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[VOA朗读] Words and Their Stories: More Clothing Expressions

(2010-08-22 00:03:14) 下一个

Last week, I explained some English expressions about clothes. Everything I told you was true. I did not talk through my hat or say something without knowing the facts.

Everyone knows there are many English expressions about clothes. There is no need to keep it a secret, or keep it under your hat. In fact, if I keep talking, soon enough you will start to think I am an old hat about this -- a real expert. Do not be fooled, though. My friends sometimes call me a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is someone who acts like a good person, but is really a bad person.

I’m not really a bad person. But I do love clothes. It is always fun to get dressed up. I look great in my best clothes. When I put them on, I feel decked out. You might say when I wear my best clothes, I am dressed to the nines or dressed to the teeth. In fact, my husband says I look dressed to kill. Of course, I would never kill anyone. But, there is something special about putting on clothes that are pleasing to the eye.

My best clothes are not modern or fashionable. Maybe someday they will come into fashion. But I really do not care. They certainly look better on me than my birthday suit. Did you know that everyone has a birthday suit? You wear it when you are wearing no clothes at all. Babies are born wearing their birthday suits.

I am very careful with my clothes. I handle them with kid gloves. I try not to get them dirty or torn. Most of my clothes fit like a glove. They fit perfectly. But when I eat too much, I feel like my clothes might burst at the seams. My clothes feel too restrictive and tight.

Some of the clothes I like best are hand-me-downs. My older sister gave them to me when she no longer wanted them. Hand-me-downs are great because clothes often cost too much money. I live on a shoestring. I have a very small budget and little money to spend on clothes. However, my sister has a lot of money to spend on clothes. Maybe someday the shoe will be on the other foot. The opposite will be true. I will have a lot of money to buy clothes and my sister will get hand-me-downs from me.

I admit I dream of being rich. I dream that someday I will be able to live like a rich person. I will know what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes. Some of my friends got rich by riding someone else’s coat tails. They are successful today as a result of someone else being successful. But, I believe you should never criticize others for something you would do yourself. What is said about someone else can also be said about you. Remember, if the shoe fits, wear it.

注1)To talk through one's hat
这个俗语的意思就是:说话的人自己根本不懂,所以他的话实际上是胡说八道。这个俗语是出自两百年前的一次总统竞选。在1888年,纽约的一家报纸登了一幅漫画,讽刺当时正在竞选总统的本杰明·哈里森。哈里森经常戴一顶很高的帽子,所以漫画家把他的帽子画得很大,连他的脸都给遮住了。漫画下面的注解说,当哈里森发表竞选演说的时候,他是通过他的帽子向听众说话的,也就是他是在胡说八道 。尽管如此,哈里森还是在那次竞选中当选为美国总统。
例句: Anybody who says we can balance the budget without raising taxes is just talking through his hat.

注2) keep something under one’s hat. 它的意思是keep something secret,即隐瞒某事。我们可以从字面上理解这个片语:朋友们想想,如果我们把某物放在帽子里,或把某物放在帽子下使之被遮住,不正是“隐瞒“的意思吗?
例句:Greg leaked information about his company to a competitor for getting more pay. Although he tried to keep it under his hat, finally, his boss found out and called the police.
译文:Greg 为了获得许多钱,泄露了他们公司的信息给竞争者,虽然他尽力隐瞒,但最后他的老板还是发现了并报了警。

注3) old hat 陈腐的东西,过时的东西;非常熟悉或擅长的事物,专家

注4) a wolf in sheep’s clothes 披着羊皮的狼
例句:He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,outwardly kind but inwardly vicious!

注5) decked out 打扮得光彩照人

注6) be dressed to the nines 打扮得非常漂亮,穿着华丽,穿得很讲究。to the nines 表示很完美
例句:The girls were dressed up to the nines and went to the party.

注7)Dress to the Teeth = dressed elegantly
A: Did you see Hilda at the party last night?
B: Yes, I did. She was really dressed to the teeth!
A: Well, she had on her finest, most elegant clothing because she was out to make a good impression on Bill.

注8) be dressed to kill打扮得打扮得漂亮入时。Dressed to kill意思当然不是穿上蒙面的紧身衣去干杀人的勾当; dressed to kill用来指穿上了华丽讲究或者时髦新颖的服装大出风头,可能有人会想不通这个习惯用语的来历。
一种解释是如此漂亮的打扮让人见了倾倒销魂。人们说某人dressed to kill通常的含义是这人精心打扮为了吸引异性的注意。比方说在下面的例子里说话的人在说他兄弟Pete去跟女朋友约会时的穿着打扮。
例句:Pete usually wears jeans and a T-shirt. But last night it was hard to recognize him -- he was dressed to kill because he finally got a date with that blond he's admired for so long.

注9) birthday suit是英美特别是美国惯用的一则非常幽默的俚语,常用作"complete nakedness(赤身裸体)"的一种委婉说法,它本身隐喻的是一个人呱呱堕地时一丝不挂的情景。

注10) handle with kid gloves  灵活处理,温和、小心对待。 Glove是手套,而这儿的kid指羊羔,所以kid gloves就是羊羔皮手套。这种手套十分柔软细滑,而得戴着羊羔皮手套才能触摸摆弄的想必是那种碰不得的、务必倍加小心的物件。当然handle with kid gloves作为习惯用语是作比喻的。
例句:She is very sensitive about the subject.You will have to handle her with kid gloves.

注11) fit like a glove (大小、形状)完全合适,恰好合身

注12) burst at the seams胀破,过满,过于拥挤

注13) hand-me-down 别人用旧或不要而传到他人的东西,尤指留给弟弟妹妹的衣服

注14) live on a shoestring 过极节俭的生活,靠很少钱过日子,过紧日子

注15) the shoe is on the other foot 形势完全不同了,今非昔比

注16) walk in someone’s shoes 穿别人的鞋子走路,引申为设身处地,推己及人,相同经历

注17) ride someone’s coattails 直译是压着别人的燕尾服的意思,引申为利用与成功人士的关系达到目的、获得成功。

注18) If the shoe fits, wear it. 如果是真的就承认吧/如果认为是对的就做吧。

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