Back to the Garden of English Idioms
|in for a penny, in for a pound|
He was found
stealing money from his landlady by her daughter. "In for a penny, in for a
pound," he muttered to himself and then killed the little girl.
|not have (or without) a penny to one's name; not have two halfpennies to rub together; (as) poor as a church mouse; not have a bean; not have (or without) a red cent|
When I got
married I didn't have a penny to my name.
That family never seem to have two halfpennies to rub together.
I am sorry, I can't lend you anything -- I haven't got a red cent.
|kill two birds with one stone|
one of my classmates in university, lives near my mother, I'll call in on
him as well and kill two birds with one stone.
situation in the Taiwan Strait is far from being plain sailing.
|get on like a house on fire (英) / get along like a house on fire (美)|
If two people
get on/along like a house on fire, they like each other very much and become
friends very quickly.
I was worried that they wouldn't like each other, but in fact they're getting on/along like a house on fire.
|not worth a damn|
isn't worth a damn.
|hit the nail on the head|
He hit he nail
on the head when he mentioned casual sex as being the cause of her coming
down with AIDS.
|in a nutshell|
There's a lot I
could say about my boss's speech but to put it in a nutshell, it was
|turn up one's toes|
I hope to take a
trip to the United States before I turn up my toes.
|dot one's/the i's and cross one's/the t's|
make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's if you want to work at that
company. They're very keen on details.
|in a state of nature; in the altogether; in the buff; not have a stitch on (or without a stitch on)|
I had just got
out of the bath and still was in the buff (or in the altogether/in a state
of nature) when the maid walked in without knocking.
I had just got out of the bath when he knocked at the door and I didn't have a stitch on.
|as like as two peas (in a pod)|
If two brothers
or two sisters are very much alike, you can say they are as like as two peas
in a pod.
|set the Thames on fire (英) / set the world on fire (美)|
Mary may set the
Thames on fire with her piano playing.
His great invention set the world on fire.
|up the creek (without a paddle)|
He was really up
the creek when his wife left him.
|birds of a feather (flock together); be tarred with the same brush|
We all thought
that he and his girlfriend were birds of a feather.
I dislike politicians of all parties because they're all tarred with the same brush.
|a stone's throw|
My house is only
a stone's throw from the school.
|go/take one's own way|
I warned him not
to marry that girl, but he was determined to go his own way.
|a little knowledge|
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
|fall in love (with someone) at first sight; love at first sight (這裡 "love" 為名詞)|
They fell in love with each other at first
They fell in love at once; it was love at first sight.
|(as) clear as crystal; (as) clear as a bell|
I don't know why you can't understand the
instructions; they're as clear as crystal to me.
The whole thing was as clear as a bell to me. I knew what to do.
|be all Greek to someone|
He tried to explain how the computer worked,
but it was all Greek to me.
|A white complexion is powerful enough to hide seven faults.|
A white complexion is powerful enough to
hide seven faults.
|once bitten, twice shy|
He has cheated
and deceived me on one occasion, so I don't trust him. Once bitten, twice
|no man can serve two masters|
know that no man can serve two masters, so you cannot work for two competing
companies at the same time. (我們都知道，一臣不事二君，所以你不可能同時為兩家相互競爭的公司工作)
Daniel tried going to school and working, both full-time, but soon discovered that he could not serve two masters. (丹尼爾嘗試同時全職地兼顧學業與工作，但不久就發現到魚與熊掌無法兼得)
|the devil finds work for idle hands|
devil finds work for idle hands" is what your mother says to you when she
finds you watching television, rather than doing your homework!
When Paul was young his parents warned him that the devil finds work for idle hands. (保羅年輕時，他父母親就告誡他，一閒生百邪，無聊起壞心)
|one swallow doesn't make a summer|
When you say
that one swallow does not make a summer, what you mean is that just because
something good has happened, it doesn't mean good things will continue to
|laughter is the best medicine|
It seems that
the old adage is true
is the best medicine. (「一笑祛百病」這句古諺似乎屢試不爽)
|it takes two to tango|
blames Amy for stealing her husband. Well, it takes two to tango.
Student: "He hit me first; it wasn't my fault!" (學生：「他先打我；那不是我的錯」)
Teacher: "It takes two to tango." (老師：「一個銅板敲不響」)
|a drop in the ocean/bucket|
The money we
collected for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster is really
just a drop in the ocean.
|live beyond one's means|
My father always
told me not to live beyond my means. (家父總是叮嚀我別入不敷出)
|when in Rome, do as the Romans do|
A lot of people
often say "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."
|nine times out of ten|
When my wife
comes home from work, nine times out of ten she buys me an evening
|be in the bag|
We're sure to
win. The match is in the bag.
|the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (這兩句的上半句 "the spirit is willing" 和下半句 "the flesh is weak" 常被分開單獨使用)|
When I asked him
for help yesterday, he said "my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak."
|a wolf in sheep's clothing|
Jack until one day she was cheated by him, and realized that
he was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
|appearances are often deceptive|
often deceptive" is a commonly used idiom, meaning things are not always
what they seem to be.
|needs must when the devil drives|
You can say
"Needs must when the devil drives" when you must act in a certain way or do
a particular thing (because it cannot be avoided).
|beggars can't be choosers|
I asked Tom to
lend me his bicycle, and he sent me this old, rusty one. But beggars can't
be choosers. (我要湯姆將他的腳踏車借給我，而他卻送來這台老舊又生鏽的腳踏車。沒辦法，人在屋簷下，不得不低頭。)
Mary: Let me wear your green dress; I don't like the blue one you lent me. Alice: Beggars can't be choosers. (瑪麗：我要穿妳的綠色洋裝；我不喜歡妳借我的那件藍色的。愛麗絲：人在屋簷下，不得不低頭。)
be choosers. 有「人在屋簷下，不得不低頭」和「飢不擇食」這兩個意思，所以翻譯時端賴上下文的意思而定。
|there's safety in numbers|
We decided to go
to see the boss together; there's safety in numbers. (我們決定一起去找老板，人多膽壯。)
Working on the principle that there's safety in numbers, we decided we should all go and complain together. (基於人多勢眾的原理，我們決定應該一起去投訴。)
|the bird has flown|
Paul owed me a
lot of money. When I went to his house yesterday, hoping to get my money
back, the bird had flown. (保羅欠我很多錢。昨天當我去他家，希望要回我的錢時，他早已人去樓空)
It's no use searching any more. The bird has flown. (搜索沒有用了。嫌犯已逃之夭夭)
|in two minds|
My wife thinks
we should go to South Korea for our holiday, but I'm still in two minds
|again and again; over and over (again); time and (time) again; time after time|
I've told my son again and again not to run
a red light.
(to run a red light：闖紅燈)
|hold one's peace/tongue|
In spite of the
fact that he made provocative remarks, I held my peace/tongue.
|look before you leap|
Look before you
leap when doing business on the Web.
|(to) talk shop|
They did nothing
but talked shop, and I came home early because it was so boring.
|two heads are better than one|
Two heads are
better than one.
|(very) much of a muchness|
The two articles
are very much of a muchness.
They are poles
apart in their political attitudes.
|by hook or by crook; leave no stone unturned (or no stone be left unturned)|
I know this work
looks difficult, but I'll finish it by hook or by crook.
The police left no stone unturned to catch Taiwan's most wanted fugitive Chang Hsi-ming (張錫銘) and they succeeded.
He promised no stone would be left unturned to get his wife back.
|once in a blue moon|
My wife and I
rarely, if ever, eat out. So, when I told her last night "let's eat out and
go to see a movie", she was very surprised and said that's really once in a
|at one's elbow|
His wife was
always at his elbow whenever an important decision had to be taken.
|(like) looking/searching for a needle in a haystack|
Trying to find a
book we want in so many books is just like looking for a needle in a
|with one's tongue in one's cheek (adv.); tongue in cheek (adv.); tongue-in-check (adj.)|
He described me
as an excellent teacher, but he said it tongue in cheek/with his tongue in
That's a tongue-in-cheek remark/reply.
|make a mountain out of a molehill|
Don't make a mountain out of a molehill when
you know I look about ten years younger than I really am.
(I look about
ten years younger than I really am. 我看起來比實際年齡年輕大約10歲)
|break a butterfly on a/the wheel (「小題大作」亦可用 "make a meal out of" 和 "make a mountain out of a molehill" 來表示)|
I know what I've
done is wrong, but there's no need to break a butterfly on a wheel/to make a
meal out of it.
|do one's nut|
When I told him
what she had said about him, he did his nut.
|sweep the board; carry (or sweep) all/everything before one|
I swept the
board at the casino last night.
Although I hadn't done well at high school, I carried all before me at university.
|lock the stable door after the horse has bolted|
It is never too
late to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.
|a stitch in time saves nine (經常略為 "a stitch in time")|
You should try
and repair your car before it becomes worse. Remember, a stitch in time
|forewarned is forearmed|
Let me know when
the Department Required Test (DRT) is given; forewarned is forearmed.
Check the temperature before you go outside. Forewarned is forearmed. (外出前要看看氣溫。預先知道，才能有準備。)
|in/by dribs and drabs|
arrived in dribs and drabs. (賓客三三兩兩地到來)
The work had been coming in by dribs and drabs for several years. (幾年來，接到的活兒都是零零碎碎的)
|absence makes the heart grow fonder|
Ever since Amy's
husband went on a business trip, she can't stop thinking about him. Absence
makes the heart grow fonder. (艾美在她先生出差後就不停地想他。小別勝新婚)
A: It is much easier to get along with your parents when you live away from home. You miss them so much and are glad when you see them. (當你住在外面時，你會更容易跟父母相處。你會很想念他們，每當看到他們都會很高興)
B: It's true. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. (的確如此。眼不見，心更念)
|born and bred|
He was born and
bred in Pescadores but now lives in Kaohsiung. (他是土生土長的澎湖人，但現在住在高雄)
Jack's a Londoner born and bred. (傑克是土生土長的倫敦人)
|do as you would be done by|
wisdom of "do as you would be done by" doesn't seem to apply in business.
I will endeavor to "do as you would be done by." (我會努力做到「己所不欲，勿施於人」)
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|in apple-pie order|
My wife likes to
keep everything in apple-pie order.
|have an old head on young shoulders|
Michael has an
old head on young shoulders and handles his business very well.
|not know where to put oneself/one's face|
When I told
Linda almost everyone at her department had seen the photo of her hugging
and kissing her boyfriend affectionately in the street, she was so
embarrassed she didn't know where to put herself/her face.
|day after day; day in day out (這亦可寫成 "day in, day out")|
It went on raining day after day.
If we do the same things day in day out, it isn't surprising we get bored.
附註：關於 "day after day"，其他表示時間的詞也可以這樣用，如 "year after year"，"month after month" 和 "night after night"；至於 "day in day out"，其他表示時間的詞，尤其是表示較長時間的詞，也可以這樣用，如 "year in year out" (這亦可寫成 "year in, year out"，以下亦同)，"month in month out"，"week in week out" 和 "night in night out"，但 hours, minutes 和 seconds 則不可以這樣用。
|day and night; night and day|
He thought of
her wife day and night when she went on business trip abroad last year.
|someone's days are numbered|
Now he knows his
days are numbered.
|the pot calling the kettle black|
criticizing me for not looking for a new job but that is like the pot
calling the kettle black. She isn't looking for a new job either.
|beard the lion in his den (這裡 "beard" 為動詞)|
My boss's in his
office, so let's beard the lion in his den and ask for a pay raise.
|line one's (own) pocket/purse (with + money/profits)|
lack of oversight has allowed some of the Cabinet members to line their
pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars.
|here/there in body, but not in spirit; someone's heart is not in|
understand very clearly what you said, because I was here in body, but not
in spirit at the time.
John should try to find another job because his heart is always not in his work at all.
|to one's heart's content (這個字的重音在第二音節)|
It's weekend, so
you can sleep to your heart's content.
|feel on top of the world|
If health has
been a problem, don't worry. You'll feel on top of the world from now on.
|add fuel to the flames/fire; fan the flames/fire|
weren't satisfied with their wages, so when they were asked to work longer
hours, it added fuel to the flames.
|pull the/someone's chestnuts out of the fire|
I had pulled the
chestnuts out of the fire for him on several occasions and was unwilling to
do it again.
|a square peg in a round hole|
If you go to
university, you will be a square peg in a round hole there because you just
have no desire to study.
|cut each other's throats|
For a bag of
gold coins they would cut each other's throats without hesitation.
|the ends of the earth|
"Oh dear, as you
know, I would take you to the ends of the earth at any time."
|be worlds apart|
Our ways of life
are worlds apart.
George and Mary decided to get married even though their families were worlds apart.
|never put off till tomorrow what you can do today (亦寫成 "never put off till tomorrow what may/can be done today"，但較少人使用)|
It should be
borne in mind that never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
|bite off more than one can chew|
I told him he
would be biting off more than he could chew if he tried to get 950 points in
the TOEIC test.
|go without saying; speak for itself/themselves|
It goes without
saying that I will never love her.
The company has had a very successful year; the figures speak for themselves.
|forgive and forget|
We hated each
other in Taiwan; we met again in the United States last year and decided to
forgive and forget. Now we have become very friendly.
|six of one and half a dozen of the other|
Voting for a DPP
or a KMT candidate is a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other.
|keep one's countenance; play it cool|
could hardly keep their countenance in the face of death.
They expected us to be angry, but we had decided to play it very cool.
|at a loss; lose one's bearings; not know whether one is (standing) on one's head or one's heels|
When she asked me if I had ever divorced any
women, I was at a loss for words.
( at a loss for words：無言以對)
In all this mass of details I'm afraid I've rather lost my bearings.
When his shop was very busy yesterday morning, the poor shopkeeper didn't know whether he was on his head or his heels.
|(keep one's) chin up|
He's having a
pretty difficult time but he seems to be keeping his chin up.
|out of joint|
his name! No one here likes him, and it would be very out of joint if you
talk about him.
|neither fish nor fowl; neither fish nor flesh; neither fish, flesh, nor fowl|
They felt he was
neither fish nor fowl--not qualified to lead the department, yet not
appropriate to work as a staff member either.
|fall all over oneself; fall over backwards; bend over backwards|
They fell all
over themselves to be helpful, but only got in the way.
She fell over backwards trying to please her boss, but it got her nowhere.
|by hook or by crook; stop at nothing (to do something)|
David is trying
to get that promotion by hook or by crook; he even spread rumors smearing
the other candidates.
The young man wanted to be rich and would stop at nothing to get more money for himself.
|nothing venture, nothing gain/win/have (or "nothing ventured, nothing gained")|
venture, nothing gain", as the saying goes.
|an inside job|
The bank robbery
was an inside job. (這起銀行搶案是內神通外鬼)
There is a growing number of Americans who believe 9/11 was an inside job. (越來越多的美國人認為 911 恐怖攻擊事件是內神通外鬼)
|the pen is mightier than the sword|
Why not give up
sword and take up pen? The pen is mightier than the sword for many times.
Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons. (不管誰說筆桿子比槍桿子更厲害，他肯定沒遭遇過自動武器)
-- General Douglas MacArthur (麥克阿瑟將軍)
|a watched pot never boils|
Don't just sit
there waiting for your girlfriend to call. A watched pot never boils.
|in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king|
John: How on
earth did Michael get promoted to be head of his department? He's such a
blunderer! (約翰：麥可到底是怎樣升到該部門主管的呢? 他真的是個粗心大意、常犯錯的人啊!)
Mary: In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. (瑪麗：比上不足，比下有餘) － 亦即該部門其他人比他更粗心大意、更常犯錯。
|eat, drink, and be merry (, for tomorrow we die)|
Bill: No cake
for me, thank you. I'm on a diet. Amy: But, Bill, this is a birthday party.
Eat, drink, and be merry. (比爾：我不要蛋糕，謝謝。我正在節食。艾美：但是，比爾，這是生日派對。及時行樂吧)
Nina encouraged all her guests to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. (妮娜鼓勵她的所有客人要及時行樂，因為我們明天就死了)
|what's done cannot be undone|
Kelly: I wish I
hadn't insulted Maria. Laura: What's done cannot be undone.
Wendy soon regretted telling David that she loved him, but she knew that what's done cannot be undone. (溫蒂很快就後悔對大衛說，她愛他，但她知道木已成舟)
|there is nothing new under the sun|
newspaper today is shocking. Three prominent politicians have been convicted
of fraud. (今天報紙的新聞令人震驚。有三個赫赫有名的政治人物因詐欺被判有罪)
Mary: That's not shocking. It only proves that there's nothing new under the sun. (那不令人震驚。那只是證明了太陽底下沒有新鮮事)
|a chill/shiver runs/goes down one's spine|
I felt a chill
running down my spine. (我感到毛骨悚然)
附註：本成語還有其他形式，而且比較常見，那就是 "send chills/shivers (or a chill/a shiver) up/down one's spine" (使人毛骨悚然；使人背脊發涼；使人倒抽一口涼氣)。例如：
The news of the accident sent chills down his spine. (聽到意外事故的消息，他倒抽一口涼氣)
The way he looked at me sent shivers down my spine. (他看我的方式使我打了個冷顫)
|Those whom the gods love die young. / Whom the gods love die young.|
brilliant authors and artists died before the age of fifty that it's easy to
believe that whom the gods love die young.
A: Mr. White died of a heart attack last night. (懷特先生昨晚心臟病發作與世長辭了)
B: I'm so sorry to hear that. He's one of the greatest philanthropists in the world. (我聽了這消息很難過。他是全世界最偉大的慈善家之一)
A: He's just forty-six years old. (他才四十六歲)
B: Those whom the gods love die young. (好人不長命)
|come out in the wash|
The real reasons
for Megan's resignation will come out in the wash. (梅根辭職的真正原因將會水落石出)
We don't want the police to investigate, because we're afraid of what might come out in the wash. (我們不想要警方進行調查，因為我們怕事情可能真相大白)
附註：本成語原指衣服等上面的髒東西被洗掉。除「水落石出；真相大白」外，它還意為「(問題或憂慮的原因) 獲得圓滿解決」，如 Don't worry about that problem. It'll all come out in the wash. (別擔心那個問題。它會獲得圓滿解決的)。
|fat and happy|
Sally and her
sisters look fat and happy. (莎莉和她的姊妹們看起來都心廣體胖)
Since all the employees were fat and happy, they had little incentive to improve productivity. (由於所有員工個個心廣體胖，他們缺乏改善生產力的誘因)
|like cures like|
|Homeopathy is based on the idea of "Like Cures Like," that is to say, if a substance can cause an illness, then taking a small amount of that substance can help heal the illness. (順勢療法係植基於「以毒攻毒」的概念，也就是說，如果某種物質可能致病，那麼服用少量的該物質可能有助於治療它造成的疾病)|
|from scratch; start (again) from scratch|
successful entrepreneur who started from scratch.
|in black and white|
I don't want to
hear you promise to pay me. I want your promise in black and white.
|put/set the cart before the horse|
the cart before the horse by buying all this furniture before you've got the
|alive and kicking|
My father is 82
years old but he is still very much alive and kicking.
|the power/right of life and/or death|
kings of this country held the power of life and death over all their
|(there's many) a slip twixt (the) cup and (the) lip; pipped at the post|
I have to tell you that your plan is a slip
twixt the cup and the lip.
We thought the owner would agree to sell us the house but we were pipped at the post by a more generous offer from someone else.
附註：1. twixt 或 betwixt 是 "between" 的舊式拼法。2. 在賽馬中，一匹馬快到終點時突然被另一匹馬超越稱之為 "pipped"；現今，無論在任何比賽、競爭或選舉中，只要在最後關頭或最後一刻被擊敗或被超越時就可使用這成語來形容，如例句所言，眼看要成交時，有人卻出更高的價錢把房子買走了。
|on the horns of a dilemma|
I was on the
horns of a dilemma when I was offered another job because I still had/felt a
great deal of loyalty to my boss.
|butter both sides of one's bread|
both sides of her bread -- she works for our company during the day and has
another job during the evening.
|on every hand; on all hands; in all directions|
On every hand
was a charming view of rocky buttresses and wooded heights.
|strike while the iron is hot; make hay while the sun shines|
John may as well
make hay while the sun shines, because he is young and healthy and able to
earn a lot of money.
|fall by the wayside; wither on the vine|
How's that book
you were working on?
-- Oh, I'm afraid it's fallen by the wayside.
My wife who was
trying to lose weight had already withered on the vine by eating cream
|What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts (常縮寫為 "swings and roundabouts")|
It's a bit of a
swings-and-roundabouts situation. (a swings-and-roundabouts
|for a rainy day|
save some money for a rainy day.
|make one's/its mark|
been working for the company for more than 15 years, he finally made his
|put a quart into a pint pot (通常用於否定句)|
Many new people
have moved into this small town and they have nowhere to live. You can't put
a quart into a pint pot.
|bite the hand that feeds one|
The man had
worked for the company for several years. When he was caught stealing, his
employer felt that he had bitten the hand that fed him.
|an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth)|
I didn't believe
in the death penalty -- an eye for an eye -- but how else can we stop this
sort of thing?
|pay someone back in their own coin|
decided to pay her back in her own coin and refuse to help her.
|sink or swim|
He has refused
to give us any more help, and has left us to sink or swim by our own
He was left by his family to sink or swim by himself. (他遭家人遺棄，生死存亡一切得靠自己)
|set a thief to catch a thief|
set a thief to catch a thief, hiring a stockbroker convicted of fraudulent
practices to entrap the stockbroker they were investigating for fraud.
|creations of Cadmus|
|I can never imagine that the sons and daughters would attack one another like the creations of Cadmus in the presence of their dying father. (我無法想像這些兒女們竟在他們那垂死的父親面前互相攻擊，兄弟鬩牆)|
|at death's door|
We were very
surprised to hear that our favorite teacher was at death's door.
|harp on one (or the same) string|
told you many times that I have no money to lend you. I wish you'd stop
harping on the same string.
|carry coals to Newcastle|
To offer him
money is to carry coals to Newcastle, for he is very wealthy.
|too big for one's boots|
John is too big
for his boots; that's his trouble.
|keep a quiet/still tongue (in one's head)|
You'll keep a
quiet tongue in your head, will you?
|stop one's ears; turn a deaf ear|
He stopped his
ears to bad news.
The president always turns a deaf ear to people's complaints.
time flies when you're busy.
|steal a march on (someone)|
plans to steal a march on its competitors by offering the same computer at a
|shoot off one's mouth|
It seems like
every senior official in the administration is free to shoot off his mouth
on any subjects at any time.
|blood is thicker than water|
He gave his
brother a good job because blood is thicker than water.
|a leopard doesn't/can't change its spots; a leopard never changes its spots|
I doubt very
much that marriage will change Edward for the better. A leopard doesn't
change its spots. (我非常懷疑婚姻會使愛德華變好。江山易改，本性難移)
It's not surprising that he was sentenced to five years in prison again, because a leopard never changes its spots. (他再度被判入獄五年並不令人驚訝，因為江山易改，本性難移)
|to see is to believe; seeing is believing|
To see is to
believe? No, eyes can be easily deceived.
|do one's level best; go all out; go great guns; pull out all the stops; put one's best foot forward|
I did my level
best to help him.
I will go great guns for the team.
Don't worry too much about the TOEFL iBT test. Just put your best foot forward and do what you can!
|the early bird catches the worm|
the early bird catches the worm - you should try to get to it early.
|where there is a will there is a way|
In the writing
test, John concluded his essay by writing "where there is a will there is a
|like father/mother, like son/daughter|
A good example
of "like father, like son" is George Bush and George W. Bush.
|(as) steady as a rock|
As he aimed the
gun, his hand was as steady as a rock.
|safe and sound|
All his sons returned safe and sound from
附註："safe and sound" 的發音並不是一個字一個字唸，而是將 and 中的 "d" 不發音，並將 "an" 與其前面的子音 (在此為 safe 中的 "f") 連音，所以實際的讀音是 "sa - fan - sound"。英文有不少類似 "safe and sound" 這種使用兩個詞性相同的字、中間用 and 連接起來的固定搭配，它們有些有連字號，有些沒有，但不管有無連字號，它們實際的讀音大多如上述，如 "cloak-and-dagger"、"hard-and-fast"、"ins and outs"、"up and about"、"spick-and-span" 等等；當然啦，如果 "and" 前面那個字的字尾是母音，那麼就不會有這種連音的情況發生。讀者若能把握這原則，並勤加練習，對於聽力的提升也會有所助益的。這種固定搭配在英文中叫做 "binomial"。
|worth (or worthy of) the name|
worth the name should ever let a criminal escape so easily.
|like a cat on hot bricks (英) / like a cat on a hot tin roof (美); on pins and needles|
Marian was like
a cat on hot bricks before her wedding ceremony. (婚禮前瑪麗安焦躁不安，像熱鍋上的螞蟻)
What's the matter with Kelly? She's like a cat on a hot tin roof this morning. (凱莉怎麼啦？她今天早上坐立難安，像熱鍋上的螞蟻)
Their hopes of a
peace settlement are nothing more than wishful thinking.
|spoil the ship for a ha'porth o'tar|
I'm going to buy some new paint brushes --
all the old ones have gone stiff. I've paid a lot for the paint and I don't
want to spoil the ship for a ha'porth o'tar.
附註：這句成語中，ha'porth = halfpennyworth，o'tar = of tar。它原來是寫成 "spoil the sheep for a ha'porth of tar"，即「不願花半便士買焦油醫治羊傷而導致羊死亡」。有些地方將 sheep 的音發成 ship。
|blow one's own trumpet/horn|
She's very good
at blowing her own trumpet.
|sign one's own death warrant; dig one's own grave; stew in one's own juice|
digging your own grave if you go on smoking so heavily.
|cut/slit one's (own) throat; have made one's bed and must (or have to) lie in/on it; stew in one's own juice|
You've made your
bed and you must lie on it.
I would just be cutting my own throat if I stopped work now.
|make a rod for one's own back|
I've just made a
rod for my own back by working for that company, because they always expect
one to work many hours without pay.
|be/get/rise above oneself|
Don't be getting
far above yourself; you are no more than a secretary.
|burn one's boats/bridges (behind one)|
Now we've burned
our bridges behind us and we have no option but to go forward with the
|bad money drives out good|
drives out good" is a proverb and also an economic principle.
|one/you can't (or cannot) make an omelet (or omelette) without breaking eggs|
Twenty jobs will
have to be cut if the company's going to be made more efficient. But you
can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. (如果這家公司要更有效率，那麼它必須裁員 20
|be all mouth and trousers; be all mouth and no trousers; be all mouth (語氣較弱)|
They talked all
night about how to solve the problems, but wouldn't do anything to help.
Their trouble was that they were all mouth and trousers.
We did not vote for him because he was known to be all mouth and no trousers. (我們沒有投票給他，因為大家都知道他只會坐而言，不會起而行)
|turn/roll (over) in one's grave|
your poor father heard you say that, he'd turn over in his grave.
She'd turn in her grave if she knew what he was spending his inheritance on. (如果她知道他將他繼承的遺產花在什麼地方，她會死不瞑目的)
|dead men tell no tales|
The club members
liked to hold their secret meetings in a graveyard, since dead men tell no
Boss: Allen is going to tell the police that we robbed the bank. How can we stop him? (角頭老大：艾倫將要告訴賊頭我們搶銀行。我們要怎樣才能制止他?) Gangster: Dead men tell no tales. (黑幫份子：死人不會告密)
|one man's meat is another man's poison|
John: I don't
understand why Ben doesn't like to read science fiction. It's the most
interesting thing to read. Mary: One man's meat is another man's poison. (約翰：我不懂班為何不喜歡看科幻小說。那是最有趣的讀物。瑪麗：人各有所好)
I don't want to do her job, but she seems to love it very much. Oh well, one man's meat is another man's poison. (我不想做她的工作，但她似乎非常喜歡。啊，人真是各有所好)
|rob the cradle|
girlfriend is only 14, he's robbing the cradle! (老兄，大衛的女友只有 14 歲，他老牛吃嫩草!)
You're kind of robbing the cradle, man. (老兄，你有點老牛吃嫩草)
附註：至於吃嫩草的「老牛」則叫做 cradle robber。
|bury/hide one's head in the sand|
your head in the sand. Look at the statistics on smoking and cancer.
Parents said bullying was being ignored, and accused the headmaster of burying his head in the sand. (家長表示，霸凌問題遭到漠視，並譴責校長採取鴕鳥心態)
|think out loud|
Mary thinks out
Benson just stood there and thought out loud when he heard the bad news. (班森聽到這壞消息後就站在那裡自言自語)
|bleed like a stuck pig|
Paul got hit
hard with that baseball! He was bleeding like a stuck pig! (保羅被那個棒球狠狠擊中!
I bled like a stuck pig when I cut myself. (我割傷自己後血流如注)
that Allen had stolen some of his ideas, but Randy didn't mention that he
had done the same in spades. (他抱怨艾倫竊取了他的一些構想，但蘭迪並未提及他也竊取別人的構想，有過之而無不及)
All the workers may think the old boss was bad-tempered, but the new one is the same – in spades! (所有員工可能都認為舊老闆脾氣暴躁，但新老闆的脾氣也一樣，有過之而無不及!)
|sweat like a pig; sweat bullets|
That was really
good exercise. I'm sweating like a pig! (那真是不錯的運動。我已經汗流浹背了!)
Kelly was so nervous that she was sweating like a pig. (凱莉緊張得大汗淋漓)
Jerry was sweating bullets by the time the police had finished questioning him. (到了警方完成對他的偵訊時，傑瑞已經揮汗如雨了)
|a silver tongue|
I hope you've
not allowed yourself to be persuaded by Rachel's silver tongue. (我希望你沒被瑞秋的如簧之舌所說動)
Jimmy has a sliver tongue. (吉米能言善道)
|know one's place|
know their place and never speak rudely to their teachers.
Most women knew their place then, which was to take care of the kids and cook the meals. (當時大多數婦女都安分守己，在家帶小孩煮飯)
I know my place, so I won't speak unless spoken to. (我知道自己地位比較低，所以除非有人跟我說話，否則我就不說話)
|raze something to the ground|
decided to raze the old city hall to the ground. (市議會決定將舊市政廳夷為平地)
This apartment building is to be razed to the ground. (這棟公寓大樓將被夷為平地)
[Back to Top]
|(one's) bare hands|
I killed the
tiger with my bare hands.
|lord it (over someone)|
Since she got
the highest mark in the final math exam, she has lorded it over the other
students in her class as if she knew everything about math.
|nip (something) in the bud|
There are a
couple of things bothering me very much that I want to nip in the bud.
|(as) fit as a fiddle/flea|
He was fit as a
fiddle when he was at law college.
|ill at ease|
He is always ill
at ease at parties.
|swallow one's pride|
I was forced to
swallow my pride and apologize to my boss for his fault.
|go downhill; go down the Swanee; go from bad to worse; on the slide; on the wane|
I'm going to leave the country. Since the
present government came into power, the whole situation of people's lives
has been going down the Swanee.
附註："Swanee" 是美國一條河流的名稱，因史蒂芬˙佛斯特 (Stephen Foster, 1825-1864) 1851年的民歌 "Old Folks at Home" (家鄉老友 -- 有人譯為「老鄉親」) 而出名，歌詞開頭是 "Way down upon the Swanee River"。
|miss the boat|
She missed the
boat when she said no to that deal. It turned out to be worth millions.
|suit/fit the action to the word|
He suited the
action to the word and married her last year.
|the less said the better|
It is best to
say nothing at all when you are in an unfamiliar environment because "the
less said the better."
|bury the hatchet; make one's peace|
John and his
wife who went to court yesterday to fight about their marriage have decided
to bury the hatchet.
|after a storm comes a calm; after the storm comes a calm; the calm after a storm|
again, Tom, after a storm comes a calm. All bad things are gone, and
everything will get better and better.
John: I can't believe how peaceful the office is today, when yesterday everyone was threatening to quit. Jane: After a storm comes a calm. (約翰：我不敢相信今天辦公室會這麼平靜，昨天大家不是還揚言要辭職嗎! 珍：雨過天晴)
|(throw) a sprat to catch a mackerel/whale|
The policy aims
mainly to throw a sprat to catch a mackerel. (這項政策旨在拋磚引玉)
Every week I invest one hundred NT dollars on the lottery tickets. It's a sprat to catch a mackerel because one day I could win one hundred million. (我每個禮拜都花一百元買樂透彩，這完全是一種小冒險求大利的行動，因為有一天我可能會中1億元)
|people/those who live in glass houses should not throw stones|
"People who live
in glass houses should not throw stones" is a saying, meaning people with
faults of their own should take care not to attack the faults of others.
(People who live in glass houses should not throw stones
Mary says that Amy is selfish, but Mary is more selfish herself. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. (瑪麗說艾美自私自利，但她自己更自私自利。自己有同樣缺點的人最好不要說別人)
|clothes make the man|
Clothes make the
man, dressed to the nines. (佛要金裝，人要衣裝，盛裝赴會)
Some women have used "Clothes make the woman" to mean the same thing as "Clothes make the man" because of their belief that this is gender equality. (一些女性使用 "Clothes make the woman" 來表示 "Clothes make the man" 的意思，因為她們認為這是性別平等)
|cut the Gordian knot|
It appears that
even President Barack Obama, a leader upon whom the expectations of the
world await, has been unable to cut the Gordian knot.
The new manager found that none of the staff liked him, but he soon cut the Gordian knot by dismissing them all. (新上任的經理發現職員都不喜歡他，於是就快刀斬亂麻，把他們全部給辭退了)
|(have ...) in stitches|
His jokes had us
in stitches. (他的笑話讓我們忍不住捧腹大笑)
She had everyone in stitches. (她把每個人都逗得忍不住哈哈大笑)。
|not see the wood/forest for the trees|
often cannot see the wood for the trees. (有些人經常見樹不見林)
The information presented in this textbook is so disorganized that I can't see the wood for the trees. (這本教科書所提供的資訊雜亂無章，致使我見樹不見林)
The politician's opponents claimed that she couldn't see the forest for the trees, because she spent so much time trying to solve minor problems. (這位政治人物的對手宣稱，她 見樹不見林，因為她花太多時間在解決不重要的問題上)
附註：not see the wood for the trees 的前面通常用 can, could 或 be able，即 cannot/can't/couldn't/be not able to see the wood for the trees。
|have an itching palm; have itching palms|
He has an
itching palm and will certainly accept the money. (他見錢眼開，肯定會把錢收下的)
Don't trust them. They have itching palms and will certainly try to cheat you out of your prize money. (別相信他們。他們都財迷心竅，一定會想辦法騙走你的獎金)
附註：這成語原指從前人們相信手癢是進財之兆，它亦經常以當副詞用的介系詞片語 with an itching palm 型態出現，如 My uncle was born with an itching palm. (我伯父天生貪財)。
|actions speak louder than words|
You keep saying
that you'll do your best to clean the bedroom. Remember that actions speak
louder than words. (你不斷說你會盡全力打掃臥房。記得：坐而言不如起而行)
Of course the government have made all sorts of promises but as we all know, actions speak louder than words. (當然了，政府已經做了各種承諾，但眾所周知，聽其言不如觀其行)
|cross one's bridges before one comes to them (or cross a bridge before one comes to it)|
crossing her bridges before coming to them. She needs to learn to relax.
Sometimes we have to face the reality, but don't cross a bridge before you come to it. (有時我們必須面對現實，但也別杞人憂天、自尋煩惱)
|a dog in the manger|
Don't be such a
dog in the manger! If you don't want that Barbie doll, give it to Amy.
Cindy borrowed a lot of books from the library but she didn't read any of them. She was really a dog in the manger. (辛蒂從圖書館借了很多書，但一本也沒有看過，真是佔著茅坑不拉屎)
附註：Manger 意為「馬槽」，這個成語源自《伊索寓言》(Aesop)，字面意思為「狗佔馬槽」，指狗本身不吃為馬準備的草料，卻又佔著馬槽不讓馬吃。所以，a dog in the manger 是諷刺那些自私的人佔有某些東西，卻不使用，又不肯與人分享。
|You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. / If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. / I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.|
I'll grab the
box on the top shelf if you will creep under the table and pick up my pen.
You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.
I do have some information you might be interested in, but what can you offer me in return? You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. (我真的有一些你可能感興趣的資訊，但你要拿什麼來回報呢？投桃報李啊！)
|have an axe to grind|
He may offer you
a post in his firm, but he has an axe to grind, he wants to go out with your
I have known Peter for a long time and can say with certainty that he is a fair man who has no axe to grind. (我認識彼得已久，可以肯定地說，他是個沒有私心的正人君子)
|at one's wits' end|
I'm at my wits'
end with this problem. (我對這問題無計可施)
I have a problem that has me at wits' end, and I'm hoping you can help. (我有個問題使我束手無策，我期望你能幫忙)
|take it up a notch|
This project is
already quite amazing, but let's take it up a notch and make it perfect.
Ava was enjoying her carefree single life but decided to "take it up a notch" and hire a person to help with any heavy housework. (艾娃喜歡無憂無慮的單身生活，但她決定「更上一層樓」，雇人來幫忙做粗重的家事)
|wheel and deal (v.); wheeling and dealing (n.)|
his time wheeling and dealing on the stock exchange. (哈維把時間都用於從事投機的股票交易)
Mark loves to wheel and deal in the money markets. (馬克熱愛在貨幣市場做投機生意)
No one will vote for a politician who wheels and deals and has nothing else. (沒有人會投票給除了胡作非為沒有其他本事的政客)
It's a book about all the wheeling and dealing that goes on in financial markets. (那是一本有關金融市場各種投機取巧伎倆的書)
Scott got tired of all the wheeling and dealing of big business and quit his job resolutely and determinedly to run a coffee shop in the country. (史考特厭倦了大財團的一切投機取巧行徑，因此毅然決然辭職，到鄉下開了一間咖啡館)
|put in mothballs|
have put the plans for a new subsidiary in mothballs. (董事們已將成立一家新子公司的計畫束之高閣)
The proposal for a new library was put in mothballs by the mayor. (設立新圖書館的方案已被市長束之高閣)
I have one
golden rule that anyone can put into practice: eating less makes you
|castles in the air|
Your plan to run
for the president is merely a castle in the air.
|enough is as good as a feast|
The old proverb
"enough is as good as a feast" doesn't apply to her.
|cut/make a long story short|
To cut a long story short, the fact is that
you are not welcome here.
|tomorrow is another day|
After he had failed the GEPT, I told him
that "Don't be too sad. Tomorrow is another day."
|bow and scrape|
From the way
she's bowing and scraping in front of the boss, you'll know what sort of
person she is.
|wise after the event|
If we had waited another week we could have
bought the car more cheaply. Well, it's easy to be wise after the event.
|call a spade a spade; speak one's (own) mind|
I like this guy because he always calls a
spade a spade.
I'm furious about it, and I intend to speak my mind to my boss.
|bay (at) the moon|
This company has spent
a lot of money on advertising its new improved type of CD player. But it's
baying at the moon. Who wants a CD player when DVD players are now cheaper?
附註：bay 在此當動詞用，意為「(獵犬) 不斷地吠叫」。
|put all one's eggs in/into one basket; put one's shirt on|
the company she had invested all her money in went bankrupt, she wished she
hadn't put all her eggs in one basket.
I think I've a very good chance of getting that job, but I wouldn't put my shirt on it.
|(still) wet behind the ears|
He made a lot of mistakes, back when he was
still wet behind the ears.
|can (or be able to) count on one's fingers|
He's too stingy, so he can count his good
friends on his fingers.
|make up leeway|
Despite the fact that
John has poor performances in exams, the teacher has decided to give him a
chance to make up leeway.
|(to) within an inch of one's life|
Her husband beat her to within an inch of
her life in a domestic violence. (她丈夫對她家暴，把她打得奄奄一息/半死不活)
附註：這成語的基本型式為"within an inch of" (= very near, very close
to：差一點，險些兒)，如："We came within an inch of death." (我們險些兒喪命)。
|cast pearls before swine|
I tried to explain the beauty of Chinese
characters to my foreign friends but it was just casting pearls before
|out of humor (in a bad temper; moody)|
He seems out of humor. He has been shouting
at everybody all day long.
|hold one's head high; with one's head held high|
I have boasted in my
youth and held my head high and gone on my way careless of consequences.
(Evelyn Waugh) -- 伊利文渥夫為英國作家，生前著有「一掬塵土」(A
Handful of Dust) 等作品。
It is important to walk with your head held high to keep your body shape.
|familiarity breeds contempt|
The movie star doesn't
let anyone get to know him, because he knows that familiarity breeds
You two are going to find it difficult living and working together. Familiarity breeds contempt, you know. (你們兩人將會發現生活和工作都在一起是有困難的。親暱生狎侮嗎!)
|let the grass grow under one's feet|
That man is never
content to let the grass grow under his feet. (那名男子做事不喜歡拖拖拉拉、浪費時間)
I want this work done quickly, so don't let the grass grow under your feet! (我要你快點把工作做好，別磨磨蹭蹭!)
|rob Peter to pay Paul|
It's very unwise to
rob Peter to pay Paul. (拆東牆補西牆是非常不明智的)
Robbing Peter to pay Paul is quite common during economic downturn. (經濟衰退期間，以債養債的情況頗為普遍)
|nurse a viper in one's bosom|
leaders of that political party will soon be forced to admit that they have
been nursing vipers in their bosom─that man's ideas could lose them a lot of
public support. (那個政黨的領導人不久將不得不承認他們一直在姑息養奸 -- 那個人的主意可能使他們失去許多民眾的支持)
Your brother is a drug addict, and you have nursed a viper in your bosom. (你哥哥是個毒蟲，而你卻一直護惡養奸)
|two's company, three's a crowd|
girlfriend's coming with us, I'll think of some excuse to come home early.
Two's company, three's a crowd. (如果你女友要跟我們一起去，我就找個藉口早點回家。兩人成伴，三人不歡)
附註：這成語常略作 two's company，大多用在情侶關係上，兩人世界多甜 蜜，當有第三者或電燈泡 (a third wheel) 出現時，誰還會高興呢!
|if you can't stand/take the heat, get out of the kitchen|
It'll take a lot
of weekend overtime to finish, so if you can't stand the heat, get out of
the kitchen. (週末需花許多時間加班才能完成工作，所以怕熱就別進廚房)
附註：據稱，這一俗諺的始作俑者是美國已故總統杜魯門 (Harry S. Truman)。他在總統任內的 1949 年告誡他的幕僚，別在乎外界對他們任命的批評。當時他說："I'll stand by [you] but if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." (我會挺 [你們]，但怕熱就別進廚房)。不過，根據愛達荷州的 Soda Springs Sun 報引述杜魯門的話所做的報導，他早在還未當上總統的 1942 年就已說過類似的話："If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen."。
|the long arm of the law|
The long arm of
the law is going to tap you on the shoulder some day, George.
The long arm of the law finally caught up with the drug baron. (法網恢恢，那位毒梟終於落網)
|(as) easy as pie; (as) easy/simple as falling off a log|
My physics exam
was as easy as pie.
Annie's job is as easy as falling off a log. (安妮的工作真是易如反掌)
附註：英文中還有兩個形義相近的成語亦很常用，那就是 (as) easy as 1-2-3 和 (as) easy as A, B, C。
|even a worm will turn|
stop maltreating Nina. She's a mild-mannered woman, but even a worm will
Even a worm will turn; you had better give her a way out. (人急造反，狗急跳牆；你最好給她一條出路 － 別逼人太甚)
|damn somebody/something with faint praise|
Mrs. Wang is
very proud of her daughter's achievements, but damns her son's with faint
Amy damned Peter with faint praise, calling him one of the best imitators in the world. (艾美對彼得明褒暗貶，稱他是世上最優秀的模仿者之一)
|(as) dry as dust|
The bread is as
dry as dust. (這麵包味如嚼蠟)
Those books are all as dry as dust. (那些書全都枯燥乏味)
I love having
pillow talk because we can say anything. (我喜歡枕邊細語，因為我們可以無所不談)
She tiptoed out of the bedroom after the pillow talk was over. (枕邊細語結束後，她躡手躡腳地走出臥室)
|A lot of water has flowed/passed/gone under the bridge; water under the bridge|
probably have asked for more money when I was offered the job, but hey,
that's water under the bridge now. (在我獲得這份工作的時候，或許我應該要求更高的薪資，但喂，那已事過境遷)
A lot of water had flowed/passed/gone under the bridge since we last visited Pescadores, and many old buildings now no longer existed. (自從我們上次到澎湖遊覽之後，時移物換，許多舊建築物已不復存在)
附註：這成語有許多變化型式，包括將 a lot of 換成 plenty of，動詞可以使用 flow, pass 或 go，以及使用比較簡潔的形式 "water under the bridge"；再者，這成語後面往往接 since 子句。
|the lesser of two evils|
I didn't like
either candidate, so I voted for the lesser of two evils.
Given the options of going out with someone I don't like and staying home and watching a boring television program, I chose the lesser of the two evils and watched television. (若要在跟我不喜歡的人外出以及留在家裡看無聊的電視節目之間作一抉擇，兩害相權取其輕，我選擇留在家裡看電視)
|go through fire and water|
I will go through fire and water to help my
relatives and friends.
|(as) calm as a millpond; like a millpond|
The Dead Sea is normally as calm as a
millpond./The Dead Sea is normally like a millpond.
|let bygones be bygones|
Despite the fact that her father treats her
very badly, she has decided to let bygones be bygones and take care of him
when he is too old. (儘管她父親對她很不好，但她已決定過去的事就讓它過去，在他垂垂老矣時照顧他)
Fiona held a grudge against her teacher for a long time, but she finally decided to let bygones be bygones. (費歐娜對她老師懷恨已久，但她最後決定盡棄前嫌)
|go up in the air (參見「大發雷霆」-- do one's nut)|
My girlfriend went up in the air because I
had a date with another girl.
|a/the fly in the ointment|
I've been offered a wonderful job, but the
only fly in the ointment is that the pay is not too good.
|turn over a new leaf|
I've decided to turn over a new leaf and
find a good job.
|pinch and scrape|
I have to pinch and scrape in order to save
enough money to visit my parents in Japan next year.
|talk through one's hat|
He says he knows genetics very well, but
he's talking through his hat!
|great minds think alike|
A: "I was just thinking to call you, then
the phone rang and it was you calling me."
B: "Great minds think alike."
A: "This summer I've decided to take scuba diving lessons."
B: "Really? Me too. I have already paid for the course."
A: "Great minds think alike."
|bear (or carry off) the palm|
Students of this university bear the palm in
the international landscape designing contest.
|not turn a hair|
When someone we fear passes near, it makes
our hair stand on end, no matter how much we try not to turn a hair.
|hate like poison|
They hate each other like poison.
The teacher was hated like poison by all his students.
|make it big; fly high|
"Believe me! I am going to make it big
myself one day."
He began flying high when he got married to his wealthy wife.
She swears she will never name names, even
if she were offered a reward.
|stuff and nonsense!|
Stuff and nonsense! I never said that sort
|look daggers at|
I suddenly noticed my wife looking daggers
at me and thought I'd better shut up.
|hold one's breath|
I held my breath and waited to see if my
name had been called for an interview with the movie company.
The movie was so horrible that everybody held his breath.
|make fish of one and flesh of another|
Don't make fish of one and flesh of another
in treating your children.
|gnash one's teeth|
The man gnashed his teeth when he saw his
wife going on a date with another man.
|grit one's teeth|
One has to grit one's teeth during difficult
|keep one's (own) counsel; play/keep/hold one's cards close to one's/the chest (參見「守口如瓶」-- keep a quiet/still tongue)|
he's known to keep his counsel and not
prematurely reveal his position on some sensitive issues.
With reference to the reasons for his unexpected promotion, he always plays his cards close to his chest.
|pick and choose (注意：pick 和 choose 的順序不可對調)|
There are just too many new houses in the
city for us to pick and choose.
|burn the midnight oil|
The semester is almost over and we're all
burning the midnight oil before exams.
|get away with (blue) murder|
Some well-placed people in Taiwan can indeed
get away with blue murder!
|live and learn|
"Live and learn" is an idiom meaning it's
never too late to learn. (Live and learn 是句成語，意為「活到老學到老」)
I had no idea that she was as old as that. Well, you/we live and learn. (我沒想到她年紀這麼大了。真是活到老學到老)
|murder will out|
extramarital affairs can't be kept secret forever, because murder will out.
The President thought no one would ever discover his crime, but murder will out. (總統以為沒有人會發現他的罪行，但若要人不知，除非己莫為)
|with one's tail between one's legs|
the meeting with his tail between his legs after he was criticized by the
The salesman was forced to leave the office with his tail between his legs after he admitted telling a lie about his sales figures. (那位銷售員在承認謊報銷售數據後被迫夾著尾巴離職)
|要某人好看；叫某人吃不了 (或吃不完) 兜著走；給某人顏色瞧瞧|
|(will) have someone's guts for garters|
If I catch
you smoking again I'll have your guts for garters. (如果我再抓到你抽煙，我會叫你吃不完兜著走)
The students had to finish their English assignment before lunchtime or else the teacher would have their guts for garters. (學生必須在午飯前完成他們的英文作業，否則老師就會給他們顏色瞧瞧)
|have one foot in the grave|
I was so
sick, I felt as if I had one foot in the grave. (我病得這麼重，我覺得好像行將就木)
My grandpa is 98 years old and has one foot in the grave. (我祖父 98 歲了，已經風燭殘年)
|every dog has its/his day|
worry, you'll get chosen for the volleyball team. Every dog has its day.
You may become famous someday. Every dog has his day. (有朝一日你可能會出名。風水輪流轉)
|champ/chomp at the bit|
were champing at the bit to get into the swimming pool.
Harry was chomping at the bit, eager to leave. (哈利急不可待，急切地要離開)
time we watched Jeremy Lin play basketball on TV, we knew he would go
Melissa is such a gifted musician that I always believe she's going places. (馬莉莎是位極有天賦的音樂家，我一直相信她前途無量)
|(come) rain or shine|
worry. I'll be there come rain or shine. (別擔心。我會到那裡，風雨無阻)
I jog every morning, rain or shine. (我每天早晨慢跑，風雨無阻)
|(out) in the middle of nowhere|
We spent a
wonderful year living on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
I'll need a map to find that pub - it's out in the middle of nowhere, apparently. (我需要一份地圖來尋找那家夜店 － 顯然地，它地處偏僻，前不著村，後不著店)
We found a nice place to eat, but it's out in the middle of nowhere. (我們發現一處用餐的好地方，但它前不著村，後不著店)
|alive and well/kicking|
is 85 years old but he is still alive and well. (我爺爺現在 85 歲，但依然活蹦亂跳)
John was found alive and kicking after five days. (五天後約翰被人找到時還活蹦亂跳的)
|have one's back against/to the wall (亦寫成 with one's back against/to the wall 或 one's back is against/to the wall)|
labour costs, industry has its back against the wall. (隨著勞動成本日益升高，企業不得不背水一戰)
When we had our backs to the wall during the battle, everyone had to fight together. (當我們在該戰役中不得不背水一戰時，所有人都必須一起奮戰)
|put/throw someone/something in/into the shade|
success and fame threw all of us into the shade. (彼得一舉功成名就使我們都相形見絀了)
I thought I'd done quite well, but Allen's exam results put mine in the shade. (我認為我已考得很好，但艾倫的成績讓我的成績黯然失色)
|bear/take the brunt of|
The oldest parts
of the capital bore the brunt of the missile attacks. (首都舊城區在飛彈攻擊中首當其衝 /
It was the town that took the brunt of the recent flooding. (該鎮在最近的澇災中首當其衝 / 該鎮在最近的澇災中災情最為慘重)
附註：The brunt 意為「受害最嚴重的部分」。
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|beat about/around the bush|
Why should you beat around the bush when
asking for higher wages? You deserve more money.
|a storm in a teacup; a tempest in a teapot|
Although Mr. and Mrs. Wang had an argument
last night, It was just a storm in a teacup.
|a/the bad/rotten apple; black sheep (如果是 "the black sheep of the family"，則意為「家庭中的不肖子」)|
Most students in the class study hard but
there are a few rotten/bad apples. (班上大多數學生都很用功，但有少數害群之馬)
There are quite a few black sheep in the Legislative Yuan. (立法院中有不少敗類)
|a fair-weather friend|
believe that John was a fair-weather friend of mine, because he has promised
to help me whenever necessary.
|drown one's sorrows|
If I fail my examinations, I'll go and drown
|(as) thin as a rake/lath/stick|
He had been ill for several months, and
looked as thin as a stick.
|wash one's dirty linen in public|
Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
|look/search/hunt for a needle in a haystack|
It's pretty much like looking for a needle
in a haystack because these fish are extremely hard to find.
|A miss is as good as a mile|
I've tried to reassure him that he only
failed by three percent but the way he sees it, a miss is as good as a mile.
|while/where there's life there's hope|
The company has survived previous
recessions; while there's life there's hope.
|swear like a trooper|
"If you are going to swear like a trooper, I
am going away."
|hit a man (or someone) when he's down|
Never hit a man when he's down. He may get
back up again.
|to the life|
She painted me to the life.
The portrait is drawn to the life.
|cut and thrust|
There was a real cut and thrust between them
about the game.
|teach one's grandmother to suck eggs|
He is always telling the director how to run
the business; that's like teaching his grandmother to suck eggs.
|all roads lead to Rome|
Helen was criticizing the way Jill was
planting the flowers. Jill said, never mind, Helen. All roads lead to Rome.
All roads lead to Rome. I believe we will find a way out.
|(from) door to door|
He sells dusters (from) door to door.
|hitch one's wagon to a star (or the stars)|
Allen's hitching his wagon to a star--he
plans to be an entrepreneur by age thirty.
|stink/smell to high heaven|
That fish must be a couple of days old. It
stinks to high heaven.
|(as) cool as a cucumber|
Despite the mishap Margaret was cool as a
If you depend
too much upon others you will never be able to walk tall.
We walk tall and the voice is more powerful. (我們理直氣壯，聲音更強有力)
|be hoist with one's own petard|
The criminal was
hoist with his own petard when he tried to kill his wife, because he
accidently drank the poison that he intended to give to her.
The most enjoyable moment in any action film occurs when the villain is hoist with his own petard. (動作片中最令人雀躍的時刻就是壞人自食惡果的時候)
|good wine needs no bush|
If it be true
that good wine needs no bush, it's true that a good play needs no epilogue.
|turn the clock back; turn back the clock|
You are afraid
to face up to the future. You are trying to turn the clock back to a time
when you were more comfortable.
You can never turn the clock back. (時光不能倒流)
|bow/bend the knee|
haven't bowed the knee to the kidnappers. (當局對綁匪一直未俯首帖耳)
The United States will never bend the knee to the terrorists. (美國絕不會對恐怖份子卑躬屈膝)
|sit on one's hands|
When I needed
help from Helen, she just sat on her hands. (當我需要海倫的幫忙時，她只是袖手旁觀)
We need the cooperation of everyone. You can't sit on your hands! (我們需要每個人的合作。你們不能袖手旁觀、坐視不管啊!)
|go in one ear and out the other|
Everything I say
to you seems to go in one ear and out the other. Why don't you pay
Things my wife says to me just go in one ear and out the other. (我太太對我說的事情都是左耳進右耳出)
|grin and bear it|
I really don't
want to spend the whole weekend working but I guess I'll just have to grin
and bear it. (我真的不想把整個週末都花在工作上，但也沒有什麼辦法，只好逆來順受)
Bad things keep happening and you just have to learn to grin and bear it. (壞事不斷發生，你只得學著逆來順受)
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