1.Walls  have ears


Once upon a time, there was a curious man.


He liked to gossip about other peoples' privacy.


He knew too many secrets and found it hard to keep them all.


One day he drank several cups of wine, and while drunk spilled all the secrets.


To his surprise, the man next door heard all he said.


Very soon, everyone knew of his bad habit of gossiping.


The walls may not have ears, but the person next door does. "This idiom is often used to alert people to be careful about their words.





“隔墙有耳”形容了“墙上长了耳朵”的样子,巧的是,英语中还真的有“walls have ears”(墙壁长耳)。

据载,“walls have ears”首见于希腊。传说古希腊国王Dionysius(狄奥尼西奥斯,统治着西西里最富庶的城市Syracuse)实施独裁,其手中至宝 ——耳状岩洞,可以连通整个皇宫。凭借“耳朵”岩洞,皇宫里便没有秘密,所有言语全在狄奥尼西奥斯的监听范围之内。

也有说法认为,“walls have ears”始于巴黎卢浮宫。卢浮宫原为法国王宫,据说其墙壁中安装有神秘的传声管道,可供偷听使用。王后凯瑟琳摄政时期,就是靠这种“有耳”的墙壁来偷听可疑大臣的言谈的。

大约在17世纪20年代,“walls have ears”正式进入英语词汇,用以比喻秘密也会泄露,或是告诫人们说话留心,免得被偷听。



2. Try to help the Shoots grow by pulling them upward/spoil things by excessive enthusiasm



There once was an impatient farmer who lived during the Song Dynasty.(sòng cháo,960-1279 AD).


Everyday the anxious farmer would measure the growth of the crops.


To his dismay, his crops were growing much slower than he expected.


The farmer racked his brains trying to find better ways of planting in order to get quicker results.


One day he finally came up with a solution.


He started to physically pull the crops out of the ground, thus making them taller.


The farmer worked very hard and at day’s end was physically exhausted but mentally happy as his plan had produced the desired results.


When the farmer went home, he told his son of his “brilliant” method.


His son went to the field only to discover that all of his crops were all dead.





To educate the young generation in such a way is just like helping the shoots grow by pulling them upward. 



3.Adding Feet to a Snake



In the Warring States Period (zhàn guó 战国,475-221BC), a man in the State of Chu (chǔ guǒ楚国) was offering a sacrifice to his ancestors. 


After the ceremony, the man gave a beaker of wine to his servants.


The servants thought that there was not enough wine for all them, and decided to each draw a picture of a snake;  the one who finished the picture first would get the wine. One of them drew very rapidly.Seeing that the others were still busy drawing, he added feet to the snake.

大家商量说: “我们都来画蛇,谁先画好谁就喝这壶酒。”其中有一个人先画好 了。但他看到同伴还没有画完,就又给蛇添上了脚。


At this moment another man finished, snatched the beaker and drank the wine, saying, 'A snake doesn't have feet. How can you add feet to a snake? 





This idiom refers to ruining a venture by doing unnecessary and surplus things.




4.Covering One's Ears While Stealing a Bell



At the time when Fan, a nobleman of the state of Jin, became a fugitive, a commoner found a bell and wanted to carry it off on his back.


But the bell was too big for him.


When he tried to knock it into pieces with a hammer there was a loud clanging sound.


He was afraid that someone will hear the noise and take the bell from him, so he immediately stopped his own ears.


To worry about other people hearing the noise is understandable, but to worry about himself hearing the noise (as if stopping his own ears would prevent other people from hearing) is absurd.



5. Highly talented


Tsau Pi and Tsau Jr were sons of Tsau Tsau. Both were very gifted writers, and
Tsau Jr was especially quick-witted.


After Tsau Tsau's death, Tsau Pi took over the throne of the kingdom of wei. Jealous
of Tsau Jr's literary ability, and afraid that he might cause problems, Tsau Pi was always looking for a way to kill his brother.


One day, Tsau Pi called Tsau Jr into see him.He ordered his brother to make up a poem within the time it took to walk seven steps, adding that if he could not, his life would be in danger.


Greatly saddened, Tsau Jr began to walk and to think. Before he had taken the seven steps, he had already finished his poem, the meaning of which was: "Brothers are of the same family, so why should the oppress each other?"


Tsau Jr was very intelligent and loved to study. He wrote many outstanding articles which showed his artistic talent and earned him the admiration of many people. One scholar said of him: "Heaven gave the world ten decalitres of talent, and Tsau Jr alone has eight of them."


Today, to say that a person "has eight decalitres of talent" is to say that he has a great aptitude for writing.




英文中“才高八斗”并没有特别固定的说法,“highly talented”就可以表达相应的意思,当然“highly gifted”或者是“extremely talented”都是可以的。

6. chill runs down one's spine



During the Han dynasty (汉朝, 206BC—220AD), there was a man whose name was Yi Zong (义纵). Because of the special kindness of the mother of the emperor, Yi Zong was made a magistrate in one county.


After taking up the official post ,he did very well in managing the official business. He was courageous and resolute in handling cases, and punished according to law anybody who violated the law, no matter whether he was a despotic gentleman who was rich and powerful or was one of the common people.

上任以后,公务办得很出色,案子处理上敢作敢为,不论是有钱有势的豪绅,还是平民, 只要犯了法,义纵秉公审办。

When Yi Zong was transferred to be the prefect of the Nanyang Prefecture (南阳郡), Ning Cheng (宁成), a despotic landlord who stopped at nothing in doing evil, was living there,in order to ingratiate himself with Yi Zong, Ning Cheng pretended to be very modest and courteous every time he met Yi Zong and saw him off.


But Yi Zong had heard of the evil conducts of Ning Cheng already and, soon after he took office in Nanyang,he made investigations. It did not take much time for him to find out Ning cheng's crimes and had him put in prison.


Later, Emperor Wu Di (汉武帝) of the Han Dynasty appointed Yi Zong the prefect of the Dingxiang Prefecture (定襄).


At that time, the public order in Dingxiang was very chaotic. When he took office there, there were 200 convicts in prison who had committed felonies had no implements of punishment on them.There were also more than 200 persons who offered bribes in order to absolve those serious offenders from guilt.Yi Zong treated the matter severely. He arrested all those bribers and punished the bribers and those serious offenders already in prison severely. More than 400 convicts were executed in a day.


From that day on, whenever the name of Yi Zong was mentioned,people in Dingxiang would tremble with fear --they would shiver all over though not cold.




7.To draw a cake to satisfy hunger



Lu Yu lived in the Kingdom of Wei during the Three Kingdoms periods. He was orphaned at the age of ten.

三国时代,魏国有个叫卢毓(Lú Yù )的人,很小的时候就失去了父母和两个哥哥。

So he undertook the task of supporting his sister-in-law and nephew through a period of extreme hardship.Meanwhile, he also studied hard. He was praised all around for his noble deeds and depth of knowledge.


Later he became an official and still worked hard and put forth valuable advice to the emperor, so the emperor placed great trust in him.


At that time, the selection process of government officials depended on the recommendation of powerful and influential men.


These men would always recommend famous persons who were all mouth and no action which displeased the emperor. 


One time, the emperor asked Lu Yu to recommend an official and said to him: "the selection of government officials should not rely solely on one's fame which is just like a cake drawn on the ground, while it may be good to look at it does not satisfy one's hunger."


This story gave rise to the idiom "draw a cake to satisfy hunger. " Now it is used to describe someone who uses fantasy to satisfy oneself and means that empty reputation is of no practical value.




Your action is just like drawing a cake to satisfy hunger, which has no practical effect.



8.be there just to make up the number/pretend to be an expert




During the Warring States Period (475-221BC), the King of the State of Qi was very fond of listening to yu ensembles. He often got together 300 yu players to form a grand music.


The king treated his musicians very well.


A man named Nanguo heard about that and he managed to become a member of the band, even though he was not good at playing the instrument at all.


Whenever the band played for the king, Nanguo just stood in the line and pretended to play. Nobody realized he was making no sound at all. As a result, he enjoyed his treatment just as the other musicians did.


When the king died, his son became the new ruler who also liked the music played on the yu. However, he preferred solos so that he ordered the musicians to play the yu one by one. Therefore, Nanguo had to run out of the palace.


The idiom "be there just to make up the number" is used to mock someone who pretend to be a specialist. You can also hear people saying it about themselves to show their modesty.




其实“滥竽充数”的意思与“不懂装懂”是相近的,那在英语中就可以表达为“pretend to be an expert”,其中“pretend to be/do”的意思就是“假装是……”或者“假装做……”,而“expert”也就是“专家”的意思,所以“pretend to be an expert”也就是“假装自己是一个专家”的意思,那也就是“滥竽充数”啦~

有一本书的名字就叫做“Don't Pretend to be an Expert - Become One!”,那就可以翻译成“与其滥竽充数,不如学着吹芋”之类的。


9. Kong Rong gave away bigger pears



In the Eastern Han Dynasty, there was a person called Kong Rong. He was very smart ever since he was a little boy. He had five older brothers and one younger brother.


One day his father bought some pears, picking one of the largest and giving it to Kong Rong deliberately. But Kong Rong shook his head and picked up the smallest one.


His dad was very curious, and asked: “Why?”


Kong Rong said: “I am younger, so I should eat the smaller pear, and brothers should eat the bigger ones.”


His dad was very glad after hearing his words, but asked further: “What about your younger brother who is younger than you are?”


Kong Rong said: “I am older than him, so I should leave the bigger one to my little brother.”


Later, Kong Rong became a great scholar.




“孔融让梨”这个故事告诉我们,凡事应该懂得谦让的礼仪,英语中表达“谦让谦逊”等意思可以用“modest”,有一句叫做“Modest is Hottest”,也就是“谦虚最迷人”


10. To win a war with words



In the Warring States Period (战国), the State of Zhao (赵国) had a famous general called Zhao She, whose son, Zhao Kuo, was very fond of reading books on military science and discussing strategy

战国时,赵国名将赵奢 (shē) 的儿子赵括,喜欢看兵书,并且喜爱讨论军事战术。

He could learn military texts by heart, and when discussing warfare he spoke so clearly and logically that it seemed that even his father was not his match.


When the State of Qin attacked the State of Zhao, the ruler of Zhao ordered Zhao Kuo to lead 400,000 men to resist the attack.


But since Zhao Kuo had no practical experience of battle, he was defeated and lost his life.


Later people used this idiom to describe those who are good only at theorizing, and lack practical experience.




英语中“纸上谈兵”的表达方式相对比较直白,通常可以说“to win a war with words”,在经典影片《乱世佳人》中,战争爆发前夕,当南方贵族们在夸夸其谈讨论如何作战时,白瑞德就说道:

“I think it’s hard winning a war with words.”(“我认为纸上谈兵没什么作用。”)


11. mere copycat



In the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋时期,770-476 BC), there was a beauty in the State of Yue called Xishi (西施).


She often suffered from pains in her chest, and so she would often walk around doubled over and with her brows knitted.


There was an ugly girl in the village called Dongshi who envied Xishi.


Striving to emulate Xishi, she imitated her stoop, knitting her brows at the same time.


She thought that this made her elegant, but in fact, it only made her more ugly.


Later, this idiom came to be used to indicate improper imitation that produces the reverse effect.





英文中“东施效颦”可以说成“mere copycat”,“mere”有“仅仅”的意思,而“copycat”则可以表示我们常说的“山寨”,也就是“模仿的产品”,所以合在一起就是“仅仅只是山寨而已”,也就是“东施效颦”所表达的含义啦~

比如说,大家都知道美国由好莱坞Hollywood,而印度有一个宝莱坞Bollywood,所以曾有人说“宝莱坞是不是东施效颦好莱坞呢?”,英文表达就是“Bollywood a mere copycat?”,但事实其实不是哈,宝莱坞已经越来越有自己的特色,也有很多广为人知的好电影了。


12.Love me, love my dog.



There was a state called zhou (周) in the chinese history.


One day, the king of zhou asked his officials for advice on deal with prisoners of war.


An official said, "i once heard if you love someone, you are intended to love even the crows on the roof of his house; if you hate someone, you are intended to hate even the walls and the parapets of his. The prisoners of war were enemies fighting against us. In my opinion, we'd better kill them all."


But the king didn't agree with him."I think we should treat the prisoners of war differently by differing them into those who are guilty and those who are not. The guilty ones will be sentenced to death in order to avoid future disasters." Another official put forward his suggestion.


The king didn't think it was a proper way, either.


Then a third one said, "Your majesty, I think all the prisoners should be set free and sent back home to work in the fields and support themselves by their own labor. Moreover, you should keep strictly the rules for reward and punishment and treat your relatives and friends impartially.The people are sure to believe in you if you administer our country by morals and laws."


The king thought the official's proposal was quite reasonable so he accepted and followed it.As a result, the domestic situation soon settled down and gradually the country became more stable and stronger.



The idiom is then used to mean that if you love someone,you'll love people and things relative to him as well.





“爱屋及乌”的英语表达大家也一定都有所耳闻了吧~就是“Love me, love my dog.”字面意思就是“爱我,就要爱我的狗”,比喻一个人如果喜欢一样事物或者人,他就会喜爱关于这个事物或是人的一切,也就是“爱屋及乌”的意思啦~

这里向大家介绍一首好听的英文歌曲,就叫做“Love me, love my dog.”是由Peter Shelley演唱的,相信大家听完,一定会牢牢记住这一个有趣的英文表达。


13.A drop in the bucket



Li Ling was a great general during the time of emperor Han Wu-di (hàn wǔ dì汉武帝). He was a very good fighter, and he won every battle.


One time, however, Li Ling's troops were so hopelessly outnumbered by the Huns that although they fought bravely, the whole army was soon taken captive.


Li Ling shamefully surrendered for the moment, planning to wait for an opportunity to strike back.


But when news of the surrender reached the capital, the emperor's jealous ministers began to degrade Li Ling in front of the emperor.


What he heard made the emperor so angry that he had Li Ling's wife and mother put to death.


Ze-ma Chian, who had always respected Li Ling, believed that he wouldn't surrender without a reason, and urged the emperor not to believe rumors.


This time, the emperor grew angry at Sz-ma Chian, and locking him up, punished him severely.


Sz-ma Chian then wrote a long letter to a friend, saying, "I am now in the middle of writing a history book. If I die, it will be as if one ox in a group on nine were to lose a single hair. I am willing to withstand punishment in order to complete this book." Sz-ma Chian finally did finish his book - the very famous Shr-Ji.





英文中对应的“九牛一毛”的表达方式是“a drop in the bucket”,意思就是“一个水桶里的一滴水”,一个大水桶里的一滴水那就是九牛一毛,少之又少啦~同时也可以翻译成“沧海一粟”或者是“微不足道”~


(1)"I'm sorry I scratched your car."


"Don't worry about it. It's just a drop in the bucket. That car has more scratches on it than I can count."


(2)When I think how many people there are in the world, I realize that my own problems are just a drop in the bucket.



“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” 


就因为这一句话,曾有一次公益活动的名字就叫做“We need your drop.”(我们需要你的帮助)


14. Without loophole


Long ago, there lived a man named Guo Han.

从前, 有一个叫郭翰的人。

It was a hot summer.  He couldn't fall asleep in his bedroom, so he went into the yard to sleep.

因为夏天天热, 在屋子里无法入睡, 就到院子里去睡觉。

Not long after he lay down he saw a woman dressed in white floating down from the sky.

躺下不久,正看着天空, 忽然看见一个白衣女子从空中慢慢飘流下来。

She said to him: "I am the celestial weaver."


Looking at her Guo Han noticed  that there were no seams in her garments.


He thought this was very strange.


He asked her: "Why are there no seams in your clothes?"


She answered: "The garments of the immortals  are not made with a needle and thread.  How would they have seams?"

女子回答:“天上神仙的衣服,不是用针线缝出来的, 怎么会有缝呢?”




“天衣无缝”的意思现在大多引申为“事物周密完善,找不出什么毛病”,也就是“没有漏洞的”意思,在英语中相对应的准确表达可以用“without loophole”,“loophole”就是“漏洞,法律空子”的意思,所以“without loophole”也就是“没有漏洞的”,“天衣无缝”的意思啦。


15.Show off before an expert/teach a fish how to swim




Lu Ban (鲁班) was supposed to be a consummate carpenter in ancient times. 


It is said that he once carved a wooden phoenix that was so lifelike that it actually flew in the sky for three days.


Thus it was considered the height of folly to show off one's skill with an axe in front of Lu Ban.

谁敢在鲁班门前卖弄使用斧子的技术,也就是说,想在大行家面前显示自的本领,这种太不谦虚的可笑行为,就叫做“班门弄斧”( 这句成语有时也用作自谦之词,表示自己不敢在行家面前卖弄自己的小本领)。



I'm making a fool of myself trying to show off before an expert like you. 




“班门弄斧”的英文表达,常用“to teach a fish how to swim”,也就是说“去教一条鱼怎么游泳”,鱼本来就会游泳,怎么还用人来教呢?所以英语中要表示一个人“班门弄斧”做无用的行为的时候,就会用“to teach a fish how to swim”。举例来说:

My son, fresh out of college, keeps telling me how to run my business. But I've been making good money for 30 years so he's teaching a fish how to swim.




16. One's own wishful thinking



Many years ago, a farmer happened to see the King's daughter in the capital. He lost his heart to her at once.


After returning, he missed the princess day and night. Soon, he was ill.


His friends and relatives came to see him.


When they knew the reason why the farmer was ill, they thought it was quite difficult to help the farmer, for the King would never consent to his daughter marrying a poor man.


But the sick man sighed sadly: "If I can't get the princess, I will be dead." His friends tried to persuade him, but in vain. So they had to play a trick.


Some days later, they came to see the man again and told him they had asked the princess to marry him, but she rejected.


In fact, they had never done it. But the foolish man believed. However, he did not give up his mind.


He announced: "if I visit the princess in person, she will say yes." If he did so, you can guess the result.


Later,people use it to describe the man who only considers his own aspiration, ignoring the objective situation and others' opinions.






自己凭空想象不一定会发生的事情,也就是“一厢情愿”。英文里要表达这句成语则会用很简单的说法“one's own wishful thinking”。因为较之hope,wish本来在涵义上就比较跟现实脱节,实现可能性比较小。我们下面来看一段对话:

Peter:Why do you keep doing extra work for Joe? He’s taking you for granted now.


Tina:I know he’s becoming very demanding now. But I just hope he’ll start appreciating what I’ve done for him.


Peter:You’ve always been a great team player but you really deserve someone better to work with.


Tina: Well, we were assigned to complete a project together. I think he will learn that it’s impossible to finish something all by oneself. And perhaps, he’ll become more supportive and thoughtful in the near future.


Peter:It’s just your wishful thinking. Honestly, you’re not his mother and it’s not even your responsibility to“bring him up!”




17. Be afraid of one's own shadow




In AD 383, the king of Former Qin (秦朝), Fu Jian (fú jiān 苻坚), led a huge army to attack Eastern Jin.


After losing the first round of fighting, Fu Jian looked down from a city wall, and was terrified when he saw the formidable battle array of the Eastern Jin army.


And then looking at the mountains around, he mistook the grass and trees for enemy soldiers.


As a result, when the nervous Fu Jian led his army into battle, it suffered a crushing defeat.


This idiom describes how one can defeat oneself by imaging difficulties.








英文中“草木皆兵”的相应说法可以用“afraid of one's own shadow”,也就是一个人连自己的影子都怕,当一个人连自己的影子都怕的时候,是不是就是疑神疑鬼,“草木皆兵”了呢~~


She stays at home all the time and never makes any new friends. She seems to be afraid of her own shadow.

她老待在家里, 从不交新朋友,感觉“草木皆兵”。



18. Honey in the mouth and swords in the stomach/Judas kiss




Li Lin-fu was a prime minister of China during the T'ang dynasty (唐朝, 618—907AD). 


He was good at both calligraphy and painting, but had a crafty and sinister personality which made him disliked by everyone.


Li Lin-fu would bribe the palace eunuchs and concubines to tell him what the emperor liked, and then would immediately go prepare that thing for the emperor. The emperor was therefore very fond of Li Lin-fu, and trusted him unduly.


One time, the minister Li Shr-jr offended Li Lin-fu. Li Lin-fu pretended not to care, and was in fact especially nice to the minister.


Then on a day, he told Li Shr-jr about some gold that was hidden over in Hua Mountain, and encouraged him to suggest mining this gold to the emperor.


Li Shr-jr being of an honest and upright disposition, believed that it was true, and immediately went and told the emperor.


But when the emperor began to discuss this with Li Lin-fu, Li Lin-fu acted very frightened and said,
"Hua Mountain in the place where all of Your Majesty's auspicious aurora are gathered. If we were to mine that area, it could be very dangerous for you. Who is it that wants to harm you?”


Today we can describe someone who is two-faced and always nice on the outside and yet is mean to people behind their backs as having "Honey in the Mouth and Swords in the Stomach."







“口蜜腹剑”的英文表达是“Judas kiss”,就是“犹大之吻”的意思,该词源出于圣经故事。

Judas 是耶稣的十二门徒之一,但为了三十个银币却出卖了自己的老师耶稣。他假惺惺地向耶稣问好,并且亲吻他,以此向前来捉拿耶稣的人示意谁是耶稣,结果耶稣被他们捉走并钉死在十字架上。所以“Judas kiss”就是“口蜜腹剑”,“笑面虎”的意思啦~同时,单单用““Judas”可以表示“叛徒、背叛者”的意思,所以“play Judas(扮演 Judas 的角色)”就是“当叛徒”的意思。


When he said he had some extremely important information and must talk to the chief in person, no one suspected it was meant to be a Judas kiss.




19. Be concentrating on sth



Yi Qiu was known as the most famous expert at chess throughout the land.


Once he gave lessons on chess to two men.


One of them was completely absorbed in his teaching, listening attentively to Yi Qiu while the other, who seemed to be listening, had his mind on something else.

一个认真的听课,完全沉浸于其中。 另一个尽管看上去也在听课,其实在想其它的事情。

In fact, he was having a fancy that a swan was flying towards him and he had in his hands a bow and an arrow, ready to shoot.


As a result, though he was having the same lesson together with the first man, yet he turned out a much inferior student.


If one is not concentrating on his study, no skills will be learned.





大家是不是一直对“be concentrated on sth”和“be concentrating on sth”感到有些迷惑呢?今天就有我来给大家讲解一下吧~


The teacher wrote two sentences on the whiteboard and asked us what’s the difference.  “He is very concentrated on…” and “He is very concentrating on..” 

老师在白板上写下两句话,让我们说出区别,这两句句子是“He is very concentrated on…”和“He is very concentrating on..”

A girl sits besides me said it was very similar as the way “surprised” and “surprising” is used. 

做在我身边的女孩说这两句句子的区别就是“surprised”和 “surprising” 的区别类似。

He is surprised means he is surprised by something.  He is surprising means he himself is something surprising.

“He is surprised”意思就是“他感到很惊喜”,而“He is surprising”意思则是“他总是让别人感到很惊喜。”

“Good,” the teacher says,”Concentrated means something with high density, like concentrated jam and orange juice.  If you want to say the person is focusing on something mentally you should use ‘He is concentrating on…’”.  

“非常好,”老师说,“Concentrated就是说某样东西密度很高,浓度很大,就像是果酱、橘子汁”,但如果你想说某人专心致志做某事就是“He is concentrating on…”。

Oh….. my goodness, I must have been saying he is concentrated on … for decades now.

哦,我的天啊,我至少说“he is concentrated on……”有十年时间了。。。


20. Without loophole




Long ago, there lived a man named Guo Han.

从前, 有一个叫郭翰的人。

It was a hot summer.  He couldn't fall asleep in his bedroom, so he went into the yard to sleep.

因为夏天天热, 在屋子里无法入睡, 就到院子里去睡觉。

Not long after he lay down he saw a woman dressed in white floating down from the sky.

躺下不久,正看着天空, 忽然看见一个白衣女子从空中慢慢飘流下来。

She said to him: "I am the celestial weaver."


Looking at her Guo Han noticed  that there were no seams in her garments.


He thought this was very strange.


He asked her: "Why are there no seams in your clothes?"


She answered: "The garments of the immortals  are not made with a needle and thread.  How would they have seams?"

女子回答:“天上神仙的衣服,不是用针线缝出来的, 怎么会有缝呢?”


“天衣无缝”的意思现在大多引申为“事物周密完善,找不出什么毛病”,也就是“没有漏洞的”意思,在英语中相对应的准确表达可以用“without loophole”,“loophole”就是“漏洞,法律空子”的意思,所以“without loophole”也就是“没有漏洞的”,“天衣无缝”的意思啦。

我们一起来看一个叫做“The Loophole(漏洞)”小漫画吧,一起来感受一下“loophole”的魅力~


21. super good song




In the Warring State Period (战国) , there was a girl in the State of Qi called Han E (韩娥) who sang beautifully.


Once when she was passing through the State of Qi she had to sing to earn money to buy food.


When she left Qi the echoes of her songs clung to the beams of the houses there for three days before people realized that she had left.


This idiom is used to describe unforgettably beautifull singing.





英文中“余音绕梁”虽然没有特别传神的表达,但若想表达“歌曲很好听”可以用“super good song”,也就是“超级好听的歌”的意思。其实“super+adj.”是一个十分常用的表达形式,比如“十分聪明的学生”就可以说“super clever student”,又比如“极其才华横溢的导演”就可以说“super brilliant director”。

其实,英语中表达“一首歌极其好听”还有很多不同的表达方式,小编在此为大家介绍一种很赞的表达方式,那就是“eye of the tiger”,直译就是“老虎的眼睛”,那为什么说“一首歌像老虎眼睛”就是“余音绕梁”了呢?

老虎眼本身就体现了老虎的一大优秀特质(The name itself means a significance characteristic of a tiger.),同时有一首经典的个就做“eye of the tiger”(电影《洛奇》的插曲),所以这个词本身已经成了表达“好歌”的代名词了。


22. Hem and haw




The 'You' is a kind of wild animal which is by nature extremely suspicious.


Whenever it hears a sound, it immediately becomes afraid, suspecting that there is a hunternearby who is trying to catch it, or another animal that wants to harm it. It runs up into a tree and hides, peeking out its head and scanning all around.


After a while it climbs back down, looking here and looking there.


Only when it is sure that there is nothing around does it finally begin to relax.


But then pretty soon, it will again grow afraid, and running up into a tree, begin the same routine all over again.


Time and time again, the 'You' repeats this, with the result that it spends half of its day running up and down trees, and wastes a lot of energy.


So, when someone is very hesitant, and cannot make a decision, others often say of this person that 'the 'You' cannot decide."




英语中“犹豫不决”对应的表达可以用“hem and haw”,在这儿hem和haw这两个词都是模拟人们在开口说话前清理嗓子和鼻腔的声音。我们时而会这样做,尤其当自己确定不了该说什么才恰当的时候,更会如此。久而久之,人们就用hem and haw来描述犹豫不决或者踌躇不前了。


第一个例子说到个十六岁的男孩正努力说服爸爸让他去考汽车驾照。我们知道美国不少地区规定至少得满十六足岁才 能开车。

I keep asking dad to let me get my license. But all he does is hem and haw and then end up saying he wants to think it over some more.

我一直要爸爸让我去考到驾照,但是他总是支支吾吾地,末了又说他还得想想再说。这位爸爸显然是下不了决心,害怕刚够开车年龄的儿子开车闯祸,所以这段话里的hem and haw意思是支吾其词、拖延犹豫。

我们再看个也用上了hem and haw这个习惯用语的例子。这回是新闻记者在说一名参议员不敢直截了当地回答记者关于他在下届改选中作何打算的问题。

He keeps hemming and hawing about whether he'll run for another term. But I'd bet money that sooner or later he'll run all right - where else could he get a job as good?

他对自己是否会争取连任的事再三含糊其辞,但是我敢打赌他一定会参选。他能上哪儿再找到象这么好的工作呀?这名参议员跟多数政界人物一样,说话经常会给自己留有余地,不愿意把话说定了。所以这里的hemming and hawing意思也是含糊其辞、不明确表示他的决定。