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趣味习语 太奇葩!生活常见八大习语

You’re talking to your native English-speaking friend about your recent breakup and how depressed you are when suddenly he turns toward you and says “Don’t worry about it man, girls like that are a dime a dozen!” You then stare at your friend in confusion. You simply don’t understand why your good friend is comparing the girl that was once the love of your life to $1.20.

某天,你跟一个老外朋友说起自己刚跟女友分手,现在很难过。就在此时,对方突然拍了拍你的肩膀对你说:“Don't worry about it man, girls like that are a dime a dozen!”你不解的盯着对方。你很难理解老外怎么会把你曾经深爱的女友说成只值一块二毛钱!

Actually “a dime a dozen” doesn’t mean anything even remotely close to what the individual words in the phrase implies. For native speakers of English, a dime a dozen simply means that something is common and easy to obtain. Because we cannot figure out the meaning by examining the phrase alone, “dime a dozen” is what we call an idiom. As a non-native speaker of English, the best way to understand idioms is to memorize their meanings from the standpoint of a native speaker. We’ve listed the 10 most common idioms in English and their actual meanings.

其实,“a dime a dozen”跟“一块二毛钱”没有半点关系。对于母语为英文的人来说,它指的是某事物多的很不值钱,想要得到它也不是很难(天涯何处无芳草)。由于单看字面意思我们很难明白其中的真正含义,”a dime a dozen”其实就是一句习语(和中文的成语一样),作为非英语母语人士,想要记住习语最好的办法就是站在native speaker的角度来理解记忆习语。下面我们就一起来看看英文中最常用、最有趣的几个习语:

1. A Piece of cake 小菜一碟

No, when someone says that the assignment they just finished was a piece of cake, it does not mean that their professor gave them a red velvet cupcake for their midterm paper, what a piece of cake actually means is that something is very easy to complete.

不,当某人说他们刚刚完成的任务就像一块蛋糕,那么它并不是说教授因为他们的期中考试成绩奖励他们一份红丝绒蛋糕,“a piece of cake”实际是指某事很简单很容易完成。

2. Costs an arm and a leg 花了我一大笔钱

It would be a strange world we lived in if buying that fancy shiny purse literally required us to chop off our body parts to give as tribute to the Louis Vuitton gods. When something costs an arm and a leg it actually means that something is very expensive.


3. Break a leg 祝你好运

Oh, look, another idiom about legs. You’re about to take your dreaded calculus final and before you head into your classroom your roommate texts you, “Break a Leg!” Why, you think in your head, would he ever wish that upon me? I thought we were cool with each other. Well, your roommate surely doesn’t want your bones to break while walking to your seat in the exam room that’s for sure. Break a leg actually means good luck!

哦,快看,又一个与腿有关的习语。你马上要参加你最害怕的微积分期末考试了,在你进入考场教室前你的室友给你发来了一条短信:”Break a Leg!” 什么,你在脑中暗暗的想,难道他希望我断胳膊断腿?我一直以为我们关系很好呢。那么,事实上你的室友并不是希望你在走入考场位置时摔断骨头,这是肯定的。Break a leg实际上就是“祝你好运”的意思!

4. Hit the books 用功读书

If you’re a student in an English speaking environment you’re probably going to be hearing this phrase a lot. Before you imagine students running into their campus library and punching, kicking and wrestling apart the complete works of Shakespeare, we would just like to say that hit the books actually means to study. There there, you can still punch books in your spare time if you want, we won’t judge you.

如果你是一个生活在英语环境下的学生,你肯定会经常听到这句话。当你脑子里在歪歪各种学生冲进校园图书馆拳打脚踢撕扯莎士比亚著作的画面时,我要告诉你hit the books实际上指的是去学习(用功)。当然当然,如果你想,你还是可以在闲暇时间猛捶你的书,我们不做评论。

5. Hit the nail on the head 恰到好处,一针见血

This idiom has to do with doing or saying something that is precisely right. If you don’t understand this, just think about that sweet feeling you get when you swing a hammer at a nail and hit it perfectly.


6. You can’t judge a book by its cover 不要以貌取人

How many awesome books do you think you’ve never read in your life just because the cover did not catch your eye? This idiom does not only apply to books however, but can be used for everything in general. Essentially it means that you should not decide upon something based just on outward appearances.


7. Bite off more than you can chew 贪多嚼不烂,自不量力

Imagine your waiter brings you the biggest juiciest hamburger from your favorite American restaurant. In your hunger, you grab it quickly and take a giant bite out of it. Unfortunately, the bite you’ve taken is too big, and you end up looking like an idiot trying to shove this bite down your throat while drinking water and trying not to choke. That is the most literal sense of the meaning, but in general it just means to attempt to take on a task that is too much for you to handle.


8. Scratch someone’s back 投之以桃,报之以李

We all know how difficult it is to scratch that itch on your back that your hand just aren’t flexible enough to reach, so why would you want to scratch some random person’s smelly back? Because if you do, they may eventually be willing to scratch your own smelly back when you need it! What this idiom means is to help someone out with the assumption that they will return the favor in the future!



1.ahead of one's time

Definition: be more talented than others recognize


He's ahead of his time. No one knows how important his discoveries are.


She's always felt that she was ahead of her time, so she isn't disappointed.


2.ahead of time

Definition: before the agreed upon time


I think we'll get there ahead of time.


Wow, we're ahead of time today. Let's keep it up!


3.all in good time

Definition: within a reasonable amount of time


I'll get to you all in good time. Please be patient.


Her professor kept on saying that she'd be successful, but that it would be all in good time.


4.at a set time

Definition: at an agreed upon time


We'll meet at the set time.


Let's make sure that we meet at a set time.


5.at all times

Definition: always


Make sure to keep your seat belts on at all times.


Students need to pay attention at all times.


6.at the appointed time

Definition: at an agreed upon time


We'll meet at the appointed time and place.


Did you get into the doctor's office at the appointed time?


7.behind the times

Definition: not fashionable, not up on current fashions


My Dad is so behind the times!


She dresses like it was the 70s she's behind the times!


8.to bide one's time

Definition: to wait


I'm biding my time until he arrives.


She decided to bide her time in a shop.


9.from time to time

Definition: occasionally


I like playing golf from time to time.


Petra speaks with Tom from time to time.


10.have the time of one's life

Definition: have a fantastic experience


My daughter had the time of her life in Disneyland.


Believe me. You're going to have the time of your life.


11.keep time

Definition: keep the beat in music


Can you keep time while we practice this piece?


He kept time with his foot.


12.live on borrowed time

Definition: live dangerously


He's living on borrowed time if he keeps that up!


She felt she was living on borrowed time because she smoked.


13.make time for something or someone

Definition: create a period of time especially for a thing or person


I need to make some extra time for reading.


I'll make time for you on Saturday.


14.out of time

Definition: not have any more time available


I'm afraid we're out of time for today.


You're out of time for that competition.


15.pressed for time

Definition: not have a lot of time to do something


I'm pressed for time today. Hurry up!


She couldn't see me because she was pressed for time.


16.Time is money

Definition: Expression meaning that someone's time is important


Remember that time is money, let's hurry up.


Time is money Tim. If you want to talk, it's going to cost you.


17.when the time is ripe

Definition: when it is the proper time


We'll get there when the time is ripe!


Don't worry you'll be successful when the time is ripe.



Learning English isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (learning English is difficult). First, grammar muddies the waters (makes things unclear), and idiomatic expressions only add fuel to the fire (make things worse).


If you’re taking the TOEFL or the TOEIC, or just want to know more common idioms, read this list of 40 common idiomatic expressions before you take the test. They may just help your English language acquisition soar (get much better).


Common English Idioms


24/7: Twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week; all the time; constantly. My little sister irritates me 24/7!


A short fuse: A quick temper. Jamie is known for his short fuse; just a few days ago he screamed at his coach for not letting him play.


A taste of your own medicine: Bad treatment deservedly received for treating other people badly. After constantly being prank-called, Julian decided to give Juan a taste of his own medicine and ordered twenty-seven pizzas to be delivered to Juan’s house.


Butterflies in my stomach: To be nervous. Liam had butterflies in his stomach before he went on stage to play the violin.


By the skin of your teeth: To just barely get by or make it. Lester made the dance team by the skin of his teeth; you can tell he hasn't been dancing jazz for very long.


Cat got your tongue?: Can’t you speak? (Usually said to embarrass the other person). I just saw you kissing my boyfriend. What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?


Crying wolf: To ask for help when you don't need it. You have cried wolf so many times that no one believes you when you're really hurt.


Cut someone some slack: To not judge someone too harshly. Hey. Cut me some slack. I was really busy with my frog hunting business last week and forgot to call. I'm sorry!


Down for the count: Tired; giving up; unable or unwilling to participate any longer. No, you can’t take my dog for a walk—she’s down for the count after chasing cats all day.


Draw the line: To stop; to know the point where something goes from okay to not okay. Now I draw the line at speaking in front of 34,000 people.


Easier said than done: Not as easy as it appears to be. You want me to come to work at 6:00 AM? Easier said than done!


Every cloud has a silver lining: You can find good in every bad situation. Even though you just got fired, remember that every cloud has a silver lining—at least you don’t have to work for that grouchy boss anymore!


Finding a needle in a haystack: Virtually impossible to find. Trying to get a new job these days is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.


Fish out of water: To be out of place. Tom felt like a fish out of water at the Star Trek convention his new girlfriend begged him to attend.


Get something off your chest: To talk about something that has been bothering you for a long time; to admit something you have done wrong. I have to get this off my chest—I copied your answers on the SAT. Thanks for the 15th percentile score, by the way.


Give it a whirl: To try something. I’ve never gone kite-boarding, but I’m prepared to give it a whirl!


Go down in flames: To fail suddenly and spectacularly. The football player's career went down in flames after the media learned he'd been losing on purpose to settle gambling debts.


Go the extra mile: To make an extra effort. My dentist always goes the extra mile, offering free back massages at the end of a stressful tooth extraction.


Hang in there: Be patient. Wait it out. I know you're struggling right now in school but just hang in there. It'll get easier. I promise.


In the fast lane: A life filled with excitement. When Curtis turned forty, he decided he needed to live life in the fast lane, so he quit his job as a dentist and decided to tour Europe by motorcycle.


In the nick of time: Almost too late. You gave me that main idea help in the nick of time—my teacher just gave us a quiz on that reading skill and I passed it!


Let the cat out of the bag: Tell a secret. Brady’s surprise party is going to be great if you don’t let the cat out of the bag.


Let the chips fall where they may: To let something happen, no matter if it's good or bad. Look. I'm going to just try out for the cheerleading squad and let the chips fall where they may.


Lose your marbles: To go crazy; insane. Mom has really lost her marbles; she's making me practice writing the ACT Essay seven times this week!


Once in a blue moon: Rarely. In Florida, the temperature drops below freezing only once in a blue moon.


Plain as day: Obvious; clear. It’s plain as day that you’re in love with her, so just admit it.


Play second fiddle: To be less important. I hate playing second fiddle to my sister; she always does things better than I do!


Put your foot in your mouth: Saying something you shouldn’t have. Jessica really put her foot in her mouth when she asked about John’s job right after he lost it.


Pull yourself together: Calm down and behave normally. Pull yourself together, man! Sure, your girlfriend just dumped you and then you got hit by a car, but you can't let those things get you down.


Sick and tired: To be bothered or annoyed by. She is sick and tired of her dog chewing up her shoes every day.


Sleep on it: To think about something for a while before making a decision. Don’t tell me whether you’ll move to Texas with me or not today. Sleep on it, and get back to me tomorrow.


Snug as a bug in a rug: Warm and cozy; content. That baby looks as snug as a bug in a rug cuddled up next to his mother.


Step up your game: To start performing better. Listen, Jen. You'd better step up your game if you want to get all A's in Miss Finch's Physics class. She isn't easy!


Stick your nose into something: To interfere. Sharon always sticks her nose into everyone else’s business.


Straight from the horse’s mouth: Directly from the person involved. Listen to the news straight from the horse’s mouth; we’re all getting bonuses this week!


Take it easy: Relax. I know you’re not feeling well, so try to take it easy today.


Tip of the iceberg: The small easily visible part of a larger problem. The fact that Carrie is dating a member of the mafia is just the tip of the iceberg; she’s also smuggling contraband into the country.


To not see the wood for the trees: To be so involved with the details that you don’t get the most important facts. She always argues about the silliest things; it’s like she can’t see the wood for the trees.


Up a creek without a paddle: In an unlucky/bad situation. If you don’t have any money to pay for the repairs we just made to your car, I guess you’re up a creek without a paddle because you can’t have your car back.


You rock!: You are great. Dude. You rock. Thanks for offering to watch my pet iguana all week.


These are just a few of the thousands of idioms in the English language. Get your feet wet (start) with these, and then move on to the idioms that will knock your socks off. (astound you).



★ 带你了解托福与雅思的区别