英語成語園地-動物篇

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(like) a bear garden
喧鬧吵雜的地方。
Our office is a bear garden whenever the boss is away. (每當老闆一走,我們的辦公室就鬧翻了天)
This classroom is like a bear garden when the teacher is away. (老師不在的時候,教室就鬧哄哄)

a big fish in a small/little pond
小池塘裡的大魚;小地方的大人物;矮子裡的高個子。
He wasn't so important in the big city but in the small town he is a big fish in a small pond.

a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
一鳥在手勝過二鳥在林;未到手的東西再好也不如已到手的東西。
You should keep the prize and not try and win another one. Remember a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

a bird's-eye view (of)
鳥瞰;概觀。
Let's go up onto the roof and get a bird's-eye view of the surrounding area.

a bug in one's ear
一項暗示;一項構想。
You put a bug in his ear about a holiday to France and he won't stop talking about it.

(like) a bull in a china shop
笨手笨腳到處闖禍者;動輒闖禍者;莽莽撞撞的人。
He is like a bull in a china shop so you should be careful if you invite him to your house for the weekend.

a can of worms
複雜的問題;複雜的情況。
It opened up a large can of worms when the company decided to talk about the union contract.

a dark horse
黑馬;可能爆出冷門者;知名度不高的候選人。
He was a dark horse in the race to be President until he gave some good speeches on TV.

a dead duck
沒有希望的人。
He is a dead duck. When the police find him he will have to go to jail.

a feather in one's cap
榮譽;成就;值得自豪的事。

Winning the speech contest was a feather in his cap and we are very proud of him.

  

a flea in one's ear
刺耳的話;不受歡迎的構想或答覆。
I think that I put a flea in his ear when I told him about the computer problems.

a/the fly in the ointment
令人掃興的事或人;美中不足之處。
His complaints about the food were a fly in the ointment and gave everyone a bad feeling about the gathering. 

a lone wolf
獨立自主的人;獨來獨往的人 (尤指喜歡獨居或自己一個人做事的人)

Although she is a lone wolf, we all like her very much. (雖然她是個獨來獨往的人,但我們都非常喜歡她)
Nobody knows for certain what sort of person he is - he's rather a lone wolf. (沒有人確切知道他是個怎麼樣的人 -- 他不大跟周遭的人來往)


a piggy in the middle
夾在爭吵雙方中間而處境為難的人;處於對立雙方之間而無能為力的人
John's mother and his wife are always arguing violently, and he is a piggy in the middle and usually suffers the effects of their disagreement. (約翰的母親和他太太婆媳不和,老是激烈爭吵,而他夾在中間處境為難,經常吃苦頭)

a snake in the grass
居心叵測的人;心懷不軌的人
Kevin is a real snake in the grass. (凱文完全是個居心叵測的人)
Don't be deceived by her sweet words; that babe is totally a snake in the grass. (不要被她的花言巧語所欺騙;那個美眉十足是個心懷不軌的人)


a whale of a time
美好或令人愉快的時光。
It was the best holiday ever! My wife and I had a whale of a time!

a wolf in sheep's clothing
披著羊皮的狼;貌善心毒的人。
Be careful of that man. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

alley cat
野貓
He began to feed the alley cat and now it comes to his house every day.

as the crow flies
成直線地;直線距離地。
As the crow flies it is about six kilometers between here and the cinema. 或 It is about six kilometers between here and the cinema as the crow flies.

back the wrong horse
支持錯了對象。
I don't want to back the wrong horse, but it seems to me that Jed is the better candidate. (我不想支持錯對象,但我看傑德似乎是比較好的候選人)
Bill backed the wrong horse in the budget hearings. (比爾在預算聽證會上支持錯了對象)

bark up the wrong tree
錯怪了人;找錯了目標。
He is barking up the wrong tree. He accuses me of causing the computer problem but I was away at the time.

be for the birds
荒唐可笑的;無趣無聊的;愚蠢的。
This movie is for the birds. Let's leave now and go and have something to eat.

be no spring chicken
(特指女子) 不再年輕;不是年輕的女子。spring chicken:年輕的女子。
I don't know how old she is but she is definitely no spring chicken.

be the cat's whiskers
了不起的人物、東西或主意。
Our school principal thinks she's the cat's whiskers. (我們校長自以為是個了不起的人物)
My new manager thinks he is the cat's whiskers though he is no better than the last one. (我新來的經理並不比上任經理來得強,但他卻自以為了不得
)

bell the cat
冒險;做危險的事。
No one was ready to bell the cat. (誰都不願意冒險)
All the employees wanted a pay raise, but nobody offered to bell the cat and talked to their boss. (所有員工都想要加薪,但卻沒人自告奮勇去跟老板談)

bet on the wrong horse/back the wrong horse
判斷錯誤;押錯了寶;支持了失敗的對象。
He is betting on the wrong horse if he keeps supporting the other city in their bid for the games.

birds of a feather flock together ( 常略作:birds of a feather)
物以類聚;一丘之貉。
Don't complain about your friends. Remember birds of a feather flock together. They are just like you.

buy a pig in a poke
未好好看一看就買下來:瞎買東西。
You can buy the used radio if you want but it will be like buying a pig in a poke.

can talk the hind legs off a donkey/mule
講個不停;講起話來就沒完沒了;講得太久。
He can talk the hind legs off  a donkey, so 2 hours on the phone is easy.

cash cow
搖錢樹;賺錢良方。
The new business is a great cash cow. We are making a lot of money now.

cast pearls before swine
對牛彈琴;對不會心存感激的人施惠。
Giving that jewellery to her will be casting pearls before swine. She will not appreciate it at all.

cat gets one's tongue
害羞得說不出話來。
The cat must have got her tongue. She did not saying anything at all.

change horses in midstream
中途變卦 (尤指臨時決定支持另一方);陣前換將。
They have decided to change lawyers but I told them that they shouldn't change horses in midstream.

clip one's wings
限制某人的權力或影響力;約束或抑制某人。
We had to try and clip his wings as he was becoming too aggressive in dealing with other people.

(the) cock of the walk
土皇帝;在小天地作威作福或稱王稱霸的人。
Being the special assistant to the chairman, he is (the) cock of the walk in our company.

cold fish
孤僻的人;不友善的人。
He is a real cold fish and has no friends at his company at all.

cook one's goose
毀了... 的前程;把事情搞砸了。
They really cooked their goose when they fought against their employer and lost.

(Don't) count one's chickens before they're hatched
(別) 高興得太早了。
Don't count your chickens before they're hatched - remember you haven't passed your exams yet and may not get the job you expect.

cry wolf
喊「狼來了」;發假警報。
He is crying wolf. There is no real danger or worry about the electrical system causing a fire.

curiosity killed the cat
好奇賈禍;好管閒事往往惹來一身麻煩。
You shouldn't worry about what he is doing. Remember curiosity killed the cat.

dog-eat-dog
殘酷無情的競爭;你死我活的搏鬥。
It is a dog-eat-dog world outside the father said to his young son.

donkey's years
很長的時間。
I talked to my friend for a long time because I hadn't seen her in donkey's years.

duck soup
輕而易舉的事情。
The exam was duck soup. I am sure that I did very well.

dumb bunny
愚笨的人;容易受騙的人。
He really is a dumb bunny. I can't believe that he can do such stupid things.

eager beaver
工作勤奮的人。
She is a real eager beaver and I am sure she will do very well in this company.

eat crow
(被迫)認錯、認輸、收回自己說過的話;忍氣吞聲。
He was forced to eat crow when he found out that what he said was totally wrong.

eat like a bird
吃得很少;食量很小。
He must be sick as he has been eating like a bird during the last few weeks.

eat like a horse
吃得很多;食量很大。
Her brother who is 18 years old eats like a horse.

every dog has his day
人人皆有得意之日;好人終有好報,惡人終有惡報。
Don't worry about him. Every dog has his day and he will eventually suffer for all the bad things that he is doing.

feather one's nest
中飽私囊;營私自肥。
He had been feathering his own nest for years so he finally was replaced in the election.

fight like cat and dog
激烈爭吵 (尤指經常發生者)。
We get on very well as adults but as kids we fought like cat and dog. (我們長大後相處非常融洽,但小時候我們經常爭吵不休)
Frank and his wife still love each other very much. But they fight like cat and dog. (法蘭克和他太太彼此仍很相愛,但他們經常大吵大鬧)

flog a dead horse
徒勞無功;白費力氣。
Invest in shares and the chances are you'll be flogging a dead horse.

get on one's high horse
盛氣凌人;怒氣沖沖。注意:若 on 改為 off,意為「變得謙恭;不再動怒」(見下面的例句)。
She is always getting on her high horse and telling people what to do.
I wish that she would get off her high horse and begin to think about how other people feel about things.

get someone's goat
使人惱火。
She is always complaining about the way I do things which gets my goat.

flip/give someone the bird
(對某人) 比中指。
If he'd shouted at me like that I'd have flipped him the bird. (如果他像那樣對我大發雷霆,我會對他比中指)
Somebody gave the cop the bird. (有人對那位警察比中指)

註:這成語原意為「對 (演員等) 喝倒采,發出噓聲」,但此意思已過時。除 flip/give someone the bird 外,我們亦可用 flip someone off, give someone the finger 來表達完全相同的意思。

go ape
怒不可遏;抓狂發飆。
He will go ape if he sees that you have not finished the work that was due today.

go whole hog
全力以赴;幹到底;事情做得很徹底。
They went whole hog in their effort to make sure that the convention was a success.

have a frog in one's throat (also: there is a frog in one's throat, with a frog in one's throat)
因喉嚨痛而嗓音沙啞。
I have a bad cold and there is a frog in my throat.

have bats in the belfry
瘋狂地;古怪地。
I think that he has bats in the belfry. His ideas are absolutely crazy.

have other fish to fry
另有更重要的事要做。
They wanted me to join them on this project but I told them I had other fish to fry.

hit the bull's-eye
正中要害;直指重點。
I think that he really hit the bull's-eye when he talked about the problems with the regular staff.

hold one's horses
別急,等一下。
Hold your horses for a moment while I make a phone call.

in a pig's eye
不太可能;幾乎不。
In a pig's eye he will be able to save enough money to go to Hawaii for the winter.

in the doghouse (with)
失寵於;受...冷待。
He is in the doghouse with his wife because he went out drinking three times last week.

kill the fatted calf
設宴款待某人。
When John left the army, his parents killed the fatted calf and threw a great party. (當約翰退伍時,他的父母盛宴款待並舉辦一場盛大的派對)
Sorry this meal isn't much, Mary. We didn't have time to kill the fatted calf. (瑪麗,抱歉,這一餐並不豐盛。我們沒有時間設宴款待妳)

註:這成語源自聖經中浪子回頭的故事。浪子回家時,父親不但原諒他還盛宴款待:「把那頭小肥牛牽來宰了」。

kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
殺雞取卵;斷絕財路。
They sold part of their business but it was the most profitable part. I think that they have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs.

kill two birds with one stone
一石兩鳥;一箭雙雕;一舉兩得。
Let's have the meeting when we are in town so we can kill two birds with one stone.

let sleeping dogs lie
睡狗勿惹;不要惹是生非;不要自找麻煩。
You should let sleeping dogs lie and not ask him any questions about the argument.

let the cat out of the bag
(無意中) 洩漏秘密;說溜了嘴;露出馬腳。
She let the cat out of the bag when she began talking about the plans for the new department.

like a bat out of hell
飛快地。
He left here like a bat out of hell. I don't know why he was in such a hurry.

(feel) like a fish out of water
像離水的魚;(因處在陌生環境而) 感到不自在或尷尬。
She felt like a fish out of water when she went to the party in her formal dress while everyone else was wearing jeans. 

like a lamb to the slaughter
(如待宰羔羊一般) 大禍臨頭或凶多吉少而渾然不知。
Robert went on a trip to Indonesia like a lamb to the slaughter. (羅伯特去印尼旅遊,似乎不知此行凶多吉少)
The job candidates are being called out individually for interviews like lambs to the slaughter. (求職者有如待宰羔羊被請去進行單獨面試)

like water off a duck's back
不起作用;毫無影響。
Criticism falls away from him like water off a duck's back and he never worries about anything.

live high off/on the hog
過舒適奢華的生活。
After they discovered oil on their land, they lived pretty high off the hog. (在他們的土地被發現石油後,他們就過著相當舒適奢華的生活)
He was a billionaire who lived high on the hog at all times. (他以前是億萬富豪,一直過著舒適奢華的生活)

live like a fighting cock
(像鬥雞一樣) 吃最好的東西;過奢華的生活;養尊處優;吃得好,睡得跑。
My aunt is a very good cook, and I live like a fighting cock whenever I stay with her. (我姑媽很會做菜,在她家做客的日子我總是吃得很好,過得舒服極了)

註:這成語原指鬥雞受到主人精心照料,吃得很好。

lock the barn door after the house is gone /lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
亡羊補牢。
Now he wants to try and fix his house but it is like locking the barn door after the horse is gone. There was already a flood and the damage is done.

look a gift horse in the mouth
對禮物吹毛求疵。
He shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth and should be happy that he got a present from her.

look like a drowned rat
全身濕透;濕得像落湯雞 (尤指在大雨中被淋濕)。
My father had to fix the fences in the storm and looked like a drowned rat. (我父親必須在暴風雨中修理籬笆,他渾身濕透,像隻落湯雞)
Kevin had to cycle home in the rain and came in looking like a drowned rat. (凱文必須冒雨騎腳踏車回家,進門時全身濕得像隻落湯雞)

look like the cat that swallowed the canary
一副非常成功的樣子;一副非常滿足的樣子。
You look like the cat that swallowed the canary. What happened?

mad as a hornet
非常生氣。
He was as mad as a hornet when he came to work this morning.

make a beeline for
直奔...而去。
Whenever he goes to a football game he always makes a beeline for the food stand.

make a monkey/fool (out) of someone
愚弄 (某人);使 (某人) 出醜。
Jack made a monkey out of himself while trying to make a fool out of Paul. (傑克想要捉弄保羅,反而讓自己出醜了)
Her husband's always getting drunk and making a fool of himself at parties. (她先生老是在宴會上喝醉而使自己出醜)

make a mountain out of a molehill
大驚小怪;小題大作。
You are making a mountain out of a molehill with your going on and on about his mistake.

monkey/funny business
搞鬼;胡鬧;惡作劇。
He should stop that monkey business and try to do the job the correct way.

neither fish nor fowl
非驢非馬;不倫不類。
I don't know what you should call it. It is neither fish nor fowl.

one's bark is worse than one's bite
口惡心善;脾氣雖暴躁,內心無惡意。
You shouldn't worry about her. Her bark is worse than her bite and she is really a very nice person.

one's chickens come home to roost
惡有惡報;得到了報應;自作自受。
He was very inconsiderate of other people when he was supervisor. Now his chickens have come home to roost and people are very unkind to him.

play cat and mouse with someone
捉弄或矇騙某人。
He is playing a cat and mouse game with his company about his plans to quit or not.

(as) proud as a peacock
自鳴得意;得意洋洋;非常高傲。
He was proud as a peacock when he passed his driving test in the first attempt.

put/set the cart before the horse
本末倒置;倒果為因。
I think that buying a ticket before we make any plans is putting the cart before the horse.

put/set the cat among the pigeons
引起麻煩;惹出亂子;捅出摟子。
The mayor did not realize that he put the cat among the pigeons with his last speech. (市長沒意識到他上次的演說引起了軒然大波)
The girl set the cat among the pigeons at home when she said she was pregnant. (這少女說她懷孕了,此話一出,全家人都不知所措)

(as) quiet as a mouse
(指人) 非常安靜;悄然無聲。
Ivy was as quiet as a mouse. I didn't even know she'd come in. (艾薇非常安靜。我甚至不知道她已經進來)
My husband was as quiet as a mouse last night. (我先生昨晚一言不發,安靜得很)

rain cats and dogs
傾盆大雨。
It has been raining cats and dogs all day.

ride herd on
嚴密監視及控制某人。
He has been riding herd on his employees so that he can get the job done in time.

run (a)round like a scalded cat; run (a)round like a blue-arsed fly
忙得團團轉
Mary's been running around like a scalded cat making preparations for her visitors. (瑪麗為準備迎接客人一直忙得團團轉)
Fiona is always running round like a blue-arsed fly yet she seems to get very little work done! (菲歐娜老是忙得團團轉,但她似乎做得很少!)

separate/sort out the sheep from the goats
辨別好人與壞人;區分良莠。
What the company needed was a new CEO who would separate the sheep from the goats and show to the employees that dishonesty would no longer be tolerated. (這家公司所需的是 一位新的執行長,此人要能辨別好人與壞人,並且要向員工表明,再也不會容忍詐欺行為)
I'll look through the application forms and sort out the sheep from the goats. (我會仔細看這些申請表並區分良莠)

(as) sick as a dog
病得很重;嘔吐得非常厲害。
We've never been so ill. The whole family was sick as dogs. (我們從未生過這麼重的病。全家都病得很重)
Sam was as sick as a dog and couldn't go to the party. (山姆病得很重,無法參加派對) 

sitting duck
亦被射中的目標;易受批評的對象。
The soldier should move from that window. He is like a sitting duck for the enemy. 

(as) slippery as an eel
(指人) 滑頭的;不可信賴的。
You'd be mad to go into business with Tony. He's as slippery as an eel. (你一定是瘋了才跟東尼做生意。他不可信賴)
I advise you not to do business with Jack. He's as slippery as an eel. (我勸你別和傑克做生意。他滑頭得很)

smell a rat
感到事情不妙;覺得可疑。
I smell a rat. There is something wrong with his relationship to the bankers. 

stir up a hornet's nest
捅了馬蜂窩;惹了一大堆麻煩;引發眾怒。
He really stirred up a hornet's nest when he went to the meeting and started talking about the garbage problem.

straight/right from the horse's mouth
從有關人員或源頭直接得知。
I heard straight from the horse's mouth that she will be leaving the company next week. 

(the) straw that broke the camel's back
導致失敗、毀滅等的最後一個因素;壓死駱駝的最後一根稻草。
Her accusing me of not working hard enough was the straw that broke the camel's back so I finally asked for a transfer to another section of the company. 

take the bull by the horns
大膽而果斷地採取行動。
My aunt decided to take the bull by the horns and begin preparations for the family reunion. 

the birds and (the) bees
性知識。
He learned about the birds and bees in his health education class at school.

(do) the donkey work
(做) 繁重的體力工作;單調乏味的苦差事。
If you tell him to take it easy, he'll sit back and let you do all the donkey work.

the early bird catches the worm
早起的鳥而有蟲吃。
Let's leave about six o'clock in the morning. Remember the early bird catches the worm.

the elephant in the room
目前存在或顯而易見、但不被承認或被忽視的棘手問題;目前存在或顯而易見、但人們不願提及或討論或者故意裝作不知道的棘手問題。
The youngest son of our boss had broken one of the windows in our office. However, we had been too embarrassed to mention it to our boss. Two days later He decided to address the elephant in the room by admitting that his son had indeed broken the window. (老闆的么兒打破了我們辦公室一個窗戶。但我們都不好意思跟老闆提這件事。兩天後,他承認的確是他兒子打破了窗戶,因而解決了這個大家都不願提及的棘手問題)
There was an elephant in the living room this morning when our boss held a meeting with a black eye, but did not say anything about what had happened. (今天早上當我們老闆帶著黑眼圈主持會議,但又隻字未提發生什麼事時,大家也裝作什麼事都沒發生) - 員工裝傻,可能的原因之一是,他們心知肚明,老闆昨晚肯定又遭到他那位母老虎老婆飽以一頓老拳。

註:有時亦用 the elephant in the living room 來表示。大家對這樣的問題裝作不知道、視若無睹,不願去碰觸,最大的原因當然是怕惹禍上身或招來不必要的麻煩。

the pecking order
社會階級;權力階級。
I have not worked there very long so I don't really understand the pecking order yet.

the/a rat race
(尤指在大城市或商界) 激烈的競爭。
He is tired of living in the rat race every day and plans to quit his job soon and do something else.

the world is someone's oyster
世界屬於某人;意氣風發;某人生活上能獲得種種機遇。
When you graduate from university the world will be your oyster so don't worry about the future.

there are plenty more fish in the sea
天涯何處無芳草 (用來安慰失戀的人)。
Although there are plenty more fish in the sea, I haven't really got over her yet. (雖然天涯何處無芳草,但我真的還忘不了她)

there's more than one way to skin a cat
達到同樣目的的辦法多的是;解決問題或辦事情有很多方法。
Our first approach didn't work, but we'll figure out some other way. There's more than one way to skin a cat. (我們的第一個方法行不通,但我們會想出其他辦法。達到同樣目的的辦法多的是)
John: How will we fix the sink without a wrench? Mary: There's more than one way to skin a cat. (約翰:沒有活動扳手,我們要怎麼修理洗碗槽呢?瑪麗:解決問題的辦法又不是只有一種而已)

註:這成語的字面意思為「要剥一隻貓的皮,不只一種方法而已」。

throw someone to the lions/wolves
把某人置於險境;嫁禍給某人。
He decided to throw his co-worker to the wolves when he asked him to go and see the other company.

till/until the cows come home
沒完沒了地;無限期地。
We can talk until the cows come home this weekend at the lake.

turn tail
轉身就逃 (就跑、就走以避開麻煩或危險)。
We decided to turn tail and leave the pub before there was a fight.

ugly duckling
醜小鴨 (指小時並不引人注意,但長大後卻非常出色或出眾的人)。
She was really an ugly duckling when she was a child but now she is quite beautiful. 

watch someone or something like a hawk
密切監視某人或某物。
The teacher watched the pupils like a hawk to make sure they did not cheat on the exam. (老師密切監視學生以確定他們考試不會作弊)
We had to watch our dog like a hawk in case he ran away. (我們必須密切監視我們的狗以防牠跑掉)

(as) weak as a kitten/baby
身體很虛弱;身體沒有力氣。
Two months of illness left the athlete as weak as a kitten. (長達兩個月的臥病床榻,使得這位運動員的身體非常虛弱)
Henry is as weak as a baby because he doesn't eat well. (由於吃不下,亨利身體虛弱,沒有力氣)

when/while the cat's away the mice will play
貓不在,老鼠就作怪;山中無老虎,猴子稱大王。
Do you think it's wise to leave the children alone for so long? You know, when the cat's away. (你認為讓孩子獨處這麼長的時間行得通嗎? 你知道,貓不在,老鼠就作怪)
The boss is away on business and the employees are so happy because while the cat's away the mice will play. (老闆出差,員工都很高興,因為山中無老虎,猴子稱大王)

註:這句經常縮略為 when/while the cat's away。

wildcat strike
工人自發性地突然罷工。
There was a wildcat strike at the factory and over 100 people walked off the job.

with one's tail between one's legs
夾著尾巴;垂頭喪氣。
He left the meeting with his tail between his legs after he was criticized by the president.

work like a dog/horse/slave
做牛做馬般地幹活;拼命工作;辛勤工作。
I've been working like a dog. (我一直辛勤地工作)
I'm too old to work like a horse. (我太老了,不能再拼命工作)

would not hurt/harm a fly
連蒼蠅也不會傷害;性情溫和 (指外表看起來兇巴巴的人或獸)。
Don't be afraid of my dog; he wouldn't hurt a fly.

[回到英語成語園地]