English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> 译通四海> 翻译服务

Get one’s ass in gear

[ 2009-06-02 15:35]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Reader question:

Her big sister just couldn't seem to get her ass in gear. Could you explain “to get one’s ass in gear”?

These days the boundary between what is rude and what is acceptable is constantly shifting.

In years past to use the term ‘ass’ often spelt ‘arse’ may have been considered offensive though today it appears increasingly in the popular media.

Looking at the above phrase if we think of a car or bike or any engine or machine that has gears, which are used to drive motion, then we get the idea of movement and action.

By putting ‘ass’ into the phrase, as in ‘get one’s ass into gear’, then it means ‘you should start to do something’, or ‘you should get in a position to be ready for movement’, or ‘you should start moving and stop wasting time’.

It also implies that you are messing about, not being serious, perhaps dawdling or being silly, so if someone yells or commands you ‘to get ya ass into gear!’ – you need to wake up and start reacting asap.

(Remember just because something is popular doesn’t mean we have to follow it so before endorsing any phrase that uses ‘ass’ let me suggest a little bit of caution so you don’t create the wrong impression with anyone who is more conservative. To substitute you could say – ‘could you please get a move on’)

Related stories:

Free-range kid

Take the high road

A feeling for a "soft touch"


Toxic assets 有毒资产

Pet project






About the author:

Get one’s ass in gear

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.