Monday, September 12, 2016

English and Chinese idioms


Can't judge a book by its cover,意思是説
Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.

Kill two birds with one stone
This idiom means to accomplish two different things at the same time.

說曹橾曹橾便到和 Speak of the devil! 類似。但是中國人心中的曹橾與西方人眼下的魔鬼是相同概念嗎?
This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.

破綻百出和 More holes than a Swiss cheese 略通。瑞士起司千瘡百孔 正好用來指稱某項事物毛病太多。
While delicious, Swiss cheese is hard, pale yellow or white with many holes. If something has more holes than a Swiss cheese, it has a lot of problems; there are many things wrong with it. It is incomplete or lacks important components.
Example: You can do better, Mary. This essay has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

啞口無言 類似英文的 Cat got your tongue. 被抓到把柄,不知道如何回應時,可以用這一俗諺。

Imagine a cat eating or holding your tongue! Would you be able to speak? No, probably not. That is exactly what the phrase means. If a cat got your tongue, you are unable to speak. Your silence is oddly suspicious. Apparently, the phrase stems from the middle ages when witches were greatly feared. It was said that if you saw a witch, her cat would somehow “steal” your tongue so you couldn’t report the sighting. Not a nice thought but definitely a reason why you would be speechless.
Example: Come on, Bob! Tell us what you think about our little party. What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?

If you’ll pardon my French,是説髒話後的藉口。意思有推脫使用粗話乃萬不得已,就當做聽到法文吧!
“Pardon my French,” or “excuse my French” is an informal apology for the use of profane, swear or taboo words. The expression dates back to the 19th century when it was fashionable for Englishmen to use French words–a foreign language then–in conversation, knowing the listener may not understand.
Example: What she needs is a kick in the ass, if you‘ll excuse my French.

三十六計走為上策,Do a runner


When someone does a runner, he leaves a place in a hurry in order to avoid paying for something (like in a restaurant) or flees a difficult situation to escape punishment. Like many British idioms, this particular idiom originates from one of Shakespeare’s popular plays, Anthony and Cleopatra, a gripping story of romance and tragedy that was first performed in 1606.
Example: At this point, the con artist did a runner with all her money.