Back to The Garden of English Idioms
|a bad egg|
|壞蛋 (a bad person, bum)。|
That man is a bad egg so you should try and
avoid him if you can.
|a hard/tough nut to crack|
He is a very serious person
and is a very hard nut to crack.
|a hot potato|
The issue of building the
nuclear power plant is a real hot potato for the local town council.
|a piece of cake|
It was a piece of cake. I
had everything done before lunch this morning.
|an apple a day keeps the doctor away|
Remember to take an apple in
your dinner today. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Grandma always fed us lots of apples when we visited her. She believed that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. (每次我們去看奶奶，她總是給我們吃很多蘋果。她相信一天一蘋果，醫生遠離我)
|(compare) apples and oranges|
You can't talk about John
and Jack in the same breath! They're like apples and oranges.
You can't compare city schools and schools in the country - they're apples and oranges. (你不能拿都市的學校和鄉下的學校來做比較。它們無法相比)
Comparing the average wages of workers and managers is like trying to compare apples and oranges. (比較工人和經理人的平均薪資，就像拿蘋果和橘子來做比較一樣，它們難以相比)
|as nutty as a fruitcake|
He is a very nice man but he
acts strange sometimes and I often think that he is as nutty as a fruitcake.
|a/the big cheese|
He is a big cheese in his
company so you should be very nice to him.
|bread and butter|
The voters are worried about
bread and butter issues like jobs and taxes.
|bring home the bacon|
Recently he has been working
very hard trying to bring home the bacon. He has no time to do anything
|butter both sides of one's bread|
He's buttering both sides of
his bread - he works for us during the day and has a job with another
company during the evening.
|carrot and stick|
The government took a carrot
and stick approach to the people who were illegally protesting against the
construction of the dam.
|chew the fat|
We stayed up very late last
night chewing the fat about our university days.
|(as) cool as a cucumber|
He is always as cool as a
cucumber and never worries about anything.
|(the) cream of the crop|
The company is well-known as
a good place to work and is always able to hire the cream of the crop of
|cry over spilt milk|
Don't cry over spilt milk.
The past is past and you can't do anything to change it.
|cut the mustard|
He wasn't able to cut the
mustard so he had to leave the army after only one year.
|(as) different as chalk and/from cheese|
Mary and Lily are sisters,
but they are as different as chalk and cheese.
It was duck soup. I was able
to finish everything early last night.
|(be) easy meat (or be an easy mark/target)|
I heard when I was working
on the site that that woman was easy meat. (我在那裡工作時就聽說那女人很容易到手)
The elderly living alone are an easy mark for scam gangs. (獨居老人很容易成為詐騙集團下手的目標)
I was forced to eat crow and
had to apologize for the mistake that I made about the restructuring of our
We made him eat dirt after
he accused us of lying about the salary cut.
|eat humble pie|
Our boss was forced to eat
humble pie after everyone realized that he had made the wrong budget
estimate for next year.
|eat one's words|
I told my boss that I would
be leaving but later I had to eat my words and tell him that I wanted to
|eat someone out of house and home|
|把 (某人) 吃窮，吃空。|
The man was eating his
parents out of house and home until he found a job. (這名男子在未找到工作之前，真的把他父母吃窮了)
My two sons are eating me out of house and home. (我兩個兒子快把我吃空了)
|food for thought|
The teacher's advice gave me
plenty of food for thought.
|full of beans|
She is full of beans tonight
and doesn't want to stop talking.
|go back to the salt mines|
|回去工作 -- 自我解嘲或幽默的說法，用來表示「回去做不愉快的工作」的意思。|
Well, lunch is over so let's
go back to the salt mines for the afternoon.
For many years his job was a
real gravy train but now the company has become very strict and will not pay
|have a bun in the oven|
Honey, I've something to
tell you ... I've a bun in the oven.
Do you know Anna has got a bun in the oven? (你知道安娜懷孕了嗎?)
|have a plum in one's mouth; speak with a plum in one's mouth|
All I can remember is that
he was overweight and spoke with a plum in his mouth.
Nowadays a lot of workers frequently have a plum in their mouth. (現今許多工人常常仿效上層人士的腔調說話)
|have (or get) egg/jam on (or all over) one's face|
He has egg on his face
because everyone knows that he was sick at the party.
|have one's cake and eat it too|
He refuses to give up
anything and always wants to have his cake and eat it too.
|have/keep one's finger (or a finger) in the pie|
|參與某事。注意：如果將 ... in the pie 改成 ... in every pie，則意為「樣樣事都插一手；凡事參與」。此外，還有 ... in a pie， ... in several pies 和 ... in many pies 的寫法。|
He always tries to keep his
finger in the pie so that he can control everything.
|hit the sauce|
|喝酒 (通常是指經常喝酒)。 sauce 的俚語就是「酒」。|
I think that she has begun
to hit the sauce since her husband lost his job.
|in a nutshell|
We went to the meeting and
they told us in a nutshell what would be happening to everyone next year.
|in the soup|
She is really in the soup
now. She told her boss that she was sick but he saw her downtown shopping.
|know one's onions/stuff|
John is a man who knows his
onions. I'd be sorry if he left the company.
|lay an egg|
I guess I really laid an
egg, huh? (我想我真的搞砸了，嗯？)
The cast laid an egg in both performances. (這些卡司在兩場表演中都演得很差)
|make one's mouth water|
The restaurant is supposed
to be wonderful and every time that I see the menu it makes my mouth water.
|not know beans about something|
doesn't know beans about computers - He's never even used one. (我爺爺對電腦一竅不通
I don't know beans about the stock market. (我對股票市場一無所知)
|one's cup of tea|
Going to art galleries is
not my cup of tea so I think that I will stay home this evening and not go
|one's salad days|
I recall the joys I
experienced during the Lunar New Year in my salad days.
In our salad days, we were apt to get into all sorts of mischief on the weekends. (在我們少不更事的時期，每到週末我們就會亂搞各種惡作劇)
|out of the frying pan (and) into the fire|
|跳出油鍋又落火坑；才脫小災又遭大難；越來越倒楣。out of ... 前面的動詞通常使用 jump。|
She quit the job because of
some small problems but she has jumped out of the frying pan and into the
fire because now her problems are much worse.
|out to lunch|
She is totally out to lunch
and you should never believe what she tells you.
|polish the apple (with)|
Nobody likes her because she
is always trying to polish the apple with her teacher.
|rub salt into someone's wounds; rub salt in/into the wound|
Losing was bad enough and
having to watch them receiving the trophy just rubbed salt into our wounds.
The manager is really unpopular because he is always rubbing salt in the wounds of his employees by criticizing them harshly. (這位經理真不得人緣，因為他老是嚴厲指責他的員工，使他們更加難堪)
|sell like hot cakes|
The new CD has only been
released for about a week but already it is selling like hot cakes.
|shake like a jelly/leaf|
shook like a jelly as he waited for his turn to bungee jump. (約翰在等候輪到他高空彈跳時，渾身抖得很厲害)
Randy owns a lot of property
but he is still small beer compared to Kevin. (蘭迪擁有許多資產，但跟凱文比起來，他仍然算不了什麼)
My mother is busy with small beer every day. (我母親每天忙於瑣事)
|spill the beans|
Please don't spill the beans
about my plans to quit working and go back to school next year.
|stew in one's own juice|
He is the one who caused the
problem for himself and is now being forced to stew in his own juice.
|take a sledgehammer to crack/break a walnut/nut; crack/break a walnut/nut with a sledgehammer|
Three men spent all day
yesterday mending my telephone. One man could have done the job in half an
hour. It was like taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.
|take something with a grain/pinch of salt|
You should take everything
that he says with a grain of salt as everyone knows that he likes to
exaggerate things when he is speaking.
|take the bread out of someone's mouth|
If Paul does that work,
he'll be taking the bread out of the mouths of his fellow workers.
Lowering wages is taking the bread out of the workers' mouths. (降低工資將剝奪這些工人的生計)
|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
|that's the way the cookie crumbles|
|人生 (本來) 就是這麼回事。|
I can't believe they chose Peter for the job
but not me. Ah well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
You'll just have to accept this result. That's the way the ball bounces. (你只能接受這項結果。人生就是這麼回事)
註：這成語字面的意思是「餅乾掉到地上就會碎掉」，用來比喻人生本來就是這麼回事，因此當希望落空或遭遇不幸、不好或不 如意的事情時可別太在意，也不要氣餒或惱怒。美國還有 That's the way the ball bounces. 的說法。
|the apple of one's eye|
The little girl is the apple of her mother's
Henry is the apple of his grandfather's eye. (亨利是他爺爺的心肝寶貝)
|the salt of the earth|
We think of ourselves as the salt of the
His father is the salt of the earth. (他父親是個正派的好人)
註：本成語源自《聖經》《馬太福音》(Matthew) 中的 "You are the salt of the earth." (你們是世上的鹽)。
|two bites at the cherry/a second bite at the cherry|
One is not often given two
bites at the cherry in the world of business. (在商界，倘若失去一次機會，很可能就沒有第二次機會了)
He failed the exam last summer, but fortunately he gets two bites at the cherry and will do the re-sit in September. (他今夏的考試沒有過關，但幸運地他獲得了第二次機會，將在九月再考一次)
He's very lucky – he gets a second bite at the cherry in October if he fails the exam in June. (他非常幸運 -- 如果六月的考試沒有過關，他十月還有機會再考一次)
|upset the/someone's apple cart (or apple-cart)|
Everything was going well at
the company until he came along and upset the apple cart.
|worth one's salt|
|He has only been working here for a month but over and over he has proved that he is worth his salt.|