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Shake a leg

[ 2010-09-09 09:10]     字号 [] [] []  
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Shake a leg
Nelly Min

Reader's question: Let's shake a leg. The kids are champing at the bit.

Could you explain "shake a leg" and "champ at the bit"?

My comments:

"Shake a leg" means to rouse yourself from sleep and get out of bed. Now it means "to hurry up."

Example: Come on, shake a leg!

"Champ" means to bite or chew (food) noisily like a horse. "Champ at the bit" means to be very eager, to show impatience at being held back or delayed. To champ at the bit is to be ready and anxious to do something. It's based on the idea of a horse chewing on the bit (piece of metal in its mouth that allows a rider to control its movements) when excited or nervous.

Example: The kids were champing at the bit to get into the swimming pool.

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About the author:

Nelly Min is a journalist at the China Daily website.