Each one 口语

第33讲:as American as apple pie; hot potato

美国人很喜欢吃apple pie。Apple pie是一种用烤箱制作的甜点心,它的外面是一层面粉,里面是用苹果做的馅儿。中文有时把 apple pie翻成”苹果排”。美国人喜爱吃 apple pie 是他们刚从欧洲移居到美洲来以后就开始了。每个家庭主妇都经常做苹果排。为了说明 apple pie 是美国生活的一个特点,人们常说: “As American as apple pie.” 这句话的意思是:就像苹果排一样具有美国特色。下面就是一个例子:   
“So many Asian restaurants have opened up in Washington that a writer on a daily paper here jokes that dim sum, Japanese sushi and Vietnamese spring rolls have become as American as applie pie.”   
这句话的意思是:”华盛顿开了那末多亚洲饭馆,一家报纸的记者开玩笑地说,广东点心、日本生鱼片加饭团和越南春卷都已经变成像苹果排一样的美国食品了。”   
美国人和其他各民族一样具有很多特色。除了爱吃applie pie以外,美国人有一个很突出的特点就是,他们非常喜爱运动,特别是球赛。许多大学都愿意录取好的运动员,给他们奖学金,但是他们得在念书的同时花好多时间练球,参加比赛,为学校争光。美国人喜爱球赛是有历史根源的,因为有些球类运动都是起源于美国。下面这个例子就说明了这一点:   
“Football and baseball are as American as apple pie as they were invented by Americans and played and watched everywhere in this country. Many people would glue to their TV sets whenever there are major competitions.”   
他说:”橄榄球和棒球是美国式的运动,因为它们是美国人发明的,全国各地都有人打这种球或看这类球赛。每当有重大比赛时,许多人就坐在电视机前不肯动了。”   
美国人也很喜欢吃土豆,特别是刚从烤箱里拿出来的一个个热气腾腾的土豆。下面我们要介绍的一个俗语是: hot potato。大家都知道 hot 的意思是热或烫。 Potato就是土豆。热的土豆固然好吃,但是它会烫你的手,你会想法马上甩掉的。 Hot potato作为俗语,它的意思就是一个争论很激烈的问题,没有一个人愿意为它承担责任。例如:   
“The question of whether to raise taxes to cut the budget deficit is a real hot potato for a lot of politicians.”   
这个人说:”是否用增加税收的方法来减少预算赤字的问题对于许多政客来说是一个棘手的问题。”   
下面这个例子是一位律师在给另一位律师提供建议:   
“If I were you, I’d drop that client like a hot potato; he’s always suing somebody for something, but he usually loses and he doesn’t pay his lawyer’s bills.”   
这个律师说:”要是我是你的话,我就把你那个顾客马上甩掉。他老是为了什么事去告别人,可是他总是输给别人,他还往往不付律师费。”   
今天我们讲了两个和美国人的特色有关的俗语。第一个是 as American as apple pie,这个俗语的意思是:和苹果排一样具有美国特色。我们讲的第二个俗语是 hot potato,hot potato是指难解决的问题。

 
第34讲:put all his eggs in the basket; eat crow

鸡蛋也是一些美国俗语的组成部份。要是一个人把他所有的钱都当做赌注,想冒险发财,这在中文里是”孤注一掷”,在英文里就是: to put all his eggs in one basket。 Eggs就是鸡蛋,one basket 就是一只篮子。 To put all his eggs in one basket 的意思就是把所有的鸡蛋放在一只篮子里,这样是很冒险的。我们来举个例子:   
“If you want to play the stockmarket, it’s smarter to divide your money and buy three or four different stocks instead of putting the whole amount into just one stock and putting all your eggs in one basket.”   
这个人说:”要是你想玩股票,你最好是把你的钱分开来买三、四种不同的股票,这是比较聪敏的作法。你千万不要把所有的钱都买一种股票。”   
To put all your eggs in one basket 不仅可以用在经济方面,它还可以用在其他方面。下面这句句子就是一个例子:   
“Going steady in high school with only one member of opposite sex is a mistake. Go out with several people — don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”   
这是说:”在中学里只交一个男朋友,或一个女朋友,那是错误的。应该多交朋友,而不要把自己局限在一个人身上。”   
乌鸦是人们都讨厌的鸟,它又大又黑,叫的声音既粗又难听。乌鸦的肉也老得没法吃。可是,有一个美国俗语偏偏就是”吃乌鸦”: to eat crow。 Eat 就是吃,crow 就是乌鸦。乌鸦肉根本是没法吃的,因此要一个人吃乌鸦,那肯定是非常难受的。这也正是 to eat crow 这个俗语的意思。 To eat crow 的确切意思是一个人把自己弄得很丢脸,因为他犯了一个很难堪的错误,而又不得不承认。也许举个例子能够更好地说明 to eat crow 的意思:   
“That man running for mayor went around bragging he’d win the election by a big 50,000 majority. But he had to eat crow when the woman running against him won by more than 60,000 votes.”   
这句话的意思是:”那个竞选市长的人到处吹嘘说他肯定能得到大多数选民的拥护,以五万张选票当选市长。可是,现在他很丢脸,因为那位和他一起竞选的女候选人最后获得六万多张选票而当选市长。”   
可是,爱夸口的人似乎到处都是。下面的一个例子更是可笑:   
“Our neighbor had to eat crow yesterday. He’s been telling us what a good tennis player he is. Well, he took my 12-year-old son out to play and the kid beat him three straight sets.”   
这个人说:”我们的邻居真是丢了脸。他老是在我们面前吹嘘,说他网球打得多么多么好。他昨天带着我那十二岁的儿子去打网球,结果我儿子以三比零把他打败了。”   
现在让我们来复习一下今天讲的两个俗语。我们讲的第一个俗语是:to put all his eggs in one basket。 To put all his eggs in one basket 是指一个人把他所有的一切都当作赌注来冒险,也就是中文里”孤注一掷”的意思。今天我们讲的第二个俗语是:to eat crow。 To eat crow 是指因为自己的错误而丢脸。

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