它还可以用在其他方面。
例句 1 :I like my boss except for one thing–he’s always nagging me about getting to work on time. I’m never more than five minutes late, and that’s only when the bus doesn’t show up on time.
我的老板什么都挺好,就是老是嘱咐我要按时上班,唠叨个没完。实际上,我即便晚到也从来也没有超过五分钟的,而那也只是在公共汽车晚到的时候才会发生。这里nag是个动词,但是,nag也可以用做名词来形容那些不断批评别人,要别人按着他的意志行事的人。
例句 2 :My wife is such a nag about my smoking–she keeps after me all day long to stop it. You know, I’ve been smoking twenty years now and giving up my four packs a day is hard to do.
我的太太在我抽烟的问题上真是爱唠叨,为了要我戒烟她成天说个没完。可是你要知道,我抽烟已经有二十年啦,要戒掉一天四包烟的习惯可是很难的事。
212、to get off one’s back
要是有人老是对你唠叨个没完,你总有一天会感到无法忍耐,你可能会说: “Hey, get off my back, will you!”这句话的意思是:“喂,你别跟我唠叨了,行不行!”我们这儿要讲的常用语就是:to get off one’s back。
例句 1 :I’m telling you, if that guy doesn’t stop nagging me about working faster, I’m going to tell him to get off my back or I’ll walk right off the job and let him see how hard it is to find a good mechanic these days.
我告诉你,要是那个家伙再来唠叨要我更快地干活的话,我就要告诉他别再纠缠不清,否则我就不干了,让他知道现在要找一个真正懂机械的工人是多么的难。
To get off one’s back还可以指一些对人起限制作用的规章、条例或机构等。
例句 2 :Do you know what would help pick up the economy? Just get the government off our backs with all these useless rules and regulations that keep us filling out forms and showing inspectors around.
你知道什么能够促使经济发展更快吗?就让政府取销所有那些毫无用处的条例和规章就行了,省得我们老是填表格,带着检查员到处看。
213、to get one’s back up
当一只猫生气的时候,它往往把它的背拱起来,嘴里还发出呼呼的声音,显得它随时准备施展它那爪子的威力。to get one’s back up这个常用语就出自猫的这种形像,它就是生气的意思。
例句 1 :One thing really gets my back up — the way my husband leaves his clothes on the bed or on the floor, so I have to pick them up all the time.
我的丈夫总是把衣服往床上、地上乱扔,我老得把它们拣起来,真叫我生气。”
例句 2 :And there’s one thing that really gets my back up: my wife nagging at me to hang my clothes up as soon as I walk in the house at night after a hard day at the office.
每天在办公室辛苦地工作了一天,可是晚上一走家门,我老婆就开始唠叨,要我把衣服挂好。这实在让我生气。
221、to brainstorm
美国人在面临难题的时候往往会坐在一起交换意见,找出解决问题的方案。不管是在私营公司,或是在政府机构里,这种现象是常见的。美国人把这种做法叫作:to brainstorm。Brain就是脑子,storm就是暴风雨。Brainstorm是一个字,意思就是:群策群力,即所谓的“头脑风暴法”。
例句 1 :I’m sorry to tell you our client has turned down the ads we did for him. Let’s meet at 2 o’clock and brainstorm ideas.
我很抱歉我得告诉你们,我们的顾客不喜欢我们替他录制的广告。让我们两点开个会,一起出主意再重新替他做广告。
这里的brainstorm是作为动词用的。下面说话的人把brainstorm当做名词用,它的意思是:好主意。
例句 2 :Say, I just had a brainstorm! In our ads for these new cars, why don’t we talk about their safety features and not how fast they go. A lot of people are worried about safety these days.
嗨,我有了个好主意!在介绍这些新车的广告里,我们不如不要说它们跑多快,而着重介绍这些车的安全设施。现在许多人都为安全担心。
222、egghead
大多数人都很尊敬那些脑子灵活聪明的人。可是,有些聪明的人总觉得自己比周围的人强,处处要表现自己。美国人把这种人称为:egghead。Egg就是鸡蛋,head就是头。Egghead作为一个字是指书生气很足的知识分子,是在1952年美国总统大选时开始用的。当时,共和党的候选人是二次世界大战联军的最高司令员艾森豪威尔将军。艾森豪威尔的竞选对手是伊利诺伊州州长、民主党候选人史蒂文森。史蒂文森是个知识分子,他在竞选过程中发表了一系列精心撰写的讲话。可是,这些讲话只有像史蒂文森那样的知识分子才感兴趣,所以共和党人就取笑他说:
例句 1 :Sure, all the eggheads love Stevenson. But how many eggheads do you think there are?
这句话的意思是:“当然罗,所有知识分子都喜欢史蒂文森。可是你想想,知识分子一共才有多少呀?”最后艾森豪威尔当选为美国总统。
例句 2 :I have to tell you that since he went off to college, Bill has turned into a real egghead. He’d rather read a book on physics than see a movie or a good football game on TV.
我得告诉你,比尔上了大学后,他真是变成了一个书生气十足的人。他宁可看物理书也不愿去看电影,或看电视上精彩的足球赛。
223、to grab a bite
To grab a bite要翻成口语就是:先吃点什么垫垫肚子,因此和正式吃一顿饭有很大不同。
例句 1 :Honey, I’m so hungry I could eat a horse! I was so busy at work today. I didn’t even have time to run out and grab a bite at that Kentucky Fried Chicken place across the street.
亲爱的,我现在饿得都能把一头马吃下去。今天在办公室里我可真忙,连跑到对马路那个肯德鸡炸鸡铺子里去买点吃的时间都没有。
例句 2 :We need to hurry if we want to see the 7:30 movie. Let’s just stop off and grab a bite to eat at that hamburger joint near the theater.
要是我们想看七点半那场电影的话,我们得赶快。我们就到电影院附近那个卖汉堡包的地方先吃点东西吧。
224、grubstake
Grub这个字可以解释为食品,但是和stake合在一起的时候,它的意思就变了。美国人在开发西部的时候,往往会找一些会给他们提供食品和工具的人,这样可以使他们有能力开始他们的计划。现在,grubstake这个字已经演变成为开创新的企业所提供的资金或贷款。
例句 1 :My husband and I have worked hard to make our new restaurant a success, but most of all I thank my father for giving us the grubstake to open it.
我和我的丈夫花了很大力量才使我们新开的饭馆很成功。不过,我更感谢我爸爸为我们提供了开这个饭馆的资金。
例句 2 :I want to quit my job and open a sporting goods shop for myself. But I’m having trouble finding anybody to put up a grubstake to help me get started.
我想辞了我那个工作,自己开一个体育用品店。但是,我找不到人给我一笔贷款来开这个店。
225、munch
Munch这个字的意思是吃零食。好多人都喜欢吃零食,特别是女孩子。不过,美国人不管男女老少,每当他们看电影的时候,他们总是喜欢吃爆米花。每个电影院也都设有卖爆米花和汽水的地方,而且这还是电影院的一大笔收入。
例句 1 :One of the real pleasure of life for me is to sit and munch on hot buttered popcorn while I watch a good movie.
一面看一部好电影,一面吃着加黄油的爆米花,这对我来说才真是生活里的一大乐趣。
例句 2 :No wonder Betty has trouble keeping her weight down. Between meals she munches all day long on potato chips, salted peanuts and candy.
贝蒂吃完饭还是成天吃土豆片、咸花生和糖果,怪不得她没法减肥呢。
226、hors d’oeuvre
在美国和其他西方国家,举行正式招待会的时候,或者在正式的晚餐前,主人往往会用一些小点心来款待大家。这种小点心有一个特殊名称,那就是hors d’oeuvre。大家一定感到这个字的拼法很奇怪,是的,这是字本身是法文,所以它的拼法和一般英文拼法不太一样。Hors d’oeuvre在法文里的意思是:主菜以外的食品。
例句 1 :Last year our company had a great New Year’s party with a fine sit-down dinner. But this year, with business so bad, we only had a stand-up reception with a few hors d’oeuvres like cheese on crackers and some cheap wine.
去年,我们公司举行新年晚会时请大家正式吃了一顿晚饭。可是,今年生意不景气,我们只举行了一个招待会,只有一些像咸饼乾加奶酪那样的小点心和便宜的酒。
例句 2 :You should have been at the French Embassy reception last night. The hors d’oeuvres were so tasty I filled up on them and didn’t eat any dinner when I got home.
你昨天晚上真应该去参加法国使馆的招待会。他们的点心真好吃,我吃了好多,回到家连晚饭都没吃。
227、to call the shots
我们经常会问别人:你们家里谁说了算?也就是谁作最后决定、下命令,美国人经常说:to calls the shots。 To call the shots原来的意思是:军官下令部队开枪。但是现在to call the shots已经在口语中常常出现。
例句 1 :The three partners who own our company are supposed to have equal say in running it. But one of them, old Mister Johns, is the one who calls the shots and tells us what to do.
我们公司三个老板在经营方面应该是有同样发言权的。但是最后做决定的总是老约翰先生,每次都是由他来告诉我们干什么。
例句 2 :Some men in the office thought no woman could be strong enough to be boss. But a week after Miss Smith took charge, they learned she was going to call the shots and they’d better listen.
办公室里有些男的雇员以为没有一个女子有足够的能力来当领导。但是,在史密斯小姐主管工作一个礼拜以后,他们知道她说的话就是命令,因此还是服从她为好。
228、to call one’s bluff
To call one’s bluff就是揭露某人虚张声势的做法。这个俗语来自美国人喜欢玩的扑克牌游戏。有时你手里的牌很坏,但是你想让别人认为你手里的牌好极了,可是别人不相信你,对你进行挑战,这就是to call one’s bluff。
例句 1 :Sometimes you can scare the other players out of the game with a bluff and ‘steal’ the pot with a worthless hand. But it can be very expensive if another player calls your bluff.
有时候你可以虚张声势把其他牌友吓住了,这样你就偷偷地用一手坏牌赢了钱。可是,要是另一个打牌的人不相信你,向你挑战,那你就可能会输不少钱。
例句 2 :One of our salesmen asked for a raise in salary today, and said he’d have to leave if we didn’t give him a raise. But I called his bluff–I told him no, and wished him good luck. Then he said he’d stay on with us because he liked working here so much.
我们公司的一个推销员今天要我给他加工资,说要是我们不给他加工资,他就不在这儿干了。但是我没上他的当,拒绝了他的要求,还祝他好运气。于是他就改口说他非常喜欢这儿的工作,愿意在这儿继续做下去。
229、to call up
To call up的最普通的意思是给某人打电话。但是,to call up也可以解释为:引起一个人的记忆。美国人很喜欢出去旅行,一到夏天,好多人都利用每年的假期到国内外去旅行。每次旅行都带一些具有当地特色的纪念品回家。因此,不少美国人家里都陈列着各国的手工艺品。
例句 1 :Every time I look at that black and gold lacquer box on my desk, it calls up memories of our trip to Bangkok last year.
每当我看到我桌上那个黑色和金色的盒子,我就回想起去年访问曼谷的情景。
To call up还可以用在军事方面,意思是在紧急情况下调动预备役军队来参加某些行动。
例句 2 :After the hurricane hit the Florida coast, the governor called up the National Guard to help with the rescue work.
在飓风袭击佛罗里达州沿海一带地区后,州长就下令国民警卫队来帮助营救灾民的工作。
230、to call it a day
To call it a day的意思是你工作了一天,到晚上你停止工作回家休息,但是准备第二天再回去继续完成昨天没做完的事。说简单一点也就是:结束一天的工作。
例句 1 :I worked on my term paper until about ten o’clock last night, but got so sleepy I decided to call it a day. I’ll finish it this afternoon when I come back from class.
昨晚我写我的期终报告一直写到十点钟,后来我困不行,就决定不写了。今天下午上完课我再来把它写完。
例句 2 :We’ve got so much news to handle today that I didn’t even have time to have lunch. Now I am going to call it a day and go home to have a good rest.
今天我们要处理的消息多极了,忙得我连吃午饭的时间都没有。今天就到此为止了,我得回家好好休息去了。
231、to rub elbows
Elbow就是胳膊肘儿。许多诗人喜欢描写漂亮的脸或美丽的身材,可是没有人描写胳膊肘儿的。然而,人体的这一部份却用处很大。To rub就是磨擦,to rub elbows的意思是出去和别人接触和交际。
例句 1 :I like Mister Lewis. He’s one of the richest, most powerful men in New York, but he’s not stuck-up at all. In fact he really enjoys getting out and rubbing elbows with all us ordinary people.
我很喜欢刘易斯先生。他是纽约最有钱有势的人之一,但是他却一点架子都没有。事实上,他还很喜欢和我们这些普通人交往。
例句 2 :If you travel across America by bus, you rub elbows with all sorts of people. You’ll meet older retired people, young students and others who ride the bus because it’s cheaper than flying.
要是你乘长途汽车到美国各地旅行的话,你就会接触到各种人。你会碰到退了休的老年人、年轻的学生等。他们坐长途汽车是因为这比乘飞机便宜。
232、elbow room
Elbow room的最普通解释就是:某人能施展的地方或空间。
例句 1 :My husband and I are looking for a bigger house to move into. We have six children and a seventh on the way, and we need a lot more elbow room than we have now.
我和我丈夫正在找一栋大一点的房子。我们有六个孩子马上又要生第七个了。我们需要比现在更大一些的地方。
例句 2 :I can think of one person who has more elbow room than she needs–the Queen of England. They say that Windsor Castle has more than a thousand rooms. Now that’s real elbow room.
我知道有一个人所占有的地方比她需要的多得多,这人就是英国女王。他们说,温莎堡里有一千多间房间。这才是真正的面积大呢。
233、shrimp
大约八百年前,shrimp这个字首先是用来指那些个子矮小的人。后来人们才把虾称为shrimp。但是,现在人们还是经常叫个子矮小的人shrimp。
例句 1 :Basketball is a game for tall people. But once in a while a player like Mugsy Bogues comes along. Mugsy is a real shrimp–only 1.6 meters tall. But he’s so quick and clever he can play on equal terms with all those giants.
篮球是适合个子高的人打的球。可是偶然也会出现像马格西博格这样个子矮小的球员。马格西博格体格实在是矮小,身高只有一米六。但是他机智灵活,和那些个子高大的球员一样地打球。
例句 2 :The great French leader Napoleon was shorter than everybody around him, so you’d have to call him a little shrimp. But for a shrimp, he certainly made the rest of Europe tremble.
法国伟大的领导人拿破比他周围的人都矮,所以你可以说他像只小虾。但是作为一只小虾,他却震憾了整个欧洲。
234、crab
crab,也就是螃蟹。螃蟹有许多腿,还有那双很利害的钳子。大概是由于它的相貌,人们都认为它是一种性情急燥、容易动怒的动物。正因为这样,美国人把那些性格暴燥,脾气很坏的人叫做crab。
例句 1 :I don’t like any of my teachers much, but the one I hate the most is Missus Gray. She’s such an old crab, always scolding us for making noise, chewing gum, not doing our homework.
所有的老师我都不太喜欢。但是,我最恨的是格雷小姐。她真是个老螃蟹,老骂我们不安静、吃口香糖、不做家庭作业。
例句 1 :My neighbor is such an old crab. He practically does not allow me to listen to music and watch TV. Whenever I turn on my radio or television set, he knocks on my door and angrily orders me to stop.
我的邻居可真是个老螃蟹。他不让我听音乐和看电视。每当我打开收音机或电视机,他就会来敲我的门,怒气冲冲地要我把它们关掉。
235、to smell fishy
新鲜的鱼营养很丰富,味道又鲜美。可惜的是,鱼很容易变质,时间放长了,它就会发臭。Fish就是鱼,fish后面加一个y,就成了fishy,也就是fish的形容词。To smell fishy的意思是在某一件事情上你感到不太对头,似乎有人在进行欺骗,这时候你就可以说: “It smells fishy.”
例句 1 :Somebody offered to sell me some beach property in Florida at a good cheap price. But the deal smelled fishy so I went down to take a look. Sure enough, every time the tide came in, the land was under three feet of water.
有一个人要把佛罗里达州海滨的土地卖给我,价钱很便宜。但是,我总觉得这笔交易有点不对头,所以就到那里去看了一看。果然,每当潮水来的时候,这块地就被三英尺深的水淹没了。
例句 2 :It appeared to be a real bargain, but I smelled something fishy because the man was in such a hurry to sell it. I was right–later on I found out the car was stolen.
价钱可真是便宜,可是这人那么急急忙忙要卖掉让我感到不太对头。我还真是没错,后来我才发现那辆车是偷来的。
236、to fish for compliments
在陆地上,鱼虽然钓不到,但是人们往往想钓别的东西,例如:to fish for compliments。Compliments就是赞扬或者恭维。To fish for compliments就是用一种巧妙的方法来让别人恭维你、赞扬你。
例句 1 :Do you notice how Dora always fishes for compliments? She keeps asking the men in the office what they think of her new hairdo, or whether they think her new dress is the right color for her.
你有没有注意到多拉是怎么让别人恭维她的?她在办公室里老是问一些男的同事,他们喜不喜欢她的发式,或者她的新衣服的颜色对她是不是合适。
例句 2 :I hope you don’t think I’m fishing for a compliment, but have you had a chance to read my new book? The reviews are good, but I’d like to hear what you think about it.
我希望你不要以为我是要你恭维我。不过,你有没有看过我的新书?书评倒写的都很好,但是我很想听听你的意见。
237、turkey
美国人很喜欢吃火鸡。每逢感恩节和圣诞节,火鸡总是家家户户节日盛宴的主菜。有的时候,人们把感恩节称为“火鸡日”。火鸡在英文里就是:turkey。尽管美国人很喜欢吃火鸡,但是大多数人认为火鸡不仅很难看,而且还笨头笨脑的。所以,要是你把某一个人叫做turkey,那就等于说那个人无能、很笨。
例句 1 :I wouldn’t go out on a date with Mary if she was the last woman in the world. She’s such a turkey with that boring personality and stupid grin.
即便我在世界上找不到其他女人,我也不想约玛丽一起出去玩。她那性格很让人讨厌,还有她那傻笑。她真是个笨蛋。
例句 2 :This man came with a good recommendation from his last job, but it turns out he’s just a turkey who simply can’t do anything right!
这个人来的时候,他原来工作的公司还给他写了很好的推荐信。可是,他原来是个笨蛋,干什么都干不好。
238、cold turkey
说到吃火鸡,美国人有的时候吃热的,也有的时候吃冷的。可是,cold turkey作为一个俗语,它的意思就不是冷火鸡肉了,而是指一些人突然终止某种已经成隐的习惯,如非法吸毒、酗酒或抽烟等。
例句 1 :You know, for 25 years I smoked two packs a day. But the day a good friend of mine died of lung cancer, I decided to go cold turkey and never light up another cigarette. It was tough, but it was the smartest thing I ever did in my life.
你可知道,我以前每天抽两包烟,抽了二十五年。后来我一个要好朋友因为肺癌而死了。就在他去世的当天,我下定决心戒烟,从此以后我再也没有抽过一支烟。那是很不容易的,可那是我一生中我做的最明智的一件事。
从这个例子我们可以看到,cold turkey是指立即全部停止一个行为,而不是逐步的。
例句 2 :I needed to lose weight quick, so I gave up ice cream, cake and other rich foods cold turkey. And do you know I lost ten pounds in just a little over a month!
不久前,我认为我必须要减肥。于是,我就开始不吃奶油、蛋糕和其他热量很高的食品。你知道,仅仅一个多月我就减掉了十磅。
239、beefy
美国人特别喜欢吃牛肉,最普遍的吃法是用牛肉末做汉堡包,或者是切成大块煎牛排。尽管现在许多人都担心胆固醇太高,可是牛肉仍然是美国人最喜欢吃的食品之一。 “牛肉”的英文就是beef。要是在beef这个字后面加一个字母y,那就成了形容词beefy。当然你可以把beefy解释为“牛肉的”,但是在口语里,要是你说某人很beefy,那就是说,那个人个子很高大、肌肉很发达,就像一个280磅的重量级摔跤运动员一样。
例句 1 :These two guys were pushing me around until my brother, who’s a beefy football player on the school team, came out and asked me if I needed help. You should have seen those two guys run.
正当那两个人在欺负我的时候,我哥哥出来问我要不要帮忙。我哥哥是一个膀大腰圆的足球校队队员。你可没看见那两个人看到我哥哥后跑得有多快!
例句 2 :You expect a big, beefy man to have a deep, deep voice. But my beefy neighbor who must weigh 120 kilos has a high-pitched squeaky voice like a man half his size.
你以为一个个子高大、非常粗壮的人,他的声音一定会非常低沉。但是我那邻居,虽然他高头大马,体重有120 公斤,然而他的声音却又高又细,就像一个体格比他小一半的人发出来的声音。
240、o beef up
To beef up 的意思是:增加力量。这可能和美国人认为牛肉能够增强体力的想法有关。但是,to beef up这个说法并不一定局限在身体强壮这一个方面,这个俗语实际上可以用在生活各个方面。
例句 1 :A general beefs up his forces before a battle by adding more tanks and artillery. A college can beef up its educational level by hiring highly-qualified professors.
一个将军在战役前可以通过增加坦克和大炮来增强他的部队的力量,一所大学可以通过聘请很有资格的教授来提高它的教育水平。
例句 2 :I am happy to tell you that our sales increased almost 25 percent in the last six months after we beefed up our sales force by hiring 50 more sales people in California and Texas.
我很高兴地告诉你,我们公司在加利福尼亚州和得克萨斯州增加了五十名销售员以后,过去半年内的销售量增加了百分之二十五。
snowball
听到snowball这个字,我们脑子里就会出现孩子们冬天在雪地里扔雪球玩的形像。这当然是 snowball这个字的原来意思。可是,snowball 也可以当动词用来形容某一样东西很快就变得越来越大,就像滚雪球那样。
例句 1 :Sally’s happy about how her new seafood restaurant is doing. Business was slow at first but it’s really snowballed the last couple of months: now you have to wait in line to get a table.
沙利对她新开的海鲜饭馆很满意。一开始,生意很清淡,但是最近两个月来生意越来越好。现在你要座位还得排队等。
例句 2 :The latest polls show that public opinion is starting to snowball in favor of our opponent. We need to find some more good things to say about our candidate and find them quick.
最近民意调查显示,选民越来越倾向于我们的对手了。我们必须再找些有利于我们候选人的内容来加以宣扬,而且还要尽快地行动。
242、snow job
Snow job就是用拍马屁、夸张等手法来欺骗或说服别人。我们来举一个例子:在美国,人人都要买各种各样的保险;健康、房子、汽车保险等。那些保险公司的推销员靠着他们三寸不烂之舌向顾客推销,说的天花乱坠,你一不小心就会上当。
例句 1 :This guy kept telling me how much I’d save with his company. But when I read the policy he was selling, I realized he was giving me a snow job. So I told him thanks but no thanks.
这个人一再对我说,要是买他们公司的保险我会省多少钱。但是,当我看了他推销的保险政策后,我才明白他是在骗我。所以我告诉他,谢谢,我不要。
例句 2 :That new man who’s running for Congress makes a lot of promises what he’ll do for the people. But I keep having this uneasy feeling that he’s only giving us a snow job.
那个刚参加竞选国会议员的人做了许多保证,说他以后要为公众做些什么事。但是,我总感到不安,觉得他只不过是在欺骗我们。
243、to break the ice
To break就是打破的意思,ice 当然就是冰的意思。To break the ice 作为俗语是指:缓和紧张气氛,使在场的人放松一些。
例句 1 :He started the meeting with a couple of jokes to get people to relax. Then he went around the table and asked everybody to stand up and tell a little about themselves and that broke the ice in a hurry.
他 (这是指会议主席)一开始就讲了两个笑话,让大家放松一些。然后,他围着桌子让每个人站起来简单地自我介绍一。这样很快就使气氛缓和了。
例句 2 :It’s hard to break the ice at a party for adults where everybody is a stranger. But you put a bunch of young kids together and the noise tells you they break the ice in five minutes.
一群互不相识的成人聚在一起,要缓和气氛可不容易。但是,要是一群孩子在一起,只要五分钟他们就很融洽了,从他们的吵闹声中你就可以知道这一点。
244、iceberg
Iceberg的原意是:在南北极附近海面上飘动的大冰山。但是,在当做俗语用的时候,iceberg是指一个人很冷漠无情,缺乏正常人的热情,就像下面例子里说的那个人。
例句 1 :My boss is the smartest man I know. But he’s a real iceberg: he acts like he has no feelings for other people. In fact you can almost feel the chill when he walks into the office.
我的老板是我所认识的人当中最聪敏的一个。但是,他真是个冷漠无情的人。他好像对别人毫无感情。当他走进办公室的时候,你几乎会感到一股冷气。
例句 2 :We thought our neighbor next door was a real iceberg, cold and aloof to us all. But at his daughter’s wedding he wore a big smile and was so friendly I couldn’t believe he was the same man.
我们都认为我们隔壁的邻居是个很冷漠的人,对我们大家都很冷淡。但是,在他的女儿婚礼上,他笑容满面,非常友好。我真是难以相信他是同一个人。
245、where-is-the-beef
自从电视普及以来,人们往往会把一些电视广告里特别吸引人的词句用到日常生活中去。几年前在美国,有一个快餐店在电视上做广告,广告里是一个老太太在另一家快餐店里买了一个汉堡宝。她打开一看里面只有小小的一块肉。她既惊奇,又生气地问:“Where’s the beef?” Beef 就是牛肉,where’s the beef?也就是:牛肉在哪里?意思就是:这个汉堡包里的牛肉太少。几乎在一夜之间,人们就把这个电视广告里的问句用到日常生活中去了。连民主党总统候选人蒙代尔在1984年总统竞选时都用这句话来攻击他的对手里根总统。里根当时已经担任了四年总统,正在竞选连任。蒙代尔认为里根在任职四年期间没有取得实质性的成就,所以他在竞选演说问了这样一句话:
例句 1 :Where’s the beef,Mr. President — where’s the beef?
从字面上来翻译,这句话的意思是:牛肉在那里,总统先生–牛肉在那里? 当然,蒙代尔并非真的要牛肉。他说那句的意思是:你不要尽说空话,我们要看实质性的成就。可是这句话并没有帮蒙代尔的忙,里根总统在那次选举中非但打败了蒙代尔,而且还赢得了美国有史以来空前的竞选胜利。
例句 2 :Our history teacher is a good talker but there isn’t much real meat about history in what he says. I’d like to ask him, ‘Where’s the beef?’ because we sure don’t learn much from him.
我们的历史老师很能夸夸其谈,但是他说的东西里没有什么实质性的内容。我真想问问他,实质性的内容在那里,因为我们真是没有从他那里学到多少东西。
246、turkey farm
Turkey是火鸡,farm就是农场。但是,turkey farm合在一起作为俗语用的时候和农场却毫无关系。在每个政府机构或者私营公司里总会有一些工作能力低或者是不愿勤恳工作的人;但是,由于种种原因,领导又没有办法解雇这些人。为了使工作不受影响,这些机构的领导往往把这些人调到一个地方,就像打入冷宫一样。实际上也就是把他们养在那里。这种地方就是叫turkey farm。
例句 1 :The man is so incompetent we’d like to fire him. But he has good political connections so we sent him to our turkey farm out in Denver where he can’t cause much damage.
那个人实在无能,我们很想解雇他。但是他和一些政界人物关系很好,所以我们就把他送到丹佛那个机构里去,那样他就不能再起多大破坏作用了。
例句 2 :There is a secretary in my office who tries to do as little as possible. I have warned her several times. If she continues to behave that way, one day I am going to send her to the turkey farm.
我办公室里的一个秘书总是设法干得越少越好。我已经警告她好几回了。 要是她继续这样下去的话,总有一天我要把她送到那个全是废物的部门去。
247、sitting duck
Duck就是鸭子。一只正在飞的鸭子可不容易打到它;然而一只浮在水面上的鸭子却是一个很容易击中的目标。Sitting duck 从字面上解释就是:一只坐着的鸭子;作为一个俗语,它的意思是:一个很容易受骗,或被打击的对象。
例句 1 :Sure. My friend Joe is a sitting duck for any phony offer that promises to make him rich in a hurry. Anytime a fast-talking salesman comes along with a promise to make Joe a millionaire overnight, Joe will hand over his money. And, of course, he’ll never see it again.
我的朋友乔伊对任何说是能让他很快发财的骗局都相信。只要那些滔滔不绝的推销员向他保证他们能够一夜间使他成为百万富翁,不管是谁,他都会把钱交给他们。当然,这些钱他是再也见不到了。
例句2 :It was early on a Sunday morning and the Americans had no warning. So the battleships and destroyers were sitting ducks when the Japanese bombers swept in from the sea.
那是一个星期天的清晨,美国人根本没有得到警告。所以当日本轰炸机从海上飞来的时候,那些战舰和驱逐舰只能束手待毙。(讲得是珍珠港的事)
248、dead duck
就像我们上面所说的,一个sitting duck是很容易被骗或甚至受到伤害。有时它甚至会处于一个毫无希望的境地,给予它任何帮助都无济于事。美国人把这种情况称为:dead duck。Dead就是死的意思,一只死的鸭子当然就是没救的了。
例句 1 :If I were you, I wouldn’t put any more money into the restaurant. It’s simply in the wrong part of town. Honey, I’m afraid it’s already a dead duck — there isn’t any way to save it.
如果我是你,我就不会再为这个餐馆投资了。它的地段不好。亲爱的,恐怕这个饭馆是已经完蛋了,没有任何方法可以挽救了。
Dead duck这个俗语可以用在生活的各个方面。美国的政界人物也经常使用这个俗语。凡是美国总统提出的法案都必须获得国会参议院和众议院的通过才能成为法律。
例句 2 :The President’s proposal looks like a dead duck — some congressmen in his own party are against it, so I’m afraid he won’t get enough votes to get it passed through the Congress.
总统的提案看来是没有希望了,连他自己党内的议员都反对,所以他恐怕不能获得足够的票数使得这一提案在国会通过。
249、chicken out
To chicken out的意思是:你原来计划好要做一件事,但是到最后一分钟你害怕了,感到你不能做那件事了。To chicken out也可以说是临阵退却。这种现象可能出现在许多方面,而且几乎每个人都在不同情况下经历过。比如说,一个从来没有在许多人面前讲过话的人接受了演讲的邀请。在准备过程中,他满有信心,感到自己虽然没有经验,但是不会有问题的。可是等到真要上台的前一刻,他的两条腿发软了,心里感到很恐惧,认为自己不可能完成这个任务。这就是to chicken out。
例句 1 :Today I was sure I could work up my courage and dive off the ten-meter board at the pool. I walked right out to the edge, but then I chickened out — it looked like a long way down to the water!
我原来以为今天我肯定会鼓足了勇气从游泳池那个十米高的跳台上跳下去。可是,当我走到跳台边缘的时候我害怕了。从跳台到水面的距离看起来好远呐。
例句 2 : My friend Joe was planning to get married for the fourth time. But at the last moment he chickened out because his first three marriages ended in divorce and he was afraid to take another chance.
我的朋友乔伊原来准备要第四次结婚。可是,到了最后一分钟他胆怯了,因为他结过三次婚,最后结局都是离婚,所以他怕这次又会不成功。
美国的离婚率很高,因此再婚的人确实不少。但是,结四次婚的人毕竟还是少数。
250、chicken feed
鸡是一种很小的家禽,它的胃当然也很小,吃不了太多东西。chicken feed就是来自这种现象。Feed 在这儿的意思就是喂鸡的饲料。Chicken feed作为俗语,它的意思就是:很小数量的钱,少得像喂鸡的饲料一样。
例句 1 :I turned down the job at the hamburger restaurant. They only pay chicken feed — not even enough money to pay my rent.
我没有接受那个汉堡包店的工作。他们付的工资实在太少,还不够我付房租呢。
例句 2 :My grandfather says that 50 years ago a salary of $5,000 a year meant you could live very comfortably. But these days $5,000 is just chicken feed; you’d have a tough time just surviving on it.
我祖父说,五十年前,一年五千美元的工资意味着你可以生活的非常舒服。可是,现在五千美元年薪真是微不足道,难以维持生活。

5 thoughts on “Useful Idoms(轉載6)

  1. Hello there, I discovered your website by means of Google whilst searching for a related subject, your web site came up, it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Comments are closed.