2016年7月12日 星期二

和“腳”有關的12個用語

. 2016年7月12日 星期二

1 to put your best foot forward

  你正在找工作,和某個公司約好了去面談,或者你第一次要去和一位異性會面,這個時候你就想要給他們一個好印象。這在英文裡就是 to put your best foot forward。為了給人造成一個好印象,也就是說 to put your best foot forward,你在去面談前肯定會盡量把衣服穿得體面一些,在和人面談的過程中臉上還老是笑容可掬。

  下面這個例子就是某人在給別人出主意,如何設法給招工的單位留一個好印象:

  Better get a haircut before you go to that job interview tomorrow. You want to put your best foot forward because there are twenty other people after the same job.

  你明天去那個公司面談前最好去理一下發。你得給他們一個好印象才行,因為有二十多個人都在爭奪這個工作。

  又如:I finally got a date with that girl I've been trying to go out with so long. So I'm putting my best foot forward and sending her a dozen roses and a box of chocolates before I pick her up tomorrow.

  我總算和那個女孩約好了明天一起出去玩,這是我長久以來所夢寐以求的。所以,我在明天去接她前先送她一打玫瑰花和一盒巧克力,這樣好給她一個好印象。


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  2 to get off on the wrong foot

  那麼,有的人一開始就給人一個壞印像是怎麼說的呢? To get off on the wrong foot,這是指某人一開始就沒給人一個好印象,或一開始由於某種行為而把事情弄糟了。

  例如:When Joe went to his new job, he got off on the wrong foot--on the first morning he upset his new boss by arriving at the store two hours late. And right now he's out looking for a job again.

  喬找到了一份新的工作,可是他剛開始到那家店裡去上班時就給人一個壞印象。第一天上班他就晚到兩個小時,讓他的老闆好不高興。現在他又在找工作了。

  To get off on the wrong foot 這個俗語實際上可以適用於任何情況。下面一個例子是一個男學生在說他交女朋友的情況:

  I finally got a date with that new girl in class but I sure got off on the wrong foot with her: I had car trouble and got to her place almost two hours late.

  那天我終於和班上新來的那個女同學約好了出去玩。可是,當天我的車出了問題,晚了兩個小時才去接她,所以我一開頭就把事弄糟了。 ”

  3 to land on your feet

  你難免有的時候會在生活中或工作中碰到一些麻煩和困難,可是,要是你很聰敏或者很幸運的話,這些麻煩和困難就都能得到解決。美國有一個俗語就是形容這種情況的,這就是 to land on your feet。 To land on your feet 的字面意思是:你的腳站在地上。確切含義是:你在經歷了一些困難後最後又回到一個穩定的狀態,也可以說是逢凶化吉了。那麼,這個俗語的出處是什麼呢?有的語言專家認為,這個俗語可能來自對貓的觀察。你也許注意到,當一隻貓從樹上掉下來的時候,它表現出一種特殊的技能:它能在空中還沒有落地之前調整自己身體的姿勢,從而使自己平安地落地。

  例如:My brother Joe got fired for never coming to work on time, but he landed on his feet and found another job that paid twice as much money.

  我的弟弟因老是不准時上班而被公司解雇了。可是,他倒是逢凶化吉又找到了一份工作,而且工資還加了一倍。

又如:Mr. Green is one of these people who's not afraid to put his money into some very risky investments. Sometimes he'll lose out, but somehow he usually manages to land on his feet and find money to put into something else that makes a profit.

  格林先生就是那種不怕冒很大危險去投資的人。有時,他也確實會虧本,但是他總是會逢凶化吉,找到錢去投資生財的。

  4 to put your foot in your mouth

  有意無意做錯事、說錯話的情況是很經常的。下面我們要講的一個俗語就是無意中說錯了話而傷害了別人,或者叫自己很不好意思。這個俗語就是:to put your foot in your mouth。

  例如:When Sally told that silly joke about the sailor with one leg she really put her foot in her mouth. She didn't know the man across the dinner table had a brother at home in a wheelchair.

  沙莉吃晚飯時說了一個笑話,拿一個只有一條腿的水手開玩笑。她可不知道坐在飯桌對面那個人的哥哥就是個殘廢,行動都得靠輪椅。 Sally如果事後了解情況的話,她肯定會說:"Well, I certainly have put my foot in my mouth."

  又如:I certainly put my foot in my mouth at the party last night when I asked Mister Brown to say hello to his wife for me. Somehow I'd forgotten that his wife died six months ago.

  我昨晚在那個聚會上無意中說錯了話。我讓布朗先生替我向他的太太問好。不知怎麼回事,我忘了他太太已經在半年前去世了。

5 cold feet

  一個人在充滿信心的時候往往就會無所畏懼,勇往直前。但是,當一個人對某件事感到膽怯的時候,他就會畏縮不前。我們經常可以看到一種情況:有的人對一件事開始的時候很有信心,很有把握。可是,事到臨頭就變得沒有勇氣了。在英文裡有一個俗語是用來形容類似情況的,那就是 cold feet。 Cold 是冷的意思,feet 就是兩隻腳。 Cold feet 並不是在雪地裡走而使你的腳很冷。 Cold feet 是指臨時上場感到膽怯。

  例如:Peter told his wife that this time he was really going to walk in and demand a pay raise from the boss. But when he arrived at the office, he got cold feet.

  皮特對自己的妻子說,這次他可一定要到他老闆的辦公室去要求增加工資了。可是,他一到了辦公室就感到膽怯,不敢去見他的老闆。

  這種臨陣脫逃的現像是很常見的。下面我們要舉的例子恐怕會引起許多聽眾的共鳴:

  I really need to get my teeth fixed, but every time I start to phone the dentist, I think about the sound of that drill and right away I get cold feet.

  我實在應該去牙大夫那兒看牙了。但是,每當我拿起電話想和大夫預約的時候,我就好像聽到那鑽牙的聲音,一下子,我就害怕起來了。

  6 Jump in and get your feet wet

  事到臨頭打退堂鼓,出現cold feet 的現像也許是一個弱點,但是在美國成語裡,把腳弄濕倒是一件好事。比如說,好些聽眾都在學英語。許多初學的人都怕難為情而不敢用英語來對話。可是,老師很可能就會勸這些學生: Jump in and get your feet wet。 Jump in and get your feet wet 這個俗語的意思是:到實踐中去學,也可以說是跳到游泳池裡學游泳。

例如:I know most of you are afraid to embarrass yourselves by trying to speak English after these first few lessons. But that's the best way to learn: when you meet an American, try a few words--jump in and get your feet wet .

  我知道你們大多數人感到剛上了幾課英語,就用英語來說話很不好意思。不過,當你見到美國人時,你不妨試著說一點。到實踐中去學是最好的辦法。

  又如:I want to get into politics so I'm volunteering to put up signs for one of the people running for mayor. I don't get paid for it but it's a chance to jump in and get my feet wet.

  我希望將來能夠到政界去工作,所以我現在在幫一個競選市長的候選人張貼宣傳標語。我幫他做這些事是完全義務的,沒有工資的。但是,這是到實踐中去得到一些經驗的好機會。

  7 to get a foot in the door

  美國的商品推銷員在不很久以前還是挨家挨戶地去推銷商品,例如吸塵機、廚房用品、百科全書和聖經等。當一位家庭主婦聽到敲門聲,把門打開的時候,精明能幹的推銷員就會把一隻腳先伸到門裡邊,這樣可以避免在他還沒有機會介紹他的商品之前女主人就把門關上了。這種挨家挨戶訪問的推銷員現在幾乎已經消聲匿跡了,大多數推銷員現在都靠電話來招攬生意。可是,把一隻腳先伸到門裡邊這個說法卻成了一個人們經常用的俗語了,在英文裡就是:to get a foot in the door。 To get a foot in the door 的意思就是:為了達到一個目的邁出了第一步,儘管你可能離達到目的的距離還很遠。

  例如:You know that beautiful girl who sits ahead of me in English class? She keeps turning me down for dates, but I finally got a foot in the door today: she met me for coffee after class.

  你知道英語課坐在我前面那個很漂亮的女孩子嗎?我請她出去玩,她老是拒絕我。可是,今天我算是邁出了第一步。她答應下了課和我一起去喝咖啡。

  又如:Getting into politics is tough. But Martin got his foot in the door when he volunteered to go around town putting up posters for the Republican candidate for Congress.

  要進入政界是很難的。可是,馬丁曾經在當地義務地幫助那些共和黨競選國會議員的候選人張貼標語,這樣他為能夠進入政界邁出了第一步。

  8 to be dead on one's feet

  一整天在電線桿上貼標語或招貼畫確實是很累的。馬丁回到家的時候可能會感到兩隻腳累得連站都站不動了。也有一個俗語來形容這種情景:to be dead on one's feet。美國雖然是最先進的國家之一,但仍然有好多職業需要工作人員站著做的,售貨員就是其中之一。站了一天,到了下班的時候,他們必然會感到兩隻腳很累。

例如:Honey, I've got to sit down and rest before I take you out to dinner. I'm really dead on my feet tonight: we had the big year-end sale on and I was so busy I didn't even have time for lunch.

  親愛的,我得坐下歇一會兒再和你一起出去吃晚飯。我今天晚上兩隻腳實在累死了。我們正在舉行年底大減價,我忙的連午飯都沒有時間吃。

  又如:My parents took me to Constitution Avenue to see the parade. After standing there for a whole day, my mom was so dead on her feet that she could not even cook dinner for us by the time we got home.

  我爸爸媽媽帶我到憲法大街去看遊行。我們在那兒站了一天,回到家的時候,我媽媽的腳累得要死,連做晚飯也做不動了。
9 to stand on one's own two feet

  To stand on one's own two feet 的意思恐怕不難猜到。一個人如果能站穩腳跟的話,他就一定能獨立自主,靠自己的力量來辦事。我們下面要舉的一個例子是一位父親擔心他的兒子吸毒或酗酒,所以在勸告他的兒子:

  Son, somebody may try to get you to smoke marijuana or drink, just to fit in with the crowd. But I hope you can stand on your own two feet and say no.

  兒子呀,有的人為了要你合群也許會勸你喝酒或吸毒。但是我希望你能夠獨立自主,拒絕他們的引誘。

又如:Bill Brown has managed to stay in Congress now for twenty years. The voters don't always agree with him but they really like the way he stands on his own feet and makes his own decisions on which way to vote, regardless of pressures from all the lobbyists.

  比爾·布朗在國會當議員已經二十年了。選民們不一定都同意他的觀點,但是他們倒很欣賞他在對各種提案投票時的那種獨立自主精神。不管那些遊說者給他施加多大壓力,他都按自己的決定投票。

  10 to throw oneself at someone's feet

  To throw oneself at someone's feet 這個俗語可以解釋為:公開對某人表示愛慕。

  比如說,一個男子在幻想自己未來的婚事,他對他的朋友說:

  I'm still looking for the right girl to marry. And when I find her, I'll throw myself at her feet and ask her to spend the rest of her life with me.

  我現在還在物色一個我認為合適的女孩作為我的妻子。一旦我找到了,我就要拜倒在她的石榴裙下,懇求她作為我的終身伴侶。

  To throw oneself at someone's feet 還可以解釋為:為了得到一些好處而溜鬚拍馬,或拜倒在某人腳下。

  下面的例子是說一個被判了罪的犯人:

  The prisoner who has been convicted as a traitor threw himself at the feet of the judge and beg for mercy.

  那個被定罪為叛徒的犯人拜倒在法官的面前,求他發發慈悲。

  11 to be swept off one's feet

  我們講過to throw oneself at someone's feet,這是公開表示對某人的愛慕之情,或是拍馬奉承、百般討好某人。可是,被愛慕或討好的對象往往會突然感到非常興奮而不由自主地變得飄飄然起來。這種情景在英文裡是這麼說的:to be swept off one's feet,就是指一個人由於一件使他興奮的事而感到不由自主。

  下面我們要舉的一個例子就可以看出一個人在 throwing himself at someone's feet 以後所可能產生的後果:

  Dick was so crazy about Jane that he threw himself at her feet. Jane was swept off her feet and they're getting married next Tuesday.

  迪克實在是愛簡,他完全拜倒在她的石榴裙下。這一下使得簡感到飄飄然,不由自主了。他們竟然決定下星期二就結婚。

  這種閃電式的結婚確實有點過於匆忙。下面一個例子就是一個人在勸他的朋友不要草率從事。這也說明 to be swept off one's feet 這個俗語不一定完全適用於被愛慕的人,也可以用在其他場合:

  Hal, I know how anxious you are to get married and start a family. But don't let yourself get swept off your feet by a pretty face: think about what you are doing before you get caught.

  海爾,我知道你是非常急於結婚成家。但是,你不要被一張漂亮的臉弄得昏昏然的。在問題還沒有發生前,你得腦子清楚一些,明白自己到底在幹什麼。

  12 Don't let the grass grow under one's feet

  像結婚這樣的事確實應該慎重考慮,不能操之過急。但是有的時候,我們處理事情也不能拖拖拉拉,浪費時間。這在英文裡就是:Don't let the grass grow under one's feet。從字面上來解釋,這句話的意思是:不要讓草在你腳底下長出來,實際上也就是說,你不要什麼事也不干,浪費時間。

  例如:Right now the house is a rea​​l bargain. Don't let the grass grow under your feet--sign the agreement today before somebody grabs it.

  這是一個房產經紀人在對一個買主說話​​。他說:“現在房產價格實在是非常便宜。你不要浪費時間,最好今天就簽合同,免得給別人把這棟房子搶走。”

  Don't let the grass grow under your feet 是推銷產品的人經常說的話。例如:

  I tell you, don't let the grass grow under you feet--this is the last day of this sale and the price on this model goes up a thousand dollars tomorrow!

  我告訴你,今天是這次減價的最後一天。這種型號的車子,明天就要上漲一千美元。所以你不要猶豫不決,浪費時間。

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