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词汇典故:有关昆虫的习语(the bee's knees)

2017-10-06 21:20VOA 浏览:


Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

There are many American expressions about insects -- like bees, for example. Bees are known as very hard workers. They always appear to be busy, moving around in their homes, or hives. So you might say you were as busy as a bee if you spent your weekend cleaning your house.

In fact, you might say your house was a beehive of activity if your whole family was helping you clean. You also might say you made a beeline for something if you went there right away. When we go to see a movie, my friend always makes a beeline for the place where they sell popcorn.

Here is an expression about bees that is not used much any more, but we like it anyway. We think it was first used in the nineteen twenties. If something was the best of its kind, you might say it was the bee's knees. Now, we admit that we do not know how this expression developed. In fact, we do not even know if bees have knees!

If your friend cannot stop talking about something because she thinks it is important, you might say she has a bee in her bonnet. If someone asks you a personal question, you might say "that is none of your beeswax." This means none of your business.

Speaking of personal questions, there is an expression people sometimes use when their children ask, "where do babies come from?" Parents who discuss sex and reproduction say this is talking about the birds and the bees.

Hornets are bee-like insects that sometimes attack people. If you are really angry, you might say you are mad as a hornet. And if you stir up a hornet's nest, you create trouble or problems.

Butterflies are beautiful insects, but you would not want to have butterflies in your stomach. That means to be nervous about having to do something, like speaking in front of a crowd. You would also not want to have ants in your pants. That is, to be restless and unable to sit still.

Here are some expressions about plain old bugs, another word for insects. If a friend keeps asking you to do something you do not want to do, you might ask him to leave you alone or "stop bugging me." A friend also might tell you again and again to do something. If so, you might say he put a bug in your ear.

If you were reading a book in your warm bed on a cold winter's day, you might say you were snug as a bug in a rug. And if you wish someone good night, you might say, "sleep tight -- don't let the bed bugs bite."

(MUSIC)

This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus. You can find more WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at voaspecialenglish.com.

Vocabulary

as busy as a bee      极其忙碌
a beehive of activity   人人都在忙碌
made a beeline for   走近路
the bee's knees        顶尖人物;了不起的人或事
none of your beeswax   不关你的事
the Birds and the Bees   初步的性教育
mad as a hornet   暴跳如雷,怒不可遏
stir up a hornet's nest   捅马蜂窝,惹了大麻烦
have butterflies in your stomach  紧张,忐忑不安
have ants in your pants  坐立不安
stop bugging me  别烦我
put a bug in one's ear  给某人一个暗示,想办法刺激某人
snug as a bug in a rug  极其安逸地,非常舒适地

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