中英文成语意向差异众所周知。两种文化找到完全对应的意向十分罕见。如中文“热锅上的蚂蚁”,英文的表述为“A cat on the hot brick”;中文“瓢泼大雨”,英文的表述为“It rains cats and Dogs”等等。所以只有谙熟中英文化才能避免理解上的尴尬。

1. At a snail’s pace 龟速前行

Meaning: Moving very slowly. 涵义,运动迟缓。(汉语中用“龟速”替代“蜗牛”。)

This idiom is pretty self-explanatory because we know that snails and slugs move very slowly. This idiom has been used for a very long time. The phrase is found in William Shakespeare’s play “Richard III,” which was written and first performed in 16th century England.

这个习语不言而喻,因为我们知道蜗牛和蛞蝓移动得非常慢。这个成语已经使用了很长时间。这个短语出现在威廉·莎士比亚的戏剧《理查三世》(Richard III)中,该剧于16世纪在英国创作并首次演出。

Example: Traffic is moving at a snail’s pace. 例如,车辆龟速爬行。(汉语用“龟速”替代“蜗牛”。)


2. Busy as a bee 忙得不可开交

Meaning: Extremely busy. 涵义:非常繁忙。

This idiom originated from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” (specifically, “The Squire’s Tale”) which was written around 1386. The English is very old, but the phrase remains popular to this day.


“Lo, suche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen be, for ay as busy as bees.”


The above language looks very different from modern English, but the animal idiom is exactly the same. Today, the phrase is used to describe someone being very busy, but working with a purpose in a pleasant manner.


Example: My son is working on his science project. He’s been as busy as a bee all day.



3. Open a can of worms 弄成一团糟(弄巧成拙)

Meaning: Create a whole new set of problems该成语含义为“弄巧成拙”。

This phrase is often used when you try to solve a problem or answer a question, but you only create more problems or more questions.


Nobody is sure of the exact origin of this idiom, but some people believe it came from a time when fisherman bought canned worms for bait. They would bring the worms to the fishing site, but if they knocked the can over, they had a whole new problem of catching their bait.


Some also believe that “can of worms” is a modern version of the idiom, “Pandora’s box.” Pandora’s box comes from an old myth, and it also means to create a new set of problems.


Example: You’ve opened a real can of worms here.示例:你在这里将事情弄巧成拙。


4. Wild goose chase白费力气(竹篮打水)

Meaning: Chasing something that’s very difficult (or impossible) to catch.意思是“很难实现或不可能达成”。(类似汉语中“竹篮打水”)

Imagine chasing a wild goose around and trying to catch it. Geese are fast, strong and awkward animals—catching one would probably be very hard, and it would also look very silly!


While many use the idiom “wild goose chase” to describe something that’s hard to catch, it’s also used to describe a chase that takes the pursuer in a lot of different directions.

虽然许多人用成语“Wild goose chase”来描述难以捕捉的东西,但它也被用来描述追逐者在不同方向上的追逐(努力)行为。

Example: You’re taking me on a wild goose chase, will you just give me an exact address where I should go?



5. The world is your oyster世界由你做主/你可以随心所欲

Meaning: You have many good opportunities in front of you.涵义是“面前大把机会”。

It’s not easy to open an oyster. Finding opportunities in the world is like opening an oyster, meaning it’s not easy.


Sometimes, when you open an oyster, you’ll find a pearl. When you say that “the world is your oyster,” you have a positive outlook about the opportunities in front of you. If you have an oyster in your hands, it could contain a beautiful treasure that belongs completely to you.


Example: You just graduated from a wonderful university, so the world is your oyster!



6. Watching like a hawk像鹰一样盯着(像防贼一样)

Meaning: Watching something very, very, closely仔细端详。

Children often hear this idiom from a parent or other caregiver, “I’m watching you like a hawk.”


It’s often used to make sure that someone or something doesn’t misbehave or make a mistake.


Example: The boss watches us like a hawk. 例如,老板像鹰一样看管着我们。


7. Mad as a hornet (USA)像大黄蜂一样疯狂(暴跳如雷)

Meaning: Very angry, or furious愤怒或狂怒 (汉语用“疯狗”作为相对应的意向。)

A hornet is a type of wasp. When it gets angry, it can do a lot of damage, cause pain and generally be dangerous. If someone is saying that they’re as mad as a hornet, then they’re warning you to look out. While the term “mad as a hornet” is popular in the United States, other English-speaking countries and cultures often say something similar.


In the Southern region of the United States where farming was (and in some places still is) a major industry, people used to say the idiom “mad as a wet hen,” describing the anger a hen would have if you stole her eggs.


Example: Mom was as mad as a hornet when we broke the mirror.



8. Dog eat dog竞争激烈或恶性竞争(容易译成“狗咬狗”!)

Meaning: Very competitive 竞争激烈

When you use this idiom, you’re saying that the competition is so stiff (intense) that people will do anything to get ahead, even if it means hurting someone. “Dog eat dog” may be used to describe a situation, a school, a company or an industry.

当你使用这个习语时,你是在说竞争是如此激烈,以至于人们为了取得领先不惜一切,即使这意味着伤害他人。“dog eat dog”可以用来描述一种情况、一所学校、一家公司或一个行业。

The exact origin varies. It may have come from similar phrases used in English writings from a long time ago. For example, one similar phrase was used in a 16th century Latin proverb which says “dog does not eat dog.”


Example: It’s a dog eat dog world out there.这是一个竞争激烈(残酷)的世界。


9. Eagle eyes敏锐的眼光

Meaning: Have excellent vision, or watching something very closely, not missing a detail 意思是:有很好的眼光,或者非常仔细地观察某件事,不遗漏任何细节

This animal idiom is similar to “watching like a hawk,” but when someone says “eagle eye,” they may not be referring to catching someone in the act of doing something wrong. If you have an eagle eye, it means that nothing gets past you because you are very focused on details.


Example: The teacher goes over the tests with an eagle eye.



10. Get your ducks in a row 井井有条(有条不紊)

Meaning: Organize things 有条理的组织事物

When baby ducks walk behind their mother, they’re often in a straight line or “in a row.”


If someone is telling you to “get your ducks in a row,” it means to straighten up and it usually refers to a project or task.

如果有人告诉你“Get your ducks in a row”,这意味着要将工作等打理好,通常指的是一个项目或任务。

Example: I’ll be reviewing things to make sure you have your ducks in a row.



本文内容由互联网用户自发贡献,该文观点仅代表作者本人。本站仅提供信息存储空间服务,不拥有所有权,不承担相关法律责任。如发现本站有涉嫌抄袭侵权/违法违规的内容, 请发送邮件至 673862431@qq.com 举报,一经查实,本站将立刻删除。