英語成語園地-其他篇

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a/the bag of tricks
各種訣竅、方法;全部法寶。
My father is so clever and has a bag of tricks. I'm sure he can help us. (我父親很聰明,很會想辦法。我肯定他能幫助我們)
I've used my whole bag of tricks, but we still haven't solved this problem. (我已經用盡了各種辦法,但我們仍未解決這個問題)

註:除了 a 和 the 之外,bag 的前面也可用所有格,且經常用 whole 來修飾。不過,這成語也可用來指負面的很多做壞事的手法。

a breath of fresh air
令人耳目一新的人事物。
Brenda was a talented and beautiful entertainer, a breath of fresh air in an industry full of people all trying to copy each other. (布琳達是個有天賦又美麗的藝人,在一個充滿相互抄襲、模仿之輩的行業令人耳目一新)
In the wake of all the criticism, Raymond's positive comments came as a breath of fresh air. (繼所有人不是批評就是責難之後,雷蒙的正面談話令人耳目一新)

babe in the woods
沒有經驗、容易上當的人;小孩般天真的人。
When it comes to dealing with men, Cynthia's just a babe in the woods. (談到與男人打交道,辛西亞可是一點經驗都沒有)
We're all babes in the wood in business matters. (我們全都沒有做生意的經驗)

註:這成語源於一則有關兩個小孩冒冒失失地進入樹林,沒有意識到潛在危險的故事。就「(小) 樹林」的意思而言,wood 和 woods 同義。
 
be/come down on somebody like a ton of bricks
嚴厲責備;嚴厲處罰。
If you miss any more classes, your teachers will be down on you like a ton of bricks. (如果你再有一次不去上課,你的老師一定會嚴懲你)
If my father finds me misbehaving, he'll come down on me like a ton of bricks. (如果我父親發現我搗蛋的話,他決不會輕饒我)
 
(hit) below the belt
(評論、批評或攻擊等) 不公平的;卑鄙的;卑劣的。
That new advertisement really hits below the belt. (那支新廣告真是卑鄙)
The remarks John made about his wife's failure seemed to be hitting below the belt (or his remarks were a bit below the belt). (約翰因他太太失敗所講的那些話對她頗不公平)

註:這句成語的意思是說,跟別人吵架或發生衝突時,或者在選舉進入白熱化時,若要評論、批評或攻擊對手,應該就事論事,不要把別人的陳年舊帳或個人隱私翻出來,這對別人來說是不公平的,而這種行為也顯得不夠光明磊落,甚至是一種卑鄙、卑劣的作法。
 
close, but no cigar
離正確或成功只差一步。
A: Guess who I took for dinner last night. (猜猜我昨晚帶誰共進晚餐)
B: My sister? (我妹?)
A: Close, but no cigar. (很接近了)
B: Who then? (到底是誰?)
A: Your wife. (你太太)

Amy: How did you do in the contest? (你的比賽怎麼樣?)
Paul: Close, but no cigar. I got second place. (差一點就是冠軍。我得到第二名)

註:這成語及其後來衍生的變體 (variant) "nice try, but no cigar" 皆起源於 20 世紀中期的美國,當時遊樂場或市集的攤位設置遊戲讓顧客玩並以雪茄做為獎品,如類似現今的套圈圈,當顧客差點套中時,攤位老闆或服務人員往往會說 "close, but no cigar" (差一點,但還拿不到雪茄)。日常生活中讓別人猜某個數字或某件事,當他們猜得很接近時,也可用這成語,相當實用也很傳神。Close, but no cigar 於 1935 年才首次出現在出版品,但自大約 1949 年起,美國報紙即廣泛使用這成語,包括用它來表示「千鈞一髮」(close call) 的意思。

for better or (for) worse
不管怎樣;不管是好是壞;不論好壞;無論發生什麼。
For better or worse, I've promised to marry her. (不管怎樣,我已答應娶她)
We now have a new government, for better or for worse. (不管是好是壞,我們現在有了新政府)

get a fix on someone/something
清楚地瞭解某人或某事。
The police were still not able to get a fix on the cause of the accident. (警方仍然不瞭解事故的原因)
I still haven't gotten a fix on my wife. (我對我太太還不是很瞭解)
After reading that biography, I felt I really had a fix on Chiang Ching-kuo. (讀了那本傳記之後,我覺得對蔣經國確實有了清楚的瞭解)

註:get 有時可用 have 來代替,如例句所示。

get/have/leave someone rolling in the aisles
使人 (指觀眾、聽眾) 捧腹大笑,笑得人仰馬翻。
I have the best jokes. I'll have them rolling in the aisles. (我有最棒的笑話。我會讓他們捧腹大笑)
What a great performance! It had us rolling in the aisles. (好棒的表演啊!它使我們笑得人仰馬翻)

give someone enough rope (to hang themselves)
放任某人讓其自取滅亡 (字面意思為「給某人足夠的繩子,他們就會上吊」)。
I let Kevin speak on, knowing that he would offend the CEO, and gave him just enough rope. (我讓凱文繼續說下去,就讓他自取滅亡,因為我知道他會冒犯執行長)
Frank's plans are totally impractical. Give him enough rope and he'll ruin his own reputation. (法蘭克的計畫完全不切實際。任由他去亂搞,就會使他自己名譽掃地)
 

give someone the third degree
盤問/質問某人;對某人逼供、刑訊。
My wife gave me the third degree when I got home last night. (昨晚我回家時,我太太對我盤問再三)
Cindy has promised she won't give me the third degree about the matter any longer. (辛蒂已保證,她不會再質問我那件事了)
 
have a soft spot for
偏愛 (某人或某物)。
I've always had a soft spot for my old English teacher. (我一直很喜歡我以前的英文老師)
I've got a real soft spot for Judy. (我真的很喜歡茱蒂)
Karen has a soft spot for stray dogs. (凱倫偏愛流浪犬)
 
(a) knight in shining armor
救苦救難的大好人 (這成語大多出自女性之口,而她們口中的大好人通常是男性)。
Cindy is looking for a knight in shining armor who can save her from her boring life. (辛蒂正在尋找一位可以使她擺脫無聊生活的大好人)
Woman: My bag was stolen! (女子:我的包包被偷了!)
Knight in shining armor: Let me chase him down for you! (大好人:我幫妳去追捕他吧!)
Woman: Thanks, you're like my knight in shining armor. (女子:謝謝,你像是救苦救難的大好人)
 
lay it on the line
實話實說;坦率地說。
You're just going to have to lay it on the line and tell Sam his work's not good enough. (你一定要實話實說,告訴山姆,他的工作做得不夠好)
Mom really laid it on the line and told me I couldn't get my pocket money unless all my grades went up. (媽媽很明白地告訴我,除非我全部成績都有提升,否則別想拿到零用錢)
 
leave somebody in the lurch
臨危捨棄某人;置某人於困境而不顧。
I hope they can find someone to replace me at work. I don't want to leave them in the lurch. (我希望他們能找人做我的工作。我不想置他們於困難中而不顧)
I'd known Cindy well for years, and I never believed that she'd leave me in the lurch. (我跟辛蒂相知相交多年,我怎麼也不相信她竟在我處於困境時棄我不顧)

註:lurch 意為「(身體或機器) 突然的前衝或晃動」。
 

let something slide
放任不管;對…聽其自然;任由…惡化。
If you let your son's bad behavior slide, it is almost certain that he'll become a bad guy in the future. (如果你放任不管你兒子不良的行為,他將來幾乎肯定會變成壞蛋)
If Mary hadn't let English learning slide, she would have more job opportunities today. (如果瑪麗沒有在英文學習上鬆懈怠慢,她現在一定會有比較多的工作機會)
 
paint oneself into a corner
讓自己陷入困境。
Don't volunteer to do more work in the office or you'll paint yourself into a corner. (在辦公室別自願做較多的工作,否則你會讓自己陷入困境)
They've painted themselves into a corner by promising to announce the results of their investigation. (他們因答應公布調查結果而讓自己陷入困境)
 
par for the course
正常的,意料之中的;意料之中的事。
I worked for days on this proposal, but it was rejected. That's par for the course in our company. (我花了好幾天的時間來擬定這項計畫,但它卻被打了回票。這種情況在我們公司是正常的,不足為奇)
The school budget is going to be cut again this year, but that's par for the course. (學校預算今年將再度被砍,但那是意料之中的事)

註:par for the course 中的 course 是指 golf course (高爾夫球場) 而非 school course (學校課程)。
 
play a/the waiting game
故意拖延;待機行事。
The Ministry of National Defense has played a waiting game on the murder investigation. (國防部對這起殺人案的調查一直採取拖延戰術)
Those investors who are willing to play the waiting game may find it to their advantage. (那些願意待機行事的投資人可能發現這對他們有利)
 
pull one's (own) weight
盡自己的本分;做好分內的工作。
The rest of the team complained that Basil wasn't pulling his weight. (隊裡的其他人都抱怨巴茲爾未盡到自己的本分)
Jessica wasn't pulling her own weight, so she had to go. (潔西卡沒有做好分內工作,所以必須離開)
 
push one's luck
仗著自己的運氣;運氣好還要再好;冒險以期再走運;得寸進尺;貪心不足。
You didn't get caught last time, but don't push your luck! (上次沒逮到你,但可別再碰運氣了/但下次可沒那麼走運了!)
We've given you a lot of time off recently, but don't push your luck. (最近我們已讓你休了不少假,但別得寸進尺)
They've agreed to pay your travel expenses; I don't think it would be wise to ask for more money. Don't push your luck! (他們已同意支付你的差旅費;我認為,再要求更多的錢並非明智之舉。別貪心不足!)
 
put the kibosh on
打亂;破壞;阻止;妨礙。
I'm not willing to put the kibosh on Eugene, but he isn't doing what he is supposed to. (我不願妨礙尤金,但他沒在做他該做的事)
The rain put the kibosh on our plans for a picnic. (大雨破壞了我們的野餐計畫)
We had planned a two-day, 120-kilometer bike ride but bad weather put the kibosh on it. (我們原本打算進行兩天 120 公里的單車之旅,但惡劣的天氣使這項計畫泡了湯)
 
seal one's fate
決定某人的命運 (尤指厄運)。
His father's death sealed his fate, making it impossible for him to go to college. (他父親的過世決定了他的命運,使他無法上大學)
The CEO was about to make a speech that would seal the company's fate forever. (執行長即將發表決定這家公司今後命運的談話)
 
separate the grain/wheat from the chaff
分清好壞;區分優劣。
Although all the students seem equally quick and bright in class, a look through their written work is able to separate the grain from the chaff. (雖然所有學生在課堂上好像全都一樣聰明伶俐,但只要一看他們的書面作業就能分出高下了)
The CEO is in the hope that the new procedure for evaluating employees can separate the wheat from the chaff. (執行長希望新的員工評鑑程序能區分出優劣)
 
take the liberty of (doing something)
冒昧地 (做某事);擅自 (做某事)。
I took the liberty of telling Mary that her husband had borrowed five thousand dollars from me. (我冒昧地告訴瑪麗她先生向我借五千塊的事)
I took the liberty of asking an old friend of mine to join us for dinner. (我擅自邀請了一位老朋友和我們共進晚餐)

註:這成語通常用過去式且大多用於正式場合,如常見於書信中。
 
the plot thickens
事情 (或情節) 變得更曲折離奇。
The police assumed that the woman was murdered by her ex-husband, but he has an alibi. The plot thickens. (警方認為該女子是被她前夫所殺,但他有不在場證明。案情變得更加曲折離奇了)
Jack is supposed to be going out with Cindy, but I saw him last night with Amy. The plot thickens. (傑克應該跟辛蒂約會才對,但我昨晚看見他跟艾美在一起。事情變得更有趣了)
 
the real McCoy
真品;真貨;貨真價實的東西。
Those other paintings are copies, but this one is the real McCoy. (其他那些畫作都是仿製品,但這幅是真品)
You only paid $50 for a Birkin bag? Well it's definitely not the real McCoy. (妳只花了 50 美元就買了一款愛瑪仕的柏金包?那肯定不是真貨)
 
whipping boy
代罪羔羊;代人受過者。
The president has turned out to be the whipping boy for his party. (總統結果成了該黨的代罪羔羊)
Gavin is being made a whipping boy for the government's failures. (嘉文成了政府施政缺失的代罪羔羊)

註:這成語與 scapegoat 同義,其後往往接介系詞 for。

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