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让外国人摸不着头脑的12个美国短语(下) 12 phrases Americans say that leave foreigners completely stumped (partⅡ)

中国日报网 2020-02-20 08:49

有时候尽管你认识一个短语的每一个词,但你未必知道这个短语的真正含义。下面这些美国短语的实际意思都和字面意思相差甚远,让外国人一头雾水。

 

Photo by Jonas Thijs on Unsplash

 

让外国人摸不着头脑的12个美国短语(上)

 

Behind the eight ball 处于困境中

When Americans say they're "behind the eight ball," it means they're in a difficult position.
如果美国人说他们behind the eight ball,意思是他们处境困难。

Dating to the 1930s, this Americanism refers to the game of pool. A player positioned behind the eight ball cannot hit it.
这个短语要追溯到20世纪30年代,在当时的美国英语中这是一个台球术语。如果你的球在8号球后面,那选手就很难出击。(因为8号球提前落袋就算输) 

 

The cat's out of the bag 秘密泄露

If "the cat's out of the bag," it means you've revealed a secret.
如果the cat's out of the bag(猫从袋子里出来了),意思是你泄露了秘密。

This idiom first appeared with its current meaning in a London book review from 1760. Upset about a spoiler alert, the reviewer wrote, "We could have wished that the author had not let the cat out of the bag."
这个习语首次以这个含义出现是在1760年的一篇伦敦书评中。当时因为剧透而感到失望的评论家写道:“我们多希望作者没有剧透。”

 

Table an item 搁置议题

When Americans "table an item," they set it aside for consideration later.
当美国人table an item时,他们会将其搁置在一旁,以后再考虑。

In British and Commonwealth English, this phrase has the opposite meaning. If you table something (i.e. a proposal) in countries such as the UK and Ireland, you're considering a decision rather than postponing it.
在英国和英联邦国家的英语中,这个短语的意思则相反。如果你在英国和爱尔兰等国家table一个议案,意思不是推迟,而是商讨出一个决议。

In the US, however, when a topic is "tabled," that typically means that it's postponed, or it will sit there on the metaphorical table until it can be discussed at a later date. To make things even more confusing, the phrase "on the table" in America could mean that something is up for discussion.
然而,在美国,如果一个议题被tabled,通常指这个议题被延后或搁置,以后再讨论。更让人困惑的是,on the table这个短语在美国的意思是“提到议程上”。

 

Photo by Buenas Dicas on Unsplash

 

Jump on the bandwagon 随大流

When you "jump on the bandwagon," you're joining a popular activity or supporting a popular cause.
当你jump on the bandwagon时,你要参加一个流行的活动或支持一个热门事业。

In the 19th century, American showman and circus owner PT Barnum coined the term "bandwagon," which referred simply to the wagon that carried the circus band.
19世纪,美国演出团和马戏团老板P·T·巴纳姆造了bandwagon这个词,指的是马戏团乘坐的四轮马车。

Noting that parades were an effective way to attract attention, politicians took a page from the circus workers' book and began incorporating bandwagons into their campaign strategies.
发现游行是吸引注意力的有效方式后,政客们借鉴马戏团的做法,开始把花车纳入竞选策略中。

take a page from: 效仿,借鉴

 

But it was Teddy Roosevelt who helped cement the figurative phrase in the American lexicon, when, in 1899, he referenced political bandwagons in a letter he wrote.
不过,确立这个短语在美国词汇中比喻用法的是西奥多·罗斯福。1899年,他在一封信中提到了政治花车。

 

Nosebleed section 最差的座位

If you're sitting in the "nosebleed section," you're seated in the highest (and cheapest) seats of an arena or performance space.
如果你坐在nosebleed section(流鼻血的区域),你坐在场馆或剧院中最高也是最便宜的座位上。

This phrase refers to the fact that high altitudes can cause nosebleeds. In the UK, the highest seats at a theater are known as "the gods."
这一短语影射的事实是高纬度会让人流鼻血。在英国,剧院中最高处的座位被称作“神座”。

 

Throw someone under the bus 出卖

If someone "throws you under the bus," they're betraying you for their own advancement.
如果某人throws you under the bus(把你从公交车扔下去),意思是他们为了自己的晋升而出卖你。

This idiom might have evolved from a few British expressions from the 1970s, such as "fall under a bus" or "go under a bus."
这个习语可能源自20世纪70年代的几个英式表达,比如fall under a bus或go under a bus(掉到公交车下)。

 

英文来源:内幕网

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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