雞同鴨講

英文:at cross purposes (adv.)

說明:雞同鴨講就是兩人各說各的,談不來。At cross purposes 這個詞於 17 世紀中期之後開始出現,其中 cross purposes 意為「相互誤解;相反的目的」。《牛津英語大辭典》(The Oxford English Dictionary, OED) 及其他大多數字典所列的 at cross purposes 都沒有連字號,但有時仍會見到使用連字號的情況,即 at cross-purposes。Purposes 恆為複數。

例句:

  • John found himself at cross purposes with his wife. (約翰發覺他跟他太太雞同鴨講)
  • They were talking at cross-purposes. (他們各說各的,雞同鴨講,談不來)
  • We’re at cross purposes. I’m asking you a favor, but you’re talking about Sam’s new girlfriend. (我們雞同鴨講。我請你幫我一個忙,但你卻是談論山姆的新女友)

Food coma

Food coma 字面意思為「食物昏迷」,是指飽餐一頓或吃大餐後昏昏欲睡的狀態,也就是吃飽想睡,但這是一種正常的現象。它的學名叫做 postprandial somnolence (餐後或飯後嗜睡)。這個詞於 2014 年才被《牛津英語大辭典》(The Oxford English Dictionary, OED) 所收錄,是個相當新的用語。逢年過節或其他重大慶祝活動期間,在大吃大喝、酒足飯飽之後最常出現這種昏昏欲睡的狀態,使用「食物昏迷」來形容這種現象,似乎頗為貼切。這個詞的複數為 food comas。

例句:

  • I was suffering from a food coma after a big dinner with some friends. (我和一些朋友吃大餐之後昏昏欲睡)
  • He ate too much at lunch and went into a food coma. (他午餐吃太多,陷入了昏睡狀態)

double as; double up as; double back; double over; double up

double as +
兼任 (某職位或某角色)
The actor doubled as the father in the play. (這位演員在劇中兼演父親的角色)

double (up) as +
也可用作,兼作
The kitchen table doubles as my desk when I’m doing my homework. (我在做家庭作業時,這個餐桌還可以當書桌用)
My study doubles up as a spare bedroom when we have visitors. (我們有訪客時,我的書房也兼作備用的臥房)

double back
原路折返 (尤指始料未及者)
When he saw the police, he had to double back. (當他看到警察時,他不得不原路折返)
閱讀全文

Take the bull by the horns, grab the bull by the horns

To take the bull by the horns 和 to grab the bull by the horns 為同義成語,意為「當機立斷;不畏艱險;勇敢面對困難」。這兩個成語的確切起源不得而知。許多人認為與鬥牛有關,另有人認為源於美國舊西部,牛仔與閹公牛纏鬥的情景。

不過,由於這兩個成語是在 1700 年代初期才首次出現,因此這兩種說法頗令人懷疑。合理的假設可能是,農民都是抓著牛角來牽著牛隻。這項字面意思應該早在它們在書面英語中被用作比喻意思之前就已存在多時。
閱讀全文

divide up; do in; do with; dob in; dole out

divide * up +
分配
They divided up the profits. (他們分配利潤)

do * in
幹掉,殺死
Mobsters did the old woman in. (匪徒把那個老婦人殺了)
They threatened to do me in if I didn’t meet their demands by Sunday. (他們威脅說如果我週日之前沒有滿足他們的要求就要把我幹掉)

do * in +
使…勞累極了,使…疲憊極了
Playing baseball all day really did me in. (打了一整天的棒球真的把我給累壞了)
閱讀全文

Wild-goose chase

Wild-goose chase (wild 和 goose 之間有時不加連字號) 意為「白費力氣的追求;愚蠢 (或毫無希望) 的追尋;徒勞之舉」。這個片語首見於 1592 年莎士比亞所寫的戲劇《羅密歐與茱麗葉》中。但 wild-goose chase 最初是用來指一種賽馬。

在這種賽馬中,領頭的騎士以飄忽不定的路線在空曠的田野奔馳,後面的騎士在不同的距離間隔策馬追趕,且必須跟隨領頭騎士的確切路線前進。這種賽馬的概念來自野雁 (wild goose) 的飛行隊形,其確實的規則無從考證,但合理的假設無非是,誰能追上領頭騎士誰就獲勝。
閱讀全文

At all 的用法

At all 是個副詞片語,意為「根本,到底,無論如何,絲毫,一點兒」,係用於否定句和疑問句 (不可用於肯定句),表示強調。例如:

  • Our manager never laughed at all. (我們經理從來不笑)
  • It is not so much how much he leaked out the plans of the pay cuts; the question is whether he leaks at all. (他洩漏多少減薪的計畫無關緊要;問題在於他到底有沒有洩漏)
  • He hasn’t been at all well recently. (最近他的健康非常差)
  • He’ll propose tomorrow if he proposes to Mary at all. (如果他真的要向瑪麗求婚的話,那麼他一定會在明天採取行動)
  • Is there any possibility at all of snow tonight? (今晚真的有可能下雪嗎?)
  • Is there any uncertainty at all about the way she committed suicide? (對於她自殺的方式,有沒有任何疑點呢?)

閱讀全文

dip in; dip into; dip out; dive in; dive into

dip * in/into
把 (某物) 在某液體中浸一下;從…中掏出,從…中取出
He dipped the brush in the paint and began painting the wall. (他把刷子放入油漆中浸一下後開始粉刷牆壁)
Monica dipped her finger in the water to see if it’s hot. (莫妮卡把手指浸入水中,看水熱不熱)
I dipped my hand in my pocket and took out my iPhone. (我伸手從口袋裡掏出 iPhone 手機)

dip into +
隨便翻閱、瀏覽一下
I usually dip into a novel before deciding whether to read it. (我在決定看一本小說之前,通常會先瀏覽一下)
閱讀全文