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VOA慢速英語:詞匯掌故---與水有關的習語表達

放大字體  縮小字體 發布日期:2011-09-09  瀏覽次數:1965
核心提示:歡迎收聽美國之音慢速英語詞匯掌故節目。











Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
現在是美國之音慢速英語詞匯掌故節目。

Expressions about water are almost as common as water itself. But many of the expressions using water have unpleasant meanings.
關于水的表達幾乎和水本身一樣常見。但很多包含水的表達都有不愉快的含義。

The expression "to be in hot water" is one of them. It is a very old expression. "Hot water" was used five-hundred years ago to mean being in trouble. One story says it got that meaning from the custom of throwing extremely hot water down on enemies attacking a castle.
"to be in hot water"(遇到麻煩;陷入困境)就是其中之一。早在500年前,"Hot water"就用于表示遇到麻煩。有一種說法稱,這種表達起源于這樣一個傳統:當敵人襲擊一座城堡時,城堡中的人就會將滾燙的開水潑向敵人。

That no longer happens. But we still get in "hot water." When we are in "hot water," we are in trouble. It can be any kind of trouble -- serious or not so serious. A person who breaks a law can be in hot water with the police. A young boy can be in hot water with his mother, if he walks in the house with dirty shoes.
那種情況已不再發生。但我們仍會遇到麻煩。當說我們in hot water,也就是說我們遇到麻煩。它可以表示任何嚴重或不嚴重的麻煩。觸犯了法律人就會惹上警察。孩子穿著臟鞋在屋里亂走就會惹上他媽。

Being in "deep water" is almost the same as being in hot water. When you are in deep water, you are in a difficult position. Imagine a person who cannot swim being thrown in water over his head.
"in deep water"和"in hot water"含義幾乎一樣。當說你in deep water,也就是說你陷入困境中。想象一下,一個不會游泳的人被扔到深過頭頂的水中會是怎么樣?

You are in deep water when you are facing a problem that you do not have the ability to solve. You can be in deep water, for example, if you invest in stocks without knowing anything about the stock market.
當你面對自己無力解決的問題時,你就是in deep water。比如,如果你對股市一無所知時投資股票,你就會in deep water。

"To keep your head above water" is a colorful expression that means staying out of debt. A company seeks to keep its head above water during economic hard times. A man who loses his job tries to keep his head above water until he finds a new job.
"To keep your head above water"是一種饒有趣味的表達,意思是避免負債。公司在經濟困難時期尋求避免負債。失業男子在找到新工作前會避免負債。

"Water over the dam" is another expression about a past event. It is something that is finished. It cannot be changed. The expression comes from the idea that water that has flowed over a dam cannot be brought back again.
Water over the dam(覆水難收)是另一個和過去發生的事有關的表達。它指已發生,無法改變的事情。這個表達源自這樣一個觀點:從大壩溢出的水再也無法回流。

When a friend is troubled by a mistake she has made, you might tell her to forget about it. You say it is water over the dam.
當朋友被一個她犯下的錯誤所困擾,你告訴她要忘記這些。你就說,那個錯誤已經是覆水難收。

Another common expression, "to hold water," is about the strength or weakness of an idea or opinion that you may be arguing about. It probably comes from a way of testing the condition of a container. If it can hold water, it is strong and has no holes in it.
另一個常用表達to hold water是關于你可能爭論的一個想法或意見是否站得住腳。它可能源自測試容器狀態的方法。如果這個容器裝上水后不漏,那這個容器就沒有漏洞。

If your argument can hold water, it is strong and does not have any holes. If it does not hold water, then it is weak and not worth debating.
如果你的論點站得住腳,那它就無懈可擊。如果站不住腳,那就不值得辯論了。

"Throwing cold water" also is an expression that deals with ideas or proposals. It means to not like an idea. For example, you want to buy a new car because the old one has some problems. But your wife "throws cold water" on the idea because she says a new car costs too much.
"Throwing cold water"(潑冷水)是一個和想法或建議有關的表達。意思是不喜歡某個想法。例如,你想買輛新車,因為舊車有一些毛病。但你的妻子對你這個想法潑冷水,因為她說,新車太貴了。
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